Archive for the ‘Office 10’ Category

Know the Party before Getting to Know Kim Jong Il

Wednesday, October 8th, 2008

Daily NK
Namgung Min

As rumors regarding Kim Jong Il’s illness surfaced during North Korea’s 60th anniversary celebrations, opinion was divided on whether the military or the Party will rise in power post-Kim Jong Il.

It is true that the power of the military rose post-Kim Il Sung, according to the “military-first” political line. The National Defense Commission (NDC) began leading various agencies and councils, and came to hold greater power because Kim Jong Il was introduced as the National Defense Commission Chairman during North-South Summits.

Thus, the National Defense Commission under military-first politics began to appear to be North Korea’s sole power base, as news on general-level promotions was released publicly by the National Defense Commission.

However, despite military-first politics, it remains the Chosun (North Korea) Workers’ Party that fundamentally controls the North Korean regime. Therefore, in order to understand the North Korean regime, one must understand the Chosun Workers’ Party.

Upcoming October 10th is the founding anniversary of this most important of organizations. The eyes of the world are focused on whether Kim Jong Il will appear on this day or not.

Therefore, it is time to closely examine what the Chosun Workers’ Party does and how it controls the North Korean regime.

The Korean Workers’ Party claims to be the direct heir to the North Korean Branch of the Chosun Communist Party that was established during “The Chosun Communist Party Convention of Leaders and Devotees of the 5 Northwest Provincial Party Committees” held on October 10th, 1945. Hence the founding date is October 10th. In April, 1946 the name was changed to the North Chosun Communist Party, which then became the Chosun (North Korean) Workers’ Party after being merged with Chosun New People’s Party in August of the same year.

North Korea is operated under the leadership of the Chosun Workers’ Party, as previously seen in other socialist countries; the nation’s power is concentrated in the Party. This implies that as the Party controls the country, the country is evolving into a socialist society and from there into a communist society.

The Workers’ Party, venerable as it is, not only holds the highest position of authority in North Korea but thus stands above other national agencies, organizations or the military.

I. The positions and roles of the Chosun Workers’ Party

The positions and roles of the Workers’ Party are described in detail in the “Rules and Regulations of the KWP,” “Ten Principals for the Party’s Unique Ideological System” and the “Socialist Constitution of North Korea.”

It is written in Article 11 of the Socialist Constitution, amended in 1998, that “The DPRK shall conduct all activities under the leadership of the Workers’ Party.” Furthermore, the Workers’ Party is stated to be an organ that controls other agencies and organizations as the highest revolutionary organization leading all other working organs.

However, the socialist constitution and the rules of the Party are only for the purpose of propagating the notion of the rationality and legitimacy of North Korea abroad while concealing a dictatorship. The reality within North Korea is completely different from the actual contents of the constitution.

In actuality, the socialist constitution and the rules and regulations of the Party defines that all sectors such as government, military, administration, judiciary, and even public prosecutor’s office are led by the Party, while being utilized as the apparatus for Kim Jong Il’s Stalinist dictatorship. That is, the regulations recognize the Party’s leadership of the country and simultaneously state that the Party can only be operated and led by Kim Il Sung and Kim Jong Il.

The Workers’ Party in legal terms is an organ that guides North Koreans, but in reality it is only an organ under the iron command of the supreme Leader. Therefore, the Leader stands in the highest position, above the Party, nation and sovereign organs.

II. The structure and functions of the Chosun Workers’ Party

The utmost decision-making organ of the Workers’ Party is the National Party Congress.

According to the rules and regulations of the Party, all decision making of the Party regarding policies, strategies, and tactics should be passed through the National Party Congress. However, in actuality the Party Congress only rubber stamps the decisions that were already made by the Central Committee of the Party.

It is theoretically a ground rule that the Party Congress meets once every 5 years. The first congressional meeting was held in August 1946, the Congress met for the 6th time in October 1980, but has failed to meet since; 28 years. The fact that the Congress is not meeting regularly signifies that the regime system is not operating according to accepted principles of socialist states in the past.

If the Congress fails to meet, the Central Committee of the Party functions as the highest decision-making organ. The Central Committee should meet and discuss issues once every 6 months.

During these meetings, the General Secretary, committee members and the Presidium of the Politburo and committee members of the Central Committee of the Party should be elected. The Central Committee also has the authority to organize the Secretariat and the Central Military Commission.

However, even these twice annual meetings have not been held since the 21st meeting of the 6th cohort in 1993. When the meetings are not held, then the Politburo needs to take authority. However, the Secretariat of the Central Committee, whose General Secretary is currently Kim Jong Il, currently does so.

