Paek Nam Sun North Korea’s Minister of Foreign Affairs Dies of Illness

North Korea’s former Minister of Foreign Affairs Paek Nam Sun (78) died from an illness, the Korean Central News Agency reported on the 3rd.

The news agency reported that Kim Jong Il had sent flowers in tribute of former Minister of Foreign Affairs Paek’s death. In the past, former Foreign Affairs Minister had frequently traveled overseas to receive treatment due to insufficient medicine and facilities within North Korea.

One of Paek’s last major appearances was at the Asian Regional Forum (ARF) in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia last July where he was known to have received medical treatment.

Foreign Minister Paek renown for his leading omni-directional diplomacy was born in the province of Yangkang in 1929 and graduated from Kim Il Sung University. He was vice director for the Committee for Cultural Relations with Foreign Countries and president of the foreign press and became the foreign affairs minister in 1998.

As a specialist on foreign affairs, he was appointed as an expert on policies toward the South and in 1998, October 11th met with each representative of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the U.N. (FAO) and the U.N. Development Program (UNDP).

For about 10 days beginning September 20th~29th 1999, for the first time in 7 years, Paek attended the 54th U.N. general assembly and as North Korea’s Foreign Minister met with 20 representatives of the world.

In particular, using his name “Paek Nam Sun,” he opened high-level talks between the South and the North in 1990 and was even well known in the South. He was responsible for various duties such as the secretary-director for the DPRK’s Committee for the Peaceful Reunification of the Fatherland and the Fatherland Reunification and Democracy Front as well as the North’s chairperson for the South-North Dialogue in Korea and Political Department Committee.

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