Research and Analysis on the DPRK Leadership
The DPRK’s four major Workers’ Organizations held plenary meetings of their respective central committees on 3 February (Monday) and 4 February (Tuesday), according to DPRK state media. Three of the four meetings were held to discuss ways to “devotedly implement the important tasks set forth by supreme leader Kim Jong Un (Kim Cho’ng-u’n) in his New Year Address and more firmly establish the monolithic leadership system of the party.” At one meeting, the central committee chair (the head of the organization) was removed from office due to the incumbent’s longstanding ties to the DPRK’s former #2 official Jang Song Taek (Chang So’ng-t’aek).
The Korean Democratic Women’s Union [KDWU] held the 66th meeting of its central committee on 3 February. Attending the meeting were KDWU Central Committee members as participants and KDWU functionaries and officials attending as observes. Unlike the other Workers’ Orgs meetings, the KDWU was not reported to have dealt with Kim Jong Un’s New Year’s Address. Instead, the KDWU addressed an “organizational issue.” Ro Song Sil, who had ties to Jang Song Taek and Jang’s wife Kim Kyong Hui (Kim Kyo’ng-hu’i), was removed from office as KDWU Central Committee Chairwoman and was replaced by KDWU Central Committee member Kim Jong Sun.** Ro was also a member of the 12th Supreme People’s Assembly [SPA] Presidium (standing committee) and was a member Central Election Commission formed for the March 2014 election of deputies to the 13th Supreme People’s Assembly.
The General Federation of Trade Unions of Korea [GFTUK] held its 75th enlarged plenary meeting on 3 February. Attending the meeting were GFTUK members and alternate members, as well as GFTUK officials. Hyon Sang Ju, Chairman of the GFTUK Central Committee, delivered a report which was followed by speeches. According to KCNA the report and speeches said that “Kim Jong Un’s New Year Address serves as the important guidelines indicating the short-cut to ushering in the heyday of Military-First (So’ngun) Korea by raising a fierce wind of making a fresh leap forward on all fronts of building a thriving nation” and “noted that the trade union organizations at all levels should conduct the ideological education work of various forms and methods to positively arouse the trade union members to the grand advance to suit the mission of ideological education organizations.” The report and speeches also “stressed that the organizations will give top priority to the work to more firmly establish the monolithic leadership system of Kim Jong Un” and “underscored the need to make a tangible contribution to glorify this year as a year of grandiose struggle, a year of sea changes.”
The Kim Il Sung Socialist Youth League [KISYL] held its 52nd enlarged plenary meeting on 3 February (Monday). It was attended by KIYSL Central Committee members and alternates, as well as KISYL officials. Jon Yong Nam, Chairman of the KISYL Central Committee delivered a report, which was followed by speeches from KISYL members and officials. According to KCNA the report and speeches said that “Kim Jong Un’s New Year Address serves as the banner instilling into all service personnel and people the conviction of the rosy future of Kim Il Sung’s Korea and revolutionary self-confidence” and “underlined the need for the youth league organizations to more firmly establish the monolithic leadership system of Kim Jong Un.” The report and speeches also “underscored the need to strengthen the ideological and purposeful unity and revolutionary unity of the youth league ranks in every way, holding him in high esteem as the unitary center of unity and leadership” and said that the KISYL’s members and officials “should fully discharge their role as the vanguard and shock brigade in the drive for glorifying the glorious era of Kim Jong Un and building a thriving socialist nation under the uplifted banner of great Kimilsungism-Kimjongilism.”
The Union of Agricultural Workers of Korea held its 68th enlarged plenary meeting in Pyongyang on 4 February. Attending the meeting were UAWK officials and members and alternates of the UAWK Central Committee. UAWK Central Committee Chairman Ri Myong Gil delivered the meeting’s report, followed by speeches from UAWK members. According to KCNA, the report and speeches said “the meeting will mark an important occasion in giving play to the mental power of the officials of the UAWK and agricultural workers in the efforts to occupy without fail the grain goal set by the party this significant year marking the 50th anniversary of the theses on socialist rural question” and “underscored the need for UAWK organizations at all levels to dynamically conduct the ideological work in various forms and methods so that all members of the UAWK may become strong ones in the idea and faith stoutly carrying forward the lineage of Mt. Paektu in any adversity and true patriotic farmers upholding the party with rice, holding President Kim Il Sung and leader Kim Jong Il in high esteem forever.” The report and speeches “called upon UAWK organizations to take it as the lifeline to establish the monolithic leadership system of Marshal Kim Jong Un” and “stressed the need for UAWK officials and members to raise a fierce wind of making a fresh leap forward on the agricultural front, the major thrust for economic construction and improvement of the people’s standard of living, under the guidance of the great party and thus hit the grain production goal this year without fail.”
**While the new KDWU Central Committee Chairwoman Kim Jong Sun is known , the name “Kim Jong Sun” was one an alias for Kim Jong Un’s younger sister Kim Yo Jong (Kim Yo-cho’ng) when she lived abroad.**