Tue. Jul 16th, 2024

Portrait of the second most powerful person in North Korea

Portrait of the second most powerful person in North Korea 0
Portrait of the second most powerful person in North Korea 0

Mr. Hwang Pyong So, powerful arm of North Korean leader Kim Jong-un.

Hwang Pyong So, born in 1949, is North Korean leader Kim Jong-un’s top military aide, Vice Chairman of the National Defense Commission and in charge of the country’s military’sĀ General Political Department.

Mr. Hwang first appeared in North Korean state media 10 years ago, when he `warmly welcomed` leader Kim Jong Il at a concert.

According to Daily NK, Mr. Hwang is said to be a college classmate with Kim Kyong Hui, Kim Jong-un’s biological aunt, and had a close relationship with the late Lady Ko Yong Hui, the North Korean leader’s mother.

Last week, Mr. Hwang unexpectedly led a delegation to visit Korea on the occasion of the closing ceremony of the Asian Games in Incheon city.

According to North Korea experts and South Korea’s Ministry of Unification, he was once Deputy of the Organization and Direction Department (OGD), a powerful and secret agency with power over meetings within the North Korean leadership.

Mr. Hwang began interacting with Kim Jong-un in the late 2000s, when state media first mentioned the young leader.

Mr. Hwang was one of Mr. Kim Jong-un’s advisors when he came to power, succeeding his father in 2011. Earlier this year, he became head of the North Korean army’s General Political Department, an apparatus

Last month, he was appointed to the position of vice chairman of the National Defense Council, the supreme military council of which leader Kim Jong-un is the head.

Despite having little military experience, Mr. Hwang’s current rank is equivalent to a four-star general.

`Mr. Hwang was promoted because Mr. Kim Jong-un was very satisfied with the department he managed, which was the most combat-ready unit Mr. Kim had ever inspected,` said a source close to the North Korean leadership.

According to Michael Madden, an expert on North Korea’s political elite, people who have met Mr. Hwang describe him as not arrogant, moderate and likable.

However, Mr. Hwang is a person who holds a very drastic stance in the relationship with the US.

`If the US uses nuclear weapons and aircraft carriers to threaten our country’s sovereignty and right to exist, our military will launch nuclear missiles at the White House and major US bases in and around Thailand.

Jang Jin-sung, a North Korean defector who once worked in the propaganda unit of the country’s ruling party, commented on General Hwang’s path to advancement.

`Mr. Hwang is a man who made a leap, from darkness to light.`

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