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North Korean Leadership Watch
North Korean Leadership Watch

 

Kim Jong-un
Kim Jong-un (1983). Member of the Kim familly, the youngest son of Kim Jong-il. Supreme Leader of North Korea 07/2012-Present, First Secretary of the Worker's Party of Korea 04/2012-Present, Chairman of the National Defense Commission 04/2012-Present, Chairman of the Central Military Commission 04/2012-Present, Standing Committee Member of the Politburo 04/2012-Present.   
Kim Yong-nam
Kim Yong-nam(02/04/1928). Member of the Central Committee 09/2010-Present, Standing Committee Member of the Politburo 09/2010-Present, President of the Supreme People's Assembly Presidium 04/2009-Present. He has close ties to the Kim famile regime, and most likely has a direct channel to KJU.
Pak Pong-ju
Pak Pong-ju (04/10/1939). Premier of the Cabient 04/2013-Present, Member of the Politburo 03/2013-Present. Responsible for managing the economic affairs of the "people's economy". He most likely interacts directly with KJU. 
Choe Tae-bok
Choe Tae-bok (12/01/1930). Member of Politburo 09/2010-Present, Chairman of Supreme People's Assembly 04/2010-Present, Secretary of the Secretariat. Choe was likely entrusted with technological development which was suddenly highlighted after Kim Jong-un's succession. He is reorted as a protoge of Yang Hyong-sop and is tied to Kim Kyong-hui's patronage system.
Pak To-chun
Pak To-chun (03/09/1944). Member of the Politburo 04/2012-Present, Secretary of the Secretariat 09/2010-Present. He is reported to be an advisor to KJU on defense-related issues. Reportedly retired in 2015, but it is highly likely that he has access to KJU because he was very involved in testing critical defense systems, such as nuclear and missile programs.
Choe Ryong-hae
Choe Ryong-hae(01/15/1950). Member of the Politburo 02/2015-Present, Secretary of the Secretariat 05/2014-Present. He is a former regent to KJU. He know acts as a senior Party advisor. Although he was demoted in 2014/2015 with his removal from the Politburo Presidium and directorship of the GPB, he continues to occupy a position close to the Supreme Leader. He has been tasked to lead special missions to both China and Russia. His second son, Choe Song, is reportedly married to Kim Yo-jong.
Yang Hyong-sop
Yang Hyung-sop (10/01/1925). Member of the Politburo 09/2010-Present, Member of the Central Committee 09/2010-Present, Vice President of the Presidium of the Supreme People's Assembly 09/1998-Present.
Kim Won-hong
Kim Won-hong (1945). Director of the State Security Department 04/2012-Present, Member of the National Defense Commission 04/2012-Present, Member of the Politburo 04/2012-Present. Member of the Central Military Commission 09/2010-Present, Member of the Central Committee 09/2010-Present. His status has been tied to KJU more than that of any other member of the North Korean leadership. He has been a frequent member of KJU's guidance inspections.  
Kim Ki-nam
Kim Ki-nam (08/28/1929). Secretary of the Secretariat 08/2015-Present, Member of Politburo 09/2010-Present, Member of Central Committee 09/2010-Present, Director of Propaganda and Agitation Department 05/2010-Present. He is credited for creating the cult of personality around Kim Jong-il and praising Kim Il-sung's historic role as the founder of the regime. Kim directed propaganda supporting successions of Kim Jong-il and Kim Jong-un.   
Ri Myong-su
Ri Myong-su (02/20/1934). Promoted from Chief of KPA General Staff to Vice Marshall 04/2016. Member of the Central Committee 09/2010-Present, Former Minister of the Ministry of People's Security 04/2011-03/2013, Former Member of National Defense Commission 04/2012-04/2013. 
Ri Yong-mu
Ri Yong-mu (01/25/1925). Member of the Politburo 09/2010-Present, Vice Chairman of National Defense Commission 09/1998-Present. He oversees one of the major patronage systems inside the military. It is also rumored that he suffers from cancer.
