Wednesday, September 29, 2010

The General Kim Jong-Un's New Clothes

A 27 years old four stars General in waiting for power in the most secretive dictatorial communist regime.

This is not a Dynastic Succession made in Hollywood but the perpetual embodiment of a "military regime" through the figure of an unknown "General". If today's announcement of the new leadership in Pyongyang is not exactly made of awards and trumpets, it is, like in an Army parade, constructed with an awfully serious and solemn procession. A strong announcement has been made by a more than sober "she" TV presenter in her Hanbok and she basically says in 3 directives what took months of conjectures and analysis by experts.

1 It is the first official announcement that Kim Jong-Un will be the next leader of North Korea but we do not where he is, maybe will appear at a military parade on the 65th anniversary of the Korean Workers Party's founding October 10th, the 'Party Foundation Day'.

2 Kim Jong-il, is now an old and sick powerful dictator worried about his health and KJI knows he doesn’t have a lot of time left. We heard about it from some French doctors who treated his stroke in 2008.

3 No transfer of power, just naming a potential successor-heir strengthening the family grip on North Korea politics. With the promotion of the 64-year-old sister of KJI, Madame Kim Kyoung-Hui, who will also have a look at economic development of the country with her husband Jang Song-Thaek, member of the National Defense Commission, she and he are the de facto "Regent" of Jong-Un. A survival of the Comrade Jong-Un entirely depends on the support of the Army leadership. The armed forces are to swear loyalty and obedience to the Communist party. But will the real Generals and Soldiers of the DPRK be happy with such a parody? It will have to be the sole choice of the corps commanders of the Korean People's Army and nothing guarantees they will swallow the "succession" and the "Reform Pill".

How retro! Still makes its way on DPRK's television

Indeed Kim Kyong-Hui and Kim Jong-Un are Generals who never served in the armed forces. While Kim Kyong-Hui's job was to take care of North Korean households, the elected son has spent much of his life in schools abroad in a rich and protected Europe. A top responsibility for Kim Jong-Un shoulders. As planned KJU in addition has been named a member of the Korean Worker's Party's central committee and the vice-chairman of its central military commission.

What was to expect? Nuclear unpredictable and secretive DPRK is not exactly a democracy. Yet in between gatherings and parades prep' and among announcements that will operate until mid October in DPRK the road ahead is paved with the so called "Power Reorganization". This is the crucial element.

According to the KCNA, Kim Jong Il issued order No. 0051 that Kim Kyong-Hui, Kim Jong-Un and four others are promoted to general, the military rank of Ryu Kyong to colonel general, the military ranks of Ro Hung Se and Ri Tu Song and four others to lieutenant general and Jo Kyong Jun, Jang To Yong and Mun Jong Chol and 24 others to major general. Ri Yong Ho, chief of KPA General Staff, was awarded the military marshal of the KPA, according to the Decision of No. 07 of the DPRK National Defense Commission issued on Sept. 27.

Pyongyang's Parades

A crumbling economy immersed in a cult of hero worship

Last, I noticed this interesting comment in the Korea Times: "How Jong-Un’s succession will proceed remains unpredictable at the moment as the North Korean Workers' Party renamed Kim Jong-il as the party's top boss [Secretary General with all power on the military]. But given the elder Kim’s poor health, this heir apparent may not have that luxury. After all, Kim Jong-Il himself served a 20-year apprenticeship before taking power, during which he consolidated his power among party and military ranks."

Now draconian reforms are to be imposed from supportive outsiders. Hu Jintao, China’s president, reportedly insisted on economic reforms before to give his 'imprimatur' to the succession, a few reasons good enough to expect ferocious political battles in Pyongyang and neighboring countries with one sole successor victim to come and this is, as always, the Hermit People of North Korea!

Freedom, reunification and development: A bridge too far away for Pyongyangers?

Sources: Reporter's Notes.

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