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Digital Archive International History Declassified

October 11, 1956


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    "Decision of the KWP CC Plenum, 30-31 August 1956," October 11, 1956, History and Public Policy Program Digital Archive, GARF, Fond 5446, Opis 98, Delo 721, Listy 15-22. Translated by Gary Goldberg.
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30-31 August 1956

Concerning the factional and conspiratorial activity

of Cdes. Choe Chang-ik, Yun Kong-hum, So Hwi, Ri

Pil-gyu, and Pak Chang-ok


The KWP CC Plenum held on 30-31 August 1956 considered the issue of the factional and conspiratorial activity of KWP CC Presidium member and KWP CC member Cde. Choe Chang-ik and KWP CC members Pak Chang-ok,  Yun Kong-hum, So Hwi, and candidate KWP CC member Ri Pil-gyu.

Cdes. Pak Chang-ok,  Yun Kong-hum, So Hwi, and Ri Pil-gyu, having already previously expressed dissatisfaction with the posts they held, and formed groups. Especially recently, using the absence of the main Party and government leaders, who were in a government delegation in fraternal countries, they embarked upon the path of an open factional conspiracy.

To accomplish their malicious plans they first of all condemned Party policy, discredited the Party and government leaders, spread various fabrications, and tried to weaken the ties between our Party and fraternal Parties. They sowed panic among the people, held private factional discussions in a hospital, a rest home, at home, at work, and in other places, gathered their acquaintances and malcontents around themselves, and assigned secret tasks to organize an anti-Party conspiracy. They carried out anti-Party activity with all means and methods.

Instigating individuals in the Party Committee of the city of Pyongyang and their supporters in some ministries and state institutions they forced them to deliberately refuse to obey the orders of the CC, and made it so that the work went badly. And Mr. So Hwi, being Chairman of the CC of Trade Unions, went to far that he tried to set the trade union organizations against the administrative organs and government bodies.

In addition, they even tried to foist anti-Party tendencies onto the army.

Therefore, at the August KWP plenum, when summing up the results of the work of the government delegation which had visited friendly countries they made statements secretly composed in order to unexpectedly attack [napasat' - SIC] the Central Committee. They planned to provoke a panic and dissention in the Central Committee and in the event this was successful to convene a "Congress of Party Activists" in Pyongyang with the aid of their supporters. It was proposed to gain support in the province of South Hwanghae and speak against the Party and government leadership everywhere.

The main goals of such a anti-Party conspiracy were to seize a "hegemony" in the Party to which they had come with wicked intentions.

Their conspiracy and specific crimes are as follows:

1. Cdes. Choe Chang-ik, Yun Kong-hum, So Hwi, and Ri Pil-gyu, without raising issues in an organized manner, supported the Party policy and line in words, but in fact distorted them and slandered the Party.

They ignored the correctness of the policy of our Party during the 10 years which have passed since liberation and also the enormous successes in political, economic, and cultural life achieved by our people under the leadership of the Party. They denied the successes and Party measures to improve the material lives of the people and, with malicious intent, made use of the fact that the people still live badly as a consequence of the brutal war, that reactionary circles spoke phrases that "the Party does not pay attention to the lives of the people", "the economic policy of the Party costs much blood", and even threatened the Party, saying, that "Poznan events can also occur in our country". They undermined the authority of the Party and government among the popular masses, striving to create mistrust of the Party among the people.

2. They raised the question of the cult of personality for more persuasiveness of the correctness of their reactionary conspiratorial actions.

With regard to the cult of personality, which has been manifested to some degree in the ideological work of our Party, they said that "this is a small issue", and Cde. Choe Chang-ik even said that in the report at the plenum about the cult of personality it spoke even more strongly about this issue than he thinks about this issue himself.

However then they waged malicious propaganda that there are "serious consequences" and even intentionally tied individual mistakes in work to the cult of personality. They thereby strived to undermine the authority of the Party leadership and create an atmosphere of anarchy in the Party, ruining Party discipline.

3. To achieve their rotten anti-Party ends they tried to undermine the tested and seasoned nucleus of the Party which had formed in the Party during the 10 years since liberation through intrigues and baseless slander of senior Party and government officials.

Therefore, spreading slander that "the Party policy with respect to personnel is incorrect", that "the Party nucleus is not in the Party CC but outside it", and that "the cadre of the Party center cannot be supported", they schemed to strike at senior officials of the Party CC and senior officials of many departments and ministries of the government.

They slandered Party cadre behind [their] backs who had working class origins, called them "ignoramuses", accused cadre who were intellectuals and specialists who had received an education during the period of Japanese domination as "Japanese agents", and called cadre "sycophants" who were loyal to their Party and had been seasoned in revolutionary struggle.

On the other hand, constructing plans about distributing the leading posts in the Party CC and government among themselves and spreading stories that supposedly "the current Party and government leadership will be changed after the plenum" and supposedly a "big shakeup of personnel will happen soon", they deceived the masses and openly committed subversive acts directed against the Party and government leadership.

4. They spread the anti-Party idea "about the benefit of factionalism" to strengthen their anti-Party factional activity, condemned the correct Party line of an anti-factional struggle which our Party has consistently pursued recently in order to strengthen the unity and cohesion of Party ranks, they strived through an expression of "sympathy" to draw comrades to their side who in the past had been subjected to Party criticism for factional activity, but had now embarked on the correct path, and finally, they directed their vile activity at using individual unhealthy and dissatisfied elements for their conspiracy.

