Name   Kim Kye-kwan
Sex   Male
Date of Birth   January 6, 1943
Place of Birth   Unsan, North Pyongan Province
Posts Held Vice foreign minister
Claim to Fame Diplomat, expert on relations with the United States
Education Bachelor’s in French from University of International Affairs (Pyongyang)
Profile Along with Kim Yong-nam and Kang Sok-ju, Kim Kye-kwan is considered one of North Korea’s “Big Three” in diplomacy. As first vice foreign minister and head of North American affairs, he is also Pyongyang’s chief delegate to the six-party nuclear disarmament talks.

Kim began his diplomatic career at the North Korean Embassy in Algeria in 1969. Throughout the 1980s, he mostly worked as a researcher or a fellow at the Foreign Ministry before emerging as a diplomatic heavyweight in the 1990s. In 1992, he accompanied Korean Workers’ Party Secretary Kim Yong-sun to New York for high-level talks with then U.S. Deputy Secretary of State Arnold Kanter. Kim Kye-kwan was also deputy negotiator at the 1993 bilateral talks with Washington and a delegate to the 1996 missile talks. In 1997, he represented the North in a bilateral meeting of semi-high-ranking officials.

As the most visible North Korean official in the world, Kim speaks English and French and is known as careful and gentle. The president of the North’s parliament, Kim Yong-nam, personally recommended his former subordinate to North Korean leader Kim Jong-il.