KIS Youth League Gets New Head

Chosun Central News Agency reported today that Ri Yong Cheol, the 1st Secretary of the Kim Il Sung Socialist Youth League, has been dismissed, replaced by Jeon Yong Nam.

Ri was removed by the 47th plenary session of the organization’s central committee in Pyongyang yesterday for reasons related to his age, according to the report. Ri, the son of former Workers’ Party Guidance Department Vice Director Ri Hwa Seon, had been in the job since December, 2007. He was also on the funeral committee at the death of Kim Jong Il.

The Kim Il Sung Socialist Youth League is among the first political organizations with which young North Koreans come into contact. Acting as the youth wing of the Chosun Workers’ Party, its membership, comprised of persons aged 14-30, is estimated at approximately five million.

Kang Mi Jin is a North Korean defector turned journalist who fled North Korea in 2009. She has a degree in economics and writes largely on marketization and economy-related issues for Daily NK. Questions about her articles can be directed to