Hyon Chol-hae
Hyong Chol-hae. (1934). Vice Marshall of the KPA 04/2016. Director of the General Logistics Department 1986-1995. Director of the General Political Department 1995. Member of the Central Committee 1991-Present.
O Kuk-ryol
O Kuk-ryol (07/01/1930). Alternate Member of Politburo 04/2012-Present, Member of Central Committee 09/2010-Present, Vice Chairman of National Defense Commission 02/2009-Present. He reportedly has responsibilities within the NDC for intelligence operations abroad as well as for crisis management.  
Kim Jong-gak
Kim Jong-gak (07/20/1941). President of the Kim Il-sung Military Academy 07/2013-Present, Former Minister of the Ministry of People's Security 04/2012-11/2012. 
Cha Kwan-suk
Cha Kwan-suk. Member of the Control Committee.
Cha Sun-gil
Cha Sun-gil. Member of the Control Committee.
Pak Yong-sik
Pak Yong-sik. Minister of the Ministry of People's Armed Forces, Member of the Central Military Commission. Former Vice Director of the GPB. Although he is a ranking member of the high command, his ties to and communication with KJU are unknown. Elevated media handling of Pak Yong-sik since his appointment as Minister of MPAF suggests he is second in the regime's military ranking behind Vice Marshal Hwang Pyong-so.
Choe Yong-ho
Choe Yong-ho. Member of the Central Military Commission, the Commander of the Korean People's Army Air and Anti-Air Force.
Kim Yong-bok
Kim Yong-bok. Member of the Central Military Commission.
Chong Myong-hak
Chong Myong-hak. First Vice Chairman of the Control Committee 2009-Present.
Kim Yong-son
Kim Yong-son. Member of the Central Control Committee.
Pak Tok-man
Pak Tok-man. Member of the Central Control Committee.
Ri Tuk-nam
Ri Tuk-nam. Vice Chairman of the Central Control Committee.
Choe Yong-il
Choe Yong-il. Member of the Supreme People's Assembly Budget Committee.
Hong So-hon
Hong So-hon(12/31/1945). Member of the Supreme People's Assembly Budget Committee.
Kim Hui-suk
Kim Hui-suk. Member of the Supreme People's Assembly Budget Committee. 
Kye Yong-sam
Kye Yong-sam. Member of the Central Control Committee 09/2010-Present, Member of the Supreme People's Assembly Budget Committee 09/2003-Present.
Pak Hyong-ryol
Pak Hyong-ryol. Member of the Supreme People's Assembly Budget Committee.
Pak Yong-ho
Pak Yong-ho. Chief Secretary of the South Hwanghae Municipal Party Committee 07/2012-Present. 
Jo Yon-jun
Jo Yon-jun (09/28/1937). Alternate Member of the Politburo 2012-Present, 1st Vice Director of the Organization and Guidance Department. He handles political and economic issues inside the OGD. He is believed to be one of KJU's key allies within the OGD.
Kim Yong-il
Kim Yong-il (05/02/1944). Former Premier of the Cabinet 04/2007-06/2010, Former Minister of Land and Marine Transport Ministry 11/1994-04/2007.
Jo Yong-won
Jo Yong-won. Vice Chairman of Central Committee. Vice Director of the Organization and Guidance Department.
Kim Jong-chol
Kim Jong-chol(09/25/1981) Member of the Kim family, Kim Jong-un's older brother. In 2007, he was appointed deputy chief of a leadership division of the KWP. However, in 2009, it was made known that his younger brother, Kim Jong-un, would be appointed the successor of Kim Jong-il. He is now serving as a member of the Organization and Guidance Department.
Min Byong-chol
Min Byon-chol. Vice Director of the Organization and Guidance Department. 
Ri Su-yong (Ri Chol)
Ri Su-yong/Ri Chol (1935). Minister of Ministry of Foreign Affairs 04/2014-Present, Vice Chairman of the Central Committee 2012-Present. Former Ambassador to Switzerland, Former Representative of North Korea to the United Nations missions in Geneva. He has had close ties to the Kim family for decades. He managed KJI's finances in Europe and oversaw the education of Kim Jong-un, Kim Jong-chol, and Kim Yo-jong when they were at school in Switzerland. He has been tied to KJU's Personal Secretariat and secret family slush fund, that is used to ensure the regime's support among the wider leadership.  
