|Vice Premier of North Korea|
September 2010 – May 2016
|Supreme Leader||Kim Jong-un|
|Minister of Foreign Affairs|
|Supreme Leader||Kim Jong-il|
|Preceded by||Paek Nam-sun|
|Succeeded by||Pak Ui-chun|
|Born||August 29, 1939|
Pyongwon, South Pyongan
|Died||May 20, 2016 (aged 76)|
Pyongyang, North Korea
|Political party||Workers' Party of Korea|
|Alma mater||University of International Affairs|
Having obtained a Bachelor's degree in French from the University of International Affairs in Pyongyang, Kang began a diplomatic career. His first significant position was as the Korean Workers' Party's deputy director for international affairs, and then director.
In 1980, he was appointed section leader of his bureau. In 1984, he joined the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and in 1986 he became First Vice Foreign Minister, a position which he held until 2010.
In the 1990s, he was prominently involved in diplomatic talks with the United States over the issue of his country's nuclear programme. He was subsequently in charge of supervising North Korea's relations with the United States, which became his area of expertise. Reuters states that Kang "engineered the development of the North's nuclear programme that [...] has been the key source of regional security tensions".
KBS describes him as being "among a handful of well-known North Korean officials", who has "gained global attention", and adds: "Considered too aggressive at times, Kang sometimes caused problems with his pushy demeanor. In the early 1990s, he made several crucial decisions without consulting the party and was sent to a concentration camp for training in revolutionary discipline".
In September 2010, he was promoted to the position of Deputy Premier of the North Korean Government, under Premier Choe Yong-rim. His specific assignment was to oversee foreign policy. Kim Kye-gwan replaced him as First Vice Foreign Minister.
- "북한 외교라인 격상…6자회담 '청신호' 될까", SBS, September 23, 2010
- Biography on KBS
- "North Korea's top nuclear diplomat promoted to vice premier", Reuters, September 22, 2010
- "N.Korea reshuffles officials ahead of key meeting", Agence France-Presse, September 23, 2010
- "North Korea reshuffles diplomats", BBC, September 23, 2010
- "Top N. Korean diplomat Kang Sok-ju dies of cancer: state media". The Korea Tiems. Yonhap. May 21, 2016. Retrieved February 12, 2019.
- "Kang Sok Ju Dies". KCNA. May 21, 2016. Archived from the original on May 21, 2016.