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Interpretation of the Sixth Plenary Session of the Eighth Central Committee of the Workers’ Party of Korea

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On May 6, 2016, the Seventh Congress of the Workers’ Party of Korea was held, 36 years after the Sixth Congress. With this as a sign, Kim Jong-un has more experience and confidence in governing the party and the country, and has made a lot of efforts in institutionalization. Although North Korea is still his “family” and “one word”, the party congress and the central plenary session are gradually fixed, and the agenda is gradually fixed.

Duration: The eighth session is significantly longer than the seventh session

Starting from the Fifth Plenary Session of the Seventh Central Committee, the Central Plenary Session has two regular meetings each year, one held at the end of December. The main agenda is to summarize the work of the current year, deploy tasks for the next year, and review the implementation of the state budget for the current year and the next year for the Supreme People’s Assembly to vote. National budget; held in early and mid-June, the main agenda is to summarize the work in the first half of the year and adjust the tasks in the second half of the year.

However, the duration of the Central Plenary Session has changed greatly. Since he came to power, he has held 12 plenary sessions of the Central Committee. Among them, the Seventh Central Committee has held six plenary sessions in five years. The Central Committee has had six plenary sessions in two years, including one day for the first plenary session, four days for the second and third plenary sessions, five days for the fourth plenary session, three days for the fifth plenary session, and six days for the sixth plenary session. The large four-day session is still long, which is equivalent to the specifications of a party congress.

The Eighth National Congress will be held from January 5 to 12, 2021, for a period of 8 days. Four Central Plenary Sessions were held that year, which was very special, rare in a country ruled by the Communist Party and in the history of the Labor Party, and very abnormal. The main reason is that after the First Plenary Session of the Eighth Central Committee on January 10, 2021, Kim Jong-un was extremely dissatisfied with the 2021 plan approved by members of the Politburo, the economic secretary of the Central Secretariat, Kim To-il, the head of the Central Economic Department, and the North Korean cabinet. ideas and requirements.

From February 8th to 11th, 2021 (from the 27th to the 30th of the twelfth lunar month), the Second Plenary Session of the Eighth Central Committee will be held soon to thoroughly solve a series of issues such as high-level thinking, line, and personnel. According to his will, the Second Plenum of the Central Committee abolished the 2021 plan approved by the cabinet, raised the indicators for electricity, construction, light industry, and coal, and lowered the indicators for food production. On March 23, 2021, the foundation stone laying ceremony for the 10,000-unit residential construction project in Pyongyang was held in the Songxin and Songhua areas of Sadong District.

In 2022, the rhythm will return to normal. Even in the face of the national outbreak of the new crown epidemic, only two central plenary sessions will be held. In the first five years of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China, seven plenary sessions are held regularly, and only the second and third plenary sessions are held in the same year. Of course, the size and weight of the central economic work conference held in early and mid-December every year is equivalent to a central plenary session.

The homework for the Plenary Session of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China is before the meeting. Except for the First Plenum of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China, which only takes half a day to decide personnel issues, the duration of other plenary sessions is usually 3-4 days. The draft decision to be adopted by the plenary session usually solicits opinions in advance from the ministries and commissions of the Party Central Committee, the party organizations of various state organs, and the party committees of each province in writing. Make a statement of support. The draft resolution to be adopted by the plenary session will also be drafted in advance, and generally no major revisions will be made during the plenary session, and the pressure on the participants will be small.

The homework of the Workers’ Party of Korea Central Committee Plenary Session is during the session. Due to many difficulties, many decision-making mistakes, and many plenum agendas, usually during the Central Plenary Session, leading cadres from various localities and departments participate in the conference in groups, and refine and decompose tasks according to the content of Kim Jong-un’s report. This shows that Kim Jong-un’s decision-making ideas and report content are likely to have not solicited the opinions of various departments and central organs in advance, and it will take time to digest and reach a consensus. Implementation puts a lot of pressure on the participants.

Therefore, the plenum of the Eighth Central Committee of the Labor Party is getting longer and longer, usually 4-6 days. For example, at the Sixth Plenary Session of the Eighth Central Committee held from December 26 to 31, 2022, after listening to Kim Jong-un’s three-day report from December 26 to 28, he listened to Prime Minister Kim Deok-hoon’s countermeasures on improving and strengthening the country’s overall work such as the economic sector The leading cadres of various departments made speeches and written speeches immediately, and set up a “research and consultation committee” from the 29th to the 30th to understand and implement the programmatic tasks proposed in Kim Jong-un’s report, and to detail the specific tasks of all walks of life in 2023. Execute the plan and prepare draft plenary resolutions.

