General Political Bureau of the Korean People's Army

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General Political Bureau
Country North Korea
Type Politburo
Role Civilian control of the military
Part of Ministry of People's Armed Forces
Director Kim Su-gil
First Deputy Director Kim Won-hong

The General Political Bureau (GPB) is the internal politburo of the Korean People's Army (KPA), used by the leadership of the North Korean government to exert political control over the military. The GPB is subordinate to the Ministry of People's Armed Forces and operates under the direction of the Central Committee of the Workers' Party of Korea.[1] The GPB controls units of the KPA on all levels down to company level. It primarily exerts control through propaganda, education, and cultural activities. Under directions of the State Affairs Commission of North Korea, it also controls troop movements.[2]

During Kim Jong-il's Songun (military first) era in particular, the GPB remained relatively independent and unchanged for decades. However, after the 2016 7th Congress of the Workers' Party of Korea under Kim Jong-un, the party had regained enough power to exert influence over the GPB. Consequentially, in 2017 the party Central Committee was ordered to carry out an inspection of the GPB, the first of its kind in 20 years. The inspection was carried out by Choe Ryong-hae.[3]

As of May 2018, the director of the General Political Bureau is Kim Su-gil. He replaced Kim Jong-gak, who served only for four months before being dismissed.[4] The first deputy director is Kim Won-hong. [3]

See also


  1. ^ Minnich 2008, pp. 242–244.
  2. ^ Minnich 2008, p. 244.
  3. ^ a b Kim Ji-seung (23 November 2017). "Party reasserts power over military with inspection of General Political Bureau". Daily NK. Translated by Zwirko, Colin. Retrieved 2 December 2017.
  4. ^ Sarah Kim; Kim Eun-bin (28 May 2018). "Reshuffle at top of Pyongyang's army politburo". Korea JoongAng Daily. Retrieved 4 June 2018.

Works cited

  • Minnich, James M. (2008). "National Security". In Worden, Robert L. North Korea: A Country Study (Fifth ed.). Washington: Government Printing Office. pp. 237–282. ISBN 978-0-16-088278-4.

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