North Korea Leadership Watch

Research and Analysis on the DPRK Leadership

Rumors of Pak Nam-gi Arrest and Execution

Pak Nam-gi, 2nd from Left, at the Mansudae Apartment Complex in Pyongyang with Kim Jong-il in October 2009 (Photo: KCNA).


The Daily NK has another account of the reported execution of Pak Nam Gi:

Park, the former Director of the Planning and Financial Department of the Central Committee of the Workers’ Party, was denounced as a traitor and arrested in late January.

Thereafter, “At 2 P.M. on March 12th at the Seosan Stadium in the Athletes’ Village, Pyongyang, Park Nam Ki was executed before cadres in the economic field and Party Central Committee officials,” a source from Pyongyang told The Daily NK on Sunday.

“Immediately before the execution, the judge is said to have criticized Park as ‘a historical traitor who trapped the people in misery with this redenomination,’” the source added.

According to the source, an unknown Vice-Chairperson of the National Planning Commission was shot alongside Park. According to information received by the South Korean Ministry of Unification, the new Chairperson of the National Planning Commission is Noh Du Cheol, while the First Vice-Chairpersons are Kang In Sam and Park Chang Ryeon. There are also a further seven Vice-Chairpersons, including Cho Young Nam.

The Sosan Stadium where DNK reports the execution occurred is located here in Mangyongdae District in southwestern Pyongyang.


Citing Seoul-based defectors with Northern ties, Daily NK reports that KWP Financial Planning Director Pak Nam-gi was recently arrested.  The story dispels rumors of Mr. Pak’s execution, but it cites his reports to KJI as what may have done him in:

It is alleged that before the redenomination he submitted a report claiming that the authorities would be able to improve the people’s lives and secure the national budget if they implemented it. This got Kim Jong Il’s agreement, however, soaring prices and exchange rates proved him wrong, and he was fired.

Defectors in Seoul with connections in North Korea say that Park was then publicly denounced as a traitor at a Party convention on the subject of the redenomination in Pyongyang in late-January, and arrested on the spot. Some of them have also heard rumors that he has been executed, though these are unverified.

After Park’s dismissal, officials who had been in charge of trade with China and economic cooperation with the South apparently took on his tasks in the economic field of the Central Committee of the Party.

On the other hand, Yonhap, citing numerous sources reports that Pak Nam-gi was executed in Pyongyang:

North Korea executed a former top finance official last week, holding him responsible for the country’s currency reform fiasco that has caused massive inflation, worsened food shortages and dented leader Kim Jong-il’s efforts to transfer power to a son, sources said Thursday.

Pak Nam-gi, who was reportedly sacked in January as chief of the planning and finance department of the ruling Workers’ Party, was executed at a shooting range in Pyongyang, multiple sources familiar with information on North Korea told Yonhap News Agency.

“All the blame has been poured on Pak after the currency reform failure exacerbated public sentiment and had a bad effect” on leader Kim Jong-il’s plan to hand power over to his third son Kim Jong-un, one source told Yonhap on condition of anonymity.

You can read about Pak Nam-gi’s career here.

An affiliate of 38 North