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North Korea names nuclear negotiator as 1st woman FM

Vice Foreign Minister Choe Son-hui has been promoted to the post of foreign minister in a decision taken at the fifth plenary meeting of the party's eighth Central Committee.

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Seoul: North Korea on Saturday named nuclear negotiator Choe Son-hui as the nation’s first female Foreign Minister.

According to Korean Central News Agency (KCNA), Vice Foreign Minister Choe Son-hui has been promoted to the post of foreign minister in a decision taken at the fifth plenary meeting of the party’s eighth Central Committee.

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Her appointment comes amid tensions in the Korean peninsula as the North continues to ramp up its weapons testing programme.

The leader Kim Jong-un called for stronger “self-defense” measures to tackle “very serious” security challenges during the party meeting.

The North, however, did not deliver new major messages toward the US or South Korea through the three-day high-profile session that ended Friday, Yonhap reported.

On Tuesday, US Special Representative for North Korea Policy Sung Kim had warned of Pyongyang preparing to conduct a seventh nuclear test, which would be its first since 2017.

The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) had also confirmed North Korea “readying their nuclear test site,” and warned that the situation surrounding Pyongyang’s nuclear program “is quite concerning because we have seen a fast-forward in every line,” based on the activity at the Punggye-ri site, CNN stated.

This year, North Korea has conducted 17 missile launches, including two successful tests of presumed intercontinental ballistic missiles.

In response, South Korea and the US put on an aerial show of force to North Korea on Tuesdsay by flying 20 fighter jets over waters west of the Korean Peninsula.

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