North Korea Leadership Watch

Research and Analysis on the DPRK Leadership

Ri Thae Sop (Ri T’ae-sop)

updated 3 January 2021

Ri Thae Sop (Ri T’ae-sop) is Minister of Social Security, the DPRK’s leading public safety official.  Ri is also an alternate member of the Workers’ Party of Korea [WPK] Political Bureau and member of the WPK Central Committee.

Ri has spent his career in successive command positions the Korean People’s Army [KPA] General Staff Department [GSD] apparatus.  He was elected an alternate member of the WPK Central Committee during the 3rd Party Conference in September 2010 and was elevated to full Central Committee membership during the 7th Party Congress in May 2016.  Since 2013 he has served as commander of the VII Army Corps and V Army Corps.  He led representatives of the latter unit during the October 2020 military parade marking the 75th anniversary of the WPK.

Ri Thae Sop was appointed Minister of Social Security during December 2021 and elected an alternate member of the Political Bureau during the 4th plenary Central Committee.


Ri Thae Sop

Minister of Social Security

Alternate Member, WPK Political Bureau

Member, WPK Central Committee

Deputy, 14th Supreme People’s Assembly


2010:  (September) Elected, Alternate (candidate) Member, WPK 6th Central Committee

(November) Member, Jo Myong Rok Funeral Committee

2011: (December) Member, Kim Jong Il Funeral Committee

2012: (ca.) Commander, VII Corps

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

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

2016:(ca.) Commander, V Army Corps

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

2018: (August) Member, Kim Yong Chun Funeral Committee

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

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

(December) Appointed, Minister of Social Security

Elected, Alternate Member, WPK Political Bureau




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