North Korea’s control tower: The Organization and Guidance Department | LIVE STREAM

Nicholas Eberstadt: Hello. Well, ladies and gentlemen, I’m Nick Eberstadt,
Henry Wendt Chair in Political Economy here at AEI. And welcome to our American Enterprise Institute
headquarters. Welcome as well to our television audience
and to online viewers. It is a spectacular late summer day in Washington,
DC, and I am not just referring to the weather. Today is a landmark day because we have the
privilege here of launching a remarkable report, “North Korea’s Organization and Guidance
Department: The Control Tower of Human Rights Denial” by Robert M. Collins. Those of you who know Bob Collins understand
already why this is such a big deal. Those of you who don’t yet know him are
going to be in for a real treat. In East Asia, there is this convention of
designating certain accomplished men and women as living treasures. If we had that in America for people following
North Korea, Bob would be the number one living treasure. Because there is no one in the United States
— or I would dare say no one outside of the borders of the world’s largest open-air
prison camp — who understands decision-making and political control as well as Robert M.
Collins. We have a lot of people in this town who have
opinions on North Korea. Not all of them deserve to have opinions on
North Korea, however. And if you were going to do a quick test on
pundits about whether they should be listened to in explaining how North Korea works, the
shibboleth would be to ask them about the Organization and Guidance Department. If they don’t know what that is, you might
want to move on to the next pundit. This book has been produced by a remarkable
little organization called the US Committee for Human Rights in North Korea. I’m honored to be associated with this. We have some of the board members for HRNK
here as well. We also have the extraordinary honor of attendance
by Mr. Ji Seong-ho. You may recall him from the president’s
2018 State of the Union address. He’s one of the great champions of freedom
for the oppressed population of North Korea. You will be hearing from him in due course. However, before we get to the main event,
I’d like to introduce the executive director of HRNK, Mr. Greg Scarlatoiu, responsible
for this report and the good work that HRNK does. Greg, please come up. Greg Scarlatoiu: Nick, thank you very much
for the very kind introduction. I would like to thank you and AEI for graciously
hosting this event. This is the third time AEI is hosting the
release of a Bob Collins report after Sungbun in Pyongyang Republic. HRNK is America’s only organization dedicated
100 percent to researching, investigating, and reporting on the human rights situation
in North Korea. I’m delighted that our board co-chair emeritus,
Roberta Cohen, is with us today. Also, three of our board members are sitting
on the panel. Of course, Nick Eberstadt will moderate the
panel today, and also David Maxwell, very happy to see him here today. “North Korea’s Organization and Guidance
Department: The Control Tower of Human Rights Denial” is the latest installment in a series
of reports by Robert Collins, all aimed to deconstruct and explain the DNA of North Korea’s
Kim regime and its policy of human rights denial. After “Marked for Life: Songbun, Korea’s
Social Classification System,” “Pyongyang Republic: North Korea’s Capital of Human
Rights Denial,” “From Cradle to Grave: The Path of North Korean Innocents,” and
“Denied from the Start: Human Rights at the Local Level in North Korea,” this report
is Bob’s fifth, and it’s his true opus magnum. This report gives a full measure of the depth
and breadth of the author’s knowledge and analysis acquired over many decades spent
as a North Korea expert, strategist, and human rights scholar. As Bob Collins puts it, Pyongyang is the capital
of the Kim family regime’s power, and the Organization and Guidance Department, the
OGD, is North Korea’s citadel of political terror. In order to understand and address North Korea’s
human rights violations now and in the future, one must understand what Robert Collins describes
as the Pyongyang OGD nexus of human rights denial. We’re often told, “Human rights organizations
should deal with North Korea as is, not as you would like it to be.” Well, this is it. North Korea as is, and Bob Collins explains
how the regime functions. Bob Collins explains the regime dynamics. It is a very important mission for me today
to acknowledge those who have contributed to this terrific report. Of course, the full credit goes to the author. We’ve also had a wonderful board review
subcommittee, Roberta Cohen, John Despres, Nick Eberstadt, David Maxwell, Professor Jerome
Cohen of New York University, all of the board members. Rosa Park worked on the design, editing, and
layout of the report. Raymond Ha, currently at Stanford on the West
Coast, is our editorial consultant. Amanda Mortwedt Oh, HRNK human rights attorney,
is the one who authored the executive summary. And, of course, our wonderful interns: Michele
Helen Reyes, who designed all the charts and tables. Dabin Song, Michele Beltran assisted with
the design of the cover. Most importantly, full credit must go to the
Collins family, especially Mrs. Kim Chongsuk Collins. They have been so extraordinary supportive
of Bob and his work. I have the privilege of knowing that a very
special guest has joined us today. Lieutenant General Raymond Ayers, United States
Marine Corps, has been a dear, close friend of Bob’s for almost a quarter century now. Lieutenant General Ayres and Mrs. Ayres drove
all the way from New York City to attend today’s event. Lieutenant General Ayers, we would be extraordinarily
honored if you accepted to give some brief remarks before we proceed with Bob’s presentation. Thank you, sir. Raymond Ayres: First, I’d like to thank
HRNK and AEI for hosting the event and for inviting me to say a few words. When I learned that I was going to be assigned
as the CJ5 in Korea, the first thing I did was call my friend, Major General Ray Smith,
who had previously held that position, and I asked him what I needed to know. His answer was simple, “Listen to Bob Collins.” I did. When I got to Korea, I took Bob out of the
staff job he was in and made him my adviser, my right-hand man. That was more than two decades ago, and it
turned out that, not only did I get the benefit of Bob’s forward-thinking insights on North
Korea, I also got the services of another exceptionally capable co-thinker of his, Dave
Maxwell. Dave really belonged to the CJ3, but Bob and
I considered him part of our team. So, we basically just stole him for two years,
and that was to everyone’s advantage, believe me. Their work on, let’s just call it, instability
contingencies in North Korea was light-years ahead of the rest of the US government. A plan like 5029 had never been written before
and to my knowledge has not been duplicated in any part of the world since then under
US auspices. Bob’s work on this OGD report is another
example of that groundbreaking thinking. It’s also the result of Bob’s total fluency
in Korean, especially North Korean dialects; his detailed research of primary resource
material; and his personal interviews with North Korean defectors, certainly more interviews
than any other American has conducted. The OGD report will undoubtedly contribute
to our government’s understanding of how decision-making within the Kim regime is channeled
and controlled by the regime’s dictatorial ruler. The report demonstrates exactly who controls
and implements North Korean human rights denial policies and practices. This insight is almost as important, in my
opinion, as the instability work of more than 20 years ago. I know Bob will have more reports coming out
through HRNK, and I look forward to learning from those as well. So, in conclusion, I have only one piece of
advice for all of you, listen to Bob Collins. Nicholas Eberstadt: Lieutenant General Ayres,
thank you very much for that contribution, and thank you for your service. We know the extraordinarily important role
that deterrence has played in the Korean Peninsula. We know why there is an open and flourishing
