North Korea Leadership Watch

Research and Analysis on the DPRK Leadership

O Su Yong

OSUYONG-RSMAY102016

updated June 27, 2016

O Su Yong (O Su-yo’ng) is a Vice Chairman of the Workers’ Party of Korea [WPK] and Director of the WPK Economic Affairs Department.  O is also a Member of the WPK Political Bureau, the WPK Executive Policy Council (bureau),  the WPK Central Committee and a deputy to the Supreme People’s Assembly.

O is a career technocrat and has had management positions in state-owned production units.  His first significant position was in 1988 when he was appointed to the Electronic Automation Industry Committee under the former State Administration Council.  In September 1998 he was appointed Vice Minister of Metals and Machine Building Industry.  He was promoted to Minister of Electronic Industry in December 1999.  He attended an inter-Korean table tennis tournament in July 2000. In September 2002, O attended the launch of the A’chim-Panda Computer Combined Company(Morning-Panda Joint Venture Computer Company) which, among other products, finishes manufacturing televisions sold in the DPRK He was elected a deputy to the Supreme People’s Assembly in August 2003.

During the first session of the 11th Supreme People’s Assembly, O Su Yong was retained as Minister of Electronic Industry.  O participated in a November 2005 DPRK Cabinet inpection event at the Pyongyang 326 Electric Wire Factory and have an interview with DPRK state media of his impressions of the tour.  He received the Order of Kim Il Sung on March 21, 2007.

At the first session of the 12th Supreme People’s Assembly in April 2009, O was removed from office as Minister of Electronic Industry and appointed DPRK Vice Premier.  On October 7, 2009, O Su Yong spokes on behalf of the DPRK Government at a reception held at the PRC Embassy commemorating the 60th annniversary of DPRK-China relations.  O said at the reception, “in six decades since the establishment of diplomatic ties, the DPRK and China have closely supported and cooperated with each other in the political, military, economic and cultural realms; encourage and promoted socialist construction in the two countries; and, contributed to the peace and stability in Asia and the world at large.”  O later met with a delegation from Vietnam in February 2010, along with former DPRK Foreign Minister Pak Ui Chun.

O Su Yong attended a mass rally in Hamhu’ng, South Hamgyo’ng Province, on March 6, 2010 marking the reopening of the February 8 Vinalon Complex.  The mass rally was the first observed mass rally attended by late DPRK leader Kim Jong Il that was held outside of Pyongyang.  O was part of a delegation led by Supreme People’s Assembly Presidium President Kim Yong Nam that visited the Shanghai Expo during April 2010.  The DPRK delegation met former Chinese President Hu Jintao on April 30, 2010.

O was removed from office as DPRK Vice Premier on June 7, 2010 during the third session of the 12th Supreme People’s Assembly.  On July 1, 2010 O was identified as Chief Secretary of the North Hamgyo’ng WPK Provincial Committee when he spoke at an anti-US army-people solidarity rally in Ch’o’ngjin held to mark the start of the Korean (Fatherland Liberation) War.

O Su Yong (tagged) on a December 2010 tour in North Hamgyo'ng with Kim Jong Il

O Su Yong (tagged) on a December 2010 tour in North Hamgyo’ng with Kim Jong Il

He was elected to the WPK Central Committee on September 28, 2010 during the 3rd Party Conference.  O was a member of the travel party of late DPRK leader Kim Jong Il during KJI’s August 2011 visit to Russia and China.  O Su Yong received the Order of Kim Jong Il in February 2013.

Kim Jong Un looks over production at the Ryugyo'ng Pickle Factory in suburban Pyongyang (Photo: Rodong Sinmun).

O Su Yong (right) Kim Jong Un looks over production at the Ryugyo’ng Pickle Factory in suburban Pyongyang (Photo: Rodong Sinmun).

In April 2014, O was appointed Chairman of the Supreme People’s Assembly Budget Committee and became a member of the WPK Secretariat, seemingly serving at the WPK Secretary for Light Industry and replacing Kim Kyong Hui, Kim Jong Un’s aunt.  O was part of a two year process in which the WPK’s economic, finance and planning departments were being reorganized and the leading economic and planning officials were reassgined.  In August 2015, O became an alternate (candidate) member of the WPK Political Bureau.  In these positions, O became a routine member of Kim Jong Un’s entourage when Jong Un inspected civilian factories and production units.

Minister of Land and Marine Transport Kang Jong Gwan briefs WPK Vice Chairman O Su Yong on the Jaryok (Photo: Korean Central TV).

Minister of Land and Marine Transport Kang Jong Gwan briefs WPK Vice Chairman O Su Yong on the Jaryok (Photo: Korean Central TV).

During the 7th Congress of the WPK (7th Party Congress), O Su Yong was elected a member of the WPK Central Committee.  He became the first director of the WPK Economic Affairs Department in eight years since the retirement of Han Song Ryol and was also elected a WPK Vice Chairman, a Member of the WPK Political Bureau and a Member of the WPK Executive Policy Council.

