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

Lauren Deutsch lwdeutsch at earthlink.net
Mon Jan 16 02:58:22 EST 2012

>From the Koreanists Facebook Group, some information regarding my question
on lineage development within the up-and-coming ranks ...

Children of N. Korean officials receive job favors
SEOUL, Jan. 10 (Yonhap) -- North Korea has handed out decent jobs to
children of former and current North Korean elite in what could be an
attempt to help ensure the dynastic power succession goes smoothly, a source
familiar with the isolated country said Tuesday.

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

The Korea Times,  01-15-2012 17:42
One month on, outlook murky for new N. Korean regime

North Korea¹s new leader Kim Jong-un, center, talks with officials as he
inspects a construction site in Pyongyang, Jan. 11. Some analysts remain
skeptical over how much power the young leader actually wields. Yonhap
By Kim Young-jin

Nearly one month after the death of late North Korean ruler Kim Jong-il, the
isolated state is projecting an air of calm as it secures the power of his
youngest son. But behind the curtains, analysts say the regime is far from
out of the woods and that its long-term outlook remains up in the air.

Led by a collective leadership straddling party and military, Pyongyang has
quickly anointed Kim Jong-un with titles such as supreme leader and supreme
commander of the armed forces since the reported death of his father on Dec.
17. A barrage of propaganda has attempted to frame the young man thought to
be no older than 30 as controlling military and economic affairs.

But watchers continue to raise questions over how long the system can hold
given Kim¹s inexperience and whether group leadership can survive after
decades of rule centered on a single leader. While his father had decades to
burnish his credentials, Jong-un is believed to have been groomed for a mere
three years. 

³Never before in North Korea¹s history of totalitarian, personality-cult
leadership has anything like this been attempted,² Victor Cha, Korea chair
for the Center for Strategic and International Studies wrote in an essay.
³They are making it up each day.²

Kim¹s inner circle includes Jang Song-thaek, his powerful uncle who is
expected to oversee daily operations of the regime, and Ri Yong-ho, who has
operational control over the military. Jong-un¹s aunt, politburo member Kim
Kyong-hui, is said to be a key advisor as is National Defense Commission
(NDC) vice chairman O Kuk-ryol.

A second ring of power is expected to focus on figures from the party¹s
Central Military Commission, which is shaping up as a major power source in
the new regime. Kim Yong-chun and U Tong-chuk, both members of the
commission, are seen as building his power while stamping out possible
dissent within the system.

But watchers say that if Kim leans for too long on this leadership he risks
becoming a permanent figurehead.

³Ultimately, his political survival will depend on his ability to develop
his own support base that will likely be drawn from up-and-coming party and
military figures,² Ken Gause, a senior analyst with the Center for Naval
Analyses wrote on a blog. ³He will have to mature as a leader and hone his
skills in leveraging power bases within the regime.²

To do so, the new leader will have to consolidate support among a younger
generation of officials who were recently infused into the system. Sources
say such figures include offspring of former communist guerillas and regime
officials, speculated to have been appointed to shore up Kim¹s power.

Kim¹s death came as his country approached the critical year of 2012, when
it has promised to emerge as ³strong and prosperous² in time to celebrate
the 100th anniversary of the birth of Kim Il-sung, its founder.

Analysts say that festivities for Kim Jong-il¹s 70th birthday in February
and the founder¹s birthday in April will offer chances for the regime to
further cement the new leader¹s power, suggesting he might take roles such
as chairman of the NDC or party military commission.

Other signposts of Kim Jong-un¹s power could include a trip to China, the
North¹s main ally, which would signal an ability to oversee foreign affairs.
The emergence of a personal secretariat would also be a major clue, expert
Gause said in the posting on the Council on Foreign Relations website.

Also in question is how the regime will handle its relations with the
outside after years of high tension under Kim Jong-il. Recent signals,
including renewed harsh rhetoric against the Lee Myung-bak administration
suggests it will maintain its close bond with Beijing while wielding its
nuclear program for aid.

The late ruler¹s death came amid reports that Pyongyang agreed during talks
to suspend its uranium enrichment program in return for 240,000 tons of food
from the U.S. The suspension has been deemed a precondition for the
resumption of multilateral denuclearization talks.

The regime has since said it remains open to the deal. Watchers say how it
handles the situation could provide clues as to whether the regime will veer
toward engagement or a continuation of its provocative behavior.

Hints of distress could include mixed messages among the party and military
and defections among elite officials. Also bearing watching will be Kim¹s
elder half-brother, Kim Jong-nam, who recently told a Japanese paper that he
opposed the hereditary succession. Some speculate he could make a play for
power if fissures emerge in Pyongyang.

Children of N. Korean officials receive job favors
SEOUL, Jan. 10 (Yonhap) -- North Korea has handed out decent jobs to
children of former and current North Korean elite in what could be an
attempt to help ensure the dynastic power succession goes smoothly, a source
familiar with the isolated country said Tuesday.

Jang Yong-chol, a nephew of Jang Song-thaek, became North Korea's ambassador
to Malaysia in 2010 before fully serving out his term as Pyongyang's top
envoy to Nepal, the source said.

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