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NK’s former diplomat in charge of protocols in inter-Korean summits dies

Jon Hui-jong (Yonhap)
Jon Hui-jong (Yonhap)

A former Nouth Korean diplomat who was in charge of protocols during the inter-Korean summits in 2000 and 2007 has died, the North’s official Korea Central News Agency said Tuesday.
 
North Korean leader Kim Jong-un sent a wreath to “express deep condolences” over the death of Jon Hui-jong, the KCNA said, without stating the exact date of his passing. Jon was born in 1930.
 
The honoree of the country’s highest decoration Order of Kim Il-sung and the Order of Kim Jong-il, Jon handled protocols for former North Korean leaders since 1980.
 
He was the first to greet then-South Korean President Kim Dae-jung when he arrived at the Sunan International Airport in Pyongyang for the first-ever inter-Korean summit in 2000. In 2007, he was in charge of protocols of then-leader Kim Jong-il during the second inter-Korean summit with President Roh Moo-hyun in Pyongyang.
 
Jon began working at the Foreign Ministry in the 1950s, at which time he was dispatched to the North Korean embassies in Cambodia as the first secretary and the Democratic Republic of the Congo as a counselor. Later, he was in charge of protocols for both Kim Il-sung and Kim Jong-il. After the death of Kim Jong-il in 2011, he served as the vice minister of the Foreign Ministry. The last time Jon appeared in the North Korean media was in 2015, when he participated in a meeting of heads of diplomatic missions with Kim Jong-un.
 
By Ahn Sung-mi (sahn@heraldcorp.com)
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