Human Rights Kremlinology

Kim Won-hong may have just lost the world’s most dangerous job

Three weeks ago, as mandated by section 304 of the NKSPEA, the Treasury Department designated seven North Korean officials, including Kim Won-hong, head of North Korea’s Ministry of State Security, or MSS. The MSS operates Pyongyang’s horrific political prison camp system, and the basis for his designation was human rights abuses that a U.N. Commission of …

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Cyberwar Kremlinology Terrorism (NK)

N. Korea’s biggest a**hole shoots Vice-Premier, sends second-biggest a**hole to weed the fields

Here at OFK, stories about kremlinology are usually page two material. Too often, we’ll read reports that some official or minor celebrity has been executed, only to read a year later that the target has risen like Lazarus from the KCNA crypt. As a general rule, the closer a story about North Korea is to the …

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Kim Jong Un Kremlinology

North Korea’s not-so-great dictator: Kim Jong-un’s impulsive ineptitude

South Korea’s Foreign Minister, Yun Byung-se, believes that Pyongyang is increasingly isolated. He believes that this is causing it “more distress this year than any other time,” and that Kim Jong-un will redouble his efforts to break that isolation this year. There are reasons to be skeptical of Yun’s statement. First, South Korea, having nominally signed on to …

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Engagement Kremlinology NK Economics

Attention North Korean generals: You have exactly six months to plot your coup.

Notwithstanding some reports to the contrary yesterday, it looks like Kim Jong-Un’s big party congress will proceed in May, as planned. According to the Korean Institute for National Unification, a South Korean think tank, personnel changes will be on the agenda: North Korean leader Kim Jong-un is expected to reveal his new aides in a major …

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Anju Links Kremlinology Regime Change Resistance

NIS: More senior cadres flee purges in North Korea

In recent weeks, our speculation about Choe Ryong-Hae — described by some (but not all) observers as North Korea’s third-highest official — has been resolved, if you believe South Korea’s National Intelligence Service, which says Choe was “sent … to a rural collective farm for reeducation” over “the alleged collapse of a water tunnel at a power station.” …

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Anju Links Defectors Kremlinology Regime Change Resistance

Pyongyang’s elites wait for Phase Five, and wait ….

Robert Collins, the author of the famous briefing on the seven phases of regime collapse in North Korea, almost certainly does not recall that, years ago, I was among a small group of Army officers who heard him deliver his briefing at Yongsan Garrison, in Seoul. For those who aren’t familiar with the seven phases, Robert …

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North Korea tightens surveillance following purge of Hyon Yong Chol

Last year, following the purge of Jang Song Thaek, The Daily NK reported that mass arrests and increased surveillance had terrorized the elites in Pyongyang. Now, The Daily NK reports that Pyongyang residents, and especially those with family or organizational links to purged Defense Minister Hyon Yong Chol, have been under “a tighter net of surveillance” …

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