Research and Analysis on the DPRK Leadership
The Workers’ Party of Korea [WPK] Committee of the Korean People’s Army [KPA] Conference was held at the Ministry of the People’s Armed Forces [MPAF] teaching hall in Pyongyang during April 12 (Tuesday) and April 13 (Wednesday). Attending the meeting were members of the KPA high command, senior officials of the KPA General Political Department and delegates (party representatives) elected from KPA units to attend the KPA party conference.
Prior to the election of members of the KPA’s party committee and delegates and observers to the 7th Party Congress, meeting speakers “recalled that since the Sixth Congress of the WPK, the KPA has grown to the army of the leader and the party faithfully carrying forward the bloodline of Paektu under the outstanding and seasoned leadership of the great Generalissimos Kim Il Sung (Kim Il-so’ng) and Kim Jong Il (Kim Cho’ng-il) and respected Supreme Commander Kim Jong Un (Kim Cho’ng-u’n)” and they stressed that “the KPA is demonstrating its might as an elite powerful revolutionary army thanks to the immortal So’ngun (military-first) revolutionary leadership exploits of the great leaders and the supreme commander, referring to the successes and experience gained in past work.”
The KPA’s party representatives then elected the leadership of the KPA Party Committee, as well as delegates and observer participants to the 7th Party Congress. Vice Marshal Hwang Pyong So, Director of the KPA General Political Department, spoke about nominating Kim Jong Un as one of the KPA’s delegates to the party congress, saying “Kim Jong Un’s election as delegate to the Seventh Congress of the WPK is an expression of absolute trust and intense loyalty by all party members and service personnel of the KPA.” VMAR Hwang “proposed” electing Jong Un as a delegate “reflecting the unanimous will and desire of all participants in the conference and service personnel.” Jong Un’s nomination was supported by other speeches which “fully supported the proposal” and was “adopted with unanimous approval.” According to KCNA, also elected as delegates and observers to the party congress were “officers and service personnel who have devoted themselves to battle preparations and to the work for bolstering up the combat capability of the KPA.”
DPRK state media reported on April 13 (Wednesday) that party conferences were held at the city (municipal), urban district [kuyo’k]) and county committee levels. The party conference delegates were previous elected by party conferences and assemblies of basic party organizations (i.e., primary party organizations, branch party organizations and sub-primary party organizations), and drawn from residential areas, factories, cooperative farms and other production sites.
The city (municipal), urban district and county party conferences discussed “the work done by the city and county party committees” and decided “on the tasks for dynamically pushing forward the modeling of the whole society on Kimilsungism-Kimjongilism and bringing earlier the final victory in the drive for building a thriving nation by consolidating the party organizations and fully displaying their militant might as required by the developing reality when the revolutionary cause of Chuch’e has entered the phase of a leap forward on the basis of the successes and experience gained in the past work.” The city and county party committees also reviewed “the work of the city and county party auditing commissions.”
The party committee conferences then elected leaders (chief secretaries, vice secretaries, propaganda officers, etc.) of the city (municipal), urban district and county party committees. Also elected were delegates (party representatives), largely “officials and party members of merit” to attend provincial party conferences.
The KPA’s party conference is the first reported gathering at which delegates were elected to the 7th Party Congress. Based on DPRK state media reporting, the process of holding county and municipal party conferences (lower-echelon party organizations) is complete. The next phase will be holding provincial party conferences The ratio and composition of the representatives (party representatives) provincial party conferences is determined by provincial party committees “in accordance with the standards set by the Party [WPK] Central Committee.” The provincial party conferences will then elect delegates to the 7th Party Congress. At the same time, party conferences will be held by the party committees of the DPRK Cabinet, the Ministry of Railways, the Ministry of Culture and the Korean People’s Internal Security Forces. Once the slate of 7th Party Congress delegates have been elected at these party conferences, it will pass to the WPK Organization Guidance Department and the WPK Central Committee for the delegate qualification screening process. Given that provincial party conferences and institutional party conferences, except that of the KPA, have not yet convened, the 7th Party Congress will happen between around the middle of May.