North Korea Leadership Watch

Research and Analysis on the DPRK Leadership

Hong Yong Chil

Hong Yong Chil (Photos: NK Leadership Watch file photos)

Hong Yong Chil (Photos: NK Leadership Watch file photos)

Thae Jong Su (left) waiting to greet Kim Jong Un at the 8th Munitions Industry Department Conference in December 2018. Also in attendance with him are MID Deputy Director (for nuclear programs) Hong Sung Mu (center) and MID Deputy Director (for manufacturing) Hong Yong Chil (right) (Photo: Korean Central Television)

updated February 28, 2018

Hong Yong Chil (Hong Yo’ng-ch’il) is a deputy director of the Workers’ Party of Korea [WPK] Machine Building (Military) Industry Department and a key official in the research and development of missiles and weapons of mass destruction.  Hong is also a member of the WPK Central Committee and a deputy (delegate) to the Supreme People’s Assembly.

Hong’s career was spent as a shop manager and party secretary in the country’s machine-building industries which are a major contributor to arms development and production in the DPRK.  He first came to attention as chief party secretary at the U’nsan Machine Tools Factory and was led the development of the U’nsan (Measuring) Instruments Factory, for which he was given the state title Labor Hero in early 2011.  Hong accompanied late DPRK leader on a visit to the U’nsan factories in February 2011.

Hong Yong Chil was appointed deputy director of the WPK Machine-Building Industry Department in early 2013.  Since his appointment three years ago, he become one of Kim Jong Un’s (Kim Cho’ng-u’n) closest aides and advisors on the development of conventional arms and weapons of mass destruction [WMD] as well as civilian applications of the country’s machine building amd machine tools sectors.  Hong had a leading role in the testing of new weapons system, as well as the fourth nuclear test in January 2016 and the space launch in February 2016.

Notes: Derived from a longer biosketch about Hong; interview data acquired by Michael Madden; Kim Jong Il Gives Inspection of U’nsan Instrument Factory,” February 11, 2011; “Hong Yo’ng-ch’il, New Face Who Frequently Accompanies the North’s Kim Jong Un on On-Site Guidance Trips, Draws Attention” Yonhap News Agency, July 4, 2013 (in Korean); Gause, Ken E.  North Korean Leadership Dynamics and Decision-making under Kim Jong-un A First Year Assessment. (Alexandria, VA: CNA, September 2013) p. 90;  “The Passing of the Nuclear Torch: The Next Generation of WMD Scientists” by Michael Madden, 38 North, September 22, 2014; “Kim Jong Un’s Nuclear Doctrine and Strategy: What Everyone Needs to Know,” by Alexandre Mansourov, NAPSNet Special Reports, December 16, 201

An affiliate of 38 North