Politics

Prime Ministers And Premiers Of North Korea

The Premier heads and oversees the cabinet, and assists the Supreme Leader and the military commander in leading the People's Republic of North Korea.

North Korea is a single-party state led by a dictatorial figure known as the "Supreme Leader". Its capital is in Pyongyang which is also the largest city and the official language in the country is Korean. The country is led by a supreme leader from the Kim Family. The country has the largest military personnel in the world with more than 9.5 million persons in the ministry. Apart from the supreme leader, the country has also a prime minister who is in charge of the administration council. However, the Central People’s Committee, which is chaired by the President, has most of the governing powers. In this article, we will take a look at some of the notable people who occupied the post of the Prime Minister of North Korea.

Kim II-Sung

Kim II-Sung was born in 1912 and attended a military school. However, he felt that the training was outdated and instead chose to attend the Yuwen Middle school. He was interested in the communist ideologies and was even arrested at the age of 17 for his subversive activities cutting short his academic life. He joined an anti-Japanese guerrilla group and was one of the first guerrilla leaders to capture a Japanese territory. At the age of 24, he was appointed to the post of the commander of the 6th Division and had hundreds of men under his control. The Japanese put him on their wanted list, and he escaped into the Soviet Union. He was made a major in the Red Army during the World War II. The Soviet Union appointed him as the chair of the Communist party in the northern branch, and this is where his political life began. After the Korea war, he made himself the leader of North Korea. He held the premier of the country until 1972 where he became the president after the promulgation of the new constitution.

Kang Song-san

Kang Song-san was born in 1931 in North Hamgyong and died in 2007. He holds two bachelor's degrees from different universities. He has one from Kin-II Sing Sung University and the other from Moscow state University in the Soviet Union. He got into politics in 1955 when he became an instructor in the central committee of Workers Party of Korea (WPK). He was appointed the prime minister of the country in 1984. He has held other positions in the country. These have included being a member of the Politburo, a chairman of the people’s presidential council, and being on the people’s committee of the party central committee. In 1982, he received the prestigious Kim-Il Sung Order award.

Pak Pong-Ju

Pak Pong-Ju started his working career in the private sector as a manager in a food factory at the age of 22. He later joined politics in 1980 when he became an alternative member of the Korean workers party. His first term in the office of the prime minister came 2003 and was removed from office in 2007. It is believed that this was as a result of using Chinese development models as opposed to homegrown ideas. He was appointed for the second time as the premier in 2013.

Choe Yong-rim

Choe Yong is a qualified electrical engineer who was educated at the University of Moscow. He joined the army in 1950 and at one time served as an instructor. Choe ascended to the position of the prime minister in 2010. He came into power at a time when the country was experiencing an acute currency failure and economic drop. During his reign, he was instrumental in bringing the country back to its feet. He was replaced in 2013 by Pak Pong-Ju. This act was an attempt by the assembly to grow the economy as well as the military simultaneously.

Other former premiers of the country have included Kim II, Pak Song-chol, Li Jong-ok, Li Gun-mo, Yon Hyong-muk, Hong Sang-nam, and Ki Yong-II.

Functions of the North Korean Prime Minister

The primary role of the premier is to oversee the North Korean Cabinet. Together with the cabinet, they are responsible for the implementation of the country’s economic policies as guided by the Worker’s Party.

Prime Ministers And Premiers Of North Korea

Prime Ministers and Premiers of the Cabinet of the People's Democratic Republic of KoreaTerm(s) in Office
Kim Il-sung
1948-1972
Kim Il
1972-1976
Pak Song-chol
1976-1977
Li Jong-ok
1977-1984
Kang Song-san
1984-1986; 1992-1997
Li Gun-mo
1986-1988
Yon Hyong-muk
1988-1992
Hong Song-nam
1997-2003
Pak Pong-ju (Incumbent)
2003-2007; 2013-Present
Kim Yong-il
2007-2010
Choe Yong-rim
2010-2013

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