According to the South Korean News Agency, A seasoned North Korean diplomat is apparently suffering from an illness and he has looked noticeably gaunt, a former German politician who has recently made a visit to Pyongyang said on July 20.
A delegation of European political figures, including Jonathan Powell, Wolfgang Nowak and Glyn Ford, visited the North from July 13 to 17. After visiting Pyongyang, the delegation has come to Seoul to have talks with ranking government officials including Unification Minister Hong Yong-pyo.
« We were surprised that Mr. Kang was seriously ill and he came from a hospital to receive us, » Nowak said at the start of the meeting with Hong, apparently referring to Kang Sok-ju, a secretary handling international relations for the North’s ruling Workers’ Party. Kang Sok-ju is known to have mastered French and English.
His family own several companies. Kang Tae Sung , who is at the head of a Foreign Trading Corporation (dealing mainly with European Countries). Kang is the son of Kang Sok Ju (b. in 1939), the DPRK Vice Premier Political Bureau Member.
Nowak, a former German Social Democrat Party politician, said that they were « shocked » to have seen that Kang has apparently lost some 20 kilograms.
Whatever media say, Kang Sok-ju (including his family) is very powerful in North Korea. The death of this Family Chief may bring some changes in the top North Korean leadership.