Kim Jong-un’s train

I was recently interviewed by the leading Polish channel TVN24, for a documentary related to the recent visit of Kim Jong-un to China. This TV production is available there.

Le département 39 du Parti du Travail nord-coréen

Le département 39 est un des départements les plus prisés par les organisations internationales lorsqu’il s’agit de sanctionner économiquement et stratégiquement la Corée du Nord. Selon Choi Kun-chol, un ancien fonctionnaire du département 39, qui s’est enfuit de son pays natal, ce département constitue une des principales sources de financement du rythme de vie de la famille des Kims et du statu quo politique de la Corée du Nord Ce département est géré de Pyongyang (de la chambre 39 du siège du PTC), cependant de nombreux correspondants travaillent à l’étranger et tout particulièrement en Chine.

Continue reading “Le département 39 du Parti du Travail nord-coréen”

Meeting between the DPRK FM and other politicians during ASEAN summit

According to the Chinese embassy in Great Britain, on August 10, 2014, Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi met with Foreign Minister Ri Su Yong of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea on the sidelines of the series of Foreign Ministers’ meetings on East Asia cooperation in Nay Pyi Taw, Myanmar. The two sides had in-depth exchange of views on bilateral relations and issues of common interest.

Continue reading “Meeting between the DPRK FM and other politicians during ASEAN summit”

Why nothing happened to Choe Ryong Hae ?

Recently, South Korean medias, announced that Choe Ryong Hae, the director of the powerful Political Bureau of the Korean Peopleąs Armz disappeared from the Political Scene. According to other sources, it rather seems that Choe Ryong Hae is alive, he’s however out of the scene for systemic reasons.

images

Choe Ryong Hae

First overall, those who are the most important in the North Korean system are people who are very often unknown. I’m thinking to persons belonging to the Personnal Secretariat of Kim Jong Eun and to the Deputy Directors of 3 departments:

– The Organization and Leadership Department

– The Propaganda and Agitation Department

– The Military Affairs Department

What I mean ? I do believe that important persons in the DPRK are not always on the top of the screen. Therefore it may means that Choe Ryong Hae may continue to play a role from behind.

I do also firmly believe that the core DPRK elites are switching their positions by rotation. Observing the DPRK leadership (such as Kwak Pom Gi), it can be noticed that people are very often changing their positions. It’s done not only to weak their positions in some structures but also in order to increase their competencies. The previous mentioned Kwak Pom Gi was a manager of companies, a former KWP regional secretariat and currently he’s one of the key economists of the DPRK, I may also quote of of my favorite DPRK elites who is rarely seen: O Su Yong. O Su Yong is rarely seen in public but he’s one of the tenors of the DPRK economy.

o su yong

O Su Yong

I also think that the fact  that Choe Ryong Hae is not visible is also a measure of the Propaganda Department which want to enlight/reinforce the position of Kim Jong Eun as a key leader of the DPRK. The absence of Choe Ryong Hae  is underlining the power of the 32 years old Kim Jong Eun.

In a few words: Choe Ryong Hae is safe: don’t worry:)

Kim Jong Eun : Hit Me With a Baby One More Time!

On the 17th february, sorts matches between service personnel of the Command of the Navy and Command of the Air and Anti-Air Force of the Korean People’s Army (KPA) on the occasion of the birth anniversary of leader Kim Jong Il (Day of the Shining Star).

Supreme Commander of the KPA Kim Jong Un, first secretary of the Workers’ Party of Korea and first chairman of the National Defence Commission of the DPRK, watched the matches together with Ri Sol Ju.

2014-02-18-01-01

Among the spectators were Ri Yong Gil (head of the DPRK army),Hwang Pyong So (Deputy Director of the Organization and Propaganda Department) Jang Jong Nam, So Hong Chan, Kim Myong Sik, Ri Pyong Chol (head of air-forces), Kim Rak Gyom (encircled in red), is the head of North Korea’s Strategic Rocket Forces and a recently nominated 3 stars general (Sangjang).

It seems also that Ri Sol Ju (encircled in green), the wife of Kim Jong Eun, is one more time pregnant as she’s wearing the same clothes as in october 2014. Kim Jong Eun has already one daughter. According to unnamed DPRK watchers, the pregnancy of Ri Sol Ju is not a surprise, as far as Kim Jong Eun needs a son in order to continue the Kim dynasty. In cas of troubles the Organization and Leadership Department will solve the issue.

2014-02-18-01-01

Ri Sol Ju is encircled in green.

Ri-Sol-Ju-North-Korea

Ri Sol Ju (as of october 2013)

La zone économique spéciale de Rason est sous contrôle et surveillance du PTC

rason

source de l’illustration: Chosunexchange)

Suite à la disparition de Jang Sung Thaek, les employés de la zone de Rason risquent d’avoir du souci à se faire. Cette zone économique spéciale (dans laquelle des investisseurs étrangers peuvent bénéficier de conditions préférables pour investir dans divers secteurs de l’économie) gérée conjointement par les nord-coréens (par le Parti et par d’autres structures politiques) et par certains chinois d’origine coréenne, est actuellement sous surveillance des cadres du département de l’Organisation et de la Direction du Parti du Travail Coréen afin de vérifier la loyauté de responsables de cette zone économique (nombreux d’entre eux étaient directement rattachés au cercle d’influence de Jang Sung Thaek). Ces inspections sont à mettre en relation avec le lancement de l’approvisionnement en énergie de la zone directement de la Chine et par une entité économique chinoise. D’une part, il semblerait que le PTC chercherait à mieux surveiller les flux chinois à Rason, d’autre part, l’exécution de Jang Sung Thaek a entrainé de nombreux changements de cadres supérieurs, ce qui risque de faire basculer le sort des sociétés étrangères présentes à Rason.

Réouverture d’un restaurant nord-coréen en Hollande

Haedanghwa_1

Un restaurant de la chaine Haedanghwa a rouvert ses portes en Hollande. Bien qu’un des restaurants de cette chaine (il s’agirait même d’un chaebol nord-coréen) ait déjà existé en Hollande ((une analyse de mon camarade Michael Madden est disponible ici), il est à noter que dorénavant, le restaurant est uniquement géré par des nord-coréens et non coopération avec des hollandais. Les cadres (une des responsables de cette société est encerclée en rouge sur la photographie) de cette société connaissent bien les réalités du monde occidental. Nombreux d’entre eux ont été formés dans le cadre de formations hors du territoire nord-coréen.