Research and Analysis on the DPRK Leadership
updated 23 January 2011
Political Bureau of the KWP Central Committee
The Political Bureau (Politburo) of the Party Central Committee is technically responsible for managing and coordinating the KWP’s political activities, as well as deliberating on current events and policies, between Central Committee plenums (which are technically supposed to be held every six months). According to the KWP’s by-laws the Political Bureau is required to meet once a month. The CC KWP General Affairs Department is responsible for the Political Bureau’s paperwork and communications traffic, in coordination with the CC KWP Document #120 Office and Kim Jong Il’s Personal Secretariat.
The Political Bureau is intended by the Party’s by-laws to be an interim authority between Party Central Committee plenums (“direct all party work on behalf of the Central Committee between plenary meetings”). From the CC KWP’s last plenum in December, 1993 to its September Plenary Meeting in September, 2010, Kim Jong Il utilized meetings of the Political Bureau (full and candidate members) to deliberate and devise party policy, in lieu of convening CC KWP plenums.
According to section 25 of Chapter 3 of the KWP Charter:
25. The Political Bureau and its Presidium of the party Central Committee organize and direct all party work on behalf of the party Central Committee between plenary meetings. The Political Bureau of the party Central Committee shall meet at least once every month.
Below are current full and candidate members of the Political Bureau as of 29 September 2010.
Of the Political Bureau’s total combined membership (including alternates): (a.) 10 are Vice Chairmen or Members of the National Defense Commission (b.) 11 hold the rank of at least Colonel General in the Korean People’s Army (c.) 14 are either (or concurrently) CC KWP Secretaries or Department Directors (d.) 8 hold security- or intelligence-related positions (e.) 6 are from the Cabinet or SPA Presidium.