North Korea
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Kim Yong-nam

Kim Yong-nam Chairman of the Presidium of the Supreme People's Assembly

Chairman of the Presidium of the Supreme People's Assembly
The basics
Quick Facts
Intro Chairman of the Presidium of the Supreme People's Assembly
A.K.A. 김영남, Kim Yeong-nam
Countries North Korea
Occupations Diplomat Politician Ambassador
Type Politics
Gender male
Birth 4 February 1928 (Pyongyang)
Star sign AquariusAquarius
Politics Workers' Party of Korea
Father: Kim Thaek-se
Education Kim Il-sung University, Rostov State University, Tomsk State University
The details

Kim Yong-nam (Chosŏn'gŭl: 김영남; born 4 February 1928) is the President of the Presidium of the Supreme People's Assembly of North Korea, a position he has held since 1998. Previously, he served as Minister of Foreign Affairs from 1983 to 1998. He was elected a member of the Presidium of the Workers' Party of Korea (WPK) in 2010.

Life and career

Kim was born in the Central District, Pyongyang (then known as Heijo). After graduating from university, he worked as a teacher at the Central Party School, vice-department director of the WPK Central Committee, vice-minister of foreign affairs, and first vice-department director, department director and secretary of the WPK Central Committee, vice-premier of the administration council and concurrently Minister of Foreign Affairs. His elevation to Minister of Foreign Affairs is believed to have occurred as part of a reorganization of the diplomatic bureaucracy after the Rangoon bombing.

As chairman of the Presidium, Kim Yong-nam has been called the "nominal head of state" of North Korea. He has held this office since 5 September 1998. The Chairman of the Presidium is sometimes considered the "number two official". The journalist and academic Don Oberdorfer, described Kim as enigmatic, rigid in his official role, personally pleasant, highly intelligent, and an important figure behind the scenes in Pyongyang.

Diplomatic activity

Kim embarked on a two-week tour of Mongolia, Algeria, Egypt, Ethiopia, and Singapore on 20 July 2007. On 18 March 2008, he embarked on a goodwill tour of four African states. Arriving in Namibia on 20 March, he was present for the official completion of a new presidential residence that was built by North Korea. He also held talks with Namibian President Hifikepunye Pohamba and signed an agreement on public health cooperation with Pohamba. He subsequently visited Angola, where he met President José Eduardo Dos Santos on 24 March, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, where he met President Joseph Kabila on 26 March, and Uganda, where he met President Yoweri Museveni on 29 March. He returned to North Korea on 1 April.

Kim also attended the 2008 Summer Olympics opening ceremony on 8 August 2008, 2014 Winter Olympics opening ceremony on 7 February 2014 and the 2018 Winter Olympics opening ceremony on 9 February 2018. On 14 July 2009, Kim met Vietnamese president Nguyen Minh Triet on the sidelines of the 15th Non-Aligned Movement Summit in Egypt. Kim represented North Korea at the 2015 Victory Day parade in Moscow on 9 May 2015, commemorating the 70th anniversary of the defeat of Nazi Germany in World War II. He also paid an official visit to Equatorial Guinea on 19 May 2016 to attend the presidential inauguration.


  • Kim Yong-nam (September 1988). "The International Prestige and Influence of the DPRK Are Increasing Daily" (PDF). Kulloja. OCLC 9516938.
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