North Korea Leadership Watch

Research and Analysis on the DPRK Leadership

New 1st Vice Defense Minister Appointed

Col. Gen. Jon Chang Bok (annotated) poses for a commemorative photograph with Kim Jong Un after a visit to the 20 February Factory of the KPA.  DPRK state media's report on this KJU visit revealed that Col. Gen. Jon had been appointed 1st Vice Minister of the People's Armed Forces (Photo: Rodong Sinmun)

Col. Gen. Jon Chang Bok (annotated) poses for a commemorative photograph with Kim Jong Un after a visit to the 20 February Factory of the KPA. DPRK state media’s report on this KJU visit revealed that Col. Gen. Jon had been appointed 1st Vice Minister of the People’s Armed Forces (Photo: Rodong Sinmun)

“Despite the fact that after I am gone, it will still not be too late to use your people, why are you in such a rush to try to handle things your way?”–Kim Jong Il, December 2011

Col. Gen. Jon Chang Bok has been appointed as the DPRK’s senior vice minister of defense.  Col. Gen. Jon, the former director of the Korean People’s Army [KPA] General Logistics Department, was identified as 1st Vice Minister of the People’s Armed Forces when he attended Kim Jong Un’s (Kim Cho’ng-u’n) visit to the 20 February Foodstuffs Factory of the KPA.  Jon Chang Bok is a member of the Party Central Committee and was a member of the National Funeral Committee for Kim Jong Il.  His last observed public appearance was his attendance with KJU at a May Day-themed concert by the U’nhasu Orchestra in early May 2013.  Jon also visited Ku’msusan Memorial Palace with KJU and other members of the central leadership on the anniversary of late leader Kim Jong Il’s birth in February 2013.  In March 2013, Jon delivered the keynote speech at the opening of the Taeso’ngsan General Hospital in Pyongyang.  He also joined members of the core leadership when they escorted the Moranbong Band on a visit and performance at KPA Large Combined Unit (taeyonhap pudae) #630.  In August 2011, Col. Gen. Jon led a KPA delegation on an official visit to China.

Col. Gen. Jon Chang Bok (L) shakes hands with former Chinese Defense Minister Liang Guanglie (R) in Beijing on 26 August 2011.  At the time Col. Jon was leading a KPA logistics delegation on a visit to China.  Jon was appointed 1st Vice Minister of the People's Armed Forces in May 2013. (Photo: Xinhua/Xie Huanchi)

Col. Gen. Jon Chang Bok (L) shakes hands with former Chinese Defense Minister Liang Guanglie (R) in Beijing on 26 August 2011. At the time Col. Jon was leading a KPA logistics delegation on a visit to China. Jon was appointed 1st Vice Minister of the People’s Armed Forces in May 2013. (Photo: Xinhua/Xie Huanchi)

A graphic illustrating key departments within the Ministry of the People's Armed Forces (Graphic: Michael Madden/NK Leadership Watch)

A graphic illustrating key departments within the Ministry of the People’s Armed Forces (Graphic: Michael Madden/NK Leadership Watch)

Hyon Chol Hae visits the Taedonggang Tile Factory with late leader Kim Jong Il in July 2009 (Photo: KCNA)

Hyon Chol Hae visits the Taedonggang Tile Factory with late leader Kim Jong Il in July 2009 (Photo: KCNA)

VMar Hyon Chol Hae talks with a Changjon Street resident while visiting the man's apartment on 6 July 2012 (Photo: KCNA/KCTV still)

VMar Hyon Chol Hae talks with a Changjon Street resident while visiting the man’s apartment on 6 July 2012 (Photo: KCNA/KCTV still)

