Oct 12, 2010

North Korea and a cult of the Kims personality

Things in North Korea are a lot better than they have been in the very recent memories of most of its citizens, writes Colin Jacobs after a recent visit to Pyongyang.

The last week’s happenings above the demilitarised zone in the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea have lead to a flurry of speculation about the future of the peninsula. Parades and mass rallies on Sunday marked the 65th anniversary of the foundation of the Workers’ Party of Korea (WPK).

This followed on from a week during which the party conference unsurprisingly re-elected Kim Jong Il as KPW general secretary, and more interestingly promoted his son, Kim Jong Un, to key posts including membership of the WPK Central Committee and vice-chairman of the Central Military Commission. The presumption is that this means a dynastic succession is in the works, and the question is what this might mean for a possible opening up of the hermetic nation.

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5 thoughts on “North Korea and a cult of the Kims personality

  1. David

    I dont know about Kim Jong Un being “Brilliant Comrade”, he could very well be the love child of Piers Akerman, with the jowells and bloated features already substantially evident.

  2. Michael James

    North Korea will be a case study for Political Science, International Relations and Psychology students for decades to come.

  3. freecountry

    [North Koreans … are quite aware that they are doing it a lot tougher than their cousins in the South. The blame, of course, rests outside the country.]

    They may have a point. Has any other country in recent millenia been so isolated from international trade?

    I question the usefulness of blockading trade with rogue states. As a driver for political reform, I can only think of one case where it’s been successful, that was South Africa. In other cases, it just seems to increase the isolation of citizens, and to furnish the tyrant with credible evidence that the world is their enemy.

  4. David Sanderson

    A nightmarish state that provides far too many examples of how deeply human personalities can be endlessly moulded, warped and perverted.

  5. freecountry

    An absolute monarchy in all but name. Made even more so by trade embargoes from the free world. Correction to what I said above, I should have qualified “any other non-stone-age country”. Trade blockades are useful only to bring about a crisis (meaning they are, in effect, acts of war) and trigger a popular rebellion. If that hasn’t happened in 55 years and three generations of absolute monarch, it’s not going to happen any time soon. Isn’t it time to give the victims a break?

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