North Korea has appointed a career diplomat as its new foreign minister, according to a diplomatic letter sent to the British government.
Former Vice Foreign Minister Ri Yong Ho served as North Korea's top negotiator in past nuclear disarmament talks, including rounds of talks with the United States in the 1990s. He also previously served as Pyongyang's ambassador to Britain.
Some analysts say that Ri Yong Ho's appointment may be an attempt to revive diplomacy between the isolated nation and the rest of the world, particularly after a nuclear test in January and a long-range rocket launch a month later sparked international outrage.
Ri may also be tasked with pleading his country's case to the United Nations, which has imposed strict sanctions on the country.
The note did not indicate what will happen to Ri's predecessor, Ri Su Yong, though South Korea's spy agency has said it believes he was promoted to vice chairman for international affairs of the ruling Workers' Party.