and free society in the south, and that is precisely because deterrence has worked so
far. So thank you and all of your comrades and
colleagues for your service. Bob, the floor is yours. Take it away. We’re looking forward to this. Robert M. Collins: I’m an old man, so I’m
going to sit if you don’t mind. Well, first of all, thank you to Nick Eberstadt
and AEI for hosting this event. Also, thank you very much to the director
for HRNK, whose encouragement and patience enabled this product to be produced and led
to this event taking place. I’m very, very grateful for that. I’m also very grateful for my boss showing
up and his wife, Linda. Thank you very much. One thing I want to say, before me, there
was a gentleman who has passed away that was an adviser to the US Forces in Korea for almost
50 years. His name is Steve Bradner. This report is dedicated to him. The subject: The Organization Guidance Department
runs North Korea. Now, not a lot of people know that, whether
they are Korean or even North Korean or from any other country, because it’s a very secretive
organization. And the supreme leader, Kim Jong Un, and his
father and his grandfather used this organization to ensure that whatever decisions they made,
whatever guidance they gave was heard by everybody that could possibly contribute to the goals
and objectives of the dictatorial regime. Now, if you ask the vast majority, vast, vast
majority of the 32,000 defectors or escapees that have come out of North Korea and now
live in South Korea, the vast majority have no idea what it is. You personally have to live in Pyongyang to
have some sort of understanding of what this organization is. Its purpose is to ensure that the regime is
secure, that the supreme leader is secure, and they do so by controlling every aspect
of everybody’s lives in North Korea. They control every institution in North Korea. They control all the leaders in North Korea. The government leaders, the party leaders,
the military leaders, they control all of them. And so it’s as if the personnel department
of North Korea was the most powerful organization in that state, and that’s true. It is, because politically, you could be the
lowest man in the Organization and Guidance Department, and state ministers and military
four-stars will bow to you because you have so much influence on their careers. And so, in this manner, they’re able to
control, not only those type of leaders but down all the way to the mineworkers, those
that work in the agricultural fields. It doesn’t matter who you are or what you
are, you are ultimately controlled by the OGD, either directly or indirectly. The process for this control begins with ideology. This ideology, which is basically focused
on the 10 great principles of monolithic ideology, begins when you are a baby in the cradle because
your parents are singing lullabies that are based off of this. I’ll call it TPMI, 10 principles of monolithic
ideology. And it goes through indoctrination sessions
that you have to endure from school all the way till the day you die. That applies to everybody. No matter what your rank, no matter what your
law position might be in society, everybody has to go through this on a daily basis. And ideology is the starting point. The practice that ensures that you remain
humble and loyal is called saenghwal chonghwa, which is a lifestyle self-critique. Every week, farmers, every three days, and
entertainers, every two days, because they’re allowed to be a little more open about what
they think, they have to go through this process and confess what they have done wrong or what
they have done that’s disloyal to the supreme leader. And that’s the focus. What is your relationship with the supreme
leader? That’s what you talk about. And you have to talk about negative. You can’t get up there and say, “I did
this to help the supreme leader,” and brag about yourself. That’s not what they want out of those critiques. You have to confess what it is that you did
wrong. Now, most individuals will not confess what
they really did wrong. They make up some stories about, “Oh, I
was late to work three times this week or something of that nature.” Or, “I smoke too much or whatever.” But people do find out what you do wrong because,
not only do you have to self-confess, but when you’re done self-confessing, others
get up and address and criticize you. All this is recorded, and it goes channels
up through institutions and geographical organizations through the OGD into its Party Life Guidance
Section, where those records are kept. So there’s a solid record of how you have
performed in relation to your loyalty to the supreme leader, your loyalty to the party,
and what you’ve done successfully to be a good citizen under the Kim regime. The control is also magnified by surveillance. If you work in an institution in Pyongyang,
let’s just call it the Ministry of State Security. There’s a headquarters obviously that is
in Pyongyang, and across the street from the headquarters is the housing unit for everybody
that works there and their families. It’s surrounded by a fence. There’s one entrance in and out, and this
is the same for every institution in North Korea. You are assigned to your housing, and you
have to stay there. So surveillance happens, not only by the individual
who’s at the gate who writes down everything every time you come in, every time you go
out, every time you get a visitor, but it also organize how the telephones are monitored
and whatnot but much easier that way. They keep track on you. And their records, they have what is called
an inminbanjang or a neighborhood unit chief who goes around and ensures that you’re
attending the right things to do and keeps a record of it. And all this ends up into the Party Life Guidance
Section files. And so of the 25 million people, the only
person that is exempt from those files — you can guess it — is the supreme leader. And so that’s how they can control everything
that happens. Now, I have to say that there is some weak
points to the OGD, and this is very important. It is very corrupt. Everybody that got into the OGD did thereby
a doggy-dog attempt to get higher within the process. Of course, you had to have some sort of connection
to get there in the first place, usually, family members, or you come from a family
that was associated with the anti-Japanese partisans during the ’30s and early ’40s,
or your father did well in the Korean War. The process is all about those connections. But once you get into the OGD, you know you
have made it. But you have to work really hard in controlling
others. And so, these individuals — and they have
what we call minor leagues, representatives from the OGD that are down at the provincial,
city, and county level that organize this material that they collect on the individual
people. And all this was, again, follow back up to
their Party Life Guidance Section. In the military, the General Political Bureau
does the same thing. That’s the political officers that are assigned
to every command and to every commander. They serve the same function. The control objectives is not only serving
the supreme leader’s security and the regime security; it is about denying human rights
ultimately. Any thought that we have in terms of what
a human right is is absolutely eliminated by the processes that I just described. The surveillance aims at that. The ideology aims at that. The self-critique is aimed at that. All of that is designed to ensure that you
can’t observe any particular right as we understand it in the West. It’s all about just the loyalty and serving
supreme leader. And so, the OGD not only controls what you’re
supposed to think, it controls where you live. It controls what your job is. It controls anything that’s associated with
an opportunity through a privileged penalty approach to whatever you do. And so, when you confess that you have done
something wrong, you know, at the factory, then you’re given some sort of punishment. Now, that might be some extra work and certainly
some extra study with the propaganda and agitation officer that’s assigned to your particular
institution. And if that’s all that happens, then you’re
lucky. But if you do something serious, then it’s