Ri Yong-ho
Ri Young-ho (05/10/1942). Former Chief of the General Staff Department 2009-2012, Former member of Politburo 09/2010-07/2012, Former member of Central Committee 09/2010-07/2012, Former Vice Chairman of Central Military Commission 09/2010-07/2012. Ri oversaw one of the key support groups within the military that supported Kim Jong-un. Many Pyongyang-watchers presumed that Ri would be instrumental in keeping the military in check during the transition period.
Pak Tae-song
Pak Tae-song. Chief Secretary of the Pyongyang Municipal Party Committee 05/2014-Present, Vice President of the Central Committee 08/2012-Present. 
Choe Hwi
Choe Hwi. 1st Vice Director of the Organization and Guidance Department.
An Tong-chun
An Tong-chun (1945). Vice Chairman of the Supreme People's Assembly 04/2014-Present, Former Minister of the Ministry of Culture 01/2010-05/2012.
Ri Hye-jong
Ri Hye-jong. Vice Chairman of the Supreme People's Assembly 04/2014-Present.
So Tae-ha
So Tae-ha. Vice Director of the State Security Department. he currently heads the SIC on Japanese residing in North Korea, and is a chairperson of North Korea's special investigation committee to look into the status of the Japanes abductees. According to South Korean sources, he is close to Kim Jong-un, and was promoted to Lieutenant General in 04/2015.
Cha Hui-rim
Cha Hui-rim (1953). Member of the Supreme People's Assembly Legislation Committee 04/2014-Present, Representative of the Pyongyang Municipal Committee 09/2012-Present.
Pak Myong-guk
Pak Myong-guk (06/01/1956). Member of the Supreme People's Assembly Legislation Committee 04/2014-Present, Vice Minister of the Foreign Ministry 10/2013-Present.
Ri Tae-chol
Ri Tae-chol (1936). 1st Vice Minister of the Ministry of People's Security 05/2010-Present.
Kang Yong-ho
Kang Yong-ho (1948). Vice Miniser of the Ministry of People's Security 04/2010-Present. 
Jo Kyong-chol
Jo Kyong-chol. Member of the Central Committee 09/2010-Present, Commander of the Military Security Command. He runs an organization that plays an important role in guaranteeing internal security. The commander of the MSC has a direct line of communication to KJU.
Ro Kwang-chol
Ro Kwang-chol. 1st Vice Minister of the Ministry of People's Armed Forces. He began to attend guidance inspections with KJU in 2015 and has been a part of seceral North Korea delegations in military-to-military talks with other countries. His access to KJU is unknown.
Tae Hyong-chol
Tae Hyong-chol (1953). Member of the Supreme People's Assembly Legislation Committee 04/2014-Present, Minister of the Ministry of Higher Education.
Pak Tae-tok
Pak Tae-tok (1955). Member of the Supreme People's Assembly Legislation Committee 04/2012-Present, Chief Secretary of the North Hwanghae Municipal Party Committee 09/2010-Present.
Kang Sok-ju
Kang Sok-ju (08/29/1939). Secretary of Secretariat 05/2014-Present, Former Vice Premier of the Cabinet 09/2010-04/2014, Member of the Politburo 09/2010-Present, Member of the Central Committee 09/2010-Present, Former 1st Minister of International Affairs Ministry 09/1998-09/2010, Director of International Department. He likely remains an influential strategist in helping KJU maneuver within the international arena. 
Kim Pyong-hae
Kim Pyong-hae (10/08/1941). Alternate Member of the Politburo 09/2010-Present, Member of the Central Committee 09/2010-Present, Secretary of the Secretariat 09/2010-Present, Director of the Cadres Department 09/2010-Present. His relationship to Kim Jong-un is unclear. He allegedly belonged to a group of Party leaders that followed Jang Song-taek.
Kwak Pom-gi
Kwak Pom-gi (11/20/1939). Member of the Politburo 04/2015-Present, Secretary of the Secretariat 04/2012-Present. He most likely works directly with KJU or through Pak Pong-ju.
