Research and Analysis on the DPRK Leadership
Kim Yong Jin (Kim Yo’ng-chin) is a DPRK Vice Premier. He is also a member of the Workers’ Party of Korea [WPK] Central Committee and deputy to the Supreme People’s Assembly.
A mathematics teacher by training, Kim held a series of positions during the 1970s and 1980s at the DPRK’s premier insitution of higher learning, Kim Il Sung [KIS] University including as a faculty member, vice-chancellor and deputy editor in chief of the KIS University Publishing House. In 2000, he was appointed Chairman of the Mathematics and Mechanics Department at KIS University.
In June 2003, Kim Yong Jin was appointed Minister of Education and was elected a deputy to the 11th Supreme People’s Assembly on August 3, 2003. In December 2003 he was appointed Chairman of the DPRK-Cuba Solidarity Committee, a position he held for almost ten years. As Education Minister, Kim was part of an effort to strengthen ideological indoctrination and political education in DPRK schools in line with so’ngun (military-first) politics. Kim was identified as part of a group of rising “Third Generation” officials among the North Korean leadership.
At an October 2004 meeting announcing the policy, Kim delivered a speech in which he called upon “called on all educational officials and teachers to reinforce ideological education in a way that turns all students into guns and bombs aimed at safeguarding the command post of the revolution led by leader Kim Jong-il, and take epochal steps toward improving the quality of science-technology and computer education” and stressed the need “for reinforcing research activities in the science-technology sector to solve the problems of arming the national economy with ample information and modernizing it.” In December 2004, Kim Yong Jin announced a policy intended to revamp curricula in DPRK schools, using KIS University as the base for the project. Kim remarked that “Beloved General Kim Jong Il [Kim Cho’ng-il] comprehensively clarified theoretical and practical issues arising in the educational field in the military-first era, including successfully carrying forward the educational idea of President Kim Il-sung, maintaining the Party spirit, working-class spirit and the serve-the-people spirit, preserving the juche [chuch’e] character and national identity and applying the principles of socialist pedagogy with a main emphasis on ample knowledge, high morality and a strong body.”
As Education Minister, Kim Yong Jin attended numerous public events including central report meetings, national exhibitions various awards ceremonies, Kimilsungist-Kimjongilist [Kim Il Sung] Youth League and Korean Children’s Union induction ceremonies and public events focused on children’s issues, schooling and science education. Kim was also a leading official involved in fostering closer ties with the ROK during the “Sunshine” policy and took part in numerous events involving his ROK counterparts, including attending a June 2005 celebratory event at Moknan House in Pyongyang involving then-ROK Minister of Unification Chung Dong-young [Cho’ng Tong-yo’ng] and Supreme People’s Assembly Presidium President Kim Yong Nam.
Kim Yong Jin was appointed Chairman of the DPRK-Egypt Friendship Association in July 2005. In this position and as Chairman of the DPRK-Cuba Solidarity Committee, Kim participated in numerous events hosted by the DPRK Government, as well as a variety of cultural and anniversary events at the Cuban and Egyptian Embassies in Pyongyang. In June 2006, Kim led a DPRK delegation on a goodwill visit to Cuba where he interacted with several senior Cuban officials.
Kim Yong Jin was part of internal publicity efforts in August 2006 promoting the Korea Art Studio feature film Diary of a Girl Student. The film’s production was personally supervised by late DPRK leader Kim Jong Il and is about two daughters of “an ordinary scientist’s family” who complain about their “parents’ devotion to scientific research,” but they “come to understand their parents and their misunderstanding turns into trust and love and pride.” Scenes such as the “usual mixed corn and rice” in the daughters’ lunchboxes which incites “shame” and their mother begging forgiveness “in tears” and their father returning home after many years on his project “without being honored or paid” were intended to underscore themes of loyalty and unity in the “younger generation.” Kim Yong Jin was quoted in DPRK state media as saying, “this movie shows the greatest asset that parents can hand down to their children in not fame or properties, but consicence and faithfulness to uphold our General [KJI].”
