Chronic Strong and Prosperous State Fatigue

Kim Tae Hong  |  2011-02-25 17:18
“North Korea cannot be an exception” to the spread of democratization coming from the Middle East, Kim Hyong O, a former chairman of the National Assembly, told a forum on the 24th.

Speaking at “DPRK 2012,” a commemorative seminar celebrating 10 years of the Korean Studies program at Stanford University, Kim offered the keynote speech, in which he claimed, “Elements threatening to the Kim family third generation succession are emerging everywhere.”

He explained more, saying, “Through the jangmadang, information on the outside world is being spread covertly. Defectors say that due to the situation in North Africa and the Middle East, there is uneasiness.”

“Now, the North Korean system is quite unstable,” he went on, citing instances of rampant corruption among the leadership and the failed 2009 currency redenomination as reasons why “the country has become too difficult for Kim Jong Eun in his 20s to lead.”

Kim suggested, therefore, “We have to prepare measures to cope with Chronic Strong and Prosperous State Fatigue Syndrome after the declaration of the Strong and Prosperous State in 2012.”

“Unique socialist countries like North Korea design political and social special events and invest effort in them blindly in order to raise the legitimacy of the regime, without considering any of the side effects,” he explained.

There have been many cases in which the regime staked its all on special events, but the results were always terrible. The authorities have been concentrating on completing the strong and prosperous state with the entire nation’s power; however, due to this, insecurity in the system will rise later on, he believes.

Kim took the World Festival of Youth and Students in 1989 as an example. After the festival, he explained, North Korea went through the “March of Tribulation” in a kind of “chronic fatigue syndrome.” It was the former Kim Dae Jung and Roh Moo Hyun administrations which rescued a North Korean regime that was staring at collapse due to that syndrome, he added.
 
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