Seven additional MSS officials dismissed in Ryanggang Province

Kang Mi Jin  |  2017-03-09 17:20
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Following the purge of former Minister Kim Won Hong, the North Korean authorities are reportedly dispatching inspection teams from the Central Party to more widely investigate officials at the Ministry of State Security (MSS). Seven officials in Ryanggang Province alone have already been dismissed under the mandate.

A source in Ryanggang Province told Daily NK on March 6 that cadres are overwrought with anxiety as the shoe could drop any day now, with no end in sight. 

"The inspection is particularly focused on Ryanggang Province. Officials who made false statements regarding the execution of the former head of the Provincial Workers' Organizations are also under investigation," the source added.

According to the source, the purge of Kim Won Hong arose from an incident involving the former head of the Provincial Workers' Organization, who was executed for allegedly distorting Kim Jong Un's compliments toward a student at Samjiyon Schoolchildren's Palace. The accusation against the official, it was later revealed, was false. 

In response, South Koreas National Intelligence Service (NIS) reported at a meeting of the National Assembly Intelligence Committee held on February 28 that Kim Won Hong, the state security chief, was purged from his position. Five deputy minister-level officials who worked under him were executed with anti-aircraft guns on account of false reporting to the leadership. 

"Jang Myong Ho, former head of the Ryanggang Provincial Workers' Organization, was the original victim. It was claimed that while standing in front of a statue of Kim Jong Il emblazoned with the slogan, Life is good in Daehongdan, Jang scoffed that nothing about living there was good. This was also subsequently disproven," a separate source in Ryanggang Province said.

"A letter of petition asking for reinvestigation of the incident was reported to Kim Jong Un, upon which he immediately ordered the MSS to do so. But the MSS dismissed reports written by the investigation team. They just kept submitting the original report--three times in a row. Thats why the MSS officials were dismissed."

"Due to the inspection, seven cadres were dismissed in Ryanggang Province alone, and officials in other regions are also being cornered. At this rate, dozens of the officials are likely to be dismissed by the end of the inspection," he concluded.

*Translated by Yejie Kim
*Edited by Lee Farrand

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