Kang Sok-ju, North Korean diplomat and politician, Died at 76

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Kang Sok-ju was born on August 29, 1939, and died on May 20, 2016.

He was a North Korean diplomat and politician.

He received his Bachelor’s degree in French from the University of International Affairs in Pyongyang, Kang began a diplomatic career.

Kang first significant position was as the Korean Workers’ Party’s deputy director for international affairs, and then director.

Sok-ju was appointed section leader of his bureau, in 1980.

During 1984, he joined the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and in 1986 he became First Vice Foreign Minister, a position which he held until 2010.

During the 90s, he was deeply involved in diplomatic talks with the United States over the issue of his country’s nuclear programme.

He finally became responsible for supervising North Korea’s relations with the United States, which became his area of expertise.

The Reuters stated that Kang “engineered the development of the North’s nuclear programme that […] has been the key source of regional security tensions”.

Then KBS describes him as being “among a handful of well-known North Korean officials”, who has “gained global attention”, and adds: “Considered too aggressive at times, Kang has caused problems with his pushy demeanour.

During the early 1990s, Kang made several crucial decisions without consulting the party and was sent to a concentration camp for training in revolutionary discipline”.

During September 2010, he was promoted to the position of Deputy Premier of the North Korean Government, under Premier Choe Yong-rim.

His main duty was to oversee foreign policy.

Then Kim Kye-gwan replaced him as First Vice Foreign Minister.

Kang Sok-ju passed away at 76 yrs old, due to esophageal cancer.

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