North Korea Leadership Watch

Research and Analysis on the DPRK Leadership

To All the Cadres Who’ve Been Purged Before

(With many thanks to Joe for sending this)

Chosun Ilbo, citing Radio Free Asia, reports that the Publication (Press) Censorship Bureau has ordered that images and writings of recently executed or disappeared Party and state officials be removed from histories, reports and other documents and literature.   Among those officials excised are the former CC KWP Financial Planning Director Pak Nam Gi, and former Minister of Railways, Kim Yong Sam.

A nationwide campaign is underway recently in North Korea to get rid of photos and publications of executed former senior officials, Radio Free Asia claimed Tuesday.

This campaign was ordered by leader Kim Jong-il on July 2. The North’s Press Censorship Bureau is reportedly destroying documents and materials collected from across the country.

According to RFA, the campaign’s targets include Pak Nam-gi, the former director of the North Korean Workers Party’s Planning and Finance Department who was executed in March over the disastrous currency reform, and former railways minister Kim Yong-sam.

“Railway workers suffering from the food shortage stole copper and aluminum parts from locomotive trains that were in store for wartime and sold them as scrap metal. As a result, about 100 locomotives were scrapped,” it claimed. “This was revealed in an inspection by the National Defense Commission in 2008.” Kim Yong-sam was then taken to the State Security Department and executed in March the following year, it added.

Kim Yong-sam was appointed railways minister in September 1998 but has not been seen in public since October 2008, when he was replaced by current minister Jon Kil-su.

A Unification Ministry official said rumors about his execution are “rampant.”

The Publications (Press) Censorship Bureau is subordinate to the General Bureau of Publications Guidance, part of the CC KWP Propaganda and Agitation Department.  It is one of four or five bureaus within PAD that responsible for regulating publishing and media in the DPRK.   From the 1990s to around 2003, the General Bureau of Publications Guidance was directed by Ri Jae Il, now a PAD deputy (vice) director, who  routinely escorts Kim Jong Il on his visits.

Former DPRK Minister of Railways, Kim Yong Sam (Chosun Ilbo)

DPRK Minister of Railways, Jon Kil Su

An affiliate of 38 North