Kim in January 2019
|Vice Chairman of the|
Workers’ Party of Korea
|Assumed office |
9 May 2016
|Preceded by||Hwang Pyong-so|
|Head of the United Front Work Department|
|Assumed office |
4 January 2016
|Supreme Leader||Kim Jong-un|
|Preceded by||Kim Yang-gon|
|Director of the|
Reconnaissance General Bureau
± 11 February 2009 – 4 January 2016
|Supreme Leader||Kim Jong-il|
|Preceded by||Office established|
|Succeeded by||Pak Yong-sik (Acting)|
|Born||1945 (age 73–74)|
North Pyongan Province, North Korea
|Education||Kim Il-sung Military University, Red Flag Mangyongdae Revolutionary School|
|Branch/service||Korean People's Army|
|Revised Romanization||Gim Yeong-cheol|
Kim Yong-chol (Chosŏn'gŭl: 김영철; born 1945) is a North Korean general and politician who currently serves as Vice Chairman of the Central Committee of the Workers' Party of Korea for South Korean affairs and head of the United Front Work Department. From February 2009 to January 2016 he was the director of the Reconnaissance General Bureau, the country's primary intelligence service.
In 1962 he served in the 15th Division, a civil police company guarding the Korean Demilitarized Zone. In 1968 he was appointed as a liaison officer to the United Nations Command, Military Armistice Commission, Korea. In 1976, he was made a division commander of the Supreme Guard Command. In 1990 he was promoted to Major General and became deputy director of the Ministry of People's Armed Forces and director of the MPAF Reconnaissance Bureau. In 1998 he was elected as a deputy to the 10th Supreme People's Assembly and again in 2003 to the 11th.
In 2009, he was appointed director of the Reconnaissance General Bureau and Vice-Chief of the General Staff Department of the Korean People's Army. He also elected as a deputy to the 12th Supreme People's Assembly. In 2010, he was promoted to Colonel-General and elected to the Central Military Commission of the Workers' Party of Korea and the 6th Central Committee of the Workers' Party of Korea. He was a member of the funeral committee of Jo Myong-rok. In 2011, he was a member of the funeral committee of Kim Jong-il.
In May 2016, he was elected to the 7th Central Committee of the Workers' Party of Korea. He was elected as a member of the Politburo of the Workers' Party of Korea, the Central Military Commission of the Workers' Party of Korea and as Vice-Chairman of the Workers' Party of Korea. He was appointed as director of the United Front Department and served on the funeral committees of Kang Sok-ju and Ryu Mi-yong, and he was elected to the Presidium of the Supreme People's Assembly.
Presence at 2018 Pyeongchang Olympics
Kim was sent as part of North Korea's Olympic delegation to the closing ceremony of the 2018 Winter Olympics held on 24 February 2018. His presence was controversial, mostly due to allegations that Kim was responsible for orchestrating an attack on a South Korean naval ship in 2010 that killed 46 sailors. An article in the Hangook Ilbo warned that Kim's attendance could send "raging waves" throughout the Korean Peninsula, but the games closed without incident.
May 2018 visit to the United States
|Arrival of Kim Yong-chol at the White House, June 1, 2018, C-SPAN|
On 30 May, Kim flew to New York City via China for talks with United States Secretary of State Mike Pompeo regarding the 2018 North Korea–United States summit. He was hosted at a residential facility of the US delegation to the United Nations for highly "private" conversations with US counterparts. He then traveled to the White House for talks with President Trump on 1 June 2018. During this meeting, he delivered a letter to President Trump from Kim Jong-un. Because he is subject to US sanctions, the visit required a travel waiver.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Kim Yong-chol.|
- What the new photos of North Korea's leaders say. BBC News, 13 May 2016. Retrieved 13 May 2016.
- "Gen. Kim Yong Chol". 17 October 2010. Retrieved 2 June 2018.
- Rich, Motoko (26 February 2018). "The Olympics are Finished. Is the Diplomacy?". The New York Times.
- "Trump-Kim teams meet to salvage summit". 31 May 2018. Retrieved 2 June 2018 – via www.bbc.co.uk.
- Mason, Jeff. "In complete reversal, Trump revives summit with North Korean leader". Retrieved 2 June 2018.