Economy: Highlights focus on residential construction

The first agenda of the Sixth Plenary Session of the Eighth Central Committee is the summary of the implementation of major policies of the party and the state in 2022 and the work plan for 2023. Kim Jong-un is very careful, so he must be very tired, and he will give a long report in three days.

The theme of the report on December 26 is the national economy, summarizing the work in 2022 in key industries, light industry, construction, agriculture and other departments, and deploying tasks in 2023. Summarize the remarkable achievements of economic construction in 2022 and focus on housing construction. There are two main highlights: first, the completion of the “long-cherished wish project” of 10,000 houses in the Hesheng area and the greenhouse farm in the Lianpu area. Second, model houses representing the new era of rural development have sprung up in cities and counties across the country.

According to intensive reports by the Korean Central News Agency on December 24, 27, and 31, Pyongyang City, North Pyongan Province, North Hamgyong Province, South Hamgyong Province, North Hwanghae Province, South Hwanghae Province, Nampo City, Kandok Mining Complex, Yongyang Newly built modern cultural residences in mines, Daxing Youth Heroes Mine and other places ushered in the joy of housewarming. In 2019, the Kandeok area, which suffered from severe floods, has been transformed into a national model mountain city second only to Samjiyon City. Kim Jong-un called for “fundamentally transforming the country’s rural areas so that our country’s agricultural laborers will take the lead in entering the gates of a communist society.” The main starting point is the new-style villages, which “show the great vitality of rural revitalization in the new era.”

All walks of life are different from the Korean Central News Agency announcing the good news through the Korean Central News Agency before the Fourth Plenary Session of the Eighth Central Committee at the end of 2021, completing or overfulfilling the annual plan. The industrial phase and Jinchangshi are light industrial phases. Obviously, the performance of the chemical industry (mainly producing fertilizers and cement) and light industry (mainly producing daily necessities) in 2022 cannot satisfy Kim Jong-un.

During the Sixth Plenum of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of my country, the Korean Central News Agency only released two drafts of a review of political achievements, both on December 30, respectively titled “The Miracle of Our Country’s Great Victory in Epidemic Prevention in 2022 Will Be Eternal in World Health History” and “To Strengthen the Development of the Revolutionary Armed Forces of the Republic A feat of strength built.” The former praised Kim Jong-un’s “excellent leadership, love for the people, and dedication” and “created an amazing miracle worthy of a special book in the history of world health.” Supreme Commander of the North Korean Armed Forces.

In the report, Kim Jong-un clarified the 2023 indicators of various sectors of the national economy and “12 important commanding heights”, the specific details of which were not disclosed. According to the general draft of the plenary session of the Korean Central News Agency, the author summarizes four main tasks, involving three areas of people’s livelihood: housing, food, and use: First, the Eighth National Congress set the goal of building 50,000 houses in Pyongyang in five years. While building the second phase of 10,000 houses in the Hesheng area, a new street with 3,700 houses will be built; second, more efforts will be made to promote rural construction, and the focus is obviously on the construction of village houses; third, the refinement of agriculture The tasks and methods that the department needs to pay attention to, and strive to solve the food crisis that deeply plagues North Korea every year; Fourth, name the departments that are directly related to people’s lives, such as light industry, local industry, service industry, aquatic products, and urban management, “to ensure that the party and the country The policy correctly benefits the people”.

Taking the food crisis as an example, Yonhap News quoted several sources in China on December 29 as saying that North Korea recently signed an agreement with two or three Chinese trading companies to purchase about 500,000 tons of rice to ease the food shortage caused by the new crown epidemic and natural disasters. Before June 2023, the grain will be shipped in batches month by month. In order to alleviate the urban food crisis, North Korea has carried out a movement similar to China’s 1960s in the 1960s. However, according to the Korean Central News Agency on December 31, since the Fourth Plenary Session of the Eighth Central Committee was held one year ago, only more than 4,790 young people across the country have signed up. Going to the heavy and laborious departments, the effect of population evacuation is mediocre.

