The Party Cell

In North Korea, the Korean Workers’ Party (KWP) cell is the lowest ranked organizational unit. The KWP is composed of the Central Committee, provincial committees, city and county committees, primary party committees, sectional party committees, and the party cell at the lowest level. The party cell, as the fundamental unit, carries out the Party’s aims and implements its decisions.

Every member of the Party is officially affiliated with a party cell. In principle, even the “Great Leader” Kim Il Sung and the “General” Kim Jong Il are included in the party cell structure and must carry out their roles and responsibilities such as reporting to the party cell secretary, undergoing reeducation sessions, and strictly adhering to party rules.

The rules and regulations of the KWP stipulate, “The party cell is the basis of life in the Party and, as such, concentrates the masses on the Party and is the combat unit of the Party which directly implements the party line and policies.”

The party cell has between 5 and 30 members; units with 31 or more members form a primary party committee with further cells beneath.

General meetings of the cells, as the leading organization of the Party, must be held at least once a month. The party cell secretary is an unpaid official.

The rules and regulations also delineate the duties of party cells as follows: ▲ establish the one-ideology system among the party members and the working masses; ▲ expand the lower ranks; ▲ enhance the party involvement of the members; ▲ strengthen the ideological education of both newly-admitted and candidate members and working masses; ▲ accept the requests of the working masses and combat counterrevolutionary elements; ▲ strengthen the societal organization of the working masses; ▲ embody the Cheongsan-ri spirit and the mindset of anti-Japanese guerillas in all business activities; ▲ toughen the Worker and Peasant Red Guard and prepare for mobilization; and ▲ report the party expenditures of the members and the candidate members to the party committees.

For the purpose of strengthening the party cells, the first party cell secretaries competition was held in the Pyongyang Gymnasium in March 1994. The second such competition was held 13 years later over a two-day period on October 27 and October 28, 2007 at the April 25 Cultural Hall.

In 1990, after the Chosun Central News Agency’s (KCNA) No. 5 Bureau No. 2 Cell members sent a letter pledging their utmost devotion to Kim Jong Il, the “Party Cell of Loyalty” concept was launched.

To stimulate the “Party Cell of Loyalty” idea, meetings, recitals of official speeches, decisions and decrees and research discussions were emphasized upon.

In this year’s New Year’s Editorial, the party cell was designated as the advance offensive vanguard unit and it was demanded that party members and workers collectively stir up reform.