In September 2008, Kim was awarded the Cuban Medal of Friendship by the Cuban Government. In October 2008, Kim authored an essay for Rodong Sinmun about Kim Jong Il’s lecture “The DPRK is a Chuch’e-based Socialist State Having Invisible Might.” In an implicit reference to the herditary succession of Kim Jong Un, Kim wrote the education in the DPRK was “work to innovate the educational work according to our revolution’s demand and interests and our country’s actual condition and realistic conditions based on the party’s chuch’e-based educational ideas, educational policy, and socialist educational system” and that would “put great efforts in innovating the contents and method of education while highly upholding the banner of educational revolution” so as to rear “the new generation into capable pillars in the construction of a powerful state who are firmly prepared politically and ideologically and are equipped with high scientific and technological knowledge and a creative power.”
Kim Yong Jin was re-elected to to Supreme People’s Assembly in March 2009 and reappointed as Education Minister. In September 2009 Kim was part of a group of DPRK Government officials who met with Cuban Foreign Minister Bruno Rodriguez Parrilla during the his visit to the DPRK. Kim also chaired the March 2010 meeting of the DPRK-Cuba Solidarity Committee held in Pyongyang. In July 2010, Kim was appointed chairman of the DPRK Education Commission. In September 2010, he was elected a full member of the WPK Central Committee during the 3rd Party Conference.
Kim was the most senior DPRK official to visit the Libyan Economic Cooperation Bureau in the DPRK when it hosted an event commemorating the 63rd anniversary of the foundation of the DPRK in September 2011 The event was notable because it was the first occasion in many years hosted by the Libyan government which DPRK state media omitted mentioning Muhammar al-Qadhafi by name. In December 2011, Kim Yong Jin was listed at #100 on the state funeral committee for Kim Jong Il.
Kim Yong Jin was appointed DPRK Vice Premier in either late December 2011 or just after New Year’s Day in January 2012. There was no formal announcement about Kim’s appointment in DPRK state media; instead he was identified as DPRK Vice Premier when state television introduced him as such during its coverage of a meeting of DPRK athletes and sports managers held to implement the 2012 New Year’s Day joint calls. He resigned his position as Education Commission Chairman in February 2012. As DPRK Vice Premier, Kim attended a number of central report meetings, science exhibitions and cultural events. Kim offered commentary to DPRK state media in June 2012 in response to Kim Jong Un’s speech marking the Korean Children’s Union anniversary and remarked, “while engraving respected and beloved Comreade Kim Jong Un’s noble perspective on posterity deep in my heart, I will fulfill my noble mission and duty even more strongle for bringing up the new generations who are the precious treasures for our country and nation and everything for our hope and future, as reliable successors of the revolution.”
Kim was instrumental in formulating the DPRK’s education reform laws which were promulgated at a special session of the 12th Supreme People’s Assembly in September 2012. That, he was elected to the State Physical Culture and Sports Guidance Commission. Through these concurrent roles, Kim attended numerous sports competitions as a leading official and celebratory events for DPRK athletes who competed abroad.
In December 2013, Kim Yong Jin was prominently quoted in state media following the dismissal and execution of Jang Song Taek. Among other things, Kim was quoted saying, “the fact that bastard Jang Song Thaek, who committed the indelible and unpardonable high treason of daring to sabotage the matter of leadership succession both openly and secretly, disobeying the order of the supreme commander, and even plotting an intrigue against the state, was resolutely punished in accordance with the ruling by the special military tribunal of the Ministry of State Security clearly shows once again that there can be only merciless punishment for betrayers of the revolution.”
Kim was reelected to the Supreme People’s Assembly in March 2014. In May 2016 he retained his membership on the WPK Central Committee and elected to the 7th WPK Central Committee. During 2014 to 2016 he attended numerous public events as a senior DPRK government official.
According to the ROK Government, Kim Yong Jin was removed from office and executed during July 2016. His last observed appearance was during the 4th session of the 13th Supreme People’s Assembly on June 29, 2016.
