North Korea Leadership Watch

Research and Analysis on the DPRK Leadership

New NK Diplorep Arrives in Beijing

Sam Kim reports in for Yonhap on the arrival of Choe Pyong-gwan, the DPRK’s new ambassador to China.  Mr. Choe is a former director of consular affairs at MOFA and a former ambassador to Laos.  Outgoing Ambassador Choe Jin Su, met with Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao, “a farewell call,” on 13 April.

“Choe Pyong-gwan headed into the city on a North Korean embassy vehicle” after arriving at an airport in the Chinese capital by airplane, the source in Beijing told Yonhap News Agency.

Separately, North Korea’s official media said the former top envoy to Laos and foreign ministry’s director general of consul affairs was appointed as the country’s ambassador to China.

“Choe Pyong-gwan was appointed as DPRK ambassador to China, according to a decree,” the Korean Central News Agency said in a single-paragraph dispatch seen in Seoul. DPRK stands for the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, the North’s official name.

The appointment of Choe has been anticipated since last month, when China sent Liu Hongcai, a vice ministerial diplomat, to Pyongyang as its top envoy to the communist ally.

Details of Choe’s profile were limited. In 1994, he attended an experts’ forum in Washington on the potential establishment of North Korea’s liaison office in the United States. The sides still share no formal diplomatic relations.

An affiliate of 38 North