The highest organ in a communist society is officially the Presidium of the Politburo. In North Korea, Kim Jong Il is the only left in the presidium after the deaths of Kim Il Sung and Oh Jin Woo. This is why North Korea is sometimes called a totalitarian state. In the Chinese government, the Politburo presidium is properly functioning and decisions are made here. From a “democratic” perspective, the Chinese Communist Party and the Chosun Workers’ Party are completely different.

In any case, within the Secretariat of the Central Committee there are specialty departments such as the Guidance Department, Propaganda and Agitation Departments, and the United Front Department, and it also includes departments that supply secret funding to Kim Jong Il such as the 38th and 39th Departments.

The provincial organs of the Party consist of party committees of provinces, cities and counties that even include the most basic low-level party committees such as elementary party committees and sector party committees.

The structure of the Workers’ Party can also be divided into permanent party organs and temporary collective leadership groups. The permanent party organs include all members who work in any specialty departments, from the Central Committee down to low-level provincial party organs. Temporary collective leadership groups signify councils of high-level or low-level leaders of the central and provincial organs, made to implant permanent authority within the society through various meetings.

There are approximately 4,000,000 members of the Workers’ Party, including Kim Jong Il, high-level officials to low-level members, and figures from the legislature, judiciary, and the administration.

III. Main Departments and Their Roles

The main government complex of the Central Committee of the Worker’s Party is located in Changkwang-dong, Joong-district of Pyongyang. There are many buildings in the complex which include Kim Jong Il’s personal office and most of the Central Committee departments.

The second government complex is located in Junseung-dong, Moranbong-district of Pyongyang. The Social Culture Department, United Front Department and Operations Department are included in this complex.

The Workers’ Party has placed all specialty departments under the authority of the Secretariat, to function as restriction and guidance on all areas of the party members, citizens and North Korea. There is a Guidance Department that observes party members then there are other departments that exercise political functions.

The Guidance Department actualizes party guidance and restraint within communities. The department functions as Kim Jong Il’s right hand and as the core department by restraining the lives of all officials, members and citizens within the party.

The Guidance Department sub-divides into the inspection department, official department, party-member registration department, administration department and a communication department that allows direct reports regarding any incident or accident. The Guidance Department also manages the judiciary and the public prosecutor’s office.

The inspection department is responsible for inspecting any anti-party, non-party, undisciplined or unreasonable activities that develop within the regime or leadership of the Party and report to Kim Jong Il. The Guidance Department inspection section is strictly separated from other departments and North Korean party members or officials are all fearful of it.

There are approximately 20 specialty departments such as the Propaganda and Agility Department, the 38th and 39th Departments to supply fund to Kim Jong Il, the United Front Department dealing with South Korea, the International Department, the Science Education Department, and the Operations Department that carry out political activities.

Currently the Korean Workers’ Party is in the middle of the process of replacing 1st or 2nd generation leaders with 3rd or 4th generation, often more practical, personnel.


Photos of Kim Jong Il’s Brother, Kim Pyong Il and Recent Visits

Wednesday, May 9th, 2007

Daily NK
Kim Song A


Photos of Kim Jong Il’s half-brother, Kim Pyong Il and the North Korean ambassador in Poland were recently made public.

Kim Pyong Il’s daughter, Eung Song and son, In Kang who have until now lived a sheltered and private life are also exposed in the photos. They are Kim Jong Il’s niece and nephew.

The photos were first released in March on Poland’s City of Narew homepage. The photos show Kim Pyong Il, his children and city officials making visitations to industrial sites, exhibitions, museums and participating recreational activities. In reference to the photos, it seems that these events took place on February 10.

Throughout the past, North Korea has maintained economic and cultural exchanges through the Korean Friendship Association with various countries in the East-European bloc. The events that took place on this day were organized by the association with North Koreans residing in Poland also participating in the occasion.

The homepage showed photos of Kim Il Pyong Il visiting NARMET Pty Ltd, his son, In Kang playing a game of table tennis and daughter Eun Song playing the piano.

Through the photos of Kim Pyong Il, you can see an exact resemblance of his father, though a “younger Kim Il Sung.” His two children are known to have completed a Masters degree in Poland and look healthy and well in appearance.

Kim Jong Il has one younger sister Kim Kyung Hee (married to Jang Sung Taek) as well as half-brothers (to different mothers) Kim Pyong Il, Kim Young Il (deceased 2000) and half-sister Kim Kyung Jin (51, married to Kim Kwang Sup, Ambassador to Austria). After being appointed as the successor in 1974, Kim Jong Il sent his brothers and sisters to work at alternative foreign departments so that they could not interfere with his power.

According to elite North Korean officials, there was a time where Kim Il Sung had considered appointing his succession to his three sons, “Jong Il, the Party, Pyong Il, the military and the government to Young Il.” However, after winning a power conflict with his uncle Kim Young Joo, Kim Jong Il ousted his uncle to Jagang province and sent his other siblings including Pyong Il to other departments where they could not come near of his power.

