Generally, most of people have two misconceptions or prejudices related to Kim Jong Il. One is that Kim Jong Il always has lived indulging in luxurious pleasures such as girls, alcoholic drinks and sprees. It is true that Kim Jong Il’s life has been debauched. However, political defectors who were once the closest figures to Kim Jong Il consistently say, “At the same time, he has been seeking to maintain his system.”
Hwang Jang Yop, a former international secretary of the Chosun worker's party, had even mentioned, “Kim Jong Il deserves to get a gold medal at least in his strategy of autocratic rule.”
The other is that Kim Jong Il is a thorough, scientific and calculating character. Therefore, usually certain North Korean actions tend to be construed as some long thought out actions.
To a certain degree, North Korea’s actions undoubtedly come from calculation, but most are improvised. This is derived from Kim Jong Il’s improvising personality. South Korea considers the impulsive actions and judgments too seriously, and is disturbed by them as if they have some meaning. Kim Jong Il is just the person who enjoys such disturbances.
During the past few years, various issues related to North Korea, such as nuclear issues, kidnapping of foreigners, counterfeit money, drug smuggling, sales of WMD have consecutively popped up. To detect North Korea’s direction quickly and correctly, we have to first penetrate Kim Jong Il’s thoughts.
In this context, the DailyNK planned ‘Kim Jong Il’s virtual interview’ as a new year special.
[The first story of the virtual interview]
The fact that Kim Jong Il enjoys surfing the internet is widely known. By passing on a questionnaire to a sectary’s office, we requested that Kim Jong Il himself fill out the answers instead of just signing his name on what one of his principal members filled out. Plus, we asked him to frankly reply to the questions without being formal.
Questions covers all of the North Korean issues, such as 1. the nuclear issue, 2. relationship between the two Koreas, 3. human rights, 4. issues related to the Chosun worker's party, 5. North Korean economy, 6. international criminals, 7. economic sanctions, 8. reformation and liberalization, 9. the successor issue, 10. Kim Jong Il's private life.
Q: The nuclear issue of North Korea has gotten a great deal of attention from the world. What is the original reason you started nuclear development and what is your plan to solve this problem hereafter?
For a long time, we have researched and developed nuclear weapons. There has been no case in history where a nuclear state had been attacked. If I have nuclear weapons, then nobody could irritate and attack us. That's the only reason for it. If the U.S. accepts my system, I will have no reason to develop nuclear weapons.
However, even if the U.S. accepts my regime system as a 'normal state', because the circumstances could change at any time, I must retain the nuclear weapons as much as necessary. Thus, my answer is that the U.S. should accept my system. Otherwise, I will persist in my request until the U.S. Bush administration is changed.
Q: The South Korean government overestimates the relations between North Korea and South Korea as being successful and claims that this year the two Koreas' relations should be improved to a higher degree. Kim Dae Jung, a former president, is expected to visit North Korea as well. Could you evaluate the two Koreas' relations and reveal this year's plan?
Now is great for me: no less and no more than now. I do not want to be a 'unification president'. Also, I know I could not be the one. This status quo is completely acceptable. Now the South Korean government officials fully help me out, and I know what they desire. If we cooperate closely, it would be mutually helpful.
The problem is a power change, so I instructed the South Korean government to prevent it from occurring. As well as that, I sent an instruction out that this year the phrase "break down the conservative cooperation" should be posted on the New Year Cooperative Columns. Currently, my fellows working at the General Management towards South Korean Economic Affairs in the government building, No. 3 has worked so efficiently. I deeply appreciate Kim Dae Jung's help. Maybe his help would be fair, because it is a way of returning the favor of me assisting him being granted a Nobel award.
Q: The interest of the international society regarding the North Korean human rights issue has been higher. Last year, not only did the U.S. enact the North Korean Human Rights Act of 2004, and the U.N. pass the North Korean Human Rights Resolution, but also the European Union is expected to hold the International conference on North Korean Human Rