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Party Conference Held

29 Sep

Kim Jong Un has been elected Vice Chairman of the Central Military Commission (along with GSD Chief, VMAR Ri Yong Ho).  Jang Song Taek was elected an alternate (candidate) member of the Political Bureau and a member of the CMC, while Kim Kyong Hui was elected a member of the Political Bureau.

Party Central Committee Members and Alternates

Kim Jong Un (seated, 2nd L) poses for a commemorative photograph at Kumsusan in September 2010. Among those in attendance are: VMAR Kim Yong Chun (seated L), VMAR Ri Yong Ho (seated, 2nd R), Jang Song Taek (standing, R) and Kim Yang Gon (standing 3rd R) (Photo: KCNA)

Political Bureau Presidium

Kim Jong Il

Kim Yong Nam

Choe Yong Rim

Jo Myong Rok

Ri Yong Ho

Political Bureau

Members of the Political Bureau:

Kim Jong Il, Kim Yong Nam, Choe Yong Rim, Jo Myong Rok, Ri Yong Ho, Kim Yong ChunJon Pyong Ho, Kim Kuk Thae, Kim Ki Nam, Choe Thae Bok, Yang Hyong Sop, Kang Sok Ju, Pyon Yong Rip, Ri Yong Mu, Ju Sang Song, Hong Sok Hyong and Kim Kyong Hui.

Alternate (candidate)  members:

Kim Yang Gon, Kim Yong Il, Pak To Chun, Choe Ryong Hae, Jang Song Thaek, Ju Kyu Chang, Ri Thae Nam, Kim Rak Hui, Thae Jong Su, Kim Phyong Hae, U Tong Chuk, Kim Jong Gak, Pak Jong Sun, Kim Chang Sop and Mun Kyong Dok


Kim Ki Nam

Choe Thae Bok

Choe Ryong Hae

Mun Kyong Dok

Pak To Chun

Kim Yong Il

Kim Yang Gon

Kim Phyong Hae

Thae Jong Su

Hong Sok Hyong

Kim Jong Un (Photo: Yonhap)

Central Military Commission


Kim Jong Il


Kim Jong Un and  Ri Yong Ho


Kim Yong Chun, Kim Jong Gak, Kim Myong Guk, Kim Kyong Ok, Kim Won Hong, Jong Myong Do, Ri Pyong Chol, Choe Pu Il, Kim Yong Chol, Yun Jong Rin, Ju Kyu Chang, Choe Sang Ryo, Choe Kyong Song, U Tong Chuk, Choe Ryong Hae and Jang Song Thaek

Control Commission


Kim Kuk Thae

Vice Chairmen

Jong Myong Hak (1st Vice Chairman)

Ri Tuk Nam


Cha Kwan Sok, Pak Tok Man, Cha Sun Gil and Kim Yong Son

Central Auditing Commission


Kim Chang Su

Vice Chair

Pak Myong Sun


Choe Pae Jin, Kim Chol, Sim Chol Ho, O Ryong Il, Kye Yong Sam, Ryu Hyon Sik, Ko Myong Hui, Pang Yong Uk, Jang Jong Ju, Ho Kwang Uk, Ji Tong Sik, Jong Pong Sok and Choe Kwon Su

DPRK Prepares for Military Parade

26 Sep

The Mirim Airport in east Pyongyang. Since July the KPA has reportedly been gathering personnel and equipment for what is expected to be the largest military parade in the DPRK's history. While no date for the parade has been announced, it seems to be part of the commemoration of the 65th anniversary of the Korean Workers' Party. (Photo: GoogleEarth)

The Korean People’s Army appears to be finalizing preparations for one of the DPRK’s largest military parades in its history.  The parade will occur in Pyongyang, possibly as part of the celebration of the 65th anniversary of the Korean Workers Party around 10 October.  Approximately 10,000 of the KPA have reportedly rehearsed for the parade.  Soldiers, mechanized combat vehicles and tanks have reportedly gathered near Mirim Airport in east Pyongyang, which has led observers to believe that this military parade will be double the previous size of similar events.

