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N. Korea Promotes Security Agency to Ministry

Posted April. 07, 2010 05:22,   


North Korea has reportedly tightened public order, promoting its public security agency to a ministry.

The North’s state-run Korean Central TV yesterday aired an interview with Rim Song Chol, an official with a construction team, while covering a project to build 10,000 housing units in Pyongyang on the evening news.

Rim called himself an official at the Public Security Ministry. Given that Radio Pyongyang had referred to the ministry as the “agency” until last month, the name change was apparently made this month.

A South Korean government official said, “We confirmed the broadcast but no official announcement was made in North Korea.”

This has raised speculation that North Korean leader Kim Jong Il has expanded his authority by putting the Public Security Ministry, which was under the Cabinet, under his direct control.

Kim reorganized the powerful National Defense Commission at the Supreme People`s Assembly in April last year and had Public Security Minister Ju Sang Song assume an additional position at the commission.

The North Korean leader visited the agency for the first time in November last year shortly before the North’s disastrous currency revaluation. Experts say he is strengthening public order to prevent social unrest that could threaten the stability of the communist regime.

Kim is apparently on his guard against public unrest stemming from the adverse effects of policy measures to revive the North’s planned economy, such as the revaluation and foreign currency controls. He is seeking to transfer power to his youngest son, Kim Jong Un.