강석주(姜錫柱, 1939년 8월 29일 ~ )는 조선민주주의인민공화국의 외교관·정치가이다. 조선민주주의인민공화국 외무성 제1부상, 조선민주주의인민공화국 외무상 직무대리 등을 지냈다.
김정일 국방위원장의 측근 인물로 조선민주주의인민공화국 외무성 제1부상에 임명되었으며 대외관계를 총괄하는 업무를 수행해 왔다. 이후 백남순 외무상의 역할이 대외행사 참석 등 사실상 얼굴 마담격에 불과했고, 외무성 내 실권은 강석주 제1부상과 김계관 부상 라인에 있는 것으로 전해지고 있다.
백남순 전임 외무상의 사망 이후 김정일 국방위원장의 신임이 두터운 것으로 알려진 강석주 제1부상이 사실상 외교정책의 실무책임을 도맡아 온 것으로 알려져 있다.
Kang Sok-ju (Hangul: 강석주) (born August 29, 1939 in Pyongwon, South Pyongan) is a North Korean diplomat and politician.
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 has 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. The BBC has described him as "a confidant of leader Kim Jong-il".