It is believed that the KPA has been gathering the personnel and equipment since July.  There were rumors of preparations for a military parade  in August.  It was reported by ITAR-TASS in August that DPRK officials purchased nine trotter horses from a Russian stud farm for use “in state celebrations and festivities.”  On another note; following official commemorations for the 50th anniversary of Kim Jong Il’s songun guidance in late August, KCTV re-aired (on consecutive evenings) military parades from the 1990s and 2000s.

A number of troops, missiles, armored vehicles and artillery rockets have been converging on the Mirim Airbase in Pyongyang since July 12, while as many as 10,000 soldiers have rehearsed for a parade that will be inspected by leader Kim Jong-il, the sources said, requesting anonymity.

The sources said it may become North Korea’s largest-ever military parade in that the number of troops mobilized is more than double the size in previous events.

“Judging from the current preparations, it is likely to be a large-scale event different from previous years,” said a source monitoring North Korea affairs.

The North’s powerful Workers’ Party plans to convene a rare conference of representatives on Tuesday and will also celebrate the 65th founding anniversary on Oct. 10.

Deferred Party Conference

19 Sep

The 25 April Culture Hall in Pyongyang was scheduled to be the setting for the 3rd Party Conference. Two weeks after delegates arrived in Pyongyang, the party conference has been postponed. (Photo: Google Earth)

Two weeks after party representatives began to assemble in Pyongyang, the 3rd Party Conference has been postponed.  The official reason for the cancellation is damage and loss of life caused by torrential floods and a typhoon in July and August.  Neither the postponement nor the start date have been announced, although it is speculated that the conference was rescheduled to occur before or after the celebration of the 65th anniversary of the Korean Workers’ Party in early October.  The 3rd Party Conference was scheduled to begin on or around 7 September.  The conference was expected to institutionalize (as a formality) bureaucratic and personnel changes in the party, as well as serve as a propaganda event to internally publicize the hereditary succession and create the cultural conditioning for a leadership shift to the late 2nd and 3rd generation of party and military leaders

Last week, it seemed the party conference was pushed back one week and would begin on or around 15 September.  Political essays and editorials in the DPRK press extolled the virtues of the Korean Workers’ Party and lauded the virtues of generations of Kim Family leadership.  There were accounts in the east Asian press of anonymous VIPs traveling to Pyongyang to attend the conference, or otherwise talking up the succession.  There were also reports that the party representatives were undergoing registration and credentialing process.

In citing storm damage, the regime can portray itself as sensitive to public opinion.  According to one report it was decided that inundated North Korean citizens (including party officials) would not look kindly upon the party depicting itself in a celebratory mood.   Many Pyongyang watchers think that storm damage is a cover story for postponing the conference due to one or more problems related to the succession, Kim Jong Il’s physical and/or mental health, or the country’s policy shifts with regard to the Six Party nuclear talks and its economy.

Policy considerations may be a factor in the conference’s postponement, particularly if hereditary succession horsetrading involves a nuclear or ballistic gesture.  It is also possible that the center is still paring down the personnel lists or revising the party mechanisms for succession.  It is also likely that there will be changes to the delegations of party representatives, which is to say some party representatives will not return to Pyongyang once the conference is rescheduled.  The substantial succession (i.e. Jang and O) proceeds.   Despite the rumors about competing constituencies on the succession issue, the biggest human obstacle to advancing the hereditary succession campaign isn’t an octogenarian hardliner general or a powerful party manager, but Kim Jong Il.

3rd Party Conference

3 Sep

From Korea Review (published 1974) According to a passage: "Kim Hyong Jik's unfinished revolutionary cause was carried forward and brought to brilliant consummation by his son...Kim Il Sung." In 2002 the regime revised "son" in this context (which referred to KJI) to "grandson."

The KWP Political Bureau (Politburo) announced on 26 June 2010 that it would convene a Party Conference or Meeting of Party Representatives.  According to two reports the conference will begin on 6 September, and end either on Wednesday, 8 September,  or Thursday, 9 September (which is also the 62nd anniversary of the foundation of the DPRK Government). 

Good Friends citing sources in the DPRK says that the Party Conference will begin on Saturday, 4 September, which is the day after the 7th anniversary of Kim Jong Il’s reinstallation as Chairman of the National Defense Commission at the 11th SPA in 2003.  5 September will mark the 12th anniversary of the opening plenum of the 10th SPA, which re-elected KJI as NDC Chairman, and made that position the DPRK’s highest government office.

