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The 10 Richest People In North Korea



Richest People In North Korea

Hey wealthy minds and future billionaires, today I am glad to share with you the richest people in North Korea. Don’t go anywhere, stick around as I will be unveiling them one after the other, so let’s hit the nail on the head. 

The richest people in North Korea are involved in numerous businesses, such as trade, real estate, construction, entertainment and many more. They can afford to buy imported goods, such as clothes, food, and electronics, from foreign countries. 

They can also get access to media and music from outside North Korea through different means, which are banned by the state. Some of them even undergo cosmetic surgery to enhance their appearance. This is mostly done by their women to increase their chances on get perfect patners.

They also face the risk of sanctions and isolation from the international community, which limit their opportunities and resources. Therefore, the life of the rich in North Korea is not as enticing or stable as it may seem.

The Richest People In North Korea

Here, we’ve compiled a comprehensive list with the biographies of the richest people in North Korea:

1. Kim Jong-un (Net worth $15 billion worth)

Kim Jong-un is also one of the richest people in North Korea. He leads the country and he is the grandson of North Korea’s founder, Kim Il-sung. His dad, Kim Jong-il, passed away in 2011, and he got his position and riches from him. He plays a big role in how the country runs, handling important areas like foreign relations, surveillance, and security.

He owns or controls a significant part of North Korea’s stuff, giving him chances to gather a lot of wealth. We don’t know exactly how much, but some guess it’s between $5 billion and $15 billion. He makes money in different ways, some legal and some not, like state-owned businesses, foreign help, dodging sanctions, and cybercrime.

He also lives a fancy life with a private island, a bunch of luxury cars, a personal jet, and an expensive watch collection. He was born on January 8, 1984.

2. Jang Song-taek (Net worth $10 billion worth)

Jang Song-taek was Kim Jong-un’s uncle and the second most powerful person in the country until 2012. He had a lot of different businesses, like mining, trade, construction, and tourism. He could get foreign money and fancy things, which are rare and precious in North Korea. His money and belongings are worth 10 billion US dollars.

He was born on February 2, 1946, he made his wealth real by investing in things like coal, gas, foreign money trading, buying  estate, gold mining, and luxury items. Unfortunately, his riches and influence made his nephew suspicious and jealous. In the end, his nephew accused him of treason and killed him in 2013. 

3. Jay Y. Lee (Net worth $9.9 billion worth)

Jay Y. Lee is the leader of Samsung electronics and the head of the biggest company in the country. He is the son of Lee Kun-hee and Hong Ra-hee, born in Seoul, South Korea in 1968. Jay Y. Lee studied at Seoul National University, Keio University, and Harvard Business School.

He can speak Korean, English, and Japanese well. He faced legal problems, like bribery and embezzlement charges, which led to him being put in jail and later forgiven. In 2023, Forbes ranked him as the second richest person on the list of Korea’s 50 Richest, with a net worth of $9.9 billion.

4. Michael Kim (Net worth $9.7 billion worth)

Here comes another one of the richest people in North Korea, Michael Kim. He is a very rich businessperson from Korea and the co-founder of MBK Partners, a special business company in Seoul, South Korea. People call him the “Godfather of Asian private money.” 

He was born in Jinhae in 1963 and finished studying at Haverford College and Harvard Business School. He worked on the groups of important groups like the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the New York Public Library, and Carnegie Hall. He likes collecting art and writing books. In 2023, Forbes said he is the richest person in Korea, having $9.7 billion.

5. Seo Jung-jin (Net worth $5.7 billion worth)

Seo Jung-jin is the co-founder of Celltrion, a company that creates medicines for different illnesses. He’s also one of the richest people in North Korea, with a net worth of $5.7 billion in 2023. 

Born in 1957, he finished his education at Konkuk University. Seo has two sons who lead different parts of Celltrion, and he’s also known for being a generous philanthropist, supporting education and health projects in Asia.

6. Kwon Hyuk-bin (Net worth $5 billion worth)

Meet Kwon Hyuk-bin, the brain behind Smilegate, the gaming company that brought us the popular online shooter game, CrossFire. Born in 1971 and an alumnus of Sogang University, Kwon is not just a gaming mogul but also one of the richest people in North Korea, boasting a net worth of $5 billion as of 2023.

His journey started in 2002 when he founded Smilegate, and in 2008, he joined forces with Tencent, a major Chinese internet player. Beyond gaming, Kwon is a shareholder in SundayToz, a mobile game developer. 

What sets him apart is his commitment to education – he runs a foundation that offers IT education in both China and Vietnam. Kwon Hyuk-bin isn’t just shaping the gaming world; he’s making an impact by bringing technology education to aspiring minds in different parts of Asia.

7. Hong Ra-hee (Net worth $4.9 billion worth)

Hong Ra-hee, a 78-year-old billionaire, is the widow of Lee Kun-hee, the former chairman of Samsung Group and the wealthiest person in Korea until his passing in 2020. She oversees the Samsung Museum of Art, known as Leeum, and the Ho-Am Art Museum, which showcase collections from her father-in-law, Samsung founder Lee Byung-Chull.

