|Preceded by Kim Yong-il|
Resigned April 1, 2013
Succeeded by Pak Pong-ju
|Party Workers' Party of Korea|
Name Choe Yong-rim
|Leader Kim Jong-il
Born 20 November 1930 (age 85) Ryanggang, Japanese Korea Japanese Empire (now North Korea) (1930-11-20)
Political party Workers' Party of Korea
Alma mater Kim Il-sung University Moscow State University
Role Former Premier of North Korea
Previous office Premier of North Korea (2010–2013)
Education Kim Il-sung University, Moscow State University
NKorean PM Choe Yong Rim visits for talks with Chinese leadership
Choe Yong-rim (KCNA: Choe Yong Rim, Korean: 최영림, born 20 November 1930) was the Premier (naegak ch’ongri, 내각 총리) of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (commonly known as North Korea) from June 2010 to April 2013 and Workers' Party of Korea central committee presidium member since September 2010. He has been described by The New York Times as a "KWP insider" and a "friend of Kim Jong-Il's family." He is honorary vice-president of the Presidium of the Supreme People's Assembly, the country's parliament.
Choe Yong-rim joined the Korean People's Army in July 1950. He attended Mangyongdae Revolutionary School, Kim Il-sung University, and Moscow University. Qualifying as an electrical engineer, he has held various offices since the 1950s, including: instructor, section chief, vice-department director, first vice-department director and department director of the Central Committee of the Workers' Party of Korea and chief secretary of the Secretaries Office of the Kumsusan Assembly Hall. He has also held posts of vice-premier of the Administration Council, director of the Central Public Prosecutors Office and secretary general of the SPA Presidium.
From 11 April 2005 to July 2009, he was secretary general (sŏgijang) of the Presidium of the Supreme People's Assembly, succeeding Kim Yunhyŏk.
Choe was appointed chief secretary of the Pyongyang City Committee of the Workers' Party of Korea in 2009, taking a post left unoccupied for nine years since his predecessor Kang Hyun-su's death in 2000. He left the post when he was elected Premier of North Korea on 7 June 2010 at the 3rd Session of the 12th Supreme People's Assembly.
Seen as an instrumental element in Kim Jong-il's succession process, Choe was elected member of the 5-members Politburo Presidium of the Central Committee of the Workers' Party of Korea at the Party Conference held in September 2010.
Choe succeeded Kim Yong-il as premier during a rare second parliamentary session in 2010.
It was speculated that Kim was ousted partly because of the failed currency reforms which took place in early 2010. According to the South Korean newspaper Chosun Ilbo, he reportedly apologized publicly for the mishaps before stepping down. Kim's departure and Choe's elevation coincided with the dismissal of various other ministers in the cabinet who were ostensibly blamed for the failed reforms. The event was seen by analysts as achieving two purposes: settling public outcry over the currency valuation fiasco and engineering a political climate more favourable towards the succession of Kim Jong-un, the supreme leader's youngest son.
In February 2011, the North Korean media reported Premier Choe's visit to a construction site. This was the first time the media had reported on a leadership figure other than the Supreme Leader conducting a solo guidance inspection.
At the 7th Session of the 12th SPA on 1 April 2013, Choe was replaced as Premier of North Korea by Pak Pong-ju, as the assembly moved to the new strategy of building the economy and military simultaneously. Choe was given the title of honorary vice-president of the SPA Presidium, with Kim Yong-nam maintained as his supervisor in the President's role of the SPA.