Choe Yong-rim

Choe Yong-rim
Choe Yong-rim
Premier of North Korea
Assumed office
7 June 2010[1]
President Kim Yong-nam
Leader Kim Jong-il
Preceded by Kim Yong-il
Personal details
Born 20 November 1930 (1930-11-20) (age 80)[2]
Ryanggang,[3] Japanese Korea(see footnote)
Political party Workers' Party of Korea
Children Choe Sŏnhŭi (daughter) and a son[4]
Alma mater Kim Il-sung University
Lomonosov Moscow State University
Choe Yong-rim
Chosŏn'gŭl 최영림
Hancha [5] or 崔[3][6][7][8]
McCune–Reischauer Choe Yŏngrim
(South Korean: Choe Yŏngnim)
Revised Romanization Choe Yeong(-)rim

Choe Yong-rim (KCNA: Choe Yong Rim, Korean: 최영림, born 20 November 1930) is the Premier (naegak ch’ongri, 내각 총리) of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (commonly known as North Korea) since May 2011[9] and Workers' Party of Korea central committee presidium member since September 2010.[10]

Choe is described by the New York Times as a "KWP insider" and a "friend of Kim Jong-Il's family."[1]



He joined the Korean People's Revolutionary Army in July 1950.[10]

Choe Yong-rim has attended Mangyŏngdae Revolutionary School, Kim Il-sung University and Moscow University. Qualifying as an electrical engineer, he has held various offices since the 1950s,[3] including: instructor, section chief, vice-department director, first vice-department director and department director of the Central Committee of the Workers' Party of Korea and chief secretary of the Secretaries Office of the Kumsusan Assembly Hall. He has also held posts of vice-premier of the Administration Council, director of the Central Public Prosecutors Office and secretary general of the SPA Presidium.[10]

From 11 April 2005 to July 2009, he was secretary general (sŏgijang) of the Presidium of the Supreme People's Assembly, succeeding Kim Yunhyŏk.[4][11]

Choe was appointed the chief secretary of the Pyongyang City Committee of the Workers' Party of Korea (WPK) in 2009, taking a post left unoccupied for nine years since his predecessor Kang Hyun-su's death in 2000.[12] He left the post when he was elected Premier of North Korea on June 7, 2010 at the Third Session of the 12th Supreme People's Assembly.

Seen as an instrumental element in Kim Jong-il's succession process, Choe was elected member of the 5-members Politburo Presidium of the Central Committee of the Workers' Party of Korea at the Party Conferece held in September 2010.


Choe succeeded Kim Yong-il as premier during a rare second parliamentary session in 2010.

It was speculated that Kim was ousted partly because of the failed currency reforms which took place in early 2010. According to South Korean newspaper Chosun Ilbo, he reportedly apologized publicly for the mishaps before stepping down.[1][13] Kim's departure and Choe's elevation coincided with the dismissal of various other ministers in the cabinet who were ostensibly blamed for the failed reforms. The event was seen by analysts as achieving two purposes: settling public outcry over the currency valuation fiasco and engineering a political climate more favourable towards the succession of Kim Jong-un, the supreme leader's youngest son.[1]

As premier, Choe is the head of government in the DPRK, which means he appoints ministers and vice-premiers, who are confirmed by the Supreme People's Assembly (SPA), and he is also responsible for economic and domestic policy.[14] Officially, Choe is part of a triumvirate that heads the executive branch of North Korea, each with powers equivalent to one-third of those held by a president in presidential systems. Choe Yong-rim heads the government while Kim Yong-nam who is the parliament chairman handles foreign relations and Chairman Kim Jong-il of National Defense Commission commands the armed forces.

See also

  • Index of Korea-related articles


^ The source used only gives the province “Ryanggang” as Choe's place of birth and does not specify the kun. At the time of Choe's birth, Korea was ruled by Japan (see Korea under Japanese rule) and Ryanggang did not yet exist; it was only formed in 1954 out of 9 kun taken from South Hamgyŏng (Korean: Hamgyŏng namdo; Japanese: Kankyō nandō), 1 kun taken from North Hamgyŏng (H. pukto / K. hokudō) and 1 kun from Chagang, which was itself formed out of mainly North P’yŏngan (P’yŏngan pukto / Heian hokudō) and a bit of South Hamgyŏng territory.

Political offices
Preceded by
Kim Yong-il
Premier of the DPRK
2010 – present
Party political offices
Preceded by
Kang Hyun-su
Vacant since 2000
Chief Secretary of the Pyongyang City Committee of the Workers' Party of Korea
2009 – 2010
Succeeded by
Mun Kyong-dok

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