North Korea Leadership Watch

Research and Analysis on the DPRK Leadership

Col. Gen. Ri Pyong Sam

updated February 25, 2018

Colonel General Ri Pyong Sam is the former Political Director of the Korean People’s Internal Security Forces.  He currently a docent a lecturer at a war memorial museum.

Colonel General Ri has worked in the North Korean internal security apparatus for most of his career.  He has served under four (4) People’s (Public) Security Ministers.  He was promoted to Lieutenant General in April 1992, and to Colonel General on 13 April 1999.  He has been a member of several state funeral committees including those for Marshal Choe Kwang in 1997 and VMar Jo Myong Rok in 2010.  Ri was first elected a deputy (delegate) to the Supreme People’s Assembly in 1998 and re-elected to the 11th SPA in 2003 and the 12th SPA in 2009.

Col. Gen. Ri has participated in several KPA-based meetings with the Chinese, as well as presided at official domestic events between the two countries.  He was first reported to be a member of Kim Jong Il’s entourage during an inspection of KPA Unit #507 on 23 October 2002.  Ri attended several inspections and on-the-spot guidance visits with KJI during 2009 to 2011.

Col. Gen. Ri was elected to membership on the Party Central Committee (CC KWP) on 28 September 2010.  On 19 October 2011 he was bestowed the title of Labor Hero by the SPA Presidium.  Ri Pyong Sam retired from active service in 2013 and currently works as a museum docent

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