According to the announcement,  the Party Conference’s two immediate agenda items will be reforming the party’s by-laws (“sacred revolutionary tasks to develop the WPK”) and Central Committee members (“a conference…for electing its highest leading body”).

"Greet the conference of the Workers' Party of Korea as an auspicious event which will shine forever in the history of our party and country!" (Photo: KCNA)

The Party Conference is a procedural affair, focusing on administrative matters.   According to Section 30 of Chapter 3 of the KWP Charter:

The party Central Committee may convene a party conference between party congresses.  The election procedures and ratio of representatives to party conference are decided by the party Central Committee.  The party conference shall discuss and decide on urgent problems of policies, strategies, and tactics of the party and shall expel those regular and alternate (candidate) members  of the party Central Committee who fail to perform their duties and elect new regular and alternate (candidate) members.

The last Party Conference was held from 5 to 12 October 1966.  On 12 October 1966, the CC KWP convened a plenum meeting in order to deliberate on, and implement, the changes introduced at the Party Conference.  The 2nd Party Conference was also followed by two significant purges: the Kapsan Faction in 1967 and the removal of the so-called “military adventurists” in 1968.

The 2nd Party Conference was ostensibly called so that the government could extend one of its economic plans until 1970.  Several candidate and full members of the Party Central Committee were dismissed, and replaced.  The most important changes to the DPRK’s system was the re-introduction of the Central Military Committee, so that the party could gain political control of the service branches of the Korean People’s Army.

The other major change was the introduction of the Secretariat system.  The 2nd Party Conference did away with a system of Party Chairman.  The KWP’s highest leading official’s title changed from Chairman to General Secretary.  The Secretariat system is the bureacratic mechanism by which Kim Jong Il succeeded his father.  It is also through the CC KWP Secretariat (as well as the Political Bureau) that Kim Jong Il has managed the party, and much of DPRK political life, for nearly two decades.  Those big, powerful party institutions–Organization Guidance, Propaganda and Agitation, Military Industry, even Office #39–are technically subordinate to the Secretariat.

The Secretariat and the Political Bureau are not intended to manage the party and set policy.  Decisions and guidance on policy are deliberated by the Political Bureau, the Secretariat and the National Defense Commission.  They are communicated through the CC KWP General Affairs Department and KJI’s Personal Secretariat, via the Organizaton Guidance Department (to party cadres, secretaries and managers), the MPAF General Political Department (to officers and service members of the KPA’s service branches) or the Propaganda and Agitation Department (to domestic and external audiences).  The DPRK is notorious for a “lack of transparency”; in the last 20 years, KJI has essentially smeared vaseline on frosted glass.

Kim Jong Il has operated outside of the KWP Charter and its by-laws for a number of years, which requires that a Central Committee plenum be held every six (6) months.  The last CC KWP plenum was held in December 1993.  The number of active, surviving Central Committee members are only estimates.

Jang Song Taek (Photo: KCNA)

The first order of business of the 3rd Party Conference will be to replenish the candidate and full membership of the Party Central Committee.  This offers KJI and Jang Song Taek the patronage opportunity of filling the CC KWP’s membership with supporters of the country’s new, external-oriented economic plans, as well as political backers of the hereditary succession of KJI’s youngest son, Kim Jong Un (Kim Jong Eun; Kim Cho’ng-u’n).  If Kim Jong Un is given any significant positions at the 3rd Party Conference, it will be as a member of the CC KWP.  It is possible that his election to the CC KWP won’t be publicized (at least to external observers) or done pseudonymously.

The 3rd Party Conference will also revive several of the party’s power institutions, whose membership has plummeted since the 6th Party Congress, including the Political Bureau and the Secretariat.  It is rumored that Kim Yong Nam, Jang Song Taek, Choe Yong Rim and VMAR Kim Yong Chun will join the Standing Committee of the CC KWP Political Bureau.  At the present time, Kim Jong Il is the sole surviving member of this body.  It is also rumored that Jang Song Taek (and not Kim Jong Un) will be elected as the party’s Organization Secretary.

It is also possible that CC KWP Secretary of Economic Affairs, Han Song Ryong, will be replaced (candidates might include Thae Jong Su or Hong Sok Hyong, who are both former provincial party secretaries recently reassigned to the Central Party).  Of advanced age and with a history of health problems, Han has not appeared in the country’s media for some time.  The regime may also choose to highlight his long years of service and good standing, by giving him an honorific title (as was done with KIS youngest brother, Kim Yong Ju who is Honorary Vice President of the SPA Presidium).

