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Kim Il Sung

The secret behind Ri Yong Ho, North Korea's fire-breathing spokesman

The secret behind Ri Yong Ho, North Korea's fire-breathing spokesman

During the recent United Nations General Assembly meeting, he emerged as the fire-breathing mouthpiece of North Korea’s inflammatory government.

Foreign Minister Ri Yong Ho mocked Donald Trump as “President Evil” and offered up sound bites about detonating nuclear bombs over the Pacific and shooting down U.S. planes.

But here’s a little secret about Ri: Beneath the bluster, he has a reputation as a soft-spoken, self-deprecating diplomat whom U.S. officials have for years deemed one of the most accessible representatives of his government.

Ri was promoted to foreign minister in May 2016 for his adeptness at negotiating with Americans, not for hurling...

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