North Korea Leadership Watch

Research and Analysis on the DPRK Leadership

Pak Thae Song

Pak Thae Song (2nd L) with Kim Jong Un at the Pyongyang Pharmaceutical Factory

updated February 28, 2018

Pak Thae Song (Pak T’ae-so’ng) is Workers’ Party of Korea [WPK] Vice Chairman for Science and Education and a member of the WPK Political Bureau. He is also a Member of the WPK Central Committee and deputy (delegate) of the Supreme People’s Assembly.

Pak’s career began as a notification instructor in the WPK apparatus . He held successive positions
as an instructor, deputy section chief and section chief in OGD with a focus on education and machine-building industry. In 2011 Pak was elevated to the rank of deputy (vice) director of OGD. Following
the transition from Kim Jong Il (Kim Cho’ng-il) to Kim Jong Un (Kim Cho’ng-u’n), Pak Thae Song emerged as one of Jong Un’s close aides beginning in the summer of 2012. With the gradual decline in status and eventual execution of Jang Song Taek, Pak’s influence and closeness to the Suryo’ng increased. Between 2013 and the spring of 2014, Pak had attended more than 60 of Jong Un’s on-site visits and inspections.

In March 2014 Pak was elected as a deputy (delegate) to the 13th Supreme People’s Assembly. In May 2014 Pak was appointed Chief Secretary of the South P’yo’ngan WPK Provincial Committee. Pak’s
appointment was partially linked to Kim Jong Un’s 2014 policy of increasing the production and efficience of short- and medium-ranged missiles. As such Pak directly supervised renovations and industrial upgrades at the January 18 General Machinery Plant near Anju, South P’yo’ngan which is a key manufacturer of missile engines and component parts.

As a sign of his loyalty and close political ties to Kim Jong Un, Pak Thae Song convened one of the first party conferences electing delegates to the 7th Congress of the WPK (7th Party Congress) and was the first party official to formally nominate Jong Un as a delegate to the party congress. During the 7th Party Congress, Pak was a platform member. He was elected a member of the WPK Central Committee and an
alternate member (candidate member) of the WPK Political Bureau.

During the 2nd plenary meeting of the 7th WPK Central Committee, Pak was elected a WPK Vice Chairman and upgraded to a full member of the WPK Political Bureau.

Pak Thae Song

WPK Vice Chairman

Member, WPK Political Bureau

Member, WPK Central Committee

Deputy, Supreme People’s Assembly

1990s: instructor, WPK Organization Guidance Department

2007: deputy section chief and section chief, WPK Organization
Guidance Department

2011: deputy director, WPK Organization Guidance Department

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

(May) Chief Secretary, South P’yo’ngan WPK Provincial Committee

(July) Member, Jon Pyong Ho Funeral Committee

2015: (November) Member, Ri Ul Sol Funeral Committee

(December) Member, Kim Yang Gon Funeral Committee

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

Alternate (candidate) Member, WPK Political Bureau

(May) Member, Kang Sok Chu Funeral Committee

2017: (October) Elected, WPK Political Bureau

Elected, WPK Vice Chairman

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