Cde. Pak Chang-ok supposedly said that he accepts the Party criticism to which he was subjected at the 11th meeting of the Party CC Presidium and the 12th Party CC plenum for the mistakes he recently made in the management of literature and art, but on the other hand, expressing his dissatisfaction he had entered into a conspiracy with Choe Chang-ik and other elements, he joined their conspiracy against the Party leadership and launched subversive activity against the Party.

5. For a long time they not only sabotaged the norms of Party life, were morally unrestrained in personal life, and openly scorned assigned work, thereby violating labor discipline, but also strived to draw unhealthy and dissatisfied elements in institutions subordinate to them to their conspiracy, and to misconstrue Party policy.

Inasmuch the Party CC knew about the aforementioned acts of Cdes. Choe Chang-ik, Yun Kong-hum, So Hwi, Ri Pil-gyu, and Pak Chang-ok then the Party CC gave a complete explanation about the contentious issues they had raised, tirelessly educated and convinced them through individual conversations and discussions to immediately cease activity directed against the Party and put them on the right path.

Therefore they took such a position, with which they supposedly all agreed, and in fact they began to more energetically construct a plot and rudely blame the Party CC instead of thinking over their serious mistakes and sincerely listening to the criticism and wishes of the Party.

They especially opposed the decisions of the historic 3rd Party congress which they had themselves approved.

Therefore, as is apparent from the statement of Cde. Yun Kong-hum, which they drafted together, they proceeded from the spirit of the decisions of the 20th [CPSU] Congress, condemned the measures adopted by the 3rd congress of our Party, and slandered the 3rd congress and CC of our Party, casting a malicious rebuke that our Party CC allegedly was not faithful to Marxism-Leninism and "our 3rd congress has consciously distorted the decisions of the 20th CPSU Congress".

In addition, Cdes. Yun Kong-hum, So Hwi, and Ri Pil-gyu, ignoring the plenum and fearing criticism from other comrades, left the meeting and fled, but Cdes. Choe Chang-ik and Pak Chang-ok rejected their own criticism, trying to excuse their own criminal mistakes.

All these actions were no accident. They did not abandon their own long-time factional habits and, pursuing their low political ends, strived to accomplish their dirty political designs, making use of that moment when the issue of overcoming the cult of personality was being discussed in individual fraternal Parties and when the economic situation in the country was still difficult.

At the present time, when the issue of Party unity and cohesion is especially acute the Plenum thinks that such a factional conspiracy is an unacceptable and an anti-Party act and decrees:

1. Expel Cde. Choe Chang-ik from the Party CC Presidium and the Party CC; raise the issue with the Cabinet of Ministers of releasing him from the responsibilities of Deputy Chairman of the Cabinet of Ministers.

2. Expel Cde. Pak Chang-ok from the Party CC and raise the issue with the Cabinet of Ministers of releasing him from the responsibilities of Deputy Chairman of the Cabinet of Ministers and Minister of the Machinebuilding Industry.

3. Expel Cde. Yun Kong-hum from the Party CC and from the Party, and raise the issue with the Cabinet of Ministers of releasing him from the responsibilities of Minister of Trade.

4. Expel Cde. So Hwi from the Party CC and from the Party and release [him] from the responsibilities of Chairman of the CC of the united Trade Unions.

5. Expel Cde. Ri Pil-gyu from candidate membership of the Party CC and from the Party, and raise the issue with the Cabinet of Ministers of releasing him from the responsibilities of Chief of the Department of the Construction Materials Industry.

6. Suggest that the Commission of Party Control conduct an examination of Cdes. Choe Chang-ik, Pak Chang-ok, and the comrades directly associated with them.

Having exposed this anti-Party factional conspiracy, we have strengthened the ideological foundations of the Party, and [its] unity and cohesion even more. We should draw the appropriate lesson from this struggle with the anti-Party elements.

All Party members should not forget the bitter lesson received as a result of the effect of factionalism on the revolutionary movement in our country. Party members should persistently wage a struggle to eliminate the ideological vestiges of factionalism which still exist in the Party. It is unquestionably necessary to prohibit factional activity inside the Party and vigorously rebuff it as criminal acts directed at undermining Party unity.

All Party organizations should temper Party members in a Party spirit, strictly observe Leninist norms of Party life, demand fidelity to organized Party life, and fight to launch criticism and self-criticism, especially criticism from below, on the basis of the decisions of the 3rd Party congress.

However, in our Marxist-Leninist Party liberal and anarchic acts which violate Party discipline under the mask of "the development of democracy" and "freedom of criticism", ignoring the centralism in the Party and weakening Party unity and cohesion, are unacceptable.

Party organizations should vigorously fight anti-Party acts which are directed at slandering Party policy and its leadership, undermining the authority of the governing bodies of the Party, slandering and discrediting officials, [or] splitting the Central Committee of the Party.

The current internal and external situation requires an even greater strengthening of the ideological foundation and cohesion of our Party. Right now, during the period of an armistice, enemies stand face-to-face with us and are searching for even the slightest crack in order to get to us. Therefore our Party should exhibit high revolutionary vigilance with respect to malicious acts directed at undermining our Party.

The Central Committee of the Party is confident that all Party members will uphold iron discipline in the Party, arm themselves even more with revolutionary Marxist-Leninist ideology, rally more closely around the Central Committee of the Party, and mobilize all forces to achieve the peaceful reunification of the motherland and successful accomplishment of the building of socialism in the northern part of the republic.


Translated by: Kovalev



[illegible signature]

Three copies printed

Nº 1017

printed [?by] m/b

11 October 1956


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