MSS cadres summoned to Pyongyang for investigation

Choi Song Min  |  2017-03-29 14:51
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North Korea's Organization and Guidance Department has been reportedly summoning high-ranking Ministry of State Security cadres from each province to Pyongyang for interrogation following the purge of Kim Won Hong, the former head of the surveillance organ, which is currently under fire for abuse of power and spurious reporting practices.

"The MSS unchecked activities has earned them an investigation by the Organization and Guidance Department of the Korean Workers Party (OGD). The interrogations have been conducted for a month with a significant number of high-ranking executives being demoted, dismissed, or disappearing altogether, a source in South Pyongan Province told Daily NK on March 23. 

"MSS executives across all ranks nationwide have been summoned to Pyongyang for investigation. Many at the director and manager level have been released after drafting a self-critical essay. Others are less fortunate and have either been immediately dismissed or detained," the source said. 

This has prompted many MSS officials, facing their own impending demise, to draw anxious parallels to past situations like the downfall of Kim Pyong Ha and the Shimhwajo case.

Kim Pyong Ha was the first head of state security back in the early 1970s who executed or detained numerous administrative and Party cadres. He then reportedly took his own life when Kim Jong Il sent the OGD after him for straying from the Partys orders. In the wake of the incident, the security body saw its authority greatly diminished.

Now, concerns are rife among those affiliated with the MSS, a source in Pyongyang said. Many fear the entire organization will be restructured or even dissolved, and there are rumors that even more officials will be dismissed, considering people's heightened resentment toward the MSS, he explained.

Some MSS officials even have plans to extract themselves from the organization altogether and find a more stable line of work.

*Translated by Yejie Kim
*Edited by Lee Farrand

 
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