During the past several months, the North’s Kim Dynasty had been the focus of public attention as they established the third generation of hereditary dictatorship, unprecedented in the history of democratic world.
In light of what happened in North Korea, we are running a special feature series under the subject of "The Structure of Kim Jong-il’s System of Dictatorship." We feel the need to discuss how the Kim’s dictatorship, which many believed would not last beyond Kim Il-sung’s death, managed to survive even through the “March of Tribulation”, a time marked with widespread famine and faltering economy. And now, the world witnessed in disbelief, the beginning of a third generation hereditary dictatorship under Kim Jong-un.
Although information concerning this topic is restricted to the public, understanding The Structure of Kim Jong-il’s current system of dictatorship will provide an important framework for future analysis of the newly established authority of son, Kim Jong-un.
According to our analysis, Kim’s dictatorial authority is three fold:
First, Kim Jong-il has supreme authority over national management through his "Ten Principles for the Establishment of One-Ideology System." These principles, which are the counterpart of the South's civil law, were formed under the slogan of “Kim Il-sungism for the whole society”.
Second, Kim has direct command and authority over personnel, especially at the top echelon of hierarchy.
Third, Kim established a system whereby 70% of national GDP and nearly all of gold and foreign currency exchange require his personal signature, thus complete oversight. An amount of $10,000 or more in foreign currency would require Kim’s approval to be moved around.
It seems that a fourth domain of economy is emerging in the North. Finance Department of the party’s Central Committee found that money circulating in the “Jang Madang Economy” (market economy) is over $400 million. However, despite the growth in the economy, North Korea’s micro and macro economy is still under total and unmatched control of Kim Jong-il. We witnessed this first-hand by the passing of the last Currency Reform.
Moreover, it is made almost impossible to stand against the system. And how is this so? The discussion continues in [Special Analysis II].
Translation by Hoyeon Choi Supervised by Stella Cho
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