North Korea Leadership Watch

Research and Analysis on the DPRK Leadership

Jang Yong Chol

updated February 24, 2018

Jang Yong Chol (Chang Yo’ng-ch’o’l) is the former DPRK Ambassador to Malaysia.  According to ROK media in January 2012, he is the nephew of Jang Song Thaek, husband of Kim Kyong Hui, sister of the late DPRK supreme leader Kim Jong Il and daughter of Kim Il Sung, the late DPRK President and founder of the DPRK.  Jang Yong Chol is one of several members of the 3rd generation of DPRK elites who work in foreign affairs and diplomacy.

Jang Yong Chol was born in 1964 and is most likely one of the five children from the marriage between Jang Myong Hui and the late Jang Song Kil (1939-2006), older brother of Jang Song Taek.  From 1980 to 1984 Jang Yong Chol served in the Korean People’s Army [KPA] and he attended Kim Il Sung University where he studied economics.

Prior to joining the DPRK’s diplomatic corps, Jang held several positions in the Kim Il Sung Youth League.  During the 1990s into the early 2000s Jang was secretary and 1st secretary of the city of Pyongyang’s KISYL branch.  From 2003 to 2007 Jang served as a secretary of the KISYL central committee.  In 2007 he was appointed DPRK Ambassador to Nepal.  In August 2010 Jang was appointed to his current position as DPRK Ambassador to Malaysia.

Jang Yong Chol was recalled to Pyongyang and removed from office in late 2013, following the dismissal and execution of his uncle.  His current whereabouts and position are not known.

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