Kim Pyong Il was born on August 10 1954 and graduated from Kim Il Sung University with a major in economics. Following, he was appointed a high rank position and after passing the Kim Il Sung National War College, began working as a battalion commander at the guards headquarters. Once it was confirmed that Kim Jong Il would succeed his father, Kim Pyong Il left Pyongyang in 1979 to work at the North Korean Embassy in Yugoslavia. Around the same time, Kim Kyung Jin left with her husband for Czechoslovakia and Kim Young Il to East Germany.

In 1988, Kim Pyong Il was appointed Ambassador for Hungary but as soon as South Korea and Hungary developed amiable relations in December that year, he was re-appointed as the Ambassador to Bulgaria. Then in 1998, he became the official Ambassador to Poland where he has continued his services until now.

Kim Pyong Il’s wife is Kim Soon Geum. It is the first time that photos of their daughter Eun Song and son, In Kang, have been exposed to the public. When Kim Jong Il and his first wife Kim Young Sook had their first daughter, Kim Il Sung named the child “Sul Song.” When Kim Kyung Hee had her first daughter, she was named “Geum Song.” Similarly, it seems that Kim Il Sung named Kim Pyong Il’s first daughter, “Eun Song.” Kim Kyung Hee’s first daughter Jang Geum Song was known to have committed suicide last year in France as her parents opposed a marital proposal.

Of North Korea’s central committee under the Workers’ Party, the office 10 is known for regulating, controlling and being responsible for Kim Jong Il’s half-siblings.

Kim Pyong Il: North Korea’s Man in Poland
Daily NK
Nicolas Levi

In February 2005, when I met Kim Pyong Il in Poland for the first time, he told me that he favored ameliorating the human consequences of the division of Korea.

Afterwards he started to talk to the other people present there in a room at the North Korean embassy; one of them later told me that Kim Pyong Il is usually very discrete, and is rarely present at receptions in other embassies in Warsaw. He generally only goes to the Chinese and Russian embassies, and sometimes to the Romanian and Algerian ones as well. North Korea was a model for both communist Romania under Ceaucescu and Algeria, that’s why the North Korean ambassador has special ties with those countries. In addition, Shaif Badr Abdullah Qaid, the last Yemeni ambassador in Warsaw studied in Pyongyang in the 70’s and became Kim’s good friend; their conversations dealt with life in North Korea, but never about the private life of half brother of Kim Jong Il.

In February 2006, I had occasion to talk with Kim Pyong Il again during a reception on Kim Jong Il’s birthday. During this meeting I saw a confident Kim Pyong Il, happy in Poland. However our conversation remained very diplomatic; Kim agreed that Korea should be reunified peacefully.

I never talked with Kim In Kang (26), Kim Pyong Il’s son, but I did have the chance to meet his daughter Kim Eung Song (28) some 10 times, both with her friends and face to face. She was a very open person. She was not only a nice girl; she also had impressive languages-skills (she is fluent in English, Polish, French and presumably Russian). She had a great social life in Poland with many friends. However, her father ordered her to return to Pyongyang in 2007, where she was supposed to marry the son of a North Korean General. She refused for a time, but finally went back to the North Korean capital.

Kim Sun Gum (56), the wife of Kim Pyong Il is a very discreet person, and rarely talks to others. Theirs was an arranged marriage. The wedding was personally organized by Kim Il Sung. It is said that she has a political background; her family apparently comes from the special services.

The last time I met Kim Pyong Il, in February 2009, I told him that I was preparing a doctoral thesis about his extended family (Kim Il Sung has two official wives: Kim Jong Suk, the mother of Kim Jong Il and Kim Sung Ae who is Kim Pyong Il’s mother). He reacted violently, telling me it was too dangerous.

That was my last contact with Kim Pyong Il; we haven’t met again since.

Kim Jong Il has a younger sister called Kim Kyung Hee (married to Jang Sung Taek) as well as half-brothers Kim Pyong Il (55) and Kim Yong Il (deceased in 2000), and half-sister Kim Kyung Jin (51), who is married to Kim Kwang Sop, Ambassador to Austria. After being appointed successor to his father in 1974, Kim Jong Il sent his half-brothers and sisters to work in overseas missions so that they could not interfere with his power. Kim Pyong Il started out in Yugoslavia, before moving to Hungary in 1988. However, he was swiftly relocated to Bulgaria as part of a protest over the opening of diplomatic relations between Hungary and South Korea. He then went on to work in Finland, but since January 1998 has resided in Warsaw.

Nicolas Levi is a Polish free publisher whose interests are mainly connected with the Korean Peninsula.