O Su-yong
O Su-yong (1944). Member of the Politburo 08/2015-Present, Secretary of the Secretariat 05/2014-Present, Chairman of the Supreme People's Assembly Budget Committee 04/2014-Present, Member of the Central Committee 09/2010-Present, Director of Financial Planning Department. His ties to the Kim family are vague.
Ju Kyu-chang
Ju Kyu-chang(11/25/1928). Director of Machine-Building Industry Department. He is responsible for day-to-day oversight of the development of the regime's critical defense systems. Some have suggested that he has been replaced as Director of the KWP MID by Hong Yong-chil.
Kim Kyong-ok
Kim Kyong-ok. Member of the Central Military Commission 09/2010-Present, Member of the Central Committee 09/2010-Present, 1st Vice Director of the Organization Guidance Department 2008-Present. He is rumored to have retired for health reasons.
Ri Pyong-chol
Ri Pyong-chol. Member of the National Defense Commission 09/2014-Present, Member of the Central Committee 09/2010-Present. Former Commander of the KPA Air Force, First Vice Director of a KWP Central Committee Department 2015-Present. He is associated with the North Korean drone program. He most lkely has direct acces to KJU.
Choe Pu-il
Choe Pu-il (03/06/1945). Chairman of the Supreme People's Assembly Legislation Committee 04/2014-Present, Member of the National Defense Commission 04/2013-Present, Alternate Member of the Politburo 03/2013-Present, Minister of the Ministry of People's Security 02/2013-Present, Member of the Central Committee 09/2010-Present, Member of the Central Military Commission 09/2010-Present. He is rumored to be a favorite of KJU.
Kim Yong-chol
Kim Yong-chol (1946). Secretary of the Secretariat 02/2016-Present, Member of the Central Committee 09/2010-Present, Member of the Central Miitary Commission 09/2010-Present, Director of the Reconnaissance General Bureau 2009-Present, Director of United Front Department. He oversaw Kim Jong-un's education at the Kim Il-sung Military University. He previously served as a bodyguard to Kim Jong-il. The Reconnaissance General Bureau has been tied to the 2010 sinking of the Cheonan and the 2015 landmine explosions along the DMZ.
Yun Jong-rin
Yun Jong-rin (1938). Member of the Central Mliitary Commission 09/2010-Present, Member of the Central Committee 09/2010-Present, Director of the Guard Command of the Ministry of People's Armed Forces 04/2010-Present. He is responsible for ensuring KJU's protection. He not only works with KJU's Personal Secretariat, but also most likely has a direct line of communication to KJU that bypasses any gatekeepers.
Ri Chol-man
Ri Chol-man (1968). Minister of the Ministry of Agriculture 04/2013-Present, Vice Premier of the Cabinet 04/2013-Present.
Ri Mu-yong
Ri Mu-yong (04/08/1948). Vice Premier of the Cabinet 04/2013-Present, Minister of the Ministry of Chemical Industry 04/2013-Present.
Ro Tu-chol
Ro Tu-chol (1944). Alternate member of the Politburo 04/2012-Present, Member of the Central Committee 09/2010-Present, Commissioner of the State Planning Commission 04/2009-Present, Vice Premier of the Cabinet 04/2009-Present. 
Ri Man-kun
Ri Man-kun. Member of the Central Commission 09/2010-Present, Director of Machine Industry Department. 
Kim Rak-gyom
Kim Rak-gyom. Lieutenat General 02/2014-Present, Member of the Central Military Commission 04/2012-Present, Commander of Strategic Rocket Forces 03/2012-Present.
Choe Yong-rim
Choe Yong-rim(11/20/1930). Honory Vice President of the Supreme People's Assembly 04/2013-Present, Former Premier of the Cabinet 06/2010-04/2013.
Hong Son-ok
Hong Son-ok(03/28/1950). Secretary General of the Supreme People's Assembly Presidum.
Hyon Sang-ju
Hyon Sang-ju. Member of the Supreme People's Assembly Presidium 08/2010-Present.
