Why (in theory) the power must belong to the Kim family?

For a long time, I assumed that the power in the DPRK was only in the hands of Kim Jong-il and his family. That was true as long Kim Jong-il was at the head of the powerful department of the Organization and the Propaganda of the Central Committee (CC) of the Korea Workers’ Party (KWP – Choson Rodongdang) –  the OGD of the CC KWP.

In spite of what it’s said, the power is not only belonging to the directors of the OGD department but also the Kim family as the members of the Kim family are still controlling the DPRK economy (by controlling some NK companies, JVs, NK investments abroad…)

The power is at also at least partially in the hands of the Kims family, at least for ideological reasons. A number of defectors indicated that the “Ten Principles for the Establishment of the One-Ideology System” are especially important in the political education of North Koreans which explains that the power is centered toward Kim Il-sung. Therefore if we believe that the power is now in the hands of people who are not belonging to the Kim families how to politically and ideologically speaking justify it? From the point of view of the Propaganda, is it possible to justify it?

Coming back to the OGD department, that I presented in the Polish press there and there,   according to the former secretary for International Affairs in the KWP, Hwang Jang-yop, the North Korea’s top leaders belong to the OGD. This decision was probably taken in the 70s or even in the 60s when Kim Il-sung finished purges within the KWP. In those times, Kim Yong Ju (Kim Il-sung’s younger brother) was the OGD director. Thereafter, Kim Jong Il was appointed head of the OGD in 1973 and held the position until his death. Kim Yong-ju stepped down because he was ill, and was sent for treatment abroad (probably in Romania).

Following the death of Kim Jong Il, we may wonder who has taken over as the current director of this institution. It’s my judgment that the OGD is now under the control of the Kim family and of some other elites such as Kim Kyong-ok.

Theoretical leadership of the Department of the Organization and the Leadership CC KWP

Identity Position
Unknown Director
Kim Kyong-ok Deputy director
Unknown Deputy director

Who are the deputy directors of the OGD?

Hwang Pyong-so was born in 1949 and educated at the Kim Il Sung university. He’s working with Kim Jong Eun since the 2000’s. In march 2014 Hwang Pyong-so was promoted from being a vice director of the Organization and Guidance Department to the first vice director of the country’s powerful Organization and Guidance Department, according to Pyongyang’s state media. The North Korean News Agency KCNA did not directly report the promotion of Hwang Pyong-so.

Regarding Kim Kyong-ok, we do know that he’s born in the 40’s, studied with Kim Jong-il at the Kim Il-sung University. In the 2000’s he was recovering from some illnesses in Moscow. When he came back to Pyongyang, 2 of the OGD department directors were dismissed: Ri Jae-kang and Ri Yong-chol. Kim Kyong-ok is a discreet figure of the DPRK leadership. He’s rarely seen abroad.

Ri Jae-kang (on the left side) with Kim Jong-eun. Source: Korean News Agency
Ri Jae-kang (on the left side) with Kim Jong-eun. Source: Korean News Agency


Kim Kyong-ok

Kim Kyong Ok

Kim Kyong-ok (circled in white and upper) – source: segye.com

Kim Kyong-ok (circled in green) with Kim Yo-jong (circled in red), the younger sister of Kim Jong-eun
Kim Kyong-ok (circled in green) with Kim Yo-jong (circled in red), the younger sister of Kim Jong-eun

Hwang Pyong-so lost some of his power?

The question that I may raise is the following: Hwang Pyong-so was demoted from the OGD department? If yes who replaced him? I personally believe that Kim Pyong hae or O Su-yong was nominated in the OGD. Why them? Because they belong to the top leadership since more than 20 years. They’re belonging to the “hot team” of the favorites of the Kim family and they were not purged by Kim Jong-il (a rumor said that the son of Kim Pyong Hae lost some of his positions in the past).

Kim Pyong Hae

Kim Pyong-hae (in red)

O Su-yong, DPRK, ldprk leadership

O Su-yong

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