Chondoist Chongu Party
This article needs additional citations for verification. (May 2014) (Learn how and when to remove this template message)
Logo of Cheondoism
|Chairperson of the Central Committee||Vacant|
|Vice-Chairman of the Central Committee||Yun Jong-ho|
|Founded||8 February 1946|
|National affiliation||Democratic Front for the Reunification of the Fatherland|
|Supreme People's Assembly|
22 / 687
|Chondoist Chongu Party|
|Revised Romanization||Cheondogyo Cheongudang|
The Chondoist Chongu Party[a] is a popular front party in North Korea. The party was founded on 8 February 1946 by a group of followers of the Ch'ŏndogyo. The founding-leader of the party was Kim Tarhyŏn.
The Ch'ŏndogyo religious ideology was founded in response to the Christian missionary activities in Korea in the end of the nineteenth century. The Ch'ŏndogyo became a hotbed of Korean nationalism, and Ch'ŏndo farmers took active part in the Donghak Peasant Revolution in 1894 and the movement played an important role in the March 1st Movement in 1919. The communist parties of the Soviet Union and Korea perceived Ch'ŏndogyo as a "utopian peasant movement". By 1945 Ch'ŏndogyo was the second largest religion in northern Korea, with 1.5 million believers.
The Chondoist Chongu Party was established on 8 February 1946 with Ch'ŏndogyo activist Kim Tarhyŏn as its first leader. It assembled 98,000 members after a few months of existence, and was larger (in membership) than the Communist Party of Korea. In December 1946 it had 204,387 members.
On 22 July 1946, the Democratic Front for the Reunification of the Fatherland was formed as a united front. The Chondoist Chongu Party was one of the four parties included in it. Thus the subordination of the party under the leadership of the Communist Party of Korea[b] was formalised.
In the 1946–1947 elections to people's committees, village people's committees and myŏn people's committees, about 5.3 percent of the 70,454 elected deputies belonged to the Chondoist Chongu Party. Kim Tarhyŏn became one of two deputy chairmen of the People's Assembly (the national parliament). During the first session of the People's Assembly a Chondoist Chongu Party deputy, Kim Yun'gŏl, held a critical speech against the non-compliance with laws passed by the people's committees during the land reform process. Kim Yun'gŏl was fiercely attacked, and he retracted his statement.
However, the situation for the party soon turned difficult. Large sections of the Soviet and North Korean communist leaderships did not trust the party, and saw it as a potential nest for counterrevolutionaries. The most troublesome issue was that the North Korean Ch'ŏndogyo continued to have contacts with the leadership of the religious group in South Korean Seoul. There, the Ch'ŏndogyo leadership was anti-communist and supported the administration of President Syngman Rhee. In January 1948, the Ch'ŏndogyo leadership based in Seoul made a decision that a massive anti-communist demonstration would be held on 1 March in Pyongyang. This put the Chondist Chongu Party in the North in a precarious situation. Kim Tarhyŏn refused to follow the orders from Seoul, but others in the party leadership wanted to go ahead with the plans. The result was a massive purge of party members throughout North Korea. In its aftermath, the anti-communist sections of the movement initiated an underground resistance movement and tried to launch guerrilla warfare.
Kim Tarhyŏn and the people around him reaffirmed their loyalty to the DPRK. In 1950 the Chondoist Chongu Party in the South (but not the religious movement) united with the Northern party under his leadership. During the Korean War the headquarters of the party was shifted to a town near the border with China. The party leadership actively supported the DPRK war efforts, but many party cadres migrated to South Korea during the war. Many sided with Seoul during the war. In the aftermath of the war, the idea of the united front was increasingly unpopular in the North Korean government circles and many wanted the non-communist parties banned. In the end the united front was maintained, but the possibility for the Chondoist Chongu Party to conduct political activity was severely curtailed.
In 1954 the government subsidies to the party were cancelled. By 1956 there were approximately 1,700–3,000 members left (out of 10,000–50,000 remaining Ch'ŏndogyo believers). At the same time about 200 persons were full-time employees of the party. In order to finance the party, it ran an iron foundry and a printing house.
In September 1957 Kim Tarhyŏn became a minister without portfolio.
In 1958 the party was purged again. In November of that year, sources alleged that it had, together with the Korean Social Democratic Party, conspired against the DPRK leadership. Kim Tarhyŏn and his closest associates were arrested. By February they had pleaded guilty, and on 16 February 1958 their parliamentary immunity was revoked. Most likely they were executed, but their exact fate is not known.
By this time the party had effectively ceased to function as an independent entity. No provincial organization of the party existed, just a formal central nucleus. Pak Sindŏk, previously the head of the Organizational Department of the party, took over the party leadership.
The Chondoist Chongu Party is sometimes invoked in North Korean propaganda targeting foreigners, but much less so than the Korean Social Democratic Party. The reason is that Ch'ŏndogyo has fallen into relative obscurity even in South Korea, while social democracy continues to be an accepted political ideology abroad.
In 2001 and 2012, the chairwoman of the party's central committee was Ryu Mi-yong. She was also a member of the presidium of the Supreme People's Assembly (as of 2014[update]), chairwoman of the Central Guidance Committee of the Chondoist Association of Korea (in 2010) and chairwoman of the Council for the Reunification of Tangun's Nation (in 2012). Ryu died in November 2016.
