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Digital Archive International History Declassified

Biographies

Kim Gye-gwan

James E. Hoare

DPRK first senior vice minister of foreign affairs from September 2010. He was one of the leading DPRK negotiators on the nuclear issue.

TABLE OF CONTENTS

KIM GYE-GWAN (1943- ). Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) first senior vice minister of foreign affairs from September 2010. He was previously deputy foreign minister and one of the leading DPRK negotiators on the nuclear issue. He studied French at the Pyongyang University of Foreign Studies and then undertook further language training at the DPRK embassy in Algeria. He became a director in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA) in 1975, and then appeared as a “researcher” attached to the MFA’s International Organizations Division. Kim was a roving ambassador, or ambassador at large, from September 1989, becoming councilor at the MFA in March 1991. He became a deputy minister in 1995 and a vice minister in 1998. He was also awarded the title of “Labor Hero” in 1998. He was James Kelly’s main interlocutor during the latter’s 2002 visit to the DPRK and played a prominent role in the Six Party Talks. He greeted former U.S. President Bill Clinton on his visit to the DPRK in 2009 and former President Jimmy Carter in 2009. According to U.S. negotiators, he often played a “friendly” role, while his colleague Kang Sok-ju would play a tough one. In private conversations, he was always polite and amiable. He became an alternate member of the Central Committee of the Korean Workers’ Party in September 2010. He was a member of the funeral committee for Kim Jong Il in December 2011.

All rights reserved. No portion of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted in any form by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording or otherwise without the prior written permission of the publisher. (Historical Dictionary of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, by James E. Hoare, published by RLPG Books, appears by permission of the author and publisher).