North Korea Leadership Watch

Research and Analysis on the DPRK Leadership

In Chol Ung

Senior DPRK Government officials stand in front of the KIS and KJI statues on Feburary 16, 2018. Im Chol Ung is in the first row at the left. (Photo: KCNA/Rodong Sinmun).

updated February 27, 2018

Im Chol Ung [Im Ch’o’l-u’ng] is a DPRK Vice Premier and alternate member (candidate) member of the Workers’ Party of Korea [WPK] Political Bureau. Im is also a Member of the WPK Central Committee.

Im’s formative career was spent working in the DPRK’s transportation sector, specifically its railways. His first significant position was as Chief of Staff in the Ministry of Railways, with his first time
holding that position from June 2001 to December 2005. When his superiors fell our of favor, Im was migrated out of Pyongyang for revolutionization and held a temporary position as a railways manager
in the provinces. In June 2007 he was appointed a senior manager at the Pyongyang Railways Bureau. In January 2009, Im returned to his former of job as Chief of Staff at the Ministry of Railways and was
promoted to deputy minister in the spring of 2012.

Im Chol Ung was appointed DPRK Vice Premier in a special decree by the Supreme People’s Assembly Presidium in May 2014. Im addressed the DPRK Cabinet’s Fall plenary meeting (plenum) in October 2014. Im was elected a member of the WPK Central Committee during the 7th Congress of the WPK (7th Party Congress) in May 2016 and elected an alternate (candidate) member of the WPK Political Bureau.

Im was born in 1961.


Im Chol Ung

DPRK Vice Premier

Alternate Member, WPK Political Bureau

Member, WPK Central Committee

2001: (January) Appointed, Chief of staff, Ministry of Railways

2007: (May) Director, Pyongyang Railway Bureau

2009: (January) Chief of staff, Ministry of Railways

2012: (April) Deputy Minister, Ministry of Railways

2014: (May) Appointed, DPRK Vice Premier

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

(December) Member, Kim Yang Gon Funeral Committee

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

Elected, Alternate Member, WPK Political Bureau

(May) Member, Kang Sok Ju Funeral Committee


Interview data acquired by Michael Madden, 2014-2016; “Meeting of Asian Countries for Cooperation in Railways Held,” Korean Central News Agency, November 20, 2004; “International Railways Meeting of Asian Countries in ORC Held,” Korean Central News Agency, March 4, 2012; “New Vice Premier Appointed,” Korean Central News Agency, March 20, 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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