Choi Duk Shin, 75, Ex-South Korean Envoy Dies
TOKYO, Nov. 18— Choi Duk Shin 최덕신 崔德新
President Kim Il Sung visited Mr. Choi before he died in a hospital in the North Korean capital, Pyongyang, a Korean News agency said on Friday. a former South Korean Foreign Minister and Ambassador to Bonn, West Germany who moved to North Korea after becoming affiliated with a dissident group that supports the Communist Government, died Thursday. He was 75 years old.
Mr. Choi was South Korea’s Foreign Minister in 1961-63 after a military coup led by Park Chung Hee, a fellow army general, on May 16, 1961. Mr. Choi was South Korea’s Ambassador to West Germany from 1963 to 1967. He headed the Chondoist Church 천도교 天道教, a Korean religious group, before seeking asylum in the United States in 1977.
After affiliating himself with a North Korean-leaning dissident group, the Korean Conference for Democracy and Unification, he went to North Korea in 1984. He has lived there since 1986.
In Pyongyang, Mr. Choi held such titles as chairman of the Central Committee of the Chondoist Chong Wu Party, vice chairman of the Committee for the Peaceful Reunification of the Fatherland and chairman of the Korean Religions Council 조국평화통일위원회 祖國平和統一委員會 .