Kim Yong Jin was born in 1951 and studied at the Kim Hyong Jik (Kim Hyo’ng-chik) University of Education in Pyongyang
Kim Yong Jin
DPRK Vice Premier
Member, WPK Central Committee
Deputy, Supreme People’s Assembly
1971: faculty member, Kim Il Sung University
1982 (ca.): vice department head, Kim Il Sung University
1998: deputy editor-in-chief, Kim Il Sung University Publishing House
2000: Chairman, Mathematics and Mechanics Department, Kim Il Sung University
2003: (June) Minister of Education
(August) Elected, Deputy (delegate), 11th Supreme People’s Assembly
(December) Chairman, DPRK-Cuba Solidarity Committee
2005: (July) Chairman, Korea-Egypt Friendship Association
2008: (October) Member, Pak Song Chol Funeral Committee
2009: (March) Elected, Deputy (delegate), 12th Supreme People’s Assembly
2010: (June) Appointed, Chairman, Education Commission
(September) Elected, Member, 6th WPK Central Committee
(November) Member, Jo Myong Rok Funeral Committee
2011: (December) Member, Kim Jong Il Funeral Committee
2012: (January) Appointed, DPRK Vice Premier
(May) Member, DPRK Swimming Commission
(November) Appointed, Member, State Physical Culture and Sports Guidance Commission
2014: (March) Elected, Deputy (delegate), 13th Supreme People’s Assembly
2015: (November) Member, Ri Ul Sol Funeral Committee
(December) Member, Kim Yang Gon Funeral Committee
2016: (May) Elected, Member, 7th WPK Central Committee
(May) Member, Kang Sok Ju Funeral Committee
Compiled from DPRK and ROK open sources; “New Bureaucrats Appear on North Korean Political Stage,” Yonhap News Agency, July 8, 2003; “Report of the Central Election Committee on the Results of the elections of deputies for the 11th Supreme People’s Assembly,” Korean Central Broadcasting Station (in Korean), August 5, 2003; “Weekly North Korean Review 15-21 July 2004,” Yonhap News Agency, July 22, 2004; “Weekly North Korean Review 25 November-1 December,” Yonhap News Agency, December 2, 2004; “16 February Science and Technology Prize Conferred on Scientists and Technicians,” Rodong Sinmun (in Korean), March 17, 2005; “University Student Science Research Prize Awards’ Ceremony Held,” Minju Joson (in Korean), March 31, 2005; “55th International Children’s Day Marked,” DPRK Morning News Bulletin, Korean Central Broadcasting Station (in Korean), June 1, 2005; “DPRK Cabinet Premier Pak Pong-chu Hosts Reception for South Korean Authorities’ Delegation,” DPRK Morning News Bulletin, Korean Central Broadcasting Station (in Korean), June 14, 2005; “Kim Yong Nam Meets Delegation of Authorities of South Side,” Korean Central News Agency, June 17, 2005; “North’s Side Delegation Leaves,” Korean Central News Agency, December 13, 2005; “Meeting and Photo Exhibition at Ch’o’llima House of Culture,” DPRK Evening News, Korean Central Television (in Korean), December 29, 2005; “Cuban Ambassador Hosts Reception,” DPRK Morning News Bulletin, Korean Central Broadcasting Station (in Korean), February 17, 2006; “Armored Cars ‘Sonyonho’ Presented to KPA,” Korean Central News Agency, June 6, 2006; “Visits to and Fromt DPRK 17-23 June,” Korean Central Broadcasting Station (in Korean) June 23, 2006; “DPRK Delegation to 19th Inter-Korean Ministerial Talks Leaves,” Korean Central News Agency, July 11, 2006; “Korea Pays Tribute to Che and the Five Heroes,” Foreign Ministry of the Republic of Cuba (in Spanish), October 11, 2007; “The Egyptian Ambassador Holds Reception at Embassy on Sun’s Day,” Central Radio News, Korean Central Broadcasting Station (in Korean), April 17, 2008; “Awards Given to functionaries, scientists and technicians who contributed to the development of computer teachnology by developing many efficient