usually you’re off to some sort of labor camp. The more serious of these obviously is political
prison camps, and HRNK does a marvelous job at making reports that are associated with
these political prison camps. The political prison camps ultimately are
designed to ensure that those perceived as the greatest enemies are the ones that end
up in these political prison camps. That’s a subject for another time. They’re miserable. And you can go on the HRNK website and publications,
and you can download a number of these reports. They cover this subject very well. But that is at the top end of the penalty
structure in this privilege-penalty dynamic that they use to control everybody. The privilege is promotion, better housing,
better food, being able to live in Pyongyang. Pyongyang citizens actually have a different
ID card than the rest of the citizens of the country — is to control access to Pyongyang. They don’t want people not assigned to Pyongyang
to come into Pyongyang unless there’s a specific purpose, and then they have to get
permission from the police. And even in Pyongyang, they have a breakdown
of the elite, the second-level elite, and then the under elite, so to speak. But if you’re in Pyongyang, you’re there
for a purpose. And the purposes are all controlled by the
policies and practices and strategy of the Organization and Guidance Department. Now, the structure of the Organization and
Guidance Department is they have a director. For a long time, the seat was left empty,
which means, automatically, the supreme leader held the director position. And they started with Kim Jong Il when he
became the director under his father, Kim ll Sung, back in 1973. Formally, for the first time in 2017, it was
then given to Choe Ryong Hae, who had it for little less than two years. Today it’s held by Ri Man Gon, who might
be the most unique person within the political structure of North Korea other than the supreme
leader because he’s the only person who has had all other control on the OGD. And then previous to that, he controlled all
of the WMD projects in North Korea, clear the nukes, missiles, and everything else. So that’s a very powerful man that essentially,
we could call him number two, but there really isn’t any room for number two. And even the OGD and all the intelligence
agencies, security agencies, ensure that nobody considers themselves a number two. The structure of the OGD has a department
director. Then they have what is called a first vice
director, and that’s anywhere from three to five people who cover responsibility of
various elements of society. For instance, there will be one that’s in
charge of the military director. There’ll be another one in charge of the
regional director. There’ll be another one in charge of the
government agencies and economic enterprises. And then under them is a series of vice directors
who have specifics, and there’s approximately 50 of those within the OGD. These are all very, very powerful people. And like I said before, if you’re a minister
and you know what’s good for you, you bow in front of these guys, no matter what the
age difference, no matter what the right difference, because it’s very important to your future. Failure to do so — for instance, a few years
ago, the four-star that was in charge of the — who was the chief of the general staff
or their version of our chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, fell asleep during a speech
by Kim Jong Un. Well, as you probably know, he was blasted
away by ZPU-4, blasted literally to smithereens. That kind of rudeness gets, you know, a very
violent death. The OGD under Kim Jong Un, to wrap this up,
is capable of not only throwing you into a political prison camp, it is capable of conducting
investigations into what your behavior was, and that will ultimately lead to your execution. And Kim Jong Un has executed far more than
his father did, not quite as many as his grandfather did but [inaudible] to wrap this up. The OGD controls everything. The government doesn’t control anything. They are the lapdogs of the OGD, the lapdogs
of the party, and the party is the center of — OGD is the party center. And so, for our government and military leaders,
when they are looking to exchange negotiations with North Korean representatives, the guy
or woman that they are talking to is really just the front person. The person that’s controlling them is sitting
on the backbench, which is something that our government negotiators have never realized. The people that are in charge are never the
people that are up there in front negotiating with you. They’re the people behind them. And that’s very important because ultimately,
like I said before, control is the essential element of regime security. Remember that whoever our government negotiations
are dealing with in North Korea, that person has to go through all of those control systems
that I mentioned, the surveillance, the self-critique, the ideology study. They have to go through all of that every
time. And so with that, I think I’ll end my remarks. Nicholas? Nicholas Eberstadt: Thank you for that splendid
summary of your study. I’d like to invite our discussants up on
stage now. To join us here, Marcus Garlauskas of the
US government, David Maxwell, the Foundation for the Defense of Democracy. We have these gentlemen’s bios, the summary
of their distinguished careers in your bio statement, and I’d like to ask each of you
to offer your remarks for discussion. Markus, would you like to begin? Markus V. Garlauskas: I’ll tell you that
it was very hard to top Bob. You’re a tough act to follow, as always. As Nick has noted, I am a US government official,
but I want to emphasize that I’m here today in a personal capacity and that all my comments
today are going to represent just my personal views and don’t reflect the views of any
government organization. And also to be fair, Nick, there may be some
questions that you asked me during the discussion that I’m not going to be able to answer. Nicholas Eberstadt: Could I ask you about
personnel makeup? Markus V. Garlauskas: I thank you all for
this opportunity, and particularly, of course, I owe a lot of things to Bob. You guys you can tell from my bio but also
to Greg and Nick for inviting me to the event today and for all of you for being here. I particularly want to thank my wife, Morgan. I noticed, Bob, that you thanked your wife
prominently. I think that’s absolutely appropriate. We both owe a lot of our success to our respective
spouses. And actually a lot of our history together
I think is thanks to Morgan’s encouragement. So, thank you, Morgan. So I’ve known Bob for nearly two decades. He and I served in Korea in the early 2000s
when I really first came to appreciate his tremendous depth of knowledge on North Korea,
which you just saw in evidence. So later, as you can see from my bio, I became
his successor. I want to emphasize I use the word successor,
not replacement, as the chief of strategy at Combined Forces Command. So, as I said, Bob is a tough act to follow. So having had the advantage of reading the
advance copy, and I know a lot of you are already starting to thumb through your copies,
I have some additional thoughts and some things I’d like to emphasize beyond what was in
Bob’s presentation. So, first of all, I think Bob really makes
a compelling case that the OGD essentially runs North Korea on behalf of the leader through
the mechanism of controlling the party cadres. So, in essence, the OGD is this tiny sliver
that runs the 13 percent that really runs the country. Now, Section 5, which Bob didn’t talk about
in his remarks, I think is really helpful in a new contribution to the study of the
structure of the North Korean regime because it lays out a case-by-case comparison to the
Soviet Union and Chinese Communist Party structures in the equivalent structures. And it really underscores the idea that this
OGD structure is something that is in actuality in practice unique and much more influential
than it may appear just looking at a line and block diagram. And I found this comparative analysis, again,
to be one of the areas that was most helpful and really did the most to advance our understanding
