Kim Jong Un orders ideological investigation into United Front Department
North Korean leader Kim Jong Un recently ordered the Organization and Guidance Department (OGD) to conduct an ideological investigation into the ruling party Central Committee’s United Front Department (UFD) due to its failure to achieve results in its diplomatic efforts aimed at the US and South Korea.
“Kim Jong Un ordered the OGD to conduct the investigation on April 10,” a source in China close to North Korean affairs told Daily NK. “The investigation is aimed at understanding the ideological state of the UFD, which has been the target of criticism, warnings and punishment for its failure to bring about results the Party desired in its strategies against the US and South Korea.”
The order was handed down because UFD high-level officials failed to understand American strategy, which led to the breakdown in talks at the US-North Korean summit in Hanoi. Moreover, the UFD and Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA) had been working separately, which led to scant progress in North Korea’s talks with the South Korean government, the source related.
The order called for an Elementary Party Expanded Meeting and an Ideological Struggle Meeting among UDF section chiefs who are primary (elementary) Party committee members or higher. The order also included a call for efforts to change North Korea’s foreign policy situation by “clearing away” the stagnated ideological atmosphere that exists in the UDF to make way for new strategies and tactics toward the US and South Korea.
Kim Yong Chol, who has managed strategy toward the US and South Korea, was relieved from his command of the UDF in a move that appears to be related to the ideological investigation. During a National Assembly Intelligence Committee briefing, South Korea’s National Intelligence Service (NIS) reported that Kim Yong Chol had been replaced by Jang Kum Chol. ......