O Su Yong was born in 1944.  He has ties to Jon Sung Hun, having replaced Jon as Vice Minister of Metal and Machine Building Industries in 1998 when Jon was promoted to Minister.  In 2014, Jon Sung Hun replaced O Su Yong as the WPK’s boss in North Hamgyo’ng Province.

O Su Yong

WPK Vice Chairman for and Director of the WPK Economic Affairs Department

Member, WPK Political Bureau

Member, WPK Executive Policy Council

Member, WPK Central Committee

Chairman, Supreme People’s Assembly Budget Committee

Deputy, Supreme People’s Assembly

1988: Vice Chairman, Electronic Automation Industry Committee

1998: (September) Vice Minister, Ministry of Electronic Industry

1999: (December) Minister of Electronic Industry

2003: (August) Elected, deputy, 11th Supreme People’s Assembly

2007: (March) Awarded, Order of Kim Il Sung

2009: (March) Elected, deputy, 12th Supreme People’s Assembly

(April) Appointed, DPRK Vice Premier

2010: (June) Removed from office, DPRK Vice Premier

(June) appointed, Chief Secretary of the North Hamgyo’ng WPK Provincial Committee

(September) Elected, Member, 6th WPK Central Committee

(November), Member, Jo Myong Rok Funeral Committee

2011: (December) Member, Kim Jong Il Funeral Committee

2013: (Feburary) Awarded, Order of Kim Jong Il

(December) Member, Kim Kuk T’ae Funeral Committee

2014: (March) Elected, deputy, 13th Supreme People’s Assembly

(April) Appointed, WPK Secretary

(April) Appointed, Chairman, Supreme People’s Assembly Budget Committee

(July) Member, Jon Pyong Ho Funeral Committee

2015: (August) Alternate (candidate) Member, WPK Political Bureau

(November) Member, Ri Ul Sol Funeral Committee

(December) Member, Kim Yang Gon Funeral Committee

2016: (May) Elected, Member, 7th WPK Central Committee

Elected, Member, WPK Political Bureau

Elected, Member, WPK Executive Policy Council

Appointed, Director of the WPK Economic Affairs Department

 

 

Interview data acquired by Michael Madden, 2016; “Minister of Electronic Industry Appointed,” Korean Central News Agency, December 24, 1999; “O Su Yong,” North Korea Handbook (Armonk, NY: ME Sharpe, 2003), p.870; “Morning-Panda Joint Venture Computer Company Commissioned,” Korean Central News Agency, September 11, 2002; “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; “Members of DPRK Cabinet Appointed,” Korean Central News Agency, September 4, 2003; KCTV Evening News for November 4, 2005, Korean Central Television (in Korean), November 4, 2005; “SPA Presidium Issues Decree Conferring Kim Il Sung Prize, Kim Il Sung Order on March 21,” Korean Central Broadcasting Station (in Korean), April 10, 2007; “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; “First Session of 12th SPA of DPRK Held,” Korean Central News Agency, April 6, 2009; “Chinese Reception Marks 60th Anniversary of PRC-DPRK Ties,” Xinhua Domestic Service (in Chinese), October 7, 2009; “Mass Rally in Hamhu’ng City on March 6,” Korean Central Television (in Korean), March 6, 2010; “DPRK Delegation Leaves to Participate in Opening Ceremony of Shanghai World Expo,” Korean Central News Agency, April 29, 2010; “Kim Yong Nam Meets Hu Jintao,” Korean Central News Agency, April 30, 2010; “3rd session of 12th SPA Held,” Korean Central Boradcasting Station (in Korean), June 7, 2010; “Members, Alternate Members of WPK CC,” Korean Central News Agency, September 28, 2010; “Kim Jong Il Passes Through Border Station,” Korean Central Broadcasting Station (in Korean), August 20, 2011; “Kim Jong Il Visits Republic Buryatia on August 23,” Korean Central Broadcasting Station (in Korean), August 23, 2011; “Kim Jong Il Visits PRC Inner Mongolian Autonomous Region,” Korean Central Broadcasting Station (in Korean), August 25, 2011; “Kim Chong-il Travelled to Russia so As Not to Repat Al-Qadhafi’s Fate.  For This He Must Interest Russa in Debt Repayment and Joint Projects,” by Ivan Zakharchenko (in Russian), Slon, August 25, 2011; “Kim Jong Il Meets PRC State Councilor in Heilongjiang,” Korean Central Broadcasting Station (in Korean), August 26, 2011; “Order of Kim Jong Il Awarded to Units, Persons of Merit,” Korean Central News Agency, February 8, 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; “Panel Committees of SPA of DPRK Elected,” Korean Central News Agency, April 9, 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

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