North Korea Leadership Watch

Research and Analysis on the DPRK Leadership

Premier's Mea Culpa and Reappearances

Kim Kyong-hui (4th from left) and DPRK Premier Kim Yong-il (3rd from right) pose with Kim Jong-il and factory managers of the 8 February Vinalon Complex (Photo KCNA via

According to several reports, DPRK Premier Kim Yong-il took one for the team on the currency redenomination.  Premier Kim apologized “about the currency reform as we pushed ahead with it without sufficient preparation and it caused a great pain to the people” at a Pyongyang meeting on Monday.  Premier Kim joined Kim Jong-il’s second day of inspection at the 8 February Vinalon Complex in Hamhung, South Hamgyong.  Back to business, I suppose.

According to Dong-a Ilbo citing Free North Korea Radio, the North Korean internal security apparatus is back in business,  scrutinizing people using mobile telephones to report on the country’s internal situation.  These new enforcement actions seem to stem from the MPS/SSD joint statement:

Pyongyang said Monday that the attempt to overthrow the government has exceeded a dangerous level and issued a warning.

The report quoted a source in North Korea located in Onsong County, North Hamkyong Province, as saying a secretary of the ruling Workers’ Party made workers confess whether they had mobile phones or improperly recorded videos Monday.

The workers were ordered to “give their mobile phones to security agencies or throw them over the walls of security centers or the State Security Department within two days.”

“If you follow the order, you are generously forgiven, but if you’re caught using a cell phone, you are considered a traitor and severely punished,” the source said.

And Minister of the People’s Armed Forces and NDC Vice Chairman, VMAR Kim Yong-chun is alive and well and smelling the roses.  VMAR Kim joined KJI at the performance of Evgeni Onegin late last week.  He also held a meeting and said his goodbyes with the outgoing PRC Ambassador the the DPRK.  (Thanks to Nicolas)

Outgoing PRC Ambassador Liu Xiaoming converses with NDC Vice Chairman and Minister of the PAF VMAR Kim Yong-chun (Photo: Embassy of the People's Republic of China in the Democratic People's Republic of Korea).

An affiliate of 38 North