Having graduated in arts from Seoul National University, her father chaired one of Korea’s major newspapers, JoongAng Ilbo, and her brother, Hong Seok-joh, is also a billionaire. With three children, including Jay Y. Lee, the executive chairman of Samsung Electronics, Hong Ra-hee was ranked 6 on Forbes’ Korea’s 50 Richest list in 2023, with a net worth of $4.9 billion.

8. Mong-Koo Chung (Net worth $4.1 billion worth)

Mong-Koo Chung, an 85-year-old billionaire, who is also part of the richest people in North Korea, also the honorary chairman of Hyundai Motor Group, the biggest car company in South Korea. He is the second son of Chung Ju-yung, who started the Hyundai Group, once the largest business group in Korea.

Having a 5.2% share in Hyundai Motor and a significant part in Hyundai Mobis, a car parts company, he’s nicknamed a “bulldozer” for his straightforward and strong approach. In 2007, he was found guilty of embezzlement, but his punishment was put on hold. 

Mong-Koo Chung has four children, and one of them, Chung Eui-sun, is set to follow in his footsteps. In 2023, Forbes ranked him as the seventh richest person in Korea, with a net worth of $4.1 billion.

9. Euisun Chung (Net worth $3.1 billion worth)

Euisun Chung is in charge of Hyundai Motor Group, the biggest car company in North Korea. He is the only son of Mong-Koo Chung, who stopped working in 2020. Euisun has a net worth of $3.1 billion in 2024. 

Born in 1970, he went to Korea University and the University of San Francisco. He played a big part in making Kia Motors, which is connected to Hyundai Motor, grow. Besides that, Euisun really likes archery and is the president of the Asian Archery Federation.

10. Cha Chol-ma (Net worth US$10 million worth)

Meet Cha Chol-ma, a North Korean entrepreneur believed to be one of the wealthiest people in the country. He’s been busy with various trade and development projects, both at home and abroad, particularly focused on foreign currency. He’s the son-in-law of Ri Je-gang, a former close aide to Kim Jong-il.

Now, when it comes to Cha Chol-ma’s money matters, it’s estimated to be more than US$10 million net worths . This wealth comes from his trade dealings with China and his foreign currency ventures. 

Unfortunately, details like his birth date remain a mystery, but considering he’s the son-in-law of Ri Je-gang, who passed away in 2010 at 80, it’s likely that Cha Chol-ma is in his 50s or 60s.

Discus the Richest People in North Korea

Jang Song-taek, who was Kim Jong-un’s uncle, is among the wealthy people in North Korea. He had access to foreign money and fancy things, which are hard to find and very precious in North Korea.

Kim Jong-un, the leader of North Korea, is also one of the richest. People believe he gets money in different ways, both legal and not-so-legal, like state-owned businesses, foreign help, breaking sanctions, and online crimes.

Are there wealthy people in North Korea? 

Sure, there are wealthy people in North Korea, but they make up a tiny group. Most of them are either part of the ruling leaders, enjoying fancy things and foreign money, or they are business folks doing illegal stuff like smuggling or selling drugs.

Who is the Richest person in Korea? 

Some people believe that the richest person in North Korea is Jang Song-taek. He was Kim Jong-un’s uncle and held the second-highest position in the country until 2012.

Who runs North Korea? 

In North Korea, it’s officially a one-party socialist republic with a strong ruler. Kim Jong-Un, the top leader and head of the state affairs commission, holds the most power. He’s also the boss of the Workers’ Party of Korea (WPK), the ruling party that controls the government and the law-making group.

North Korea wealthy elite

In North Korea, a small group of rich people live a rich life, unlike most who struggle are the wealthy elite. These people are part of the ruling party or military, they have foreign money and enjoy luxury things. They hang out in the capital area called “Pyonghattan” in Pyongyang, where they shop and have fun in cool places. 

How many billionaires in North Korea?

There are only a handful of individuals in North Korea who might be billionaires, according to some sources. Most of them belong to the ruling elite, which means they have special access to fancy things and foreign money. 

Alternatively, some are businessmen engaged in questionable activities like smuggling or drug trafficking. However, it’s important to note that their wealth doesn’t match up to billionaires in other countries. They still face a lot of rules and risks in their everyday lives.


Wrapping up our discussion on the richest people in North Korea, let’s add a bit of brightness to what we’ve covered. So, North Korea’s usually seen as a country with tough times, but guess what? Not everyone there is struggling. 

In the capital, Pyongyang, a few rich and powerful people are living large, enjoying cool stuff like imported goodies, foreign shows, and even fancy surgeries. They’re called the “donju,” or the money bosses, doing their thing as business folks, politicians, or celebs. 

They also face challenges like restrictions, shake-ups, and some people not being too happy with them. Imagine being super rich but always having to prove yourself. So, the richest people in North Korea live this mix of luxury and uncertainty, a weird combo in a country with strict rules.

Ralph has shaped this website into a source for inquisitive readers looking for the latest information on Richest People, Net Worth, Top List (Luxury) and How to Make Money Online. He has over 5 years of experience in creating, managing and publishing lifestyle content online.

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