of North Korea. Another thing that really comes across in
Bob’s account and in his remarks — but I think is worth doubling down on — is the
OGD’s omnipresence in life in North Korea. As he lays out in Sections 9 and 10, the OGD,
though it’s working from the shadows, really exerts enormous influence at all levels. And I think Bob, very effectively, lays out
the multilayered approach that the OGD takes that appears designed, to me, not just to
ensure that [inaudible] guidance is carried out throughout North Korea and not just in
Pyongyang, but also that the higher echelons are immediately aware when guidance is not
being followed with, of course, consequences to follow. And so, in addition to those elements that
I really recommend that you take a close look at when you read the piece, I want to emphasize
two other must-read sections. Number one, Section 8 on the party military
relations I personally found fascinating, particularly given our history and the history
of our special guests here today in dealing with the North Korean threat. I think everyone who’s involved in planning,
training, or exercising to deal with North Korea needs to read at the very minimum Section
8. They should read the whole thing, but at the
very minimum they should read Section 8 on party military relations. And I think Bob very effectively hammers home
that the KPA, the Korean People’s Army, is the military arm of the Korean Workers’
Party, not of the North Korean state. And then, of course, the key role the OGD
plays in controlling the military. But that having been said, the most interesting
part of this report to me as someone who’s been very focused on the future of the Korean
Peninsula was Section 13, though, a very lucky number you chose for that section or that
an editor chose, the future of the OGD. It’s a very brief, but it’s a very compelling
analysis. And, again, I recommend everyone read the
whole report. But if I had to recommend to the average reader
only one section, it would be this one. Wherever the North Korean regime goes, I think
Bob is obviously right that the OGD will be leading and directing the way, hence the importance
of understanding the OGD to understanding the regime’s future and its behavior in
crisis or contingencies, as the general alluded to. But I’ll add, it included — Bob, to be
fair, the only point of disagreement that I think you and I have on this issue or at
least the way it’s depicted in your writing that I feel I’ve gotta raise for the group
here. In Section 13, you say, “The Kim regime
structure and function is anything but flexible.” Bob, I respectfully disagree. It has some rigidity to it. But I think the potential for Kim Jong Un
to direct the regime to ruthlessly reorganize and to adapt without any real checks and balances
on his power, I think that’s quite real, as was demonstrated as we saw in the rapid
consolidation of power in his first couple years after his father’s death. And so you laid this out very effectively,
the way that the KWP governing structures and processes adapted under Kim Jong Un. And then, of course, he made this fateful
decision to retain and utilize the OGD during a relatively tumultuous period in a very successful
way. And so, this has given him, I think, a very
powerful tool that if he chooses to rapidly reshape and redirect the rest of the KWP,
he could do so on very short notice if he wanted to. So, again, only one very small nuance point
of disagreement, an excellent report. And I thank you for this opportunity. Robert M. Collins: Thank you. Nicholas Eberstadt: Marcus, thank you very
much. Dave, before your remarks, a small bit of
housekeeping. I know we’ve got a packed house and standing
room only, but I can see a couple of seats around over here. If anybody wants to win their way over here
to sit down, there are still a few seats available. Dave? David Maxwell: Thank you, Nick. And thank you too, Greg, the committee, AEI,
HRNK, and for the general’s remarks. You know, if you only gave me 15 seconds to
make my remarks, I’d say two things. First, what General Ayres said, and what did
he say? Listen to Bob. And I think that Bob’s remarks clearly prove
the general’s point. And I think that if you haven’t read the
report, just listening to Bob’s remarks, you got a tremendous education. And so I commend the report to you. Let me just give you my summarized views here. You know, obviously, we’ve heard, you know,
what the Organization and Guidance Department is. Now, from a military perspective, it is the
center of gravity for the regime’s monolithic control of all of North Korea. You know, it controls every aspect of North
Korean society from the political system to the economy, from ideology and propaganda
to national security. At its most basic level, it is the key instrument
of power that denies human rights of the Korean people living in the north in order to ensure
the survival of the Kim family regime and that the Kim family regime remains in power. Understanding the mission, the structure,
and processes of the OGD is absolutely necessary for developing plans, policies, and strategies
for the future of the Korean Peninsula and beyond the Kim family regime. Uncoupling this organization from the Korean
people is critical to achieving freedom in the north and for the eventual unification
of the Korean Peninsula. And there’s no comparable report or study
that provides this level of detail and value to anyone who is concerned with the outcome
in Korea. And as I’ve said, and I will continue to
say, this is a seminal work. Now, for me as a former military planner,
I ask myself when reading reports such as this, “How can I apply it? How can I internalize this report, you know,
to help develop plans, policies, and strategies to achieve you a strategic objectives?” So, I’m going to offer one anecdote, and
then like Marcus, I’m going to focus on Chapter 13. I’ll call it Chapter 13. The importance of this report is that it identifies
the cancer that exists in North Korea. The cancerous OGD has infiltrated, damaged,
corrupted, and taken over every aspect of every cell that makes up the body of North
Korea. And this cancer is responsible for the denial
of human rights to the Korean people in the North, and it keeps the Kim family regime
in power. But from this report, we have the most complete
understanding of the mission, organization, and structure and methods and processes it
employs to control North Korea for the regime. And this is very important. I would compare the OGD to the Ba’athist
in Iraq, though the OGD is far worse than anything we saw in Iraq. When we went to Iraq, we intuitively knew
the Ba’athist were bad. But we did not really know the organization. It, too, was like a cancer in Iraqi society. But when faced with cancer, there are only
two treatments. One is chemotherapy and radiation, and the
other is precise surgery to excise the cancer. In Iraq, we went all in on chemotherapy and
radiation to try to eradicate it. But this treatment has broad effects on the
cells surrounding it. And in the case of Iraq, our treatment of
the Ba’athist cancer made things worse for the people. Now, in the case of North Korea, this report
gives us the knowledge to conduct precise surgery to remove the cancer of the OGD while
doing the least amount of harm. This understanding can help craft the policies
and plans that will help decouple the Korean people in the north from the OGD, as well
as drive such things as transitional justice planning. Whatever happens in the North, whether it’s
war, regime collapse, internal regime replacement, or even peaceful unification — let’s hope
for the best — it will be more complex than anything South Korea and the US experienced
in Iraq. Yes, South Korea was in Iraq. But this report gives the ROK-US alliance
a chance to be better prepared to create conditions that can reduce suffering and bring about
a transition to a unified Peninsula and liberate the oppressed people of the North. Now, I want to focus on Chapter 13. No, not the bankruptcy kind, though if we
exert enough unrelenting pressure on the regime, perhaps we can bankrupt it. I want to start with a quote from the opening
