Research and Analysis on the DPRK Leadership
Hong Sok Hyong is identified as a department director for the Party Central Committee (CC KWP). From 2001 to 2010 he was Chief Secretary of the North Hamgyong KWP Provincial Committee. Hong is an expert in economic management of heavy industries (primarily iron and steel) and has been identified as favoring changes in the DPRK’s economic policies.
Hong Sok Hyong was born in ROK. He is the grandson of a writer and former editor of Dong-a Ilbo. His family migrated to the DPRK in 1948. His career prior to 1981 is not known, and does not seem available through open sources.
His first known position was as a manager of the Rolling Mill at Kim Chaek Iron and Steel Complex. He was appointed Vice Minister of the Metal Industry in 1984, and dismissed from this position in 1985 to become the KWP Secretary at the Kim Chaek Complex. He was elected to candidate membership on the Party Central Committee at its 11th plenum (6th Term/6th CC) in February 1986.
Hong Sok Hyong was elected a candidate (alternate) to the CC KWP Political Bureau (Politburo) at the 21st plenum (6th Term/6th CC) and appointed Chairman of the State Planning Commission at the 6th plenum of the 9th Supreme People’s Assembly, in December 1993.
He was elected to the 10th Supreme People’s Assembly in 1998, but replaced (by Pak Nam Gi) as Chairman of the State Planning Commission. He is not listed as holding any position until Chief Secretary of the North Hamgyong KWP Provincial Committee in July 2001. Hong became a member of the SPA Presidium at the 11th SPA in 2003.
As the party’s local chief in North Hamgyong, Hong Sok Hyong regularly attended guidance tours and art performances with Kim Jong Il. In 2010, the party’s two chief secretaries in North and South Hamgyong Provinces returned to Pyongyang, to become department directors in the CC KWP. Given his background in heavy industry, it is highly likely that Hong Sok Hyong has responsibilities for economic management. Hong constitutes the party’s new managers whose economic views are externally configured, and includes Pak Pong Ju (as deputy director of Light Industry) and immediate past party chief in South Hamgyong, Thae Jong Su.
During a meeting of the CC KWP Political Bureau in June 2011 Hong was transferred to another position in the party, and removed as CC KWP Secretary.
Department director, Party Central Committee (CC KWP)
Candidate Member, CC KWP Political Bureau
Candidate Member, CC KWP
Mr. Hong defected to the DPRK in 1948.
1981: Supervisor, Rolling Mill, Kim Chaek Iron and Steel Complex
1984: Vice Minister, Ministry of Metals Industry
1985: Dismissed as Vice Minister
Chief Party Secretary, Kim Chaek Iron and Steel Complex
1986: Elected, Candidate Member, CC KWP
1993: Elected, Candidate Member, CC KWP Political Bureau (Politburo)
Chair, State Planning Commission
1998: Deputy 10th SPA
Removed as State Planning Commission Chairman
2001: Chief Secretary North Hamgyong KWP Provincial Committee
2003: Deputy, 11th SPA
Member, SPA Presidium
2009: Deputy, 12th SPA
2010: Department director, CC KWP
Chong, Bong-uk (editor). A Handbook on North Korea (Seoul: Naewoe Press, November 1998) p. 81
“Narrative Biographies of DPRK Figures” Seoul Singdong-a (Seoul: January 1995) pp 210-278
Yonhap News Agency. North Korea Handbook (Armonk, NY:ME Sharpe, 2003) p. 787