Kim Jong Un

One possible power body to which Kim Jong Un may ascend is the party’s Central Control Committee, which regulates party disciplinary and membership issues (n.b., whether Pak Nam Gi  was internally exiled or executed, his file passed through the Control Committee as a formality).  The Control Committee could be one venue (OGD is another) where Jong Un could control his base of support because he would be directly regulating party membership; those who are not “with the program” could be expelled from the party and conversely, he could grant clemency to suspended or dismissed party members (particularly DPRK expatriates who have resided in China since 1993).

Despite the layer cake of personalities and institutions cooked up at the 3rd Party Conference, the proceedings will be underscored by the revival of party life, which has deteriorated in the KJI era, due to economic activities and the regime’s emphasis on Songun (military-first) ideology and Army-People Unity.  Participation and attendance in Party Cell meetings has declined, if even held.  The Party Cell, once the cornerstone of party life, was also the regime’s primary social control mechanism.

Since Jang Song Taek’s formal return to the power center, KCNA has highlighted in 2008, 2009 and 2010, another aspect of party life for party cadres and government workers: Friday labor.  Friday labor was introduced in the 1970s and consists of the mobilization Pyongyang-based party and government workers performing manual labor.  The party’s economic journal published an extensive editorial about party management in the workplace.   Another element of party life was highlighted during KJI’s birthday festivities in February, when members of the KIS Youth League retraced part of KIS’ factualized odyssey from Pyongyang to China.

Kim Jong Il’s sojourn through northeast China in August 2010 was an example (albeit a supreme one) of party life, which in part requires that good party members to participate in pilgrimages to revolutionary sites connected to the late Kim Il Sung.  KJI actually traversed  (or railroaded) the Chinese side of KIS’ youthful meandering.  His trip paralleled that taken by party and military groups throughout 2010 to a monument erected to commemorate the 50th anniversary of Songun leadership.  The reiteration of party life,  as well as the ultimate objective of the Party Conference, will be to advance succession by historicizing Kim Jong Il.

One further note; while it is possible Kim Jong Un will appear at the 3rd Party Conference, it is not the only event in September or October where he could make an appearance.  He could appear during events commemorating the foundation of the DPRK (9 September), the death of Kim Jong Suk (22 September) or during the anniversary of the KWP in October.  If KJU does not appear at the Party Conference or on foundation day, one might look for succession indications during the KJS commemoration.

Part of the revolutionary site dedicated to KJI's songun (military-first) leadership (Photo: KCNA)

KJI Goes to China

30 Aug

Chinese President Hu Jintao (R) meets with Kim Jong Il, top leader of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK), in Changchun, capital of northeast China's Jilin Province, Aug. 27, 2010. (Xinhua/Ju Peng)

Kim Jong Il has visited the PRC for the second time this year.  Among the issues discussed were the 6 Party Talks, increased economic and cultural exchange and border issues (including the recent flooding).  While traveling through China, Kim Jong Il visited several historic sites that are part of the DPRK’s official history.  With the 3rd Party Conference about ten days away and the regime’s decision to reiterate Party Life, KJI seems to be walking his own road of the people’s revolution.

KJI was joined by, among others : Jang Song Taek (NDC Vice Chairman; brother in law; successor; Taepung Group); VMAR Kim Yong Chun (NDC Vice Chairman; Minister of the People’s Armed Forces); Kim Ki Nam (Party Secretary; propaganda boss); Tae Jong Su (CC KWP Department Director; Vice Premier); Kim Yong Il (CC KWP Department Director); Kang Sok Ju (Senior Vice Minister MOFA); Kim Yang Gon (NDC Councilor; director, United Front Department; Taepung Group).  Based on his previous travel habits it is likely KJI was joined by at least two of his children (also, given the party jobs they hold).

Steve at Northeast Asia Matters has an excellent summary of KJI’s trip from KSG Nightwatch:

The proximity of this visit to the Party general meeting in early September is the basis for the inference that Kim’s visit is related to the process of introducing his third son to the Chinese leadership and showing him around and off.

