Choe Ryong-hae: The new OGD director?

According to a Yonhap News Agency, Choe Ryong-hae, appears to be leading the Workers’ Party of Korea (WPK) department that oversees the party’s operation and surveillance.

Choe, vice chairman of the central committee of the Workers’ Party of Korea (WPK), appears to have become the director of the organization and guidance department, according to data provided by the Ministry of Unification.

North Korean state media reported last year that Choe, 68, was appointed a director of the party’s department during a general meeting of the WPK’s central committee in October 2017, without elaborating on which division he would lead.

Choe’s family ties to the Kims explain his political rise. He is the second son of Choe Hyon, one of Kim Il Sung’s closest comrades. He is also known to have maintained a close friendship with Kim Jong Il since childhood and to have a good relationship with Jang. According to professor Cheong Seong-chang of the Saejong Institute, Kim Jong-un is trusting more Choe Ryong-hae than Jang Song-thaek. Choe Ryong Hae is considered to be a hardliner. Therefore the NK policy regarding the US won’t change.

It’s highly probable that Choe Ryong Hae is tied to trading activities of the DPRK. His on-field inspections are tied to economical structures. He’s also probably responsible for the outing of some generals (such as Kim Jong-gak).

The questions is the following: is it possible? According to me, the eventuality of such issue is rather low. Why? Since the creation of the DPRK, the system functionned according to a specific scheme, in which the OGD was always managed by a Kim family member. If this information is true, is would mean that some changes are happening over the DPRK leadership

 

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Nicolas Levi

Analyst on North Korean issues

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