North Korean authorities recently expelled two personnel management officials from the Organization and Guidance Department (OGD) and their families to the countryside on bribery allegations, Daily NK has learned.

A source in Pyongyang told Daily NK on May 3 that the authorities had recently terminated a regional official surnamed Kim and a guidance official from the OGD’s Cadres Department. Kim and the official had allegedly selected personnel for official business based on whoever could give them the most bribes instead of who had the best work skills and qualities.

People with hopes for a successful career in the Central Committee gave the two men huge amounts of money under the table in exchange for nomination for important positions.

For example, a Kim Il Sung University graduate gave Kim and the guidance officer about USD 6,000 in exchange for help in getting selected for an important position. However, the two failed to fulfill their promise for over a year. They also did not return the USD 6,000.

The authorities discovered the pair’s corruption after the Kim Il Sung University graduate reported the case to the Central Committee.

During its investigation, the OGD found that the two men had received between USD 10,000 and USD 20,000 in bribes from regional officials in exchange for the promise of “help” in getting into the positions that they wanted.

“The battle against corruption among officials from central [party] organizations has become more intense,” the source said. “Because this case of bribery took place while this campaign against corruption is going on, Kim and the guidance officer will receive much more serious punishment.”

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Kim Jong Un speaking at the Third Expanded Meeting of the Central Military Commission in December 2019. / Image: Rodong Shinmun

In the past, the authorities sent party officials who had committed faux pas to be “revolutionized” but eventually allowed them to return to their positions. However, this time the situation is likely to be different.

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un recently handed down orders to “never condone the corruption of employees at central party organizations,” emphasizing that “[corrupt] people must pay for their behavior.” As a result, the authorities expelled OGD official Kim, the guidance officer who worked with him, and their families to a rural area in South Hwanghae Province.

“This phenomena of people outwardly cheering [for the Party and the leader] and then dreaming about something else in private are considered the anti-Party, anti-revolutionary acts of someone who abandoned their loyalty to the Supreme Leader,’” the source said. “Kim and the guidance officer that worked with him have fallen to rock bottom, and they will never recover.”

“Because yet another bribery case took place this year, the authorities are trying to fight corruption by forcing each division of the OGD to submit self-criticism letters,” the source continued. “However, unless treatment of officials [like Kim who stand to benefit from bribes] improves, the corruption will be impossible to eliminate completely.”

Daily NK published a report about a similar corruption case at the Pyongyang Medical University in November of last year. In that incident, the authorities elected to publicly execute the ringleader, dismiss high-ranking Central Committee officials connected to the scandal from their positions, and force them to work as ordinary laborers.

*Translated by S & J

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