north korea

Before the death of Kim Jong Il in December 2011, some voices of South Korea and the international community believed that if the absolute power, Kim Jong Il, died suddenly, North Korea might have a “state of emergency” and the whole country was in anarchy. This view is to look at the North Korean and Kim Jong Il regime from a very narrow perspective. In North Korea, the Labor Party (the core is the Central Committee of the Labor Party and the Central Military Commission), the state’s public security organs (the Ministry of National Security and the People’s Security Ministry), the army is responsible for the ruling elite and the Korean people, so even if Kim Jong Il suddenly died, North Korea also There was no serious chaos.

Therefore, it is very important to make a scientific evaluation of the possibility and stability of the collapse of the Korean system and the conditions for the unification of the Korean peninsula, and to clearly understand who influences the labor party that manages the main powers and what role they play. .

Kim Jong-un is a Stalin-style “leader” with absolute power in the current Korean power system. As the “leader”, Kim Jong-un served as the highest position of the party – “the chairman of the Labor Party”, the highest position of the state – “the chairman of the State Council”, the highest position of the army – the commander-in-chief of the Republic of the Republic (also known as “the highest Commander”). These three positions are necessary for the stability of Kim Jong-un’s absolute power, but the party leads all other powers, so the highest position of the party is more important than the highest position of the state and the military. Therefore, when North Korea mentioned Kim Jong-un, he would give priority to the position of “the chairman of the Labor Party.”

In the era of Kim Jong-un, the five major power organs were the Central Committee of the Labor Party (the Party Central Committee), the Central Military Committee of the Labor Party (the Party Central Military Committee), the State Council, the Standing Committee of the Supreme People’s Assembly, and the Cabinet. The Party Central Committee is the highest decision-making body in all fields except the military field. The Party Central Military Committee is the highest decision-making body in the military field. Although North Korea has conducted many important meetings of the Party Central Committee and the Party Central Military Committee to decide important policies, it has not disclosed the State Council until now. This embodies that in the party-state system of the party-led state, the state agency, the State Council, does not assume the role of the core decision-making body.

Like his grandfather Kim Il Sung, Kim Jong-un will pass the collective consultation mechanism (the party congress, the party central committee plenary meeting, the party central committee political bureau meeting, the party central committee political bureau standing committee, the party central military committee meeting, the Korean labor The enlarged meeting of the joint meeting of the Party Central Committee and the Labor Party People’s Army Committee, the National Security and Foreign Sector Consultation Meetings to decide or announce important policies. Kim Jong-un emphasized the role of the collective bargaining body because he did not want to listen to the opinions of a few people around him just like Kim Jong-il. Instead, he wanted to gather the cadres together and discuss them after discussion.

Kim Jong-un emphasized the role of the collective bargaining body. This year, the core decision-making bodies and executive bodies of the Party Central Committee, the Politburo and the Political Affairs Bureau, have increased in comparison with the past. In particular, the number of officials of the Party Central Committee who participated in the policy of Kim Jong-un’s daily policy increased from the initial 10 to 13, and the additional officials were all cadres in the economic field. Despite the high-intensity sanctions imposed by the international community on North Korea, the North Korean economy has not experienced a serious crisis for the time being. In this context, Kim Jong-un’s visit to China in 2018 to improve Sino-DPRK relations is closely related to Kim Jong-un’s re-use of economic officials.

After the establishment of the Kim Jong-un system, the status of the Korean Labor Party cadres and the elites in the fields of economy, diplomacy, education, and military affairs have all improved, and the status of the traditional military elite has declined. Before the 7th Party Congress in May 2016, the Political Bureau of the Party Central Committee had only two cabinet elites, but now it has grown to six. Beginning with the Seventh Party Congress, the Prime Minister of the Cabinet was included in the Party Central Military Commission and expanded the influence of the Cabinet to the military policy field. In addition, at the Seventh Congress of the Party, the Cabinet Foreign Affairs was included in the Political Bureau of the Party Central Committee. After the National Defense Commission, which was abolished in June 2016, was replaced by a new State Council, the diplomatic elites of the party and state institutions entered the core powers in a big way, and the influence of the diplomatic elite was expanded.

After Kim Jong Il’s death, the North Korean leadership was gradually occupied by Kim Jong-un’s “confidence”, in April 2019, the Fourth Plenary Session of the Seventh Central Committee of the Party and the First Meeting of the Supreme People’s Assembly in the fourteenth session, the highest in August. At the second meeting of the 14th session of the People’s Congress, the party and state leadership were reorganized to complete the generational exchange of the core elites of North Korea. The chairman of the Standing Committee of the Supreme People’s Congress was changed from the 91-year-old Jin Yongnan to the 69-year-old Cui Longhai, who was 22 years younger. Among the two vice-chairmen of the Standing Committee of the Supreme People’s Assembly, the 94-year-old Yang Yuzhen was dismissed (dismissed) in April 2019, and the 66-year-old former higher education, Xiang Tai Hengzhe, took over the position. In August of the same year, Kim Yongda, 82-year-old chairman of the Central Committee of the Social Democratic Party of the DPRK, was dismissed as the vice chairman of the Standing Committee of the Supreme People’s Assembly. The new chairman of the Central Committee of the Social Democratic Party, aged 53 or so, took over the Standing Committee of the Supreme People’s Assembly. Vice Chairman of the Committee. The Speaker of the Supreme People’s Assembly also changed from the 42-year-old Cui Taifu to the 64-year-old Party Central Committee Vice Chairman Park Tae-sung, who was 25 years younger. The new cabinet prime minister, Kim Jae-jung, is also much younger than the former cabinet chief, Park Phoenix, who is 80 years old.

After Kim Jong-un was in power, the five-member supreme decision-making body, the Standing Committee of the Political Bureau of the Labor Party Central Committee, elected the Chief of the General Political Bureau of the People’s Army and the Chief of Staff. The position of the military in the entire leadership has been very high. But at present, the head of the military department, the General Political Director of the People’s Army, has lost the status of a member of the Political Bureau of the Party Central Committee. The status of the Chief of Staff and the People’s Armed Forces is equivalent to the status of the alternate members of the Political Bureau of the Party Central Committee. The status of military personnel has dropped significantly compared to the past.

On the other hand, the status of the elites in the military industry is relatively stable. This is because Kim Jong-un is committed to transforming the over-expanding army advocating the politics of the first army in the Kim Jong Il era into an elite army with advanced weapons. Therefore, regardless of the progress of the US-DPRK negotiations in the future, North Korea’s short-range missiles, radios, and submarine-launched ballistic missiles (SLBMs) ​​may be tested.

Among the North Korean leadership, the expansion of the elite influence of the Labor Party, the economic and diplomatic fields, and the decline of the military status are very positive factors, but this does not mean that North Korea is actively participating in the denuclearization negotiations with the United States. In order for North Korea to actively participate in the negotiations, the international community should focus on letting North Korea know that giving up its nuclear program will gain more benefits without losing, and let North Korea have expectations and confidence. Therefore, regarding the theme, method, timetable and countermeasures of North Korea’s denuclearization, it is very important for the United States and the DPRK to reach a consensus to form an agreement and strengthen policy coordination. However, North Korea is now very passive in its negotiations with the United States. It also suggests that it is possible to further test the intercontinental ballistic missiles. It is necessary for the South Korean government to prepare a strategy and security strategy for the DPRK when the US-DPRK denuclearization fails.


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