North Korea’s 8th Party Congress, which attracted people’s attention from 5 months ago, was held on the 5th. The 8th Party Congress, which was held 4 years and 8 months after the 7th Party Congress, produced a lot of content, but the core contents were economic policy evaluation and planning, strengthening of national defense power, inter-Korean and foreign relations, and organizational (personnel) reorganization. It can be chopped with branches. In conclusion, it can be said that the 8th Party Congress was an event with the aim of establishing a firm’Kim Jong-un Joseon’ through the organization of the party.
In the opening speech on the first day of the 8th Party Congress, Kim Jong-un admitted to the great failure of economic policy. Kim Jong-un pointed out, “The period of implementation of the five-year strategy for national economic development ended until last year, but the goal we set out was tremendously short of almost all sectors.” Even on the 75th anniversary of the establishment of the party in October last year, Kim Jong-un even showed tears by appealing to residents to overcome the disaster. This fact does not violate the’infallibility of receipt’. Rather, it can be said that Kim Jong-un practiced the’high-level psychology of the dictator’ to draw out even greater loyalty by giving a warm and humane new leader to the people.
At the 7th Party Congress in 2016, Kim Jong-un’s comments related to the economic field were 22% of the total report, but at the 8th Party Congress it increased significantly to 51%, but in relation to the economic issue, which is the biggest concern of the residents, Kim Jong-un presents such hope. I couldn’t. At best, it was at the level of mentioning the new five-year plan for economic development and announcing that it would complete the self-sufficient structure of the national economy, which only touched upon the continuation of the stance of’self-sufficiency’ and’self-sufficiency’ that was painful for the residents. This is to build a dictatorship by completely blocking the entire North Korean society through’self-isolation’, which is not related to economic improvement.
Instead, Kim Jong-un showed off a strong leader in the security of the’Republic’. Kim Jong-un referred to nuclear weapons 36 times and emphasized, “As a responsible nuclear power, we have built a perfect nuclear shield.” The word’denuclearization’, which has been put up as a cause, has disappeared at all. The North Korean authorities revised the Labor Party rules in five years, and for the first time specified strengthening of national defense power. In the revised party agreement, it was stated that “to protect the stability and peaceful environment of the Korean Peninsula (Korean Peninsula) by suppressing fundamental military threats with strong defense power in the task of the struggle for national reunification.”
This seems to indicate that it will not only maintain the stance of red unification on the Korean peninsula, but also take a step further from the existing self-defense force of war deterrence and have an attack power. In fact, Kim Jong-un suggested that the development of a nuclear submarine and an intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) with a range of 15,000 km, and so on, said that the national defense power has risen to a level that can preemptively suppress the threat of hostile forces outside the territory.
Kim Jong-un’s confidence in the reinforcement of’aggressive defense power’ was found to be’cheap’ in foreign relations with South Korea. Mentions on inter-Korean relations were reduced from 19% to 8.3% in the 7th Congress, and mentions on foreign relations centered on the United States decreased significantly from 15% to 7.7%. This can be interpreted as not focusing on improving inter-Korean relations and US relations. The same intention can be read from the fact that the positions of the South Korean and international secretaries were left vacant in the secretary system system that was returned from the party conference.
In particular, the passage that Kim Jong-un said he would expand and develop relations with socialist countries in the external business sector is interpreted as suggesting his position to strengthen relations with China and Russia and distance himself from Korea and the United States.
With regard to relations with Korea, Kim Jong-un has repeated his existing position. Kim Jong-un regarded South Korea’s aid to North Korea, such as joint quarantine, vaccine support, and individual tourism resumption, as a’non-essential’ issue, and stipulated the introduction of strategic weapons and the cessation of joint military exercises between Korea and the United States as essential issues. The point was that the improvement of inter-Korean relations could be possible depending on the attitude of South Korea on essential issues.
