[imText1]A rumor has spread alleging that a former secretary for the Propaganda Department of the Chosun Worker’s Party Jung Ha Chol (74) has escaped North Korea, reported the Donga Ilbo on the 27th.
A source told Donga Ilbo “Though the reason has not yet been revealed, North Korean elite officials have recently been erasing remnants of Secretary Jung in published materials” and informed “Secretary Jung’s face has been deleted from all photos taken with Kim Il Sung or Kim Jong Il.” In addition, Secretary Jung’s name is being erased from all written materials and sealed with tape, and materials directly written by Secretary Jung are being deleted altogether.
With Kim Il Sung’s May 25th teaching in 1967, “North Korea’s revolutionary culture” arose and excluding statements and instructions of Kim Il Sung, any foreign editions and all publications displaying anti-authority or conflict with Kim Il Sung were either burned or erased.
Hence, we can surmise that secretary Jung has already been purged from North Korea’s political arena based on the evidence that his photo and name is being obliterated from published materials.
Secretary Jung graduated from the Kim IL Sung University majoring in Philosophy and worked as an editor for the Rodong Newspaper and Head of the Central Broadcast Agency. In 2001, he became the director and secretary for the propaganda department which following the secretary for the Chosun Workers Party is the next best position. Secretary Jung was even selected as Kim Jong Il’s entourage on his visit to China and was even awarded the Kim Il Sung honorary medal.
However, in December 2005 inspectors discovered one of Secretary Jung’s private parties held at a rural village during an agricultural supporting activity. In addition, there had been rumors that the First Minister for the Chosun Workers Party Lee Jae Kang and Secretary Jung had been in conflict. Whatever the unknown reason, whether it was Secretary Jung conducting parties, occurrences or comments made at the party or personal feuds, Secretary Jung was ultimately imprisoned at a concentration camp in South Pyongan, Buk Chang province.
The Donga Ilbo informed “Secretary Jung has been condemned as an anti-revolutionist and is being banished from North Korean society. His existence being deleted from all records indicates that his power will not be reinstated to him.”
“One the main reasons elite officials are ostracized in North Korea is for reproaching Kim Jong Il or the system at parties” and “It is likely Secretary Jung fell into this category” prospected the newspaper.
Another speculation suggested that Secretary Jung had been corrupted. As North Korea carelessly spends vast amounts of foreign currency on propaganda every year, it is possible Secretary Jung made a foolish decision.
However, even Choi Young Hae, former director for Socialist Youth League who swindled vast amounts of foreign currency while preparing for the 13th International Youth and Students Festival in 1989 did not get “deleted” from all publication but just simply demoted. This was the same for Jang Sung Taek who was once overthrown but his position eventually reinstituted. To criticize or compare Kim Jong Il or the regime is an enormous criminal offense. Hence, for Secretary Jung’s existence to be deleted from all published materials denotes that he could never return to the political areana.
Though there is no real evidence to prove that Secretary Jung Ha Chol has defected overseas, he has undeniably been obliterated from politics.
At present, Jung Ha Chol’s position as secretary of the Chosun Worker’s Party has been reassigned to Kim Ki Nam.