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Analysis of Major Issues in the Revised Rules of the Workers’ Party of Korea

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Author Oh, Gyeong-Seob
Publish Date / Page 2021-06-16 / 7 p.
Series No. CO 21-16(E)
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The revised rules of the Workers’ Party of Korea (WPK) were revealed at the 8th Party Congress of the WPK held in January 2021. There were significant changes compared to the last revisions made during the 7th Party Congress convened in May 2016. First, changes were made to the pressing objectives of the Party regarding North Korea’s policy on South Korean revolution. Given that this dictates North Korea’s future policies and strategies vis-a-vis South Korea, such changes will have a substantial impact on inter-Korean relations and South Korea’s North Korea policy. Second, the other noteworthy aspect was the installment of the position of first secretary of the Party Central Committee as a representative of Kim Jong-un. The notion of a representative is extremely symbolic considering North Korea’s monolithic Suryong leadership system. Therefore, much attention is being paid to what roles the first secretary will assume and who will be appointed. This study analyzes and discusses the implications of these two controversial aspects of the revised rules of the WPK; the deletion of the phrase regarding North Korea’s policy on South Korean revolution and the installment of the first secretary.