4 female NK officials played key role in Trump-Kim summit success

Donald Trump meets Kim Jong Un in Singapore. Photo: CNN

US President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un concluded their historic summit by signing a joint statement in which they committed to working "toward complete denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula" and to joining together "to build a lasting and stable peace regime" on the Korean Peninsula.

Four female North Korean officials are considered to be key figures in promoting the meeting success and overcoming decades of tensions and hostilities between the world's biggest nuclear power and the most reclusive country.

They are Kim Yo Jong, younger sister of Kim Jong Un, an alternate member of the Political Bureau and the vice director of the Propaganda and Agitation Department of the Workers' Party of Korea (WPK); Choe Son Hui, one of seven regular vice ministers of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs; Kim Xing Hui, an official of United Front Work Department; and Hyon Song Wol, a singer and politician.

Kim Yo Jong (R) Photo: Yonhap News

Kim Yo Jong

Kim Jong Un's younger sister Kim Yo Jong was front and center in the diplomatic exchanges related to the summit. 

It's not the first time Kim Yo Jong has made headlines in recent months - she travelled to South Korea during the 2018 Winter Olympics in February, becoming the first member of North Korea's ruling family to visit the South since the Korean War in the 1950s.

Like her brother, and many of the rest of their family, few details are known about Kim Yo Jong and the life she lived before climbing to a key leadership role in the North Korean government.

Choe Son Hui Photo: Yonhap News

Choe Son Hui

Choe Son Hui, a vice foreign minister, is the highest-level female diplomat in North Korea.

She previously worked as an English-language interpreter for a North Korean delegation attending now-stalled six-nation nuclear disarmament talks.

Choe is thought to have direct access to Kim Jong Un, and according to The Sunday Times' Daniel Hurst, "it is unlikely that she was speaking without the authority of Mr Kim."

On May 24, the state news agency KCNA released a statement in Choe's name whereby she criticized US Vice President Mike Pence, calling him a "political dummy" for comparing North Korea to Libya and its nuclear weapons program.

Kim Xing Hui

Kim Xing Hui made her first public appearance in 2005 when North and South Korea held general-level talks on the North Korean side of Panmunjom.

She then played a significant role on various diplomatic occasions including the North-South summit and flying with Kim Young Chol, vice chairman of North Korea, to Washington to holds talks with Trump about the summit with Kim Jong Un.

Hyon Song Wol Photo: Yonhap News

Hyon Song Wol

Hyon Song Wol is a North Korean singer and politician.

She is currently the lead singer of the Moranbong Band and leader of the Samjiyon Orchestra.

In 2018, she took part in talks with South Korea in preparation for North Korea's participation in the Pyeongchang Winter Olympics. During the Games, she organized concerts by North Korean performers in the South.

During the Trump-Kim summit, Hyon Song Wol was seen stepping in a hotel in Singapore.

South Korean media reported that Hyon's trip aimed to promote the art and cultural exchanges between the US and North Korea, and Pyongyang wanted to seize the opportunity to improve US-North Korean relations.


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