paragraph of Chapter 13 that explains both the resilience of the guerrilla dynasty in
Gulag state, that is, North Korea, and how we must think about the future of the Korean
Peninsula, freeing the Korean people living in the North and solving the Korea question,
which is the unnatural division of the Korean Peninsula and, ultimately, the establishment
of a United Republic of Korea, “You are okay,” or “You rock.” So Bob writes, “Though the regime is in
its eighth decade, it seems unlikely that a group of anti-Japanese partisans could sustain
such a dynamic rule over that period of time. However, by the assessment of the sole-based
Korea Institute for National Unification, the reason the regime remains relatively stable
is to prescribe obligations demanded by the Korean Workers’ Party of every institution
and citizen. To that effect, party organizational life,
institutional organization, required revolutionary study, and self-criticism sessions keep the
North Korean regime afloat. Those policies and practices overseen by the
OGD create the conditions for human rights denial.” This chapter leads me to ask the question
I often ask the policymakers and strategists: What would we do right now if we learned that
Kim Jong Un was dead? You know, usually, we say there’s no succession
mechanism, you know, other than a designated heir. And if one has not been designated, no one
could say for sure what will happen and will remain in the condition that has influenced
us for decades on the Korean Peninsula, which I would call strategic paralysis or more precisely,
strategic planning paralysis because of the unknown and unknown of what may happen next. But it doesn’t have to be that way. Chapter 13 provides us with some possibilities. It lays out various scenarios that could bring
down the regime from war, coup, assassinations, natural disasters, etc. Chapter 13 opens up the possibilities of what
might happen. If I were a planner today, I would take these
scenarios and analyze them in relation to the first 12 chapters or sections of the report. Since I’ve called the OGD the center of
gravity for keeping the Kim family regime in power, it will be necessary to eradicate
this cancerous tumor from the Korean people and all institutions that remain in every
scenario that might occur in North Korea. Now, this report provides us with the knowledge
necessary to move from strategic planning paralysis to anticipatory planning. And nowhere have I seen written any possible
succession process. You know, as an example, if I were to take
the list of possible successors to Kim, you know, names named in this report and ask,
“What policies does the South and the ROK-US Alliance need to have in place now to address
these possible successors? Now, how do we influence them so that they
can have the opportunity to make the right decision in a crisis that will benefit the
Korean people living in the north and the ROK-US Alliance should a crisis occur?” Now, I could go on, and on, and on because
this is such a great report. But to conclude, this report makes one of
the most significant contributions to planning for the future of the Korean Peninsula. I commend it to the public, to scholars, to
practitioners who need to understand the nature of the Kim family regime to prepare to answer
the Korea question and to help free the oppressed Korean people living in the North. In the discussion, I would offer and ask a
question, and everyone should think about this. But I would ask Bob, you know, what would
you like to see planners, policymakers, and strategists do with your seminal work? And, actually, I have a second question. What advice do you have for planners, policymakers,
and strategists? You know, my answer, of course, is listen
to Bob. Thank you. Nicholas Eberstadt: Thank you very much, Dave. Bob, you’ve got some questions and comments
from the discussions. Would you care to respond or offer your own
comments? Robert M. Collins: Sure. I’d be glad to. Thank you. Marcus, I think you’re right. Certainly, if anything is going to be flexible,
it’s going to have to start in terms of policy and practices. Even strategy is going to have to start with
the OGD. Otherwise, there’s no mechanism to move
institutions to the left or the right with any efficiency whatsoever. As a matter of fact, the OGD would probably
first oppose it if they weren’t involved. So, I think that’s a good point. Dave talked about the center of gravity. The term “center of gravity” has a very
distinct planning concept within the military for understanding nations that are regarded
as a potential enemy because, in doing planning, there’s always the important concept of
contingency, what might happen. So, we have to be prepared for what might
happen. And, in doing so, we have to try to consider
what center of gravity is for that particular country or whatever. So when we’re talking about North Korea,
as we mentioned, the OGD is the center of gravity of North Korea. It’s not something that our government and
military grasp very well, but it is absolutely the center. The chief of the General Staff of the North
Korean military, he cannot wield the military in any way that he particularly wants to. He has political officers on his left shoulder
and a military security commander on his right shoulder, and they all ultimately report up
through the OGD to the supreme leader. That’s a method of control. That’s why it’s the center of gravity. And so, in doing so, within the report, it
covers how that center of gravity has its tentacles out institutionally, geographically. And the importance of that is, within any
planning in the government and the military, there what we call annexes. They cover specific areas that our government
and military need to be prepared for. Those annexes cover anything, whether it might
be intelligence all the way up to things like civil affairs and psychological operations,
logistic. There’s a whole list of them, not to mention
the operations. In each of those annexes, there is something
about the OGD that is highly applicable. And by reading the report — it’s not difficult
if you have training in this, and Dave and Lieutenant General Ayres have great training
in the concept of making plans — each of these annexes could be improved by taking
the concepts that are discussed in this book about how the OGD controls, whether it be
civil affairs, how are the people controlled? Whether psychological operations, what is
the propaganda that the OGD controls through the Propaganda and Agitation Department? How is that effectively used? And so our government and military annex and
our allies would use this information in order to counter the objectives and themes and messages
that come out of that particular North Korean side. So, there’s something in the OGD that is
applicable to all of these annexes. And so, for our policy planners and military
planners, it’s important to see, you know, beyond just what is the military order of
battle, what are the capabilities, what is their readiness, which is usually the focus
of what most planning does. We have to look beyond that in terms of how
are those things controlled, specifically within the target environment. And so I would say that the policy planners
and the military planners, contingency planners, all need to understand how this control within
North Korea applies to them for the future in order to look through future contingencies. There are very many of them as David has described. What would the OGD be doing within those contingencies? So, an example would be an assassination of
the supreme leader. Who’s going to take over next to be the
supreme leader? I was fortunate enough to be one of the first
Americans to do a debriefing of Hwang Jang-yop, who, to date, is still been the highest-ranking
defector from North Korea. And, in his writings, he states that if something
happens, the OGD will now, you know, determine who the next person is going to be, and they
will bring that person along until they can ultimately control as a supreme leader. OGD is going to be making that decision. Why? Because if they don’t, then they’re giving
power to some other institution within the state, within the military, and within the