programs,” Central Radio News, Korean Central Broadcasting Station (in Korean), April 29, 2008; “The 23rd Central Science and Technology Festival Held at the Three Revolutions Exhibition,” Central Radio News, Korean Central Broadcasting Station (in Korean), May 2, 2008; “DPRK Education Minister Meets Cuban Ambassador,” Foreign Ministry of the Republic of Cuba (in Spanish), May 16, 2008; “Recognizing Solidarity of the Korean People with Cuba,” Foreign Ministry of the Republic of Cuba (in Spanish), September 12, 2008; “More Highly Kindling the Flames of Educational Revolution,” by Kim Yo’ng-chin [Kim Yong Jin], Rodong Sinmun (in Korean), October 15, 2008; “State for Funeral Committee for the late Pak So’ng-ch’o’l [Pak Song Chol],” Korean Central Broadcasting Station (in Korean), October 29, 2008; “Generational Succession in DPRK” Dong-a Ilbo (in Korean), January 10, 2009; “Korean Supreme People’s Assembly Chairman Condemns Blockade and Calls for Liberation of the Five,” Foreign Ministry of the Republic of Cuba (in Spanish), February 16, 2009; “Report of the Central Election Committee on the Election Results of deputies to the 12th Supreme People’s Assembly,” Korean Central Broadcasting Station (in Korean), March 9, 2009; “Pyongyang Mass Rally Celebrates Satellite Launch,” Korean Central Television (in Korean), April 8, 2009; “DPRK Radio Lists Members of NDC, SPA Presidium, Cabinet,” Korean Central Broadcasting Station (in Korean), April 9, 2009; “Cuban Foreign Minister Meets with North Korean Officials,” Foreign Ministry of the Republic of Cuba, September 4, 2009; “DPRK-Cuban Solidarity Committee Celebrates Fifty Years of Bilateral Ties,” Foreign Ministry of the Republic of Cuba (in Spanish), March 4, 2010; “Anniversary of Egyptian Revolution Marked,” Korean Central News Agency, July 29, 2010 “Members, Alternate Members, WPK CC,” Korean Central News Agency, September 28, 2010; “DPRK Birthday Celebration at Economic Cooperation Bureau of Libya Here,” Korean Central News Agency, September 14, 2011; “Rally of Athletes and Sports Functionaries in Support of New Year’s Day Joint Slogans,” Korean Central Broadcasting Station (in Korean), January 5, 2012; “Comments of Kim Cho’ng-u’n’s (Kim Jong Un) Speech to KCU,” Minju Joson (in Korean) June 8, 2012; “Report [podo] on Enlarged Meeting of the Political Bureau of the Workers’ Party of Korea Central Committee,” Korean Central Broadcasting Station (in Korean), November 4, 2012; “The 16 February Science and Technology Prize Awards Ceremony Held,” Minju Joson (in Korean), February 7, 2013; “Kim Jong Un Watches Premier Men’s Soccer Match,” Korean Central Television (in Korean), April 29, 2013; “Respected and Beloved Comrade Kim Jong Un Has Commemorative Photos Taken with Attendees of the National Meeting of Scientists and Technicians,” Rodong Sinmun (in Korean), November 14, 2013; “Only Merciless Punishment to the Betrayers of the Revolution–Millions of Soldiers and People’s Voices on the News of a Special Tribunal of the Ministry of State Security,” Minju Joson (in Korean), December 14, 2013; “Report of the Central Election Committee on the Election Results of deputies to the 13th Supreme People’s Assembly,” Korean Central News Agency (in Korean), March 11, 2014; “State Funeral Committee for Ri Ul Sol,” Rodong Sinmun (in Korean), November 9, 2015; “State Funeral Committee for Kim Yang Gon,” Rodong Sinmun (in Korean), December 30, 2015; “Fourth and Final Day of the 7th Party Congress,” NK Leadership Watch, May 10, 2016; “WPK Central Committee and WPK Central Auditing Commission Meet,” NK Leadership Watch, May 10, 2016; “State Funeral Committee for Kang Sok Ju,” Rodong Sinmun (in Korean), May 21, 2016