Who's who in the ruling party

Choe Ryong Hae
Choe Ryong Hae
Hwang Pyong So
Hwang Pyong So
Pak Pong Ju
Pak Pong Ju
Ri Su Yong
Ri Su Yong

A series of photos released by the Korean Central News Agency following the conclusion of North Korea's party congress unveiled the latest make-up of the country's political elite. Here's a look at some of the names.

Choe Ryong Hae, 66

His election to the elite Politburo Standing Committee (PSC) of the Korean Workers' Party signals his return to the power circle.

"Choe's promotion is an affirmation of the strong position still maintained by sons of North Korean partisans in the power circle," Professor Lee Woo Young told JoongAng Ilbo. Mr Choe's father Choe Hyon had fought alongside Kim Il Sung against the Japanese.

Pak Pong Ju, 77

The Premier's election to the PSC dovetails with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un's announcement of a five-year plan for developing the national economy during the party congress. It is also notable that Mr Pak, a civilian, was appointed as a member of the Central Military Commission.

Hwang Pyong So, 76

He replaced Mr Choe as vice- chairman of the Central Military Commission two years ago and is now the only representative from the military in the top decision- making PSC. He has guarded his position without a hitch by demonstrating his loyalty to North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, Korea Times reported.

Ri Su Yong, 76

The Foreign Minister's sudden rise to becoming a full member of the Politburo is another interesting development, according to South Korean media. Mr Ri was tasked with looking after North Korean leader Kim Jong Un when Mr Kim was studying in Switzerland. The former ambassador to Switzerland is expected to play an important role in foreign policy.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on May 16, 2016, with the headline 'Who's who in the ruling party'. Print Edition | Subscribe