party. And that’s just not going to happen. It’s like trying to take out the veins of
a human body without disturbing the rest of the body. That’s just impossible. But to go into the other contingencies, it’s
going to be similar. But you can’t remove OGD from the process,
even if there’s a war. And everybody thinks if there’s a possibility,
you know, it might be small, it might be a little bit bigger, whatever, in terms of our
US dealings with North Korea, Iraq, South Korea dealings with North Korea. Even if there’s a war and our forces were
engaged with their forces, you know, there are people that are trying to escape. So, those people are going to be controlled
into what we call a displaced persons camp. But the OGD is going to be sending, just like
they did in the Korean War, they’re going to be sending people in those camps to control
those displaced North Koreans to resist anything that the Allied forces have to do with them. OGD has a role for this. They have political expert within every institution
and every geographical determination. It’s important to say this. Even though there are no nuclear scientists
in the OGD, there are no missile scientists in the OGD, there are no, you know, economic
experts in the OGD, the OGD is out there to control those people, not to provide expertise. And that’s how they control the decision-making. And this is probably the most important part
of understanding the effectiveness of the OGD. The guidance comes from the supreme leader. “We want to do X — i.e., we want to make
nuclear weapons.” So that guidance goes down through the OGD
to the representatives in the weapons — excuse me, Ammunition’s Industry Department and
down to the nuclear scientists. This is where it’s going to be. The OGD doesn’t control the quantum physics
thoughts of a nuclear scientist; it controls his political life. And if he doesn’t conform, he could end
up on a pig farm because he didn’t do what the guidance told him to do. That has happened. That has happened. I don’t have enough time to explain that
particular story, but some time and other time, I’d be glad to explain it to you. But that process happened, regardless of whether
it’s nuclear scientist or the guy that’s running the agricultural farms all in Hwanghae
province or breadbasket. That’s how they control them. And the decisions, the recommendations that
come up from the nuclear scientist or the head agricultural guy in Hwanghae province,
the OGD ensures that it fits the guidance provided by the supreme leader. If not, that person’s in trouble for not
following the guidance. And then as it goes up, the supreme leader
makes a decision whether to say, yay, nay, or redo it. And so that process needs to be understood
by all of our planners in terms of whatever the contingency might be. Nicholas Eberstadt: Thank you, Bob. Before we proceed to a general conversation
and bring all of you, the audience, into our discussion, I would like to take a moment
for an intervention by a truly heroic man. His heroism is seen in his own personal courage
and bravery in escaping from the DPRK and in the physical losses he suffered in doing
so. And his heroism is also witnessed in the work
that he continues to do now on rescuing people from the DPRK and bringing freedom to people
in the DPRK. This is Mr. Ji Seong-ho. I’m going to ask Mr. Greg Scarlatoiu to
interpret for him. We’re going to need two — yes, we’re
going to need two microphones for this. Mr. Ji, it’s an honor to have you here at
our Institute. Welcome. Ji Seong-ho: [foreign language] Greg Scarlatoiu: Just say a couple of things
about the impact the Organization and Guidance Department has on the lives of the people
of North Korea. Ji Seong-ho: [foreign language] Greg Scarlatoiu: North Korea established the
Korean Workers’ Party in October 1945. Ji Seong-ho: [foreign language] Greg Scarlatoiu: The OGD is the most powerful
control agency designated by the DPRK Constitution. Ji Seong-ho: [foreign language] Greg Scarlatoiu: Through the Organization
and Guidance Department and the Propaganda and Agitation Department, the Korean Workers’
Party, North Korea’s mightiest political organization, rules over the North Korean
people. Ji Seong-ho: [foreign language] Greg Scarlatoiu: The OGD and the PAD exercise
control of the people of North Korea. Ji Seong-ho: [foreign language] Greg Scarlatoiu: The OGD and the PAD through
party-controlled workers unions, farmers unions under the umbrella of the General Federation
of Trade Unions of Korea, North Korea’s one and only umbrella trade union through
other organizations at the local level indoctrinate the people and exercise surveillance and control
of ideological obedience, legitimize hereditary transmission of power, and also legitimize
dynastic leadership. Ji Seong-ho: [foreign language] Greg Scarlatoiu: And they exercise this control
by managing workers unions, farmers unions under the umbrella of the General Federation
of Trade Unions of Korea, also through the Union of Agricultural Workers of North Korea,
through women’s unions. And also through the party-controlled socialist
Kimilsungist-Kimjongilist Youth League. Through these organizations at the local level,
they exercise indoctrination and control. Ji Seong-ho: [foreign language] Greg Scarlatoiu: The Korean Workers’ Party
held its seventh Congress in May 2016, and then the Congress replaced the title of first-party
secretary with that of chairman of the KWP, thus emphasizing the centrality of Kim Jong
Un to the party. Ji Seong-ho: [foreign language] Greg Scarlatoiu: I would say that the sequencing
of groups exercising control of the North Korean
people changed. Ji Seong-ho: [foreign language] Greg Scarlatoiu: Military, security agencies,
party were important prior to the Kim Jong Un regime, prior to Kim Jong Un assuming power. Ji Seong-ho: [foreign language] Greg Scarlatoiu: Under Kim Jong Un, we sense
that the importance of party guidance has increased. We sense that this is the party of Kim Jong
Un, the military of Kim Jong Un, the security agencies of Kim Jong Un. Ji Seong-ho: [foreign language] Greg Scarlatoiu: So it is important indeed
to understand that the OGD has played a key role, a central role in cementing everything
around the supreme leader, around Kim Jong Un. Ji Seong-ho: [foreign language] Greg Scarlatoiu: Somebody like the former
director of the OGD, Cho Yong-jun, is an extraordinarily influential character within the North Korean
regime, somebody who provides guidance directly to the supreme leader. Ji Seong-ho: [foreign language] Greg Scarlatoiu: By looking at the report
and thinking of the situation on the ground in North Korea, two thoughts came to mind,
two important facts about the OGD. Ji Seong-ho: [foreign language] Greg Scarlatoiu: First, the OGD appears as
a threat, as a warning to corrupt KWP officials. Ji Seong-ho: [foreign language] Greg Scarlatoiu: People know about the leader’s
guidance. The leader’s guidance is always right. And if things go wrong, it means that the
leader’s guidance was not properly implemented. The leader cannot be responsible; that guidance
is always perfect. So the ones who are to blame are party officials
who fail to adequately implement the supreme leader’s guidance. Ji Seong-ho: [foreign language] Greg Scarlatoiu: So I have discussed with
North Korean people and asked them what the impact of the OGD is at the local level. What is the visibility of the OGD? What do they see? What are the effects of OGD guidance that
are visible at the local level? Ji Seong-ho: [foreign language] Greg Scarlatoiu: What the women’s union
sees, members of the women’s union, is public mobilization for public projects and also
collection of funds from the women who are members in these unions and also the collection
of goods needed in such public mobilization campaigns. Ji Seong-ho: [foreign language] Greg Scarlatoiu: When it comes to the youth
league, what they see on a daily basis is a dress code restrictions and also propaganda
aimed to discourage them from watching South Korean movies, South Korean dramas, South
Korean video material. Ji Seong-ho: [foreign language] Greg Scarlatoiu: In the case of the agricultural
workers union, of course, what they know and what they see on the ground is that they have
