Kim Yong-nam (born February 4, 1928), also romanised as Kim Yong Nam, is the North Korean Chairman of the Presidium of the Supreme People's Assembly, a position he has held since 1998. He was elected a member of the presidium of the politburo of the central committee of the Workers' Party of Korea in 2010.
Yong-nam was born in the Central District Heijo (now called Pyongyang) on February 4, 1928. After graduating from a university, he worked as a teacher at the central party school, vice-department director of the WPK Central Committee, vice-minister of foreign affairs, and first vice-department director, department director and secretary of the WPK Central Committee, vice-premier of the administration council and concurrently minister of Foreign Affairs.
As chairman of the Presidium, he is considered the de facto head of state of North Korea. Even though he's not de jure head of state of North Korea (as no such office exists), Yong-nam accepts the credentials of ambassadors, conducts foreign relations and signs treaties. He has held this office since 5 September 1998, and he previously served as foreign minister from 1983 to 1998. Yong-nam represents North Korea on all state visits and receives visiting heads of state. In theory, he, Premier Choe Yong-rim, and National Defense Commission Chairman Kim Jong-un form a tripartite executive, each having powers equal to a third of a president's in Presidential systems, controlling foreign relations, government and domestic affairs, and defense, respectively. In practice, Jong-un, like his father Kim Jong-il before him, exercises absolute control over the country, and the Chairman of the Presidium is considered a junior position.