|Chairman of the Presidium of the Supreme People's Assembly of North Korea|
5 September 1998
|Preceded by||Yang Hyong-sop|
4 February 1928 |
Heijo, Japanese Korea
(now Pyongyang, North Korea)
|Political party||Workers' Party of Korea|
|Revised Romanization||Gim Yeong-nam|
Kim Yong-nam (born 4 February 1928) is the Chairman 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 Politburo of the Central Committee of the Workers' Party of Korea in 2010.
He was born in the Central District, Heijo (now called Pyongyang), on February 4, 1928. After graduating from a 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.
As chairman of the Presidium, he is considered the de facto head of state of North Korea. He is not de jure head of state of North Korea, as no such office exists. However, he accepts the credentials of ambassadors, signs treaties, receives visiting heads of state and represents North Korea on all state visits—the functions normally performed by a head of state in other countries. He has held this office since 5 September 1998.
In theory, he, Premier Pak Pong-ju, and National Defense Commission Chairman Kim Jong-un form a tripartite executive, each having powers equal to a third of a president's in Presidential systems, controlling foreign relations, government and domestic affairs, and defense, respectively. In practice, Kim Jong-un, like his father, Kim Jong-il, before him, exercises absolute control over the country, and the Chairman of the Presidium is considered a junior position.
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 inauguration 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 with President José Eduardo Dos Santos on 24 March the Democratic Republic of the Congo, where he met with President Joseph Kabila on 26 March and Uganda, where he met with 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 as well as the 2014 Winter Olympics opening ceremony on 7 February 2014. On 14 July 2009, Kim Yong-nam met with Vietnamese president Nguyen Minh Triet on the sidelines of the 15th Non-Aligned Movement Summit in Egypt.
- "Blessings,condolences". The Pyongyang Times (in English translation). 6 January 2007. p. 1.
- Dae-woong, Jin (2007-10-04). "Who's who in North Korea's power elite". The Korea Herald. Retrieved 2007-10-05.
- "Profiles of Presidium and Members of Political Bureau", KCNA, 29 September 2010.
- "Jimmy Carter lands in North Korea to bring home jailed Boston man". The Globe and Mail. "He later sat down for talks with the No. 2 official, Kim Yong Nam, APTN said."[dead link]
- "N Korean leader returns after visiting four African countries", Yonhap (AsiaPulse via COMTEX), 2 April 2008.
- "Namibia, NKorea hail friendship", Sapa (IOL), March 21, 2008.
- Vietnam president meets DPRK leader
|Minister of Foreign Affairs
|Chairman of the Presidium of the Supreme People's Assembly of North Korea