North Korea Leadership Watch

Research and Analysis on the DPRK Leadership

Gen. Kim Su Gil

KPA General Political Department (Bureau) Director Gen. Kim Su Gil with Kim Jong Un looking at the construction of the Wo’nsan-Kalma coastal tourism zone (Photo: KCNA)

updated 8 April 2022

Kim Su Gil (Kim Su-kil) is Chief Secretary of the Kangwo’n Workers’ Party of Korea [WPK] Provincial Committee.   He is also a member of the WPK Central Committee and a deputy to the Supreme People’s Assembly.  Kim is a four-star general (taejang) and former director of the Korean People’s Army [KPA] General Political Bureau [GPB].

Kim’s career began in the Korean People’s Army [KPA] in which he held a series of command positions under the KPA GPB and KPA General Staff. His effective promotion to a general-grade officer occurred on April 24, 1992 when he was promoted to Major General (sojang). He spent much of his career working in the high command, eventually rising to the position of Vice Minister of the People’s Armed Forces [MPAF]. Kim Su Gil was elected to the 12th Supreme People’s Assembly in March 2009. He was promoted to Lieutenant General (chungjang) on April 15, 2010.  Around 2011, he was appointed deputy director of the KPA GPB for Organizational Affairs.

Kim Su Gil (second row, R) accompanies KJI and KJU during an October 2010 visit to the CPV Cemetery in Hoech’ang County, South P’yo’gan

Kim Su Gil became a close adjutant to Kim Jong Un, accompanying the Suryo’ng on numerous military inspections and public events. Kim was part of Choe Ryong Hae’s May 2013 visit to China as Jong Un’s special representative. During the Fall of 2013, Kim Su Gil, like other close KPA aides and advisors to Kim Jong Un, lost one star on his shoulderboards, temporarily demoted back to Major General.

From his position at the MPAF, Kim was one of a group senior DPRK officials involved in the ouster and eventual dismissal and execution of Jang Song Taek in December 2013. Kim was elected to the 13th Supreme People’s Assembly in March 2014. In May 2014 he was appointed Chief Secretary of the Pyongyang WPK City Committee. One of his first public acts was issuing a public apology, along with senior Ministry of People’s Security officials, for the collapse of an apartment building in Pyongyang, despite the fact the construction preceded Kim Su Gil’s tenure. In May 2016, Kim was elected a full member of the WPK Central Committee and an alternate (candidate) member of the WPK Political Bureau.

In May 2018, Kim returned to the uniform military ranks and was appointed Director of the KPA GPB.  He was also elected a member of the WPK Central Military Commission and promoted to four-star KPA General.  Gen. Kim led a KPA delegation on a visit to China during August 2019.

During the 8th Party Congress in January 2021, Kim migrated back to a civilian Party leadership position and was appointed Chief Secretary of the Kangwo’n WPK Committee.

Kim Su Gil

Chief Secretary, Kangwo’n WPK Provincial Committee

Member, WPK Central Committee

KPA General (taejang)

Deputy, Supreme People’s Assembly


1992: Promoted, Major-General

2006: deputy director, Ministry of the People’s Armed Forces

2009: elected, deputy, 12th Supreme People’s Assembly

2010: Promoted, Lieutenant-General

Vice Minister of the People’s Armed Forces

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

(May) Chief Secretary, Pyongyang WPK City Committee

(July) Member, Jon Pyong Ho Funeral Committee

2015: (November) Ri Ul Sol Funeral Committee

(December) 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

2018: (May) Appointed, Director, KPA General Political Department

Elected, Member, WPK Central Military Commission

Promoted, KPA General

(December) Member, Kim Chol Man Funeral Committee

2019: (March) Elected, Deputy, 14th Supreme People’s Assembly

2020: (January) Member, Hwang Sun Hui Funeral Committee

2021: (January) Elected, Member, 8th WPK Central Committee

Appointed, Chief Secretary, Kangwo’n WPK Provincial Committee


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