Research and Analysis on the DPRK Leadership
updated and revised 25 September 2012
Kwak Pom Ki is a Korean Workers’ Party [KWP] Secretary and Director of the KWP Finance and Planning Department. He is also an alternate member of the KWP Political Bureau, a member of the KWP Central Committee, a deputy (delegate) to the Supreme People’s Assembly [SPA] and Chairman of the SPA Budget Committee. Pak is a technocrat with experience as a manager in heavy industry.
Kwak Pom Gi’s official career began in the late 1960’s. From 1983 to 1993 he was a manager at the Hu’ich’o’n Machine Tools Factory in Chagang (Jagang Province). In 1993 he was appointed Vice Minister of Machine-Building Industry in the DPRK Cabinet. During the opening session of the 10th SPA on 5 September 1998 Kwak was appointed Vice Premier of the DPRK Cabinet, a position held until 2010.
In July 2010, Kwak appointed Chief Secretary of the South Hamgyo’ng Provincial KWP Committee. While serving as the party’s leading official in the province, South Hamgyo’ng factories and their employees were featured in a campaign in DPRK state media essays and editorials celebrating “the flames of Hamnam.” In that position Kwak regularly accompanied Kim Jong Il on guidance tours at industrial sites in the province. Prior to his death in December 2011, Kim Jong Il’s last round of guidance visits outside the capital Pyongyang occurred in South Hamgyo’ng Province.
At the 4th Party Conference in April 2012, Kwak was elected an alternate (candidate) member of the KWP Political Bureau. He was also elected a member of the KWP Secretariat and appointed Department Director of the KWP Finance and Planning Department. On 25 September 2012, during the 6th session of the 12th SPA, Kwak was appointed Chairman of the SPA Budget Committee.
According to a biographical note disseminated in DPRK state media, Kwak Pom Gi was born on 20 November 1939 in Riwo’n County, South Hamgyo’ng Province and studied at Kim Il Sung University as a planning economist.
“Sixth Session of the 12th SPA Held,” Korean Central News Agency, September 25, 2012; “Brief History of Member of Presidium, Members and Alternate Members of the Political Bureau of the Central Committee of the Workers’ Party of Korea Elected to Fill Vacancies,” Korean Central News Agency, April 12, 2012; “Kim Jong Il Inspects 2.8 Vinalon Complex,” Korean Central News Agency, August 2, 2010; Seoul Singdong-a, January 1995, pp. 210-278