to collect rice and other agricultural produce in order to fulfill the share that is to go
to the military. And this is practically the impact that this
guidance has on the daily lives of people from various walks
of life. Ji Seong-ho: [foreign language] Greg Scarlatoiu: What we can confidently tell
you based on discussions with my former fellow countrymen is that life has continued to become
more difficult under the Kim Jong Il regime and subsequently under the current regime
of Kim Jong Un. Ji Seong-ho: Thank you. Greg Scarlatoiu: Thank you. Nicholas Eberstadt: Thank you very much. Now, we would like to bring you, the audience,
into our discussion. We have some wandering mics. We have a very laissez-faire system here at
the American Enterprise Institute, but we do have a few rules. One of the rules is to identify yourself before
you pose your question, and the second rule is to please have a question mark at the end
of your intervention and to make it brief. Can I see a show of hands of people who would
like to make an intervention? I see one, two, three, four, five, six. I tell you what we’ll do. I think maybe we’ll start over here, and
we’ll gather, let’s say, three interventions, and then we’ll see how far along we go with
our panelists on those. Then we’ll gather another set, and then
we’ll head toward conclusion. So can I see hands again? I want to see, one, two. Let’s start over here on this side. Who’s got the mic? Let’s start here, please, and move our way
back there. I think I know who you are, but please identify
yourself. Q: My name is Marcus Noland. It’s seldom that you have two white men
named Marcus in the same room. Spelled differently. I am at the Peterson Institute for International
Economics, the East-West Center. I’m also a board member of HRNK. Twenty years or more ago, the late Steve Brandner
invited me to give a presentation at USFK. And it was a somewhat intimidating experience. I was brought into an auditorium with, you
know, terrace seating full of high-ranking military officers, and I began sort of stumbling
through a presentation on the famine. And a Marine Corps general raised up his hand,
and he said, “What you really need is a diagram that shows this.” And the light bulb went off in my head, and
I came back to Washington. I was talking to my coauthor, and he said,
“How did it go?” And I said, “Well, you know, I think I did
okay. But there was a Marine Corps general there. He said we need this diagram.” And I sketched out this paper and pushed it
across the table. And he looked at it and chuckled, then he
said, “That’s a man who knows how to brief.” So, thank you, General Ayres. You helped me get my academic paper published
in the Economics Journal. Now, my formative experience on North Korea
was the famine, and this was a time of desperation, a system frame, people dying, people fleeing
the country. And to this day, there is enormous controversy
outside of North Korea about the basic facts, how many people died, who they were, and so
on. Nick cut his bones by pointing out that the
census numbers don’t add up. If I take Bob’s wonderful presentation at
sort of face value, it suggests that the North Korean system possesses extraordinarily detailed
information about the population. And so, if you think about, kind of, you know,
chaos and people dying and people fleeing on the one hand and this sort of well-oiled
machine that knows precisely what everyone is doing and what they’re thinking on the
other, where do you think the system really is? And is it that the system at one point kind
of frayed, but it’s been rebuilt, and today, it’s now, once again, a well-oiled machine? Because it seems to me that — and I’m
not sure how I’m going to put a question mark at the end to this — is that if that
characterization is correct and the leadership, in some sense, has extraordinary information,
one would think that if they understood the right questions to ask, this could be enormously
useful, not in terms of the control that you described, but in terms of just making policy
for this society to function better. Nicholas Eberstadt: Thank you. Maybe he’ll pass it to you. Q: Hi. I’m Minjung Chi from Blueprint Korea. It’s an NGO for young millennials to envision
Korea after unification. And my question is: It seems like North Korea
is certainly one of the longest-surviving closed regimes in that sense compared to East
Germany, Libya, Soviet Union. This OGD has done a very successful job in
keeping it that way. So, my question is: What do you think is the
biggest factor that contributed to the success of that total control of people and on society? Well, the second one is: If you think a major
part of it can be a complete blockage of free flow of information, then do you see any changes
that could have a direct impact in that matter? Thank you. Nicholas Eberstadt: Thank you very much. A question in the back. Q: George Hutchinson, managing editor for
the International Journal for Korean Studies. Another great report, Bob, great discussant
flow. So this report is very useful, but I think
particularly useful between the diplomacy and military planning tension that might exist
in a planning scenario. And should it come to it? Should there be a self-inflicted collapse,
or should we evolve into a regime change scenario? Is the OGD comprehensively targeted, or is
there some part of that apparatus that is preserved and worked with? And Dave, I think, and by all of you, really
[inaudible] Nicholas Eberstadt: Gents, I’d like to ask
you to hold your fire for a moment because I’m watching the clock, and I want to get
our audience to be able to pose all their questions. [inaudible] as many as we can. So, let’s see. We have some more questions. I see one, two, three. Let’s get three more questions and then
— yes. And we’ll start in the back. Please identify yourself. Q: Joong-ho Kim, visiting scholar at the GW. Thank you for your great research results. Since OGD has been known to have absolute
power and monolithic leadership system in North Korea, the position of the OGD head
was never open to anyone but Kim. But under Kim Jong Un, it is different. How do you read the change, particularly in
terms of a working mechanism or royal family cadre’s relations? Nicholas Eberstadt: Thank you. And up here, please, the young lady. Q: Hi. I’m Tara O. Thanks, Bob, for a wonderful
presentation, and thanks to the panel. Two quick questions. One, given how powerful OGD is to the point
where even the Ministry of State Security personnel are afraid about OGD, how does Kim
Jong Un keep this all-powerful OGD in check so that it doesn’t challenge him? That’s number one. And the second question is you mentioned the
corruption earlier of OGD. And how is that impacting the effectiveness
or the stability of OGD in North Korea in general? Nicholas Eberstadt: Thank you. And we have a question over here from my colleague. Q: Thank you. Roberta Cohen, board of HRNK. Bob, thank you again for a report you’ve
done many for HRNK that really sets forth what’s on the ground in North Korea. But I’d like you to comment, if you can,
on what the limits of the control are. You can control what people say and what they
do, but you really can’t control thoughts in the way. I think people have a lot of thoughts. I don’t know what is thought by party people
when they see purges and executions of their own ranks. I don’t know what they think. When you listen to Thae Yong-ho, which was
part of the government, which you say doesn’t count very much, and he was exposed to England
for many years and also Europe. But his thinking is different from what one
would have thought that would come out of this kind of super surveillance and constant
ideological control. So, can you say anything about the thinking,
the thought process? Because that, in some ways, will determine
what a future is as well. Does this thing collapse? Someone asked, can we work with any part of
it, or what do people — what are they thinking? What do you think they’re thinking? What do you find out every now and then that
changes any of the structure that you may give a lot of power to? What are the thoughts? Nicholas Eberstadt: Thank you very much. Well, we have a wealth of important and I’d
