Research and Analysis on the DPRK Leadership
updated 21 January 2014
Paek Se Bong (Paek Se-pong) is the immediate past Chairman of the Second Economy Commission (2nd Economic Committee) and a former Member of the National Defense Commission [NDC]. He was also a member of the Korean Workers’ Party [KWP] Central Committee, and from 2003 to 2013 a deputy to the Supreme People’s Assembly. He held the rank of KPA Colonel-General. According to four different sources, Paek was removed from office in 2013.
His official career began in the early 1970s. Paek Se Bong was a political manager in the country’s arms industry, tasked with political management (i.e., ensuring party control over) at arms and munitions factories. His positions included: notification official, party cell secretary and primary party secretary. From the mid 1990s to the early 2000s Paek served as the Chief Secretary of the Second Economy Commission’s KWP Committee.
Paek Se Bong first came to the attention of Pyongyang watchers in September 2003 when he was elected to replace Kim Chol Man (Kim Ch’o’l-man) as an NDC member. Paek also replaced Kim as Chairman of the Second Economy Commission. In that position, which Paek held from 2003 to 2013, he was the chief operating officer of the DPRK’s production of conventional advanced weapons. During his tenure the country conducted all three of its experimental nuclear detonations and numerous missile and rocket tests. Paek was subject to numerous multilateral and unilateral sanctions, including a travel ban in Europe. As the leading official of the DPRK’s largest employer, he routinely appeared as a rostrum member at public events and national report meetings.
Paek was removed from office in 2013.
Paek Se Bong’s birth date is not known with his passport listing 1938 and other sources claiming 1946.