School of Language, Literature and International Studies
Reference Number: RS/13/26
Applications are invited for a full-time PhD (via MPhil). The studentship is tenable for up to 3 years for a PhD (via MPhil route) [subject to satisfactory progress] and is open to both Home, EU and International applicants. The bursary will cover the cost of tuition fees at the Home/EU rate plus an annual maintenance grant of £13863 per annum (2014/15 rates.) International Applicants may apply but will be required to fund the difference between Home/EU and International Fees. The successful applicant will commence on 1 October 2014.
Project Title – North Korea: Justice, security and international relations
The relations between both countries are complicated. From one side, there are many DPRK companies based in Thailand (such as restaurants), from the other side, Thailand is a country from where DPRK refugees try to reach South Korea. Therefore many DPRK agents are based in Thailand.
Kim Yong Il, secretary of the Central Committee of the Workers’ Party of Korea (WPK), had a friendly talk with the visiting delegation of politicians from various political parties of Europe headed by Chief Executive Officer of Inter Mediate Jonathan Powell, former Downing Street Chief of Staff to Prime Minister Tony Blair, on Tuesday [Please remark the underlining of the connexion to Tony Blair].
Present there were Vice Department Director Pak Kun Gwang and other officials of the C.C., the WPK, Dr. Franz von Daeniken, board director of the Swiss Drossos Fund and former state secretary of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Switzerland, Wolfgang M. Nowak from the Social Democratic Party of Germany, spokesman of the executive board of the International Forum of Deutsche Bank and former director-general at the German Federal Chancellery, Par Nuder from the Social Democratic Party of Sweden, chairman of the board of the Third Swedish National Pension Fund and former minister for finance of Sweden, Edmond Alphandery from the Union of People’s Movement of France, president of French CNP International Insurance Company and former minister of economy of France, and other members of the delegation
Kim Yong Il is the member of the Kim family who is responsible for foreign relations. He’s reputated to be highly intelligent and to have a fine knowledge of the western world. Kim Yong Il is also a specialist of Japanese-North Korean relations. He visited several times Japan.
Edmond Alphandery is a famous French politician with a high knowledge on economics. He managed also several companies in France. Edmond Alphandery is especially known for his optimism.
Recently, South Korean medias, announced that Choe Ryong Hae, the director of the powerful Political Bureau of the Korean Peopleąs Armz disappeared from the Political Scene. According to other sources, it rather seems that Choe Ryong Hae is alive, he’s however out of the scene for systemic reasons.
Choe Ryong Hae
First overall, those who are the most important in the North Korean system are people who are very often unknown. I’m thinking to persons belonging to the Personnal Secretariat of Kim Jong Eun and to the Deputy Directors of 3 departments:
- The Organization and Leadership Department
- The Propaganda and Agitation Department
- The Military Affairs Department
What I mean ? I do believe that important persons in the DPRK are not always on the top of the screen. Therefore it may means that Choe Ryong Hae may continue to play a role from behind.
I do also firmly believe that the core DPRK elites are switching their positions by rotation. Observing the DPRK leadership (such as Kwak Pom Gi), it can be noticed that people are very often changing their positions. It’s done not only to weak their positions in some structures but also in order to increase their competencies. The previous mentioned Kwak Pom Gi was a manager of companies, a former KWP regional secretariat and currently he’s one of the key economists of the DPRK, I may also quote of of my favorite DPRK elites who is rarely seen: O Su Yong. O Su Yong is rarely seen in public but he’s one of the tenors of the DPRK economy.
O Su Yong
I also think that the fact that Choe Ryong Hae is not visible is also a measure of the Propaganda Department which want to enlight/reinforce the position of Kim Jong Eun as a key leader of the DPRK. The absence of Choe Ryong Hae is underlining the power of the 32 years old Kim Jong Eun.
In a few words: Choe Ryong Hae is safe: don’t worry:)