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Changes in North Korea

Posted By Shervin Rezaei On October 28, 2010 @ 1:01 am In Global Education | Comments Disabled

For the first time in the history of North Korea, North Korean state television has revealed footage of current leader Kim Jong-il with his youngest son Kim Jong-un.
Kim Jong-un, presumed heir to Kim Jong-il, was unexpectedly elevated to senior leadership positions only a few months ago, and recently appeared in public with his father at the 65th anniversary of the Worker’s Party.
He sat with his father and watched the commemorative parade, thousands of soldiers marching in unison with tanks strolling by, the slogans on their missiles reading: “Defeat the US military. US soldiers are the Korean People’s Army’s enemy
Little is known about Jong-un. He is currently 27 years old, and was educated at a Swiss school under a pseudonym.
On October 9, at a rare Worker’s Party conference, he was formally promoted to the rank of four-star general and given further senior leadership roles.
Assuming Kim Jong-il, currently 68 years old, is in poor health, North Korean officials are in pursuit of an heir, someone to combat the economic crisis in North Korea, and continue with its highly controversial nuclear weapons program.
Analysts presume that Kim Jong-un may succeed his father as leader of North Korea very soon.
Many believe that Kim Jong-il is in failing health, with rumors of him suffering a severe stroke only two years ago.
Unfortunately, North Korean officials refuse to reveal any information whatsoever, as they have done in years past, clouding every matter of their nation in secrecy.
U.S. Defense Secretary Robert Gates formally announced this expected succession last week, after officials found information regarding Kim Jong-il’s eldest son, 39-year-old Kim Jong Nam.
Kim Jong Nam was thought to be the logical heir to Kim Jong-il’s leadership role. His potential ended after the North Korean government caught Kim Jong Nam attempting to escape North Korea with a forged passport to visit Disneyland in Tokyo.
“I have no objection nor interest on the succession. I do not care about it at all, Kim Jong Nam said during a TV Asahi interview in Beijing on Saturday, October 9.
Jong Nam may have personal issues with his father, but he has expressed content with his younger half-brother Kim Jong-un’s impending appointment.
“I would like my younger brother to do his best for the people of North Korea and their true wealth. I am ready to help him from outside of North Korea whenever he needs my help, Jong Name said.
China is protecting Kim Jong Nam in the autonomous region of Macau from possible attacks from advocates of Kim Jong-un.
Many backers of Jong-un believe that Jong Nam still wishes to succeed his father as heir designate.
China is North Korea’s only international ally. The Seoul newspaper claims that a plot is underway against Jong Nam and his family, who move frequently between China’s mainland and Macau.
The South Korean government claims that China wishes to protect Jong Nam in case of a sudden collapse of the North Korean government.
North Korea’s crumbling economy has led its neighbors to believe that China expects the Kim dynasty of to fall.
Over the last two decades, North Korea has released a string of currency reforms with the hope of eliminating black market trading and any anti-socialism attempts to increase private wealth. Instead, popular resentment has grown over the reforms, as people rush to underground currency exchangers as soon as the North Korean currency is revalued.
North Korean infant mortality jumped up by 30 percent from 1993 to 2008. Farmers must tend and sell crop as collective farms fall victim to weeds.
Urban workers peddle anything they can grab: from metal parts from factories to smuggled wares from China.
Diplomatic issues are either neglected or threatened by brinksmanship.
Political uncertainty over successors to Jong-il’s power angers the North Korean populace.
It seems that all that is missing from this picture is complete social instability. Slowly but surely, North Korea’s regime will perish because of the country’s struggles.

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URL to article: http://www.denebolaonline.net/2010/10/28/changes-in-north-korea/

URLs in this post:

[1] Tension between the Koreas: http://www.denebolaonline.net/2010/12/06/tension-between-the-koreas/

[2] Modern Korea: one people, two nations: http://www.denebolaonline.net/2007/11/21/modern-korea-one-people-two-nations/

[3] Reunification faces political and economic adversity: http://www.denebolaonline.net/2009/11/25/korea-initiates-discussion/

[4] Political correctness: who is Asian?: http://www.denebolaonline.net/2010/04/14/political-correctness-who-is-asian/

[5] Post-stamps from around the world: http://www.denebolaonline.net/2010/06/10/post-stamps-from-around-the-world/

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