Skip to comments.N. Korea: Kim Jong-il's Brother-in-law under House Arrest(a Massive Purge Under Way)
Posted on 06/16/2004 9:56:45 AM PDT by TigerLikesRooster
/begin my translation
The July Issue of Wolgan Chosun reports that the purge is for reining on Jang brothers.
Jang Sung-thaek(age:56), the brother-in-law of N. Korean leader Kim Jong-il and his close confidante, who was the First Vice Director of Organization Supervision Dept(for administration and public security) of N. Korean Worker's Party, was put under house arrest by the order of Kim Jong-il. The July Issue of magazine Wolgan Chosun reported the news on June 17.
According to the magazine, S. Korean intelligence agency verified that Jang has been under the intensive investigation by the (Worker's) Party for the charge of 'factionalist behavior' and 'power abuse', and was recently put under house arrest. His house arrest resulted from the Party's investigation in which they uncovered an extravagant wedding of children of a high level official at Jang's Organization Supervision Dept.(Feb., 2004.) Jang and many of his close associates attended the wedding. After this was uncovered, Kim Jong-il instructed they should be severely punished.
Kim Jong-il transfered the control of the General Bureau of Overseas Insurance, the General Bureau of Poultry, and General Corporation of Horticulture to the (N. Korean ) Cabinet. The three organizations used to be controlled by Jang. Many of Jang's associates who attended the wedding, including Lee Kwang-keun, Trade Minister, Park Myung-chol, the Chairman of Sports Supervisory Committee, were fired and sent to rural villages. N. Korea is now reportedly conducting the all-out investigation of 80 high level officials who are the associates of Jang.
The analysis of experts on N. Korea concluded that the real reason for Jang's house arrest is to neuralize the powerful clout of Jang brothers. Jang's elder brother, Vice Marshall Jang Sung-woo, is the director of Civil Defense Dept. of the Party and his younger brother, Major General Jang Sung-gil is the commissar of 820 Armored Corps. The experts also pointed out that Jang Sung-thaek's (marital) separation from his wife, Kim Kyung-hee, could be also a contributing factor. Kim Kyung-hee is the younger sister of Kim Jong-il.
/end my translation
As many posters have noted, N. Korea is a totalitarian police state where people are watched carefully. In such a society, to pull off such an operation, you have to be ultimate insiders with strong powerbase and good connections to key organizations such as military and security. There are two groups of people who meet these criteria and have motives to kill Kim Jong-il
(1) Kim Jong-il's first son, Kim Jong-nam
(2) Kim Jong-il's brother-in-law, Jang Sung-thaek
First, let me give you some background on the succession battle unfolding in N. Korea for the last couple of years. Kim Jong-il's first son, Kim Jong-nam, was the heir-apparent up until a couple of years ago. He established his own powerbase, especially in overseas N. Korean outfits, N. Korean military and the regime's palace guards, General Bureau of Guards(Ho-wee-chong-guk.) The commander of General Bureau of Guards, Lee Eul-sul, was close to Kim Jong-nam and treated him like his grandson. However, challenge to Jong-nam has been developing. Kim Jong-il's younger sister, Kim Kyung-hee(Jang Sung-thaek's now-separated wife), told Kim Jong-il that Jong-nam is unfit because he was born as Kim Jong-il's illegitimate son. Jong-nam's mother was already a married woman, when Kim Jong-il forced her to live with him. Later, Kim Jong-il left her and eventually settled with his current wife, Ko Yong-hee, who produced two sons. This scandalous circumstance could weaken the legitimacy of Jong-nam, Kim Kyung-hee argued. Ko Yong-hee was making her own efforts to push her elder son, Kim Jong-chol, as the successor of Kim Jong-il. Jong-chol is Kim Jong-il's second son. She enlisted the support of Kim Yong-soon, a close confidante of Kim Jong-il. While the tide was turning against the first son, Jong-nam, Jong-nam was embroiled into an embarrassing scandal. He was trying to sneak into Japan, apparently to tour Disney Land in Japan, using a faked passport. He was caught by Japanese Authorities and expelled. Fearing stiff punishment, he did not return to N. Korea. Instead, he was wandering from one country to another country, which included China and Austria, to name two. This apparently served as an excuse to dump Jong-nam. Back in N. Korea, the groundwork for installing Kim Jong-chol, Kim Jong-il's second son, as the successor had begun in earnest. Ko Yong-hee started to be venerated by N. Korean military. This was a strong sign that her son would be the successor, not Jong-nam.
We have a whole group of Kim Jong-nam's supporters in danger of losing power and being purged. In addition, Kim Jong-il's powerful brother-in-law and his group of supporters are now being purged since last February. This may also be part of the efforts to clear the deck for the second son. We have two powerful factions facing ruins.
Enter China and America. China, with the tacit approval of America, could have approached either Kim Jong-nam or Jang Sung-thaek with a deal. That is, China and America would back either of them if he works together with Chinese to kill Kim Jong-il and overthrew his regime. There are many Chinese traffic in border region of N. Korea with China. Some Chinese live in Ryongchon, and many Chinese visit there for business. With the resources which any of two powerful N. Korean factions, China(and America) have at their disposal, they can pull off the operation like Ryongchon explosion to assassinate Kim Jong-il.
Although we may not find out exactly what happened in Ryongchong for quite a while, I find this scenario could be one of reasonable candidates.
"Massive Purge Under Way "
This all sounds very intriguing
Has Kim Jong-il been seen in public since this explosion?
Thanks for the background...fascinating stuff. The fact that we've heard about five different explanations for the Ryongchun explosion make me think that there is definitely something to your theory.
He has been seen in public--met with the Japanese P.M., and photos were taken.
Yes, I agree. A lot of activities in N. Korea.
Did a massive binge precede the massive purge?
Maybe he was unable to get the trains to run on time.
Thanks - guess I missed that.
There's an easier explanation, though. You've given us a good view of the power-plays going on among the various "son factions." The Ryongchong explosion may simply be a convenient excuse for the paranoid Kim Jong-il to get rid of a troublesome group of potential rivals.
Guns Before Butter.
After the re-election of GWB, North Korea must be shut down.
If it wasnt so serious, it would be funny. What a soap opera!
Japanese Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi (R) shakes hands with North Korean leader Kim Jong-il following their talks in Pyongyang, May 22, 2004. Kim has agreed that all the relatives of Japanese abducted by Pyongyang's agents decades ago can leave the communist state and go to Japan, reports said after the leaders' summit. (Pool/Reuters)
Is it June 17th. there yet?
North Koeran leader Kim Jong-il (C) inspects the Chongchongang Machinery Plant in South Phyongan Province, in North Korea (news - web sites), in this undated photo released by Korea Central News Agency June 4, 2004. China has proposed the week of June 21 for the next round of multilateral talks aimed at dismantling North Korea's nuclear arms projects, a Japanese government source said on Friday, but the outlook for progress appeared dim. JAPAN OUT REUTERS/Korea News Service
Ah, yes.... The famous "Bad Hair Summit."
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