also say very interesting questions. We don’t have much time left. I would suggest we allocate it as follows. Let’s give Bob five or six minutes to address
the most important aspects of the questions that you can in that limited amount of time,
and then let’s give each of our discussants two minutes to address the single most important
of the questions that you see. Select one you think is the most important
and address it. Then we’ll be out of time. Bob? Robert M. Collins: Thank you. To Tara’s question, it is a triumvirate
surveillance system that does this control. Of course, the Ministry of People’s Security,
which is the national police, monitors everybody, but they can’t monitor the Ministry of State
Security, which is the secret police. The organization that monitors the secret
police is the Changgwang Police Department of the Ministry of People’s Security, which
is separate from the Ministry of People’s Security because it works directly for the
supreme leader, directly for the supreme leader. It has the authority to inspect all of the
OGD members. And that’s how the control is for controlling
individual OGD leaders because — and the OGD cannot stand down the Changgwang Police
Department, which is like a district, like the Brooklyn Police Department in New York. It is a district police, and, again, it reports
directly to the supreme leader. So, that little triumvirate process is how
those OGD guys are monitored. And so I think I answered that question. For Kim Jong Un in his thinking, obviously,
he had a different educational background. He brings some modern thinking into the leadership
of North Korea. Kim Il Sung was all about revolution, establishing
a state for the Korean people that was based on, at the time, Karl Marx principles, but
evolved to what he called Juche, of course, which is ideology established, not personal
goals, but national goals and objectives. But Kim Jong Un comes in with a Western education,
and you can see distinct improvements in science and technology since he has taken over. For instance, nuclear scientists were not
allowed to collaborate with each other. There’s a lot of different expertise that
goes into making a nuclear weapon, chemistry, quantum physics, metallurgy to contain it,
electricians, that kind of stuff. But they were never allowed to do any distinct
amount of collaboration. Under Kim Jong Un, that was removed, and you
can see a distinct high increase in number of nuclear tests, the success of more missile
launches, and things of that nature. And he’s applied this to the economic sector
as much as he could. He even tries to improve the life of the Pyongyangites. He doesn’t try to improve the lives of those
outside Pyongyang, but his core, he’s trying to improve the life of the core, better buildings,
better housing, better food, and whatnot. But he still doesn’t address the concept
of human rights, and he will never do that because that’s a direct threat to his own
personal security and regime security. So it’s a more modern thinking man that
is in charge now. To the question on — to Markus Nolan’s
question. The data we’re talking about at local data
starts not only with the local party committee and the organization department vice-chairman,
which is the OGD rep down there, but also with the police. The police go out and actually collect a lot
of the data and report it back to local leaders. And that’s kept on record within that local
police department, and the data comes from there. Now, of course, these are all regarded secret. And any data that goes to the OGD, Kim Jong
Il said it’s the secrets of secrets. So, the data is there. They don’t publicly release this data, but
it gives them an opportunity to assess where the problems are. And in connection with that, Markus here said
that — with a “k” Markus was talking about shifting focus and can do that quickly. Well, of course, they had to do that in the
’90s of the famine that Marcus Noland with a “c” wrote about. They knew that, at the time, it’s like a
body that’s freezing. The body automatically protects the organs
rather than to protect the limbs. And so, that’s what they did. They were able to do that, and the control
mechanism for that was the Organization and Guidance Department putting out the senior
leaders’ guidance and ensure that everybody obeyed about protecting the organs rather
than protecting the limbs. That process obviously worked back then. I don’t remember what this gentleman asked,
so I don’t know what to say. And I don’t remember what you asked. What was your question again? Markus V. Garlauskas: Bob, I can cover that. Robert M. Collins: You want to answer that? Markus V. Garlauskas: I’ll cover hers [inaudible]. Robert M. Collins: Okay. He’ll cover yours. Anyway, I hope I answered some of your questions. Nicholas Eberstadt: Thank you. Thank you very much, Bob. Markus, do you want to — Markus V. Garlauskas: So I’m not known for
my brevity, so I’m going to turn on my stopwatch for the two minutes. So, I think the most important question broadly
of all these was the one about the information control because of the far-reaching aspects
of that. So, I’m glad you raised it. So we’ve talked before very publicly about
the increasing flow of information in and out of North Korea and even the lateral flow
of information inside North Korea. And I personally believe it’s one of the
most significant societal phenomena that we need to keep an eye on to understand what’s
going on in North Korea. It’s intimately and directly connected,
I think, with the generational change in North Korea, with social change, and then, of course,
with the marketization. And as far as what we should be doing about
it, I think that’s a discussion for another time. But in terms of understanding what is in Bob’s
report and the role of the OGD, I think the fact that there is such a greater flow of
information than there was, say, when the OGD was founded, I think, is probably the
most significant phenomenon that we’re looking at, information, to be clear, that the regime
is not controlling. Nicholas Eberstadt: Dave? David Maxwell: I’d like to take George’s
question because I think that it has what I really focused on. And, as a military colleague, I think George
and I are in line there. So, he asked about how much of the OGD would
you keep intact if there was regime collapse or war or something like that. You know, and Bob has outlined the three chains
of control — military, political, security — all feeding into the OGD. This is something that takes a lot of thinking. You know, I’ve often thought that one of
the most important institutions to keep intact, particularly in a collapsed situation, is
the military, a functioning chain of command. I worry about the OGD, and I think my initial
sense is that’s gotta be eradicated. And the reason I say that is because of what
Bob — the anecdote he told. Even in war, if there are displaced persons,
refugees coming to the south, there’ll be members of the OGD that will be trying to
control them. And so I think the OGD is so insidious and
will try to control and counter the unification process that will be led by South Korea and
try to continue to control it, that it’s going to have to be eradicated. But we can’t throw out all of the institutions
of North Korea, and military perhaps being one of them. And so this is a really tough question, but
Bob’s report really helps us to think about that problem. And it requires a lot more study and analysis
and thought. And so I will end there. Nicholas Eberstadt: Thank you very much. Well, we’ve reached the end of our discussion. I’d like you all to join with me in appreciation
for the extraordinary report that Bob Collins has done and the splendid discussion that
our panelists gave us. Thank you all very much. I suspect you may be able to entice our speaker
and the discussants to linger a few minutes if you have some pressing questions that you
wish to discuss with them. Thank you all very much and congratulations. Robert M. Collins: Thank you. David Maxwell: Thank you. Markus V. Garlauskas: Thank you. Robert M. Collins: Thank you, a great one.

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