Wednesday, April 14, 2004


(Hat tip to Rantburg)
The brother-in-law of North Korean leader Kim Jong-il no longer plays a key role in the communist regime's top ranks, a senior government official and North Korea experts in Seoul said yesterday.
Jang Song-thaek, 58, whose most recent post was the first vice department director of the Central Committee of the Workers' Party, was regarded as the second most powerful figure in North Korea's ruling party. The committee groups North Korea's power elite, and Mr. Jang was a policymaker on economic and personnel affairs at the highest level of government.
The Tokyo Shimbun reported yesterday that Mr. Jang was removed from the post after losing a power struggle with Pak Pong-ju, the North's prime minister. After repeatedly objecting to Mr. Pak's initiative to adopt more capitalist experiments in the famine-stricken communist country's economy, Mr. Jang was sent to the party's school to study economics, the report said.
This is P'yongyangology at its finest.

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