North Korea Shoots Great Confiscation Scapegoat

I suppose this at least implicitly acknowledges that The Great Confiscation didn’t quite earn “widespread support” from “[a]n absolute majority of workers from laborers, farmers and office workers” after all:

North Korea has executed a ruling party official blamed for a botched currency reform, in a desperate attempt to quell public unrest and stem negative impact on Pyongyang’s power succession, a news report said on Thursday.

The execution by firing squad in Pyongyang last week of Pak Nam-ki, Labour Party chief for planned economy, was for the crime of “a son of a bourgeois conspiring to infiltrate the ranks of revolutionaries to destroy the national economy,” South Korea’s Yonhap news agency said, quoting sources.

But both North Korean officials and even many in the communist country’s public do not believe the explanation that Pak was a conspiring anti-revolutionary, Yonhap quoted sources knowledgeable about the issue as saying.

“The mood is the leadership has made Pak Nam-ki a scapegoat,” one source was quoted as saying. [Reuters, via NYT]

The significance of this report is magnified immensely by widespread rumors that the regime had set Kim Jong Eun up as the architect of this fiasco. Whether that’s true or not, don’t expect KCNA to report that now.

5 Comments

  1. How sure are we that Pak Nam-ki was actually executed? Myabe he’s been demoted, transferred, or just put on administrative leave.




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  2. I think it is impossible to know for sure if he was executed or not at this time. Remember Kim Gye Gwan was thought to have been executed for mismanaging the nuclear issue and he pops up in Pyongyang to greet Bill Clinton coming off the airplane.




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  3. If he were executed, as an individual, I would have little personal sympathy. But, as representing the decay in the DPRK, this would be dismal.

    Same goes for the verified execution of General Arnaldo Ochoa by Castro.




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  4. The Ochoa case may show a regime preventing decay. He might have been guilty of drug smuggling, and Fidel may really have opposed drug smuggling. At the present time, Raul doesn’t seem close to collapse. It’s hard to know what’s going on in any government, much harder in a totalitarian government.




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