As of 2014[update], the vice chairman of the party's central committee is Yun Jong-ho.[c] He is also vice chairman of the Central Guidance Committee of the Chondoist Association of Korea (as of 2014[update]; 2011: Kang Chol-won) and vice chairman of the Council for the Reunification of Tangun's Nation (as of 2014[update]; 2012: Kang Chol Won).
|Election date||Number of deputies||Ref|
35 / 572
11 / 215
4 / 383
4 / 457
4 / 541
|1977||unknown / 579|||
|1982||unknown / 615|||
|1986||unknown / 655|||
22 / 687
23 / 687
|2003||unknown / 687|||
22 / 687
22 / 687
- An approximate translation of the party name into English could be the "Party of the Young Friends of Ch'ŏndogyo [the Heavenly Way]"
- Until December 1945: "North Korean bureau of the Communist Party of Korea" (조선공산당 북조선분국 Chosŏn Kongsandang pukchosŏn pun'guk); from December 1945 to mid-1946 no longer using the label "North Korean bureau"; in mid-1946 renamed to "Communist Party of North Korea" (북조선공산당 Pukchosŏn Kongsandang); in August 1946 merged with the New People's Party to become the "Workers' Party of North Korea"; in June 1949 merged with the Workers' Party of South Korea to become today's "Workers' Party of Korea".
- Chosŏn'gŭl: 윤정호; Hancha: 尹正浩.
- Tertitskiy, Fyodor (26 November 2014). "Being a minor party in the North: In a totalitarian regime, what do N. Korea's other political blocs do?". NK News. Retrieved 25 May 2018.
- The Europa World Year: Kazakhstan – Zimbabwe. London: Europa Publications. 2004. p. 2481. ISBN 978-1-85743-255-8.
- "Foundation day of Korea marked". Korean Central News Agency. 3 October 2001. Archived from the original on 8 October 2007. Retrieved 21 September 2006.
- "5th Anniversary of October 4 Declaration Observed". Pyongyang: Korean Central News Agency. 4 October 2012. Archived from the original on 12 October 2014. Retrieved 15 August 2014.
- "Presidium of Supreme People's Assembly of DPRK Elected". Pyongyang: Korean Central News Agency. 9 April 2014. Archived from the original on 13 April 2014. Retrieved 15 August 2014.
- "Heaven Day Ceremony of Chondoism Held". Pyongyang: Korean Central News Agency. 5 April 2010. Archived from the original on 19 August 2014. Retrieved 15 August 2014.
- "Foundation Day of Korea Marked". Pyongyang: Korean Central News Agency. 3 October 2012. Archived from the original on 12 October 2014. Retrieved 15 August 2014.
- "S. Korea allows son of late N.K. official to visit Pyongyang". Yonhap News Agency. Retrieved 25 November 2016.
- "DFRK Central Committee Meets". Pyongyang: Korean Central News Agency. 21 February 2014. Archived from the original on 11 October 2014. Retrieved 15 August 2014.
- "Heaven Day Ceremony of Chondoism Held". Pyongyang: Korean Central News Agency. 5 April 2014. Archived from the original on 19 August 2014. Retrieved 15 August 2014.
- "Meeting of North-South Religionists Held". Pyongyang: Korean Central News Agency. 22 September 2011. Archived from the original on 12 October 2014. Retrieved 15 August 2014.
- "SPA Presidium Decides to Form Central Election Committee". Pyongyang: Korean Central News Agency. 12 January 2014. Archived from the original on 11 October 2014. Retrieved 15 August 2014.
- "Korea, North". The World Factbook. Central Intelligence Agency. 19 September 2006. Retrieved 21 September 2006.
- "IPU PARLINE database: DEMOCRATIC PEOPLE'S REPUBLIC OF KOREA (Choe Go In Min Hoe Ui), Last elections". Inter-Parliamentary Union. Retrieved 9 July 2015.
- Nohlen, Dieter; Grotz, Florian; Hartmann, Christof (2001). Elections in Asia: A data handbook. 2. p. 404. ISBN 0-19-924959-8.
- North Korea Handbook. Seoul: Yonhap News Agency. 2002. Table 18. ISBN 978-0-7656-3523-5.
- "DEMOCRATIC PEOPLE'S REPUBLIC OF KOREA: parliamentary elections Choe Go In Min Hoe Ui, 1990". IPU. 1990. Retrieved 5 October 2018.
- "IPU PARLINE database: DEMOCRATIC PEOPLE'S REPUBLIC OF KOREA (Choe Go In Min Hoe Ui), Elections in 2003". IPU. Retrieved 2018-02-05.
- "IPU PARLINE database: DEMOCRATIC PEOPLE'S REPUBLIC OF KOREA (Choe Go In Min Hoe Ui), ELECTIONS IN 2009". archive.ipu.org. Inter-Parliamentary Union. Retrieved 2018-08-04.
- "IPU PARLINE Database: Democratic People's Republic of Korea, Choe Go In Min Hoe Ui". Inter-Parliamentary Union.
- Lankov, Andrei N. (Winter 2001). "The Demise of Non-Communist Parties in North Korea (1945–1960)". Journal of Cold War Studies. 3 (1): 103–125. doi:10.1162/15203970151032164. Retrieved 14 August 2014.
- on YouTube