Extra! Korea

June 27, 2009

I give up trying to guess about North Korean succession

Filed under: Kim Jong-il, North Korea — extrakorea @ 1:49 am

Not too long ago, I posted about how there might, finally, be some concrete evidence that Kim Jong-il’s third and youngest son, Jong-un, might be being groomed to be his heir. Now I might have to eat crow. I wrote:

The Rodong Sinmun, the North’s main newspaper published by the Workers’ Party, on Tuesday quoted Kim [Jong-il] as recently saying, “A revolutionary tradition created by our founding leader (Kim Il-sung) is the strong root of our party and its revolution. Our revolution has been successful because the blood of juche (self-reliance) has been inherited by successive generations.” (emphasis mine)

But now:

The North Korean press frequently used terms such as “bloodline to revolutionary ancestors,” “successor to the revolution,” or “let’s succeed to the cause of juche (self-reliance) revolution.” But experts point out that it is hard to link these phrases specifically to Kim Jong-un, given that they were used in the past too.

Brilliant Comrade“? Never heard of him.

In a telephone conversation with a North Korean refugee, a driver for a senior party official in Hoeryong, North Hamgyong Province said he had never heard the name Kim Jong-un before, and few North Koreans know about him. A former soldier who recently fled North Korea said, “Neither Kim Jong-un nor the succession have ever been mentioned in lectures around military camps.”

[ snip ]

A former North Korean historian who studied the history of the North Korean revolution said, “It was beyond imagination how much effort North Korea made to establish the Kim Jong-il succession.” If Kim Jong-un becomes the heir apparent and power is to be handed down to a third generation of the Kim family, a new idol worship, a mixture of “bloodline” and the image of the “warrior of the leader,” would have been created, he said, but so far there has been no propaganda to that effect.

I give up.

1 Comment »

  1. I think there is a good chance that there are competing factions within North Korea whose agendas occasionally pop up into the North Korean media. It may be imprudent to think of North Korea as having a unified media message.

    Comment by kushibo — June 27, 2009 @ 6:39 pm


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