North Korea Leadership Watch

Research and Analysis on the DPRK Leadership

Tae Jong Su Working as Chief Party Secretary in South Hamgyo’ng

Tae Jong Su (L), Chief Secretary of the South Hamgyo’ng KWP Provincial Committee, meets with PRC Ambassador to the DPRK Liu Hongcai (R) (Photo: PRC Embassy in the DPRK)

Tae Jong Su (T’ae Chong-su) is serving as Chief Secretary of the South Hamgyo’ng Korean Workers’ Party [KWP] Provincial Committee.  On 22 October (Monday), the Chinese Embassy in the DPRK reported that PRC Ambassador to the DPRK Liu Hongcai visited South Hamgyo’ng Province during 18 and 19 October.  During his visit to South Hamgyo’ng, Ambassador Liu met with Tae Jong Su, who was identified as “Chief Secretary of the South Hamgyo’ng WPK (KWP) Provincial Committee.”

At his meeting with Tae, Liu “thanked the South Hamgyo’ng Provincial party committee and government for their many years’ hard efforts to take care of and preserve the Chinese People’s Volunteers’ cemetery and to safeguard the work and livelihood of overseas Chinese in the DPRK and wished the province new achievements in developing the economy and improving living standards.”  Lie also told Tae that “we are willing to work with the DPRK to continuously expand and deepen the exchanges and cooperation between the various localities of the two countries and in various fields and make contributions to pushing forward the relations between the two countries.”

PRC Ambassador to the DPRK Liu Hongcai (4th L) poses for a commemorative photo with Tae Jong Su (4th R) (Photo: PRC Embassy in the DPRK)

Tae Jong Su and the vice chairman of the South Hamgyo’ng Provincial People’s Committee courteously welcomed Liu to South Hamgyo’ng and told him that, “The South Hamgyo’ng Province holds an important position in the DPRK’s economic development, shares with China a long tradition of profound friendship, and is willing to continue developing its own advantages in carrying out more exchanges and cooperation with the Chinese side in economic, trade, cultural and other field and conducting more contacts with its local authorities.”  During his visit to South Hamgyo’ng, Liu visited the CPV Martyrs’ Cemetery in Changjin County, Ryongso’ng Machinery Plant and Tongpong Cooperative Farm.  Liu also visited the Hu’ngnam Fertilizer Plant, where he presented a floral wreath at a statue (erected in 1979) of the late Chinese Premier Zhou Enlai, who visited the plant in 1958.  According to the PRC Embassy it is “the only statue of a foreign leader in the DPRK.”

Tae Jong Su (annotated) attends the 6th session of the 12th Supreme People’s Assembly at the Mansudae Assembly Hall in Pyongyang on 25 September 2012 (Photo: KCNA/KCTV screengrab)

A member of the KWP Central Committee and alternate (candidate) member of the KWP Political Bureau, Tae served as South Hamgyo’ng party boss from August 2009 to June 2010. In June 2010 he was appointed director of the KWP General Affairs Department and on 28 September 2010 Tae was elected as a KWP Secretary (member of the Secretariat).  After Kim Jong Il’s death in December 2011, Tae Jong Su’s public appearances with other central party officials decreased.  A number of state media appearances at events in Hamhu’ng (the provincial capital) suggested that Tae returned to his previous position.  His status in the leadership has not been downgraded.  He was a rostrum (platform) member at the 6th session of the 12th Supreme People’s Assembly on 25 September 2012, and he participated in celebratory events for the anniversary of the foundation of the Mangyo’ngdae )which he attended) and Kang Pan Sok Revolutionary Schools in October 2012.

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