North Korean Foreign Minister to Deliver Keynote Address at U.N. General Assembly

North Korea's Foreign Minister Ri Yong Ho addresses the 71st session of the United Nations General Assembly, at U.N. headquarters, Friday, Sept. 23, 2016. (AP Photo/Richard Drew)
AP Photo/Richard Drew

North Korea’s foreign minister will give a keynote address the United Nations General Assembly in September, Yonhap News Agency reported on Wednesday.

According to a provisional list of speakers from the U.N. Public Information Department, North Korean Foreign Minister Ri Yong-ho will address the annual gathering. However, an anonymous official told the agency that speakers and dates are subject to change depending on circumstances.

The provisional list contradicts earlier reports that communist dictator Kim Jong-un would address the assembly in the wake of his recent summit with President Donald Trump to discuss his regime’s plans to denuclearize and build stronger relationships with their traditional Western enemies. Speculation remains that Kim will attend the summit, marking his first visit as leader to the United States.

The report also indicated that Trump will address the assembly on September 25th, while South Korean President Moon Jae-in will follow up on September 27th, where they are both likely to update delegates on the progress of peace talks with North Korea.

During last year’s summit, Trump gave his starkest warning to the regime, that if North Korea continued with its threats and aggressive nuclear expansion, he would be faced with “no choice but to totally destroy North Korea.”

“Rocket Man is on a suicide mission for himself and his regime,” Trump said at the time. “The U.S. is ready, willing, and able, but hopefully, this will not be necessary.”

Days after his comments, Ri Yong-ho gave his own address to the assembly, where he denounced Trump’s “reckless and violent” comments.

“In case innocent lives in the US are lost because of this suicide attack, Trump will be held totally responsible,” he said. “Due to his lacking basic common knowledge and proper sentiment, he tried to insult the supreme dignity of my country by referring it to a rocket. By doing so, however, he committed an irreversible mistake of making our rockets’ visit to the entire US mainland inevitable all the more.”

“Unless true international justice is realized, the only valid philosophical principle is that force must be dealt with force and nuclear weapons of tyranny must be dealt with the nuclear hammer of justice,” he continued.

This year’s U.S. General Assembly will be attended by leaders from 195 countries, including 109 heads of states, who will all deliver their own key-note addresses.

Follow Ben Kew on Facebook, Twitter at @ben_kew, or email him at


Please let us know if you're having issues with commenting.