Kang Su-rin
Kang Su-rin (1952). Member of the Supreme People's Assembly Presidium 04/2014-Present.
Jon Kyong-nam
Jon Kyong-nam(1954). Member of the Supreme People's Assembly Presidium.
Jon Yong-nam
Jon Yong-nam. Member of the Supreme People's Assembly Presidium 09/2012-Present.
Kim Jong-soon
Kim Jong-soon. Member of the Supreme People's Assembly Presidium 04/2014-Present.
So Hong-chan
Seo Hong-chan. 1st Vice Minister of Ministry of the People’s Armed Forces, Member of the Central Military Commission. He is rumored to be a member of the CMC and head of the General Logistics Department (GLD). He may have replaced Kim Chun-sam as Director of the GSD Operations Bureau.
Kim Wan-su
Kim Wan-su (05/10/1939). Member of the Supreme People's Assembly Presidium 04/2014-Present, Former Vice Chairman of the Supreme People's Assembly 04/2009-04/2014.
Kim Yong-dae
Kim Yong-dae (12/12/1937). Vice President of the Supreme People's Assembly Presidium 04/2009-Present.
Kim Yong-ju
Kim Yong-ju (1920). Member of the Kim family, the younger brother of Kim Il-sung. Honory Vice President of the Supreme People's Assembly Presidium 09/2003-Present. 
Ri Myong-gil
Ri Myong-gil. Member of the Supreme People's Assembly Presidium 05/2010-Present.
Ryu Mi-yong
Ryu Mi-yong (01/07/1921). Member of the Supreme People's Assembly Presidium 09/1998-Present, Chairwoman of the North Korean Chondoist Chongu Party. 
Tae Jong-su
Tae Jong-su (03/20/1936). Member of the Supreme People's Assembly Presidium 04/2014, Chief Secretary of the South Hamgyong Provincial Party Committee 04/2012-Present, Member of the Central Committee 09/2010-Present, Alternate Member of the Politburo, Former Vice Premier of Cabinet. While Tae remains within the leadership, his position in the formal ranking has dropped.
Kim Yong-jin
Kim Yong-jin (02/23/1953). Vice Premier of the Cabinet 01/2012-Present.
Kim Tok-hun
Kim Tok-hun. Vice Premier of the Cabinet 04/2014-Present.
Hwang Pyong-so
Hwang Pyong-so (1949). Standing Committee Member of the Politburo 02/2015-Present, Vice Chairman of the National Defense Commission 09/2014-Present, 1st Vice Director of the Organization and Guidance Departmet 03/2014-Present, Vice Chairman of the Central Military Commission. He is widely considered to be the second most powerful man in the regime. He may hae become one of KJU's most trusted advisors.
Jo Chun-ryong
Jo Chun-ryong. Member of the National Defense Commission 04/2014-Present.
Kim Yo-jong
Kim Yo-jong (1987). Member of the Kim family, the youngest daughter of Kim Jong-il. Vice Chairman of the Central Committee 11/2014-Present. She is rumored to be working in the KWP OGD or PAD and her brother's Personal Secretariat. Some also speculated that she had taken over the day-to-day operation of the Propaganda and Agitation Department since spring 2015.  
Ri Sol-ju
Ri Sol-ju (1989). Wife of North Korean Supreme leader Kim Jong-un.
Kim Sol-song
Kim Sol-song (12/30/1974). Member of the Kim family, the second daughter of Kim Jong-il. It is reported that she is a senior figure in Kim's Personal Secretariat.  
Kang Myong-chol
Kang Myong-chol. Member of the Supreme People's Assembly Presidium.
Im Chol-ung
Im Chol-ung(10/27/1961). Vice Premier of the Cabinet 05/2014-Present.
Jang Pyong-gyu
Jang Pyong-gyu (1920). Member of the Supreme People's Assembly Legislation Committee 04/2014-Present, Director of the Supreme Prosecutor's Office 04/2010-Present.
An Yong-chol
An Yong-chol. Senior Liaison Officer of the Office of Military Liaison Officers.
Kim Hyon-chol
Kim Hyon-chol. Chief of the Office of the Assistant for Intelligence of the Personal Secretariat.