While KJI was wrapping up his trip on Saturday, KCNA reported that a dancing party of youths took place “across the DPRK”:

They danced beautiful dances to the tune of merry melodies with the honor and pride of glorifying the history and tradition of the glorious Juche-based youth movement, being blessed with the illustrious leaders generation after generation.

When “Fortune of Korea,” “Our General Is the Best” and other songs resounded forth, the places of dancing parties were filled with profound thanks and trust in leader Kim Jong Il who trained and put forward the youth as reliable successors to the Songun revolutionary cause.

Photo: Yonhap

Thae Jong Su (L) with KJI (Photo: CCTV)

KJI with Kim Yong Chun (R), NDC Vice Chairman and Minister of the People's Armed Forces (Photo: CCTV)

Kim Yong Chun (L), Kim Ki Nam and Kim Yong Il

Kim Yang Gon (L), Jang Song Taek (C) and Kang Sok Ju (R)

Pak Pong Ju’s Return

23 Aug

Pak (L) in China in 2006 (Photo: Xinhua)

Technocrat Pak Pong Ju, who served as DPRK Premier from 2003 to 2007, has taken the position of deputy (vice) director of the CC KWP Light Industry Department.  His presence at the 50th anniversary of the Okryu Restauarant, broadcasted by KCBS, identified a man of the same name holding that position.  On 15 August 2010 Mainichi Shimbun, citing informed sources, reported on Pak’s return to the central party.  He previously served as deputy director of the Light Industry Department in December 1993.  Pak has had ties to Kim Kyong Hui, and Jang Song Taek, for nearly three decades.

Pak was rumored to have attended an opulent wedding, along with other members of Jang’s political machine, who were subsequently dismissed or demoted from their positions.  Pak was more likely dismissed due to his connections to the 2 July Decree, as well as his advocacy for business and labor laws.  He seems to be part of a group of technocratic political managers, congregated in the central party, who will implement the DPRK’s new external economic policies.  Pak Pong Ju is likely tied to the country’s new economic laws announced by KCNA on 13 August.

Pak was appointed Premier at the 11th SPA in 2003.  He was accused of misappropriation of funds, suspended in June 2006 and formally replaced (“recalled”) in April 2007 by Kim Yong Il.  From 1998 to 2003 Pak was the Minister of Chemical Industry.  He was a party political manager of the country’s chemical industry when he was appointed as Kim Kyong Hui’s deputy in the early 1990s.  He participated in the consolidation of the Light Industry Department into the party Economic Policy Inspection Department, where he was deputy director until 1998.

After he was removed as Premier, Pak returned to his earlier position of party factory manager.

Party Conference a Coronation?

11 Aug

Kim Jong Un, when he attended the International School of Berne

The 3rd Party Conference (which may begin on 6 September) is one event that will facilitate the leadership system which will eventually replace Kim Jong Il at the power center.  It is not clear to what offices Kim Jong Un (Kim Ch’ong-u’n; Kim Jong Eun) will be elected in September.  It is also not clear what kind of power Jong Un currently has, or will have as a result of the Party Conference.  In a Korea Herald interview with Kim So-hyun, Cheong Seong-chang of the Sejong Institute offers some analysis about the upcoming Party Conference, as well as how he perceives the current power dynamic in Pyongyang.  While one may have a quibble or two with Cheong’s theory, his remarks provide a good survey of KJI’s current brain trust.

The young heir began running the country’s secret police agency, which oversees and therefore controls the country’s power elite, according to Cheong Seong-chang, senior fellow of the inter-Korean relations studies program at Sejong Institute.

“As the successor, Jong-un was given extralegal authority as the country’s No. 2 in command of the Workers’ Party and the military last year,” Cheong said.

“From the summer of 2009, all official reports made to Kim Jong-il went through Jong-un.”

Cheong predicted that the Workers’ Party representatives will appoint to the party’s key positions Jong-un and others who will help him tighten his grip on the country’s military and the whole society.

The North said it will convene a meeting of party representatives to elect members of the party’s “supreme leadership,” which means the party’s Central Committee.

“One of the posts Jong-un could assume is the organizational secretary of the party’s Central Committee, who wields the greatest power on the committee,” Cheong said.

As the next in throne, the young man consults a number of high-profile officials or minions of his father that safeguard the Kim family’s dictatorship.

