Thursday, October 14, 2010

Backlash against King Jong?

Echoing the idea I've been putting forth that the ascension of the young and inexperienced Kim Jong-un is not a done deal (despite the Western, Japanese, and even South Korean media running with that idea as if it's a given), there have been some indications of blowback against Kim Jong-il's third son assuming dynastic leadership.

One such story is found over at Ask a Korean, where The Korean has translated a Dong-A Ilbo piece on the subject:
As the North Korean regime embarked on a massive project to deify Kim Jong-Un, it is being met by jeers and ridicule from the people as it relies on absurd propaganda defying common sense. As the regime strains to package a 27-year-old man without any achievement as a "great leader," the tactic is backfiring.

On the 11th of this month, Open North Korea Radio, a radio station broadcasting toward North Korea, made public the material for lectures held late last year against Labor Party officials and members. The propaganda material, titled "Material on the Greatness of Young General Comrade Kim Jong-Un", claimed that "Comrade Young General was an expert marksman since the age of three, and this year hit a row of light bulbs and bottles 100 meters away with a semiautomatic rifle, firing at three shots per second." It also claimed that Kim fired 20 shots at a target and hit all of them within the 10-point circle. In addition, it claimed that Kim "figured out all renowned generals through the East and the West and throughout history by his teens, is proficient in all areas of military affairs including the army, navy and the air force, and only took a few days to complete the 'automatic ceremonial cannon firing program,' which not even engineers could not accomplish."
Knowledge of military history is the Chosŏn-era equivalent of the SAT, so good on him.

Meanwhile, the Los Angeles Times (which spells the Brilliant Comrade's name incorrectly as Kim Jong Eun) reports that local farming officials are annoyed about the construction of a villa for the presumed future leader of North Korea:
The construction of Kim Jong Eun's new villa was begun in late July. Soon after, nearby farmers began complaining.

When farm officials requested that commanders assume responsibility for their soldiers' behavior, they were beaten, according to the humanitarian group's report. "Although complaints ceased after this incident, news of this mishap has spread throughout the region resulting in civilian mistrust of soldiers who are believed to be connected to the suspect leadership of Kim Jong Eun."

Analysts say it's unclear whether either Kim Jong Il or his youngest son have been told of the issue.
This is a long and possibly boring
post, so I thought I'd throw in a
picture of Kim Jong-un's mom,
Ko Yŏnghŭi, who was kinda hot.
Low-boil disgruntlement over issues affecting livelihood (like with last year's currency obliteration) can be the regime's undoing in the long run, so if this is true, it could be significant.

If it's true. All of this could be the fanfic of some psyops folks in Sariwon for all we know. But we are getting a steady supply of such news.

Meanwhile, as I reported earlier, the KCNA reports still do not support the idea that Kim Jong-un has been pushed into the limelight:
  • PRC President Hu Jintao sent greetings to Kim Jong-il, praising his father Kim Ilsung but not mentioning Kim Jong-un whatsoever. Passive-aggressive bastard!
  • Phoenix Satellite TV Holdings gave Kim Jong-il a present, but they didn't bring anything for Kim Jong-un. Ditto with Inoki Genom Joint Company of Japan. Not even a Wii (and he could use a Wii).
  • A university in Ecuador gave honorary professorships to Kim Jong-il, his father, and his mother, but Kim Jong-un will have to attend class just like everybody else.
In short, since my last report, there were only two mentions of Kim Jong-un. One was in an article about a photo shoot with commanding officers of the military, where Kim Jong-un's name was buried in the last paragraph. He wasn't even the first officer mentioned. 

The second was in a report about the big parade the other day marking the 65th anniversary of the Workers Party of Korea. Kim Jong-un was mentioned in the third paragraph, the fourth one listed, which hardly befits a presumptive heir being promoted to the people. The article was primarily about his dad.

In other words, KJU's visibility has been going down, not up, and it wasn't that high to begin with. Try squaring that with the Western media's message that Kim Jong-il is practically already wearing the crown.

Now what is interesting is that the KCNA reported on economic developments between North Korean and China, particularly the Northeast China region. There was the signing of an economic and technological cooperation memorandum that included Heilongjiang Province, as well as Kim Jong-il receiving a delegation form the Communist Party of China (without mention of Kim Jong-un, of course). These kinds of developments, as I've mentioned before, are probably where the real story lies.

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