[KS] I, II III ... The provocative consanguinity of Kims

Ruediger Frank ruediger.frank at univie.ac.at
Sun Jan 15 12:18:35 EST 2012

Dear Lauren and all,
I have for years used the sun-moon analogy to illustrate that (for example here: http://www.japanfocus.org/-Ruediger-Frank/3197). The moon (2nd generation) shines because it reflects the sun's (1st generation) light. A first succession is thus easy. A second succession is trickier. Kim3 has three options: become the moon's moon (very weak light); become a sun (risky and hard to do); or become another (parallel) moon that is illuminated directly by the sun, too.  
I think we see two parallel developments in NK at this time: To turn Kim2 into another sun (posthumously); and turn Kim3 into a moon of Kim1. This would elevate him to the same status as Kim2 over time, although I'd actually think that Kim1 and Kim2 will be merged into one entity and serve as one sun (SuperKim). This would create a sustainable model as all other leaders will become moons of that sun. I called it the "enshrined leaders" system (http://www.nautilus.org/publications/essays/napsnet/forum/2009-2010/the-north-korean-worker2019s-party-meeting-of-september-2010-perpetuation-of-the-living-leader-system-or-transformation-to-the-enshrined-leader-system). In a way, this is how our two big monotheistic religions (Christianity and Islam) function.
On a less scholarly sidenote, the term t'aeyang (and the names Il Sòng and Chòng Il) fit nicely into that concept; April 1th is the Day of the Sun; and Feb. 16 just became Day of the Shining Star, which is also a sun, isn't it. 
Best regards,
Rudiger Frank
PS: Concerning Kent Davis' question about "empirically respectable evidence": I actually believe that we have more than enough evidence, although opinions differ on how to interpret it. This refers both to qualitative and quantitative research. All it takes is to read systematically through NK propaganda, as for example Patrick MacEachern or Brian Myers did it. I have focused on this type of research, too. It can be supplemented by an analysis of graphic images (http://www.amazon.de/s/ref=nb_sb_noss_1?__mk_de_DE=%C5M%C5Z%D5%D1&url=search-alias%3Daps&field-keywords=exploring+north+korean+arts) or slogans on display in NK. For a list of my contributions, which are not necessarily mainstream though, see http://univie.academia.edu/RuedigerFrank

on Freitag, 13. Januar 2012 at 21:49 you wrote:

Today?s Huffington Post notes in an article (link, below) headlined re punishments for insincere mourners, that that Kim III is said to be patterning his leadership role after Kim I, not his father, Kim II. This gives insight into the pattern of consanguinity we learn about in Traditional Chinese medicine, that the grandparent and grandchild have more affinity than the child to parent. We know that 2 points make a line, but three points creates an entirely new dimension. Will it be two lines of Kim II and Kim III protracted from the same point or some form of triangle (Isosceles? Right? Eqilateral?) of Kim I, Kim II and Kim III? Of course we would expect Kim III to pay homage to Kim II and Kim I, but perhaps this sets up the arena as to whether Kim III will (be perceived / promoted to) carry on the lineage of Kim I better than his father, or whether two factions develop, one more loyal to the first vs the second. 

I would be interested to know how other members of this list project the succession. 
Lauren W. Deutsch
835 S. Lucerne Blvd., #103
Los Angeles CA 90005
Tel 323 930-2587  Cell 323 775-7454
E lwdeutsch at earthlink.net

From: Frank Hoffmann <hoffmann at koreaweb.ws>
Reply-To: Korean Studies Discussion List <koreanstudies at koreaweb.ws>
Date: Thu, 12 Jan 2012 08:20:24 -0800
To: Korean Studies Discussion List <koreanstudies at koreaweb.ws>
Subject: Re: [KS] KCTV's hour-long paean to Kim Jong-un yesterday can now be seen in full by all

The _Rodong sinmun_ is now also has an ENGLISH Web edition.
If that link doe snot work for you, then go to main site, http://www.rodong.rep.kp/ and click on the ENGLISH tab (upper right) -- that worked for me.
Articles there are also included in the customized Google search that I have at

The rhetoric, the language of leadership, seems to match the descriptions in Orwell's _1984_ (yes, I think it is a quite appropriate reference, however often it was already used): only the "Great Leaders" were allowed to invent new phrases, to use language in a creative way ... and once father or son Kim did, those phrases were then reduplicated down the ranks and enshrined. The grandson's "accustomed to working all night" phrase was already invented by Grandpa, and used by son Kim also:
Pyongyang, January 27, 2002 (KCNA):
"But he told them that he had become accustomed to working all night and he would take a full rest when Korea joins the ranks of the most developed countries in the world and the people are well off. He then said the day would surely come and victory always belongs to the Korean people."
Those are all the same continuous patterns of the same oppressive machine with all its sub-mechanisms. ... But you know what the destiny is of those people who have all their pencils sharpened and lined up on their desk in strict order: someone opens the window by accident, and ...

As Michael Rank said, a depressing experience. Better study Cuban communism, so much more fun.


Alas, the words of wisdom are not as profound as one might hope. I humbly offer a quick and rough translation:

"I am accustomed to working through the night and so am not bothered by it. The most joyous and happiest moments for me are when I can bring joy to the comrade supreme commander. Thus, though I have stayed up several nights, I have worked without knowing weariness. Even when I work through several nights, once I have brought joy to the comrade supreme commander, the weariness vanishes and a new strength courses through my whole body. This must be what revolutionaries live for."

-C. La Shure
On Thu, Jan 12, 2012 at 4:11 AM, Michael Rank <rank at mailbox.co.uk> wrote:
I have heroically viewed the entire thing, and found it a deeply depressing experience. One of the bizarre things about it is that it is in effect silent, and we never hear the voices of the three geniuses. If they are so brilliant why won't the govt let the people to hear them impart their wisdom at first hand? I believe KJI's voice has only been heard a couple of times, once during the Albright visit and once on an official tape, can anyone confirm? But coming back to the above paean I noticed that it includes a genuine (insofar as anything is genuine in DPRK) KJE (or KJU if you insist) quote, at 22.04, his very first I think. Could anyone be so kind as to translate his words of wisdom? For what it's worth I also spotted Supreme People's Assembly head Choe Thae Bok at 33.51, he has visited UK twice.

Best wishes,
Michael Rank

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