Jong-un’s uncle Jang Song-thaek tutors him on the country’s finances and relations with China while Kim Young-choon is in charge of the military. Jang and Kim Young-choon are two of the four vice chairmen of the National Defense Commission, the country’s de facto supreme guiding organ.

Jong-un consults O Kuk-ryol, another NDC vice chairman, on operations against South Korea, Joo Kyu-chang on the North’s defense industry, Woo Dong-cheuk on international counter-espionage operations, Joo Sang-song on public security, Cho Myong-rok and Kim Jong-gak on military politics, and Lee Yong-moo on the private sector. All of them are members of the NDC, “elected” to their posts in April 2009.

Kang Sok-ju handles the country’s relations with the U.S,. although he is not on the 12-person NDC, the chairman of which is Kim Jong-il.

Cheong portended that most of the NDC officials will be nominated to the party’s Central Committee early next month.

“Jong-un could take on as a member of Central Military Committee as he is already referred to as ‘the young general,’ or a standing member of the Politburo,” Cheong said.

“Then the joint leadership of Kim Jong-il and Jong-un, in which the father has stronger power than his son, will quickly shift to vice versa where the heir wields greater influence on all state affairs with the exception of diplomacy and policies on South Korea.”

The patrons of the young general have taken paths similar to that of communist figures such as Oh Jin-woo and Choi Kwang who supported Kim Jong-il when he was preparing to succeed his father Kim Il-sung.

Kim Jong-il’s brother-in-law Jang Song-thaek serves as the administrations bureau chief of the Workers’ Party and was promoted to vice chairman of the NDC in June.

Jang manages the finances of the NDC, the Cabinet and the security organs controlled by the NDC such as the secret police, the military intelligence unit, the prosecution and the court. He is also known to be responsible for North Korea’s relations with China.

Often referred to as the “bridge” between Kim Jong-il and Jong-un, Jang is predicted to act as the regent of his nephew.

The North Korean military, which was previously controlled by Kim Jong-il’s direct orders, came under defense minister Kim Young-choon’s command in April 2009.

Kim Young-choon controls the nation’s troops for conventional warfare while Kim Jong-il supervises the strategic troops that deal with missiles and nuclear weapons.

Chief of the Workers’ Party’s operations bureau O Kuk-ryol serves as the Kim regime’s strategist who holds sway over the top special forces and the specially trained agents that operate overseas.

First deputy chief of the politburo Kim Jong-gak was appointed as an NDC member in April last year and assists Jong-un from a close range. He reportedly directed the execution of Park Nam-ki, former chief of the party’s financial planning, who allegedly planned to integrate moneymaking companies run by the military into the Workers’ Party. Park was blamed for the failure of the country’s currency reform last year.

Does the Morningstar General’s attention extend to assisting disaster response efforts in North Pyongan?  In a 2 August (Monday) KCBS report on flood relief efforts, the KCBS’ reporter interviewed, “Comrade Kim Chong-un, an official of the North Pyongan Provincial People’s Committee,” who then proceeded to detail flood damage to the local area.

A promotional poster for the 3rd Party Conference released in July 2010:"The conference of Party representatives: With a high degree of political enthusiasm and admirable labor achievements!" (Photo: KCNA)

Office #39: Here Today, Censored Tomorrow

11 Aug

Deputy (Vice) Director of Office #39, Jon Il Chun, attending one of Kim Jong Il's visits in February, 2010. (Photo: KCNA)

The PRC press seems to have treated Office #39 (Room 39; Third Floor) as the kind of front company 39 controls: here today, and gone tomorrow.  KBS reported yesterday that The People’s Daily published an online story that listed Office #39 as “fourth among the world world’s ten most restricted areas.”  It was also identified as “the key political economic dyansty” in the DPRK.  After KBS report appeared, the article was unavailable.  KBS reports:

The People’s Daily of China says North Korea’s top-secret Bureau 39 is the key political and economic organization of the dynasty in the North.

The official newspaper of the Communist Party of China made the statement in its online edition Wednesday, saying that the Bureau 39 building of the North’s Workers’ Party of Korea ranks fourth among the world’s top ten most restricted areas.

The report added that the bureau has set up ten to 20 accounts in China and Switzerland and has been engaged in illegal activities, including counterfeiting and money laundering.

