The most powerful organization in North Korea is not the military but the Worker’s Party, according to an internationally famous North Korean defector.
“The only entity that actually matters when it comes to decision-making or policy-making is the Organization and Guidance Department,” the poet-laureate Jang Jin-sung said in an interview with U.S. broadcaster NBC.
The OGD, a unit of the executive branch of the Worker’s Party, is said to be one of the two biggest power holders within the party, along with the Propaganda and Agitation Department.
“All roads in North Korea lead to the OGD,” Jang said. “The OGD is designed to support the authority of one man alone at the top.”
He added that the department knows no other way to maintain power than to reinforce the power of the Kim family, since it lacks No. 2 or 3 figures and factions.
When asked about the future of the OGD if Kim Jong-un is proven to be a weak leader Jang responded, “It’s a structure that keeps it going no matter whether he has the power or not. That’s precisely why the OGD is so much more powerful now than before.”
Despite its power, there is little chance that the OGD will attempt to rise against Kim.
“North Korean people live in a society that has been specially engineered for a Kim to be in power,” Jang said. He added that it is in the OGD’s best interest “to keep Kim Jong-un in the spotlight but to wield the real power behind the scenes.”
Jang also emphasized that North Korea should be viewed differently from the Soviet Union or as a relic of the Cold War period.
By Suh Ye-seul (firstname.lastname@example.org