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'Kim Hyok Chol is an expert on N. Korean nuclear issues, sources say

'Kim Hyok Chol is an expert on N. Korean nuclear issues, sources say

Posted February. 01, 2019 07:42,   

Updated February. 01, 2019 07:42


Kim Hyok Chol, former North Korean Ambassador to Spain and the new counterpart to U.S. Special Representative for North Korea Stephen Biegun, is known as a seasoned expert on North Korean nuclear issues who knows the ranges of various missiles by heart.

“Kim is well-versed in nuclear issues, well-trained and a hard work,” said a diplomatic source who met Kim on several occasions during his post in Spain (2014-2017). Unlike other North Korean ambassadors, he is very knowledgeable in nuclear issues and immediately appeared as an expert.

“Kim spoke fluent English describing all the terminology related to North Korean nuclear issues and spoke with no hesitation about the range of North Korea’s key missiles, including ICBM,” the diplomatic source explained. When someone commented that "North Korea should suspend provocation and come forward as a normal country," Kim immediately objected, explaining the reason for North Korea’s nuclear development.

Kim previously worked for the Bureau 9, which oversees foreign affairs strategy development, and was quickly promoted by earning trust from North Korean Foreign Minister Ri Yong Ho. He was known to have said that he was appointed to a key post at a relatively young age. He attended social events with his wife and lived with his children during his stay in Spain.

Gi-Jae Han record@donga.com