According to the report, it has been confirmed that the bureau has been involved in drug smuggling and illegal dealings of weapons.

The report, however, was taken off the Internet after it was covered by KBS.

Party Conference to Be Jong Un’s Quiet Succession?

9 Aug

Kim Jong Un may be elected to the Party Central Committee at the 3rd Party Conference in September

The 3rd Party Conference (which may occur from 6 to 9 September) may be one event facilitating the hereditary succession system of Kim Jong Un (Kim Ch’ong-u’n; Kim Jong Eun).  Anonymous sources told Kyodo News that Kim Jong Il’s youngest son could be elected a member of the Party (KWP) Central Committee.  Kyodo also reports that Jong Un’s uncle, NDC Vice Chairman and CC KWP Administration Director Jang Song Thaek, may be elected to the Party Political Bureau (Politburo).  Kim Jong Un’s complete accession may not be complete until 2012.  It is possible that the Party Conference will be a low-key affair in terms of domestic media coverage, and that Jong Un’s advancement will go unannounced, given Kim Jong Il’s instruction to keep the succession on the “quiet” side.

Jang Song Thaek may be elected to the Political Bureau at the 3rd Party Conference in September, 2010. (Photo: KCNA)

A propaganda official is shown teaching the lyrics of "Footsteps" on a cooperative farm. Kim Jong Il had ordered that performing the song be halted to make the hereditary succession campaign less obstrusive (KCNA)

Kyodo reports:

It is believed that at the meeting Kim Jong Un will be elected as a member of the party’s Central Committee. He is also expected to be elected as a member of the party’s Political Bureau Presidium at a Central Committee general meeting, which is to be held shortly after the gathering of core delegates, the sources said.

Jang Song Thaek, director of the Administration Department of the Central Committee, is also likely to be elected as a member of the Political Bureau Presidium at the Central Committee general meeting, according to the sources.

Currently, Kim Jong Il, 68, is the only member of the presidium.

Jang, the brother-in-law of Kim Jong Il who is believed to be a guardian of Kim Jong Un, was promoted to vice chairman of the National Defense Commission in June.

Even if Kim Jong Un joins the party leadership, it is highly unlikely that North Korea will announce such a move.

As the next step, the sources said, the party is expected to convene a congress — its top decision-making forum — in 2012 and Kim Jong Un is likely to be officially appointed as Kim Jong Il’s successor then.

A party congress has not been held since the 6th session in 1980, at which Kim Jong Il made an official debut as successor to the country’s founder, his father Kim Il Sung.

North Korea has set a goal of ”opening the gate to a great, prosperous and powerful socialist nation” in 2012, the centenary of the birth of Kim Il Sung.

While Kim Jong Un is expected to strengthen his standing at the party in the coming years, he is believed to be trying to build an unshakable power base by winning loyalty from the military.

"Greet the conference of the Workers' Party of Korea as an auspicious event which will shine forever in the history of our party and country!" (Photo: KCNA)

Shin Joo Hyun writes about an analysis of DPRK media in Daily NK:

Rodong Shinmun, it explained, employed the phrase “the Party Center” in its June 30th edition for the first time in 16 years, while Chosun People’s Army employed it in a particularly prominent manner on May 15th.

In that edition of the publication, a three verse song entitled “Let’s defend the Party Center with our lives!” was featured alongside a full-page image of the marching military. This song, which conveys a sense of the absolute need to preserve Kim Jong Il’s safety at any cost, spread throughout society and the military during the 1980s after Kim Jong Il was publicly announced as the official successor to Kim Il Sung at the Workers’ Party Congress of October, 1980.

In the same issue, Chosun People’s Army reminded readers what Kim Jong Il had himself emphasized, “The People’s Army should continue to hold on to the slogan, ‘Defend the Party Center with our lives,’ as we did in the past.”

Ponghwa-ri, a town in Kangdong County, Pyongyang, which is home to one revolutionary historic site is also reportedly the locale for a historic site dedicated to Kim Jong Un (Google Earth)

Kim Il Sung and Kim Jong Il at the 6th Party Congress in October 1980. The Party Congress was Kim Jong Il's public introduction and confirmation as successor to Kim Il Sung (Photo: Foreign Languages Publishing/KCNA)


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