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North Korean Leadership Watch
Pak Yong-ho
Pak Yong-ho is a member of the Supreme People's Assembly Budget 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 General Political Bureau. Elevated media handling of Pak Yong-sik since his appointment as Minister of Mnistry of People's Armed Force suggests Pak is second in the regime's military ranking behind Vice Marshal Hwang Pyong-so.
Po Hui-song
Po Hui-song. Member of the Central Inspection Committee. 
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 Hye-jong
Ri Hye-jong. Vice Chairman of the Supreme People's Assembly 04/2014-Present.
Ri Il-hwan
Ri Il-hwan (1960). Director of Working Organization Department 04/2014-Present.
Ri Man-gun
Ri Man-gun. Member of the Politburo, Vice Chairman of the Bureau of Political Affairs 05/2016-Present, Member of the Central Military Commission 05/2016-Present, Director of Machine Industry Department. 
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.
Ri Myong-gil
Ri Myong-gil. Member of the Supreme People's Assembly Presidium 05/2010-Present.
Ri Myong-su
Ri Myong-su (02/20/1934). Member of the Central Committee 09/2010-Present, Member of the Politburo 05/2016-Present, Member of the Central Military Commission 05/2016-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 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 Air Force. Ri is known to be associated with the drone program in North Korea.
Ri Sang-won
Ri Sang-won. Chief Secretary of the Yanggang Provincial Party Committee 11/2013-Present. 
Ri Sol-ju
Ri Sol-ju (1989). Wife of North Korean Supreme leader Kim Jong-un.
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. Ri has had close ties to the Kim family for decades. Ri managed Kim Jong-il'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. Ri has been tied to Kim Jong-un's Personal Secretariat and secret family slush fund, that is used to ensure the regime's support among the wider leadership.  
Ri Tae-chol
Ri Tae-chol (1936). First Vice Minister of the Ministry of People's Security 05/2010-Present.
Ri Tuk-nam
Ri Tuk-nam. Vice Chairman of the Control Commission.
Ri Yong-gil
Ri Yong-gil (1955). Alternate member of the Politburo 05/2014-Present, Member of the Central Military Commission 05/2014-Present, Member of the Central Committee 09/2010-Present.
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.
Ri Yong-ik
Ri Yong-ik. Member of the Central Inspection Committee. 
Ri Yong-mu
Ri Yong-mu (01/25/1925). Vice Chairman of National Defense Commission 09/1998-Present. Former member of the Politburo. Ri oversees one of the major patronage systems inside the military. It is rumored that Ri has cancer, limiting his ability to fully engage in politics. 
Rim Kyung-man
Rim Kyung-man (08/28/1946). Member of Central Committee 09/2010-Present, Chief Secretary of the Nason Provincial Party Committee 02/2010-Present.   
Ro Kwang-chol
Ro Kwang-chol. First Vice Minister of the Ministry of People's Armed Forces. Ro began to attend guidance inspections with Kim Jong-un in 2015 and has been a part of seceral North Korea delegations in military-to-military talks with other countries. 
Ro Tu-chol
Ro Tu-chol (1944). Member of the Politburo 05/2016-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. 
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. 
So Hong-chan
So Hong-chan. First Vice Minister of Ministry of the People’s Armed Forces, Member of the Central Military Commission. So is rumored to be the head of the General Logistics Department. So may also have replaced Kim Chun-sam as Director of the General Staff Department Operations Bureau.
So Tae-ha
So Tae-ha. Vice Director of the State Security Department. So is known to be a chairperson of North Korea's Special Investigation Committee to look into the status of the Japanese abductees. According to South Korean sources, So is close to Kim Jong-un, and was promoted to Lieutenant General in 2015.
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.
Tae Jong-su
Tae Jong-su (03/20/1936). Member of the Supreme People's Assembly Presidium 04/2014, Member of the Central Committee 09/2010-Present, Former Alternate Member of the Politburo, Former Vice Premier of Cabinet. While Tae remains within the leadership, his position in the formal ranking has dropped.
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 Supreme People's Assembly Presidium 09/1998-Present.
Yun Jong-rin
Yun Jong-rin (1938). Former Member of the Central Mliitary Commission 09/2010-05/2016, Member of the Central Committee 09/2010-Present, Director of the Guard Command of the Ministry of People's Armed Forces 04/2010-Present. Yun is responsible for ensuring Kim Jong-un's protection. Yun not only works with Kim Jong-un's Personal Secretariat, but also most likely has a direct line of communication to Kim Jong-un. 
Name Affiliation
Pak Yong-sik
Politburo (Members)
Central Military Commission (Members)
Ministry of People's Armed Forces (Minister)
Po Hui-song
Central Inspection Committee (Members)
Ri Chol-man
Cabinet (Vice Premiers)
Ri Hye-jong
Supreme People's Assembly (Vice Chairmen)
Ri Il-hwan
Specialty Department (Directors)
Ri Man-gun
Politburo (Members)
Central Military Commission (Members)
Specialty Department (Directors)
Bureau of Political Affairs (Vice Chairmen)
Ri Mu-yong
Cabinet (Vice Premiers)
Ri Myong-gil
SPA Presidium (Members)
Ri Myong-su
Politburo (Members)
Central Military Commission (Members)
Ri Pyong-chol
Politburo (Alternate Members)
National Defense Commission (Members)
Ri Sang-won
Provincial Party Committee (Chief Secretaries)
Ri Su-yong (Ri Chol)
Politburo (Members)
Specialty Department (Directors)
Bureau of Political Affairs (Vice Chairmen)
Ri Tae-chol
Ministry of People's Security (First Vice Minister)
Ri Tuk-nam
Control Commission (Vice Chairman)
Ri Yong-gil
Politburo (Alternate Members)
Central Military Commission (Members)
Ri Yong-ho
Politburo (Alternate Members)
Ri Yong-ik
Central Inspection Committee (Members)
Ri Yong-mu
National Defense Commission (Vice Chairmen)
Rim Kyung-man
Provincial Party Committee (Chief Secretaries)
Ro Kwang-chol
Politburo (Alternate Members)
Ministry of People's Armed Forces (Vice Ministers)
Ro Tu-chol
Politburo (Members)
Cabinet (Vice Premiers)
Ryu Mi-yong
SPA Presidium (Members)
So Hong-chan
Central Military Commission (Members)
Ministry of People's Armed Forces (Vice Ministers)
So Tae-ha
State Security Department (Vice Director)
Tae Hyong-chol
SPA Legislation Committee (Members)
Tae Jong-su
SPA Presidium (Members)
Yang Hyong-sop
Politburo (Members)
SPA Presidium (Vice Presidents)
Yun Jong-rin
Ministry of People's Armed Forces (Director of the Guard Command)

 

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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", "North Korean House of Cards: Leadership Dynamics Under Kim Jong-un", and Michael Madden's North Korea Leadership Watch blog.

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