North Korea Leadership Watch

Research and Analysis on the DPRK Leadership

Ju Sang-song Back in Pyongyang

DPRK Minister of Public Security Ju Sang-song returned to Pyongyang on Saturday.  Welcoming Gen. Ju back to the DPRK were MPS Political Director Ri Pyong-sam,  Senior Public Security Vice Minister Kim Po-kyong and Mr. Liu Xiaoming, China’s Ambassador to the DPRK.  Gen. Ju conducted his meetings with senior Chinese officials on Wednesday, which left him with approximately two (2) extra days for his delegation and he to explore China.  Perhaps, the senior MPS officials were enjoying a little R & R.  Or perhaps, Gen. Ju was fixing security arrangements or exploring possible places for Kim Jong-il to visit, should the General-Secretary visit China early in 2010.

General-Secretary Kim visiting China is not at all a certainty.  For reasons of security and showmanship, Kim Jong-il’s visit will be a surprise.  Pyongyang watchers in ROK (including a defector or two) contend that Gen. Ju does not hold the kind of office tasked with making security arrangements for a KJI trip.  This does not prohibit Gen. Ju carrying messages to and from Beijing for General-Secretary Kim’s security measures, or visiting one or two places that Chinese authorities might wish to show Kim Jong-il during his tour.  It should also be noted that Gen. Ju is a member of the supreme power body the NDC.  He also has a direct communication channel to Jang Song-thaek.  Mr. Jang reports directly to Kim Jong-il, and if recent reports are accurate, Mr. Jang’s wife Kim Kyong-hui has assumed responsibility for General-Secretary Kim’s logistical and scheduling arrangements.  This latter batch of tasks is tied directly to the Guard Command.

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