Jon replaces VMar Hyon Chol Hae, a former close military aide to Kim Jong Il.  VMar Hyon was appointed 1st Vice Minister of the People’s Armed Forces in April 2012 and was also elected a full member of the Korean Workers’ Party [KWP] Political Bureau and a member of the Party Central Military Commission.  From 2007 to 2012, VMar Hyon was director of the National Defense Commission [NDC] Standing Bureau, which was responsible for logistical and security arrangements for Kim Jong Il and Kim Jong Un field inspections of KPA units.  During the 3rd Party Conference in September 2010, Hyon sat in the gallery to Kim Jong Un’s left.  From 1995 to 2007 VMar Hyon was a deputy director of the KPA General Political Department, with responsibility for organization.  From 1986 to 1995, Hyon served as Director of the KPA General Logistics Department (under the Ministry of the People’s Armed Forces).  He was reappointed Director of the GLD in April 2012, replacing Jon Chang Bok.  It is not clear if Hyon has been removed from his GLD position, which may have been reclaimed by Jon Chang Bok.  It is not clear if Hyon’s removal from office is an actual “purge” or if it is tied to the last week’s dismissal of Gen. Kim Kyok Sik as Minister of the People’s Armed Forces.

Hyon is the latest DPRK elite affected by a series of personnel changes in the party, the government and security organizations.  In February 2013, Col. Gen. Choe Pu Il replaced Gen. Ri Myong Su as Minister of the People’s Security.  Col. Gen. Ri Yong Gil replace Choe Pu Il as Chief of the KPA General Staff Operations Bureau  In March 2013, Paek Kye Ryong replaced Pak Pong Ju as Director of the KWP Light Industry Department and Yun U Chol replaced Kim Ki Ryong as editor of the KWP’s daily newspaper Rodong Sinmun.  In April 2013, Pak Pong Ju was re-appointed DPRK Cabinet Premier, replacing Choe Yong Rim, who was elected Honorary Vice President of the Supreme People’s Assembly [SPA].  Former President of the State Academy of Social Sciences Tae Hyong Chol was appointed President of Kim Il Sung University, replace Song Ja Rip.  Tae vacated his position as SPA Secetary-General and was replaced by Hong Son Ok.   April 2013 also found Ri Yong Yong appointed Minister of Coal Industry, replacing Kim Hyong Sik.  In May 2013 Choe Hwi appere to have replaced Ri Jae Il as the Senior Deputy of the KWP Propaganda and Agitation [publicity and information] Department.

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This entry was posted on 05/17/2013 by in 2007-2010 kpa management, 2012 KPA promotions, 2013 Day of the Shining Star (KJI Birthday), 2013 Day of the Sun, capital construction, Central Committee, Central Military Committee, central party life, Changjon Street Apartments, Choe Yong Rim, Col. Gen. Jon Chang Bok, colonel general, corps command, corps commanders, critical infrastructure, DPRK External Relations, DPRK-China Relations, Fourth Korean Workers' Party Conference, Gen. Choe Pu Il, Gen. Jang Jong Nam, Gen. Kim Kyok Sik, Gen. Ri Yong Gil, Gen. Yun Tong Hyon, gsd, gsob, Guard Command, Hwang Pyong So (GPD; KPA VMAR), Jang Song-thaek, Kim Chong-un inspections, Kim Family, Kim Jong Un Visits, Kim Jong-il, Kim Jong-un, KJI Personal Secretariat, KKH, Korean People's Army (KPA), Korean People's Army Supreme Command, Korean Workers' Party (KWP), KPA construction battalions, KPA construction brigades, KPA External Relations, KPA General Logistics Department, KPA General Political Bureau, KPA General Political Department, KPA Large Combined Units, KPA supernumerary organizations, KPA Supreme Command, KPA-PLA relations, Machine Building Industry Department, Mangyo'ngdae Revolutionary School Alumni, March 2013 KWP Central Committee Meeting (plenary session), military economy, military security command [msc], Ministry of State Security, Ministry of the People's Armed Forces (MPAF), National Defense Commission (NDC), NDC Administration Department, North Korean press, Organization and Guidance Department, Paek Kye Ryong, Pak Pong Ju, Party elders, Party History Institute, party life, Political Bureau, Propaganda and Agitation Department, Publication Guidance Bureau, Pyongyang Defense Command, Ri Jae Il (PAD), Ri Yong Yong (Minister of Coal Industry), Secretariat, State Security Department, Supreme People's Assembly, Third Floor, Unhasu Orchestra, VMar Hyon Chol Hae.

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