Research and Analysis on the DPRK Leadership
Kang Sok Ju has been appointed DPRK Vice Premier and and holding the title 1st Vice President of the DPRK Supreme (Central) Court. KCNA reported Kang’s appointment as Vice Premier on 23 September. On 25 September Kang was identified in the latter position when he was reported by KCNA as attending a meeting with China’s Vice Minister of Justice in Pyongyang.
Kang’s appointment as Vice Premier was part of a DPRK foreign ministry personnel migration. For a number of years, Kang served as the DPRK’s Senior Vice Minister of Foreign Affairs. He was replaced by his primary deputy, Vice Minister of Foreign Affairs Kim Kye Gwan. Kim was replaced as Vice Minister by MOFA Councilor, Ri Yong Ho. All of these personalities were central players in the DPRK’s interactions with the US and the Six Party Talks.
Kang Sok Ju is Kim Jong Il’s cousin, as well as one of his primary foreign affairs advisers. Kang worked for a number of years under Kim Yong Nam, current SPA Presidium President, and former Minister of Foreign Affairs and Party International Secretary.