The theme of the report on December 27 is ideology, North-South relations, and international relations. It summarizes the work in 2022 in the fields of socialist culture construction such as science, education, and health care, and deploys tasks for 2023. The theme of the report on December 28 was party building and party affairs. Kim Jong-un demanded that the combat effectiveness of party organizations be continuously enhanced, emphasizing the improvement of the role of party committees and responsible secretaries of provincial party committees, and the improvement of organizational guidance departments, propaganda and agitation departments, and other departments and cadres of the Party Central Committee. The role of guiding party organizations at all levels to correctly implement party policies.

On December 30, Kim Jong-un presided over the twelfth meeting of the Politburo of the Eighth Central Committee in the headquarters building of the Party Central Committee, listened to the proposals made by the research groups of various departments and the two-day consultation meeting, and the review of the state budget, and made revisions and improvements. , decided to submit to the plenary for approval.

Personnel: Accompanying “gold” is like accompanying a tiger

In each of the 12 central plenums that Kim Jong Un presided over, there was a “personnel earthquake”, and senior cadres were regarded as “domestic slaves”, and they were frequently rotated. The Sixth Plenary Session was no exception. On December 28, the second agenda organization issue was discussed, with the by-election of 17 Central Committee members and 26 Central Committee alternate members. There were six main points to watch.

1. Park Zhengtian was dismissed. According to the communiqué of the plenum, his two important positions of military secretary of the Central Secretariat and vice chairman of the Central Military Commission were replaced by Defense Minister Li Yongji. The bulletin usually does not announce the removed members of the Politburo and the Central Committee, but three major political events followed: Kim Jong-un presided over the Politburo meeting on December 30, 2022, and Park Jong-chun did not attend; Donated 600mm rocket launcher, 5 members of the Standing Committee of the Politburo attended, without Park Jong-chun; on January 1, 2023, Kim Jong-un led senior officials to visit the Kumsusan Sun Palace, and there were only 5 members of the Standing Committee of the Politburo standing in the first row, without Park Jong-chun. Judging from the photo reports of the three live events by the Korean Central News Agency, it is clear that Park Zhengchun has been dismissed as a member of the Standing Committee of the Politburo. Of course, it is not surprising that Park Zhengchun returned to the Central Committee and even the Politburo within two years.

2. Several members of the Politburo were promoted or promoted. Wu Rijing, former member of the Politburo and director of the Central Military and Political Guidance Department, was transferred to the position of the strong and pure man of the Central Civil Defense Department. The epidemic broke out in Pyongyang in May and spread rapidly across the country; Kim Soo-ji was promoted to a member of the Politburo at the Fourth Plenum of the Seventh Central Committee, demoted to a member of the Central Committee at the First Plenary Session of the Eighth Central Committee, and promoted to an alternate member of the Politburo at the Sixth Plenary Session, and then served as the responsible secretary of Pyongyang City ;Pu Taide was promoted to a member of the Politburo at the Fourth Plenary Session of the Seventh Central Committee, demoted to an alternate member of the Politburo at the First Plenary Session of the Eighth Central Committee, concurrently served as the vice chairman of the Central Inspection Commission, and the head of the Central Disciplinary Investigation Department, and was demoted to the responsible secretary of Hwanghae South Province at the Sixth Plenary Session; Kim Sang-geon, a new alternate member of the Politburo at the Sixth Plenary Session, took over the three positions that Park Taeduk was ousted from.

3. Jintou speeds up its comeback. At the First Plenary Session of the Eighth Central Committee, Jin Tou-il, then chairman of the Pingan South Provincial Committee, was promoted like a helicopter to a member of the Politburo, economic secretary of the Central Secretariat, and minister of the Central Economic Department. He took office for less than a month, and was considered low by Kim Jong-un because he led the main indicators of the 2021 plan. He was severely criticized at the Second Plenary Session of the Central Committee held on February 8, 2021. He stood up and responded many times as a negative typical public display. were all dismissed. However, at the Fifth Plenary Session held on June 8, 2022, he was elected as an alternate member of the Central Committee, served as the director of the Political Bureau of the Cabinet and responsible secretary of the Party Committee, and was elected as a member of the Central Committee at the Sixth Plenary Session. Li Yingzhi, a newly promoted member of the Central Committee of the Sixth Plenary Session, took over as the director of the Political Bureau of the Cabinet and the responsible secretary of the party committee. It is very likely that Kim Tau-il has been promoted from the vice-ministerial level to the ministerial level.

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