Kim Chun-sop
Kim Chun-sop. Member of the National Defense Commission 04/2015-Present, Vice Chairmant of the Central Commitee 02/2015-Present.
Pak Myong-chol
Pak Myong-chol (09/15/1941). President of the Supreme Court 04/2014-Present, Member of the Supreme People's Assembly Legislation Committee 04/2014-Present, Member of the Central Committee 09/2010-Present. 
Pak Yong-ho
Pak Yong-ho is a member of the SPA Budget Committee.
Kim Yong-chun
Kim Yong-chun (03/04/1936). Central Committee Member 1986-1988. Director of the KPA General Staff 1986-1988. Deputy of the SPA 1986-1988. Vice Marshal and Chief of the SPA 1995-2007. Vice Chairman of the NDC 2007-?. Director of the WPK Civil Defense Department 04/2012-04/2016. Marshal of the KPA 04/2016-Present. He played a critical role in the early KJU period, but possibly has been retired.
Kim Kyong-hui
Kim Kyong-hui (05/30/1946). Member of the Kim familiy, the daughter of Kim Il-sung. She would likely play an advisory role and serve as a key arbitrator within the Kim family. Kim is rumored to be suffering from health problem, died of illness or executed. 
Kim Song-nam
Kim Song-nam (1953?). Alternate Member of the KWP Central Committee, Vice Director of the KWP International Affairs Department (1980s-Present). He is a renowned "China hand". He is one of KJU's primary advisors on China affairs and allegedly has a direct communication channel with him.
Kim Su-gil
Kim Su-gil. Chief Secretary of the Pyongyang Municipal Party Committee 04/2014-Present. Kim is rumored to be affiliated with the General Political Bureau Organization Department.
Ma Won-chun
Ma Won-chun (59). Director of the National Defense Commission Design Deparment 05/2014-Late 2014. He was allegedly purged, but returned to favor in October 2015.
Rim Kyung-man
Rim Kyung-man (08/28/1946). Member of Central Committee 09/2010-Present, Chief Secretary of the Nason Municipal Party Committee 02/2010-Present.   
Kang Yang-mo
Kang Yang-mo (09/01/1944). Member of Central Committee 09/2010-Present, Chief Secretary of the Nampo Municipal Party Committee 12/2009-Present.
Pak Jong-nam
Pak Jong-nam. Chief Secretary of the Kangwon Municipal Party Committee 05/2013-Present. 
Ri Sang-won
Ri Sang-won. Chief Secretary of the Yang-gang Municipal Party Committee 11/2013-Present. 
Kim Jae-ryong
Kim Jae-ryong. Chief Secretary of the Chagang Municipal Party Committee 02/2015-Present. 
Kim Neung-oh
Kim Neung-oh. Chief Secretary of the North Pyongyang Municipal Party Committee.
Chon Sung-hun
Chon Sung-hun (10/27/1951). Former Vice President of the Cabinet 09/2003-04/2014, Chief Secretary of the North Hamgyong Municipal Party Committee.
An Jong-su
An Jong-su (1951). Member of the Central Committee 09/2010-Present, Director of Light Industry Department. 
Han Kwang-bok
Han Kwang-bok (03/18/1946). Director of Science Education Department 11/2012-Present, Member of the Central Committee 09/2010-Present, Former Vice Minister of the Cabinet 06/2010-10/2012.
Ri Il-hwan
Ri Il-hwan (1960). Director of Working Organization Department 04/2014-Present.
Kim Jong-im
Kim Jong-im. Member of the Central Committee 09/2010-Present, Director of Party History Institute 12/2009-Present. 
O Il-jong
O Il-jong (1954). Chairman of the Central Committee 09/2010, Director of Civil Defense Department. 
Han Kwang-sang
Han Kwang-sang (1958). Chairman of the Central Committee 09/2013-Present, Director of Finance Accounting Department.

The North Korean Leadership Watch page is adapted from Ken Gause's publication Coercion, Control, Surveillance, and Punishment: An Examination of the North Korean Police State and Michael Madden's North Korean Leadership Watch blog.

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