There is a great contradiction in Kim Jong-un’s remarks. This is because the Moon Jae-in administration is opposed to the conditions of early transition to the opposition rights (warfare control rights) promoted by the Moon Jae-in administration. Two key conditions for the early transition of OPCON are securing various advanced weapons to strengthen war deterrence, and verifying whether the conditions for OPCON transition are met through joint training between the United States and Korea. It threw a dilemma at the Korean government, raising it as a’essential’ issue of improving relations. On September 16, last year, the North Korean propaganda media
In relation to US relations, Kim Jong-un’s attitude was not significantly different. Kim Jong-un still defined the United States as the largest enemy and demanded the withdrawal of the US policy of hostilities against Korea. While clarifying the principle of the’strong river first line’ for the United States, Kim Jong-un emphasized that “foreign policy activities must be focused and directed on subduing and subduing the basic obstacles of the development of our revolution, the largest main enemy of America. This is interpreted as the intention to gain an upper hand in US-North Korea relations by strengthening’aggressive defense power’ and to seize the leadership in the nuclear negotiations that may be held with the Biden administration in the future.
If the Biden administration issues a strong stance toward North Korea policy, it is expected that a dark cloud will be formed in the US-North Korea relationship. In fact, Biden nominated the Deputy Secretary of State for Wendy Sherman, a former Vice Minister for Political Affairs, a Korean peninsula expert. If the appointment of Secretary of State Tony Blincoln’s nominee, if the Blincoln-Sherman’s hard-line route to North Korea becomes a reality, it is worth paying attention to the fact that a thorny path could open up to US-North Korea relations.
In relation to internal politics, Kim Jong-un’s intention to strengthen dictatorship becomes more clear. Through the 8th Party Congress, the North Korean authorities reorganized the leadership of the Labor Party and brought Kim Jong-un’s loyal forces to the fore through generational change. The North Korean authorities revived the secretary system of the past and elected Kim Jong-un as general secretary. Such measures mean not only strengthening Kim Jong-un’s power, but also strengthening his internal control.
In the past, the Party Secretariat has been performing the functions of policy control and guidance for all sectors of North Korea, as well as party members and residents. The secretariat system, which had been in force since 1966, was responsible for the execution of all policies adopted at the party meeting. Prior to the transition from the 6th Party Congress to the Political Bureau in 2016, there were about 10 secretaries in the secretariat of the Central Committee of the Party, and the secretaries and secretaries in charge of the local party committees. Under the party’s secretariat, there were specialized departments, including the Organizational Leadership Department, the Propaganda Department, and the Unified Front Department, and also included rooms 38 and 39 that raised slush funds.
In the resurrected secretariat, Kim Jong-un took over as general secretary and was composed only of secretaries in the most essential fields while minimizing the number of employees to the elite. This fact suggests that it is a reorganization to maximize the efficiency of Kim Jong-un’s dictatorship. These include Yongwon Cho (organization), Taesung Park (Shenzhen), Byeongcheol Lee (military), Sanghak Sanghak (thank you), Ilhwan Ri (working group), Dooil Kim (economics), and Kun Sanggeon Choi (science education) who made the most strides at this conference . South Korean and international secretaries were not appointed. In addition, it is also noteworthy that the old generations such as Park Bong-ju and Choi Bu-il were withdrawn, and Kim Jong-un loyalists such as Cho Yong-won and Yu-jeong (the third son of former People’s Armed Forces Minister Oh Jin-woo) took over.
The intention to strengthen Kim Jong-un’s dictatorship through the 8th Party Congress is also evident in the strengthening of social control measures. On the 8th,
In addition, countless contents were mass-produced in the name of Kim Jong-un’s business summary at this 8th party conference. However, most of the policy plans listed in a department store style are exhibition projects that cannot be realized. At the 9th Party Congress, which may be held five years later, Kim Jong-un may once again appear’candid and courageous’ and admit to policy failure. I feel bitter as it still takes a lot of time to realize that the essence of the problem is not the strengthening of dictatorship, but the path to revival through open North Korea.
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