Ri Yong-gil (born c. 1952) is a North Korean military officer and first deputy chief of the Korean People's Army. He is believed to have been in his 60s when appointed to his position as a general in 2013.
Ri was made a Lieutenant General in April 2002 and given command of the forward-deployed 3rd Army Corps from 2002 to 2007, and later the 5th Army Corps from 2007 to 2012.
He was promoted to colonel general and elected an alternate member of the Central Committee of the Workers' Party of Korea in 2010. He was promoted to chief of the General Staff Operations Bureau in late 2012, in charge of coordinating KPA corps commanders and reporting to the chief of General Staff and the Supreme Command.
Ri was appointed Chief of the General Staff of the Korean People's Army in August 2013 as well as promoted to general around the same time.
It was announced during the May 2016 Party Congress that Ri had been appointed a member of the Central Committee of the North’s ruling Workers’ Party, as well as its Central Military Commission. General Ri was named an alternate member of the Politburo. As of April 2017, state media identified Ri as first deputy chief of the General Staff and director of the General Operations Bureau of the Korean People's Army.
In early February 2016, the South Korean news agency Yonhap reported that Ri had recently been executed on charges of corruption and forming a political faction.
The unconfirmed rumour was widely circulated in mass media. In May 2016 the South Korean government announced that he appeared to be still alive. Ri was shown in official North Korean state media accounts of the historic event of the first Workers' Party Congress held in North Korea in 36 years. The same South Korean government official who in February stated that Ri was "[executed] for factionalism, misuse of authority, and corruption" concluded that he had incorrect information and "we [South Korea] came to believe that he was not executed."