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Sim Chol-ho (Korean: 심철호; 5 July 1960 – October 2014) was a North Korean engineer and politician. He was a member of the Supreme People's Assembly and served as the Minister of Post and Telecommunications beginning in 2012. He has not been seen in public since October 2014, when he and six other officials disappeared in a purge connected to Supreme Leader Kim Jong-un. He was reportedly executed, though his death is unconfirmed.

Sim Chol-ho
Deputy of the Supreme People's Assembly from Ongjin
In office
March 2014 – October 2014
LeaderKim Jong-un
Minister of Post and Telecommunications of North Korea
In office
January 2012 – October 2014
LeaderKim Jong-un
Succeeded byKim Kwang-chol
Vice Minister of Post and Telecommunications of North Korea
In office
December 2008 – December 2011
LeaderKim Jong-il
Kim Jong-un
Personal details
Born (1960-07-05) 5 July 1960 (age 59)
North Korea
DiedOctober 2014 (unconfirmed)
North Korea
Nationality North Korea
Political partyWorkers' Party of Korea
Alma materKim Il-sung University (M.Eng.)

Early life and educationEdit

Sim was born on 5 July 1960.[1] He studied at the Faculty of Automation at Kim Il-sung University in Pyongyang between September 1982 and August 1987, where he received his Master of Engineering.[1]


From September 1987 to April 1995, Sim was the chief engineer at the Central Info-Communication Bureau.[1] From May 1995 to November 2008, he worked as a manager and director of the Ministry of Post and Telecommunications.[1] In December 2008, he was made Vice Minister of Post and Telecommunications, a position he held until December 2011.[1] In 2010, he was named a member of the Central Auditing Commission of the Workers' Party of Korea.[2][3]

In January[1] or February 2012, he became Minister of Post and Telecommunications. In that office, one of his main roles was overseeing the North Korean mobile phone network, Koryolink. In April 2013, he was reconfirmed as minister by the 13th Supreme People's Assembly. This was the last time he appeared in state media.[4] In March 2014, Sim was elected to the Supreme People's Assembly for the Ongjin constituency. He, along with other close associates of the late Kim Jong-il, were reportedly put in the Assembly to help maintain a stable relationship between Kim Jong-un and older leading officials.[4][5]

2014 purge and reported executionEdit

On 23 October 2014, a source told the South Korean newspaper JoongAng Ilbo that they had received "reliable information" that six minister-level officials had been purged from the government and executed.[6] Among the ministers listed were Sim, Ma Won-chun, General Ri Pyong-chol, Chang Ung, and Ri Yong-gil.[6] Sim did not appear often in state media, but his absence from a meeting of North Korean officials with Naguib Sawiris, head of the Egyptian company Orascom Telecom, which provides North Korea's mobile network, was considered unusual.[4][7] He has not been seen publicly since 2014, but his execution remains unconfirmed.[8][9]

Personal lifeEdit

Sim was married with two children. He spoke both Korean and English.[1]


  1. ^ a b c d e f g "Curriculum Vitae of Mr. Sim Chol Ho" (PDF). Connect Asia-Pacific Summit. 2013-11-20.
  2. ^ "Party Conference Held". North Korea Leadership Watch. 2010-09-29. Retrieved 2017-11-22.
  3. ^ Gause, Ken (2013). "The Role and Influence of the Party Apparatus". In Park, Kyung-Ae; Snyder, Scott (eds.). North Korea in Transition: Politics, Economy, and Society. Rowman & Littlefield. p. 44. ISBN 9781442218123.
  4. ^ a b c "October: State media treats all as normal as Kim Jong Un ends absence | NK News - North Korea News". NK News - North Korea News. 2014-11-10. Retrieved 2017-11-22.
  5. ^ "Some left but some stay: a quick review of the election to the SPA". Leadership and Economy of North Korea. 2014-03-21. Retrieved 2017-11-22.
  6. ^ a b Engineer, Cyrus (2014-10-23). "Blood-thirsty dictator Kim Jong-un carries out 'brutal purge' of top officials". Daily Star. Retrieved 2017-11-22.
  7. ^ Ryall, Julian (2014-10-23). "Six officials 'disappear' in latest Pyongyang purges". The Telegraph. ISSN 0307-1235. Retrieved 2017-11-22.
  8. ^ "Kim Jong Nam: accused assassins plead not guilty". The Week UK. 2017-10-02. Retrieved 2017-11-22.
  9. ^ "North Korea executions under Kim Jong Un". USA TODAY. Retrieved 2017-11-22.