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North Korea appoints nuclear negotiator as first woman foreign minister

Pyongyang [North korea], June 12 (ANI): North Korea has named a top nuclear negotiator as the nation's first female Foreign Minister, state media reported Saturday.

This comes amid warnings from the US that Pyongyang is preparing to conduct a nuclear test.

Career diplomat Choe Son Hui was appointed at a plenary meeting of the Central Committee of the Workers' Party of Korea from June 8-10, overseen by North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, CNN reported citing state-run outlet KCNA.

Her appointment comes at a time of tension on the Korean Peninsula as North Korea aggressively ramps up its weapons testing program in defiance of United Nations sanctions.

On Tuesday, US Special Representative for North Korea Policy Sung Kim warned that Washington believes North Korea is preparing to conduct a seventh nuclear test.

The International Atomic Energy Agency also said Tuesday that North Korea is "readying their nuclear test site," warning the situation surrounding Pyongyang's nuclear program "is quite concerning because we have seen a fast-forward in every line," based on the activity at the Punggye-ri site, CNN reported.

This year alone, North Korea has conducted 17 missiles including two successful tests of presumed intercontinental ballistic missiles.

However, in response to North Korea's missile launch, South Korea and the US fired a Hyunmoo-II ballistic missile and an Army Tactical Missile System (ATACMS) missile into the East Sea to establish their rapid strike capabilities, said the JCS as reported by Yonhap News Agency. (ANI)