Politburo of the Workers' Party of Korea

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The Politburo of the Workers' Party of Korea (officially the Political Bureau of the Central Committee of the Workers' Party of Korea) is the highest leading body of the Workers' Party of Korea. Article 25 of Party Rules stipulate: "The Political Bureau of the Party Central Committee and its Presidium 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."[1] The Politburo is elected by the Central Committee of the Workers' Party of Korea.

History[edit]

After Kim Il-sung’s unitary ruling system was established in the late 1960s, the Political Bureau ceased to be a collective consultation body. It became a rubber stamp where only the voices of Kim’s loyal supporters were heard. Nevertheless, it remained a body where "constructive opinions". As Kim Jong-il inherited more of his father's power and authority, the leadership system changed in important ways. Institutionally, Kim shifted the center of gravity within the Party from the Politburo to the Secretariat, his base of power.[2] In 1994, 29 out of 50 North Korean elites had worked for the KWP Politburo. This means that this body was an important stop on the road to advancement. In 2006, however, only eight members of the elite had served in the Politburo.

Role[edit]

Officially, Politburo is responsible for conducting its activities as well as deciding on important issues between two Central Committee plenums and should meet once a month. Its members include important state and military leaders, as the Premier and the vice-chairmen of the National Defence Commission.

The Politburo's inner body is the Presidium, elected by the WPK Central Committee, in charge of day-to-day party work. It is usually made up by the supreme leader and other four members.

Full members[edit]

Ordered in political position ranking
Rank Name Member since Duration Party position(s) State position(s)
1 Marshal
Kim Jong-un
11 April 2012 2 years, 294 days
2 Kim Yong-nam August 1978 36 years, 182 days
  • Politburo Presidium Member
3 Pak Pong-ju 31 March 2013 1 year, 305 days
4 General
Kim Kyong-hui[a]
28 September 2010 4 years, 124 days
  • Secretary for Organisation
5 Kim Ki-nam 28 September 2010 4 years, 124 days
  • Secretary for Propaganda and Party History
  • Director of the Central Propaganda and Agitation Department
6 Choe Thae-bok 23 May 1990 24 years, 252 days
  • Secretary for Education and Science Affairs
7 Vice Marshal
Choe Ryong-hae
11 April 2012 2 years, 294 days
  • Secretary for Workers' Organizations
8 Pak To-chun 28 September 2010 4 years, 124 days
  • Secretary for Military Industry
9 Yang Hyong-sop 8 December 1993 21 years, 53 days
10 Kang Sok-ju 28 September 2010 4 years, 124 days
  • Secretary for International Affairs
11 Vice Marshal
Ri Yong-mu
28 September 2010 4 years, 124 days
12 General
Kim Won-hong
11 April 2012 2 years, 294 days

Notes[edit]

Alternate members[edit]

Name Name Member since Duration Party position(s) State position(s)
13 General
Ri Yong-gil[b]
8 April 2014 0 years, 297 days
  • Chief of the KPA General Staff
14 General
Hyon Yong-chol[b]
31 March 2013 1 year, 305 days
15 General
O Kuk-ryol[c]
11 April 2012 2 years, 294 days
16 Kim Yang-gon 28 September 2010 4 years, 124 days
  • Secretary for United Front Work
  • Director of the Central United Front Work Department
  • Chairman of the Korea Asia-Pacific Peace Committee
17 Kim Phyong-hae 28 September 2010 4 years, 124 days
  • Secretary for Cadres
  • Director of the Central Cadres Department
18 Kwak Pom-gi 11 April 2012 2 years, 294 days
  • Secretary for Planning
  • Director of the Central Finance and Planning Department
19 General
Choe Pu-il
31 March 2013 1 year, 305 days
20 Col. Gen.
Kim Chang-sop
28 September 2010 4 years, 124 days
  • Director of the Political Bureau of the Ministry of State Security
21 Col. Gen.
Ri Pyong-sam
11 April 2012 2 years, 294 days
  • Director of the Political Bureau of the Korean People's Internal Security Forces
22 Ro Tu-chol 11 April 2012 2 years, 294 days
  • Vice Premier
  • Chairman of the State Planning Commission
23 Jo Yon-jun 11 April 2012 2 years, 294 days
  • First Vice Director of the Central Organisation and Guidance Department
24 Thae Jong-su 28 September 2010 4 years, 124 days
25 Kim Kyok-sik[d] 31 March 2013 1 year, 305 days
26 Ju Kyu-chang[d] 28 September 2010 4 years, 124 days

Notes[edit]

  • ^ Ranked after Hwang Pyong-so at official events.
  • ^ Ranked after Ri Yong-mu at official events.[4]
  • ^ Unclear following reshuffle.

Reported meetings after the 3rd Party Conference (September 2010)[edit]

  • Enlarged Meeting of the Political Bureau (6 June 2011)
  • Meeting of the Political Bureau (30 December 2011)
  • Meeting of the Political Bureau (15 July 2012)
  • Enlarged Meeting of the Political Bureau (4 November 2012)
    • Appointed a State Physical Culture and Sports Guidance Commission with Jang Sung-taek as chairman.
  • Meeting of the Political Bureau (11 February 2013)
    • Decided upon celebrations for the 60th anniversary of the end of the Korean War and the 65th founding anniversary of the DPRK.
  • Enlarged Meeting of the Political Bureau (8 December 2013)
    • Accused Jang Sung-taek of "counterrevolutionary crimes", dismissed him from his posts and expelled him from the party.
  • Meeting of the Political Bureau (8 April 2014)
    • Prepared the 1st Session of the 13th Supreme People's Assembly and decided on "organizational matter".

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Rules of the Workers' Party of Korea (28 September 2010) (조선로동당규약—2010년 9월 28일)". 28 September 2010. 
  2. ^ "Analysis of the DPRK Power Group (2)—Route to the Heart of Leadership", Joong-Ang Ilbo, 05 January 2007.
  3. ^ "State Funeral Committee for Kim Kuk T'ae". North Korea Leadership Watch. 15 December 2013. Retrieved 16 December 2013. 
  4. ^ "Kim Jong Un Has Photo Session with War Veteran Delegates". Korean Central News Agency. 27 July 2013. Retrieved 31 July 2013. 

See also[edit]