Ri Jong Ho

Ri Jong Ho is a former senior North Korean economic official who served under all three leaders of the Kim family regime. His most recent role was based in Dalian, China, where he headed the Korea Daehung Trading Corporation, overseen by the clandestine Office 39 under the direct control of the ruling Kim family. Before his assignment in Dalian, Jong Ho held pivotal positions, including President of the Daehung Shipping Company and Executive Director of the Daehung General Bureau of the North Korean Workers' Party, a role equivalent to Vice-Minister rank in the North Korean party-state. Subsequently, he was appointed Chairman of the Korea Kumgang Economic Development Group (KKG) under the North Korean Defense Committee by Kim Jong Il. Jong Ho is a recipient of the Hero of Labor Award, the highest civilian honor in North Korea. Following a series of brutal purges by Kim Jong Un, he defected with his family to South Korea in late 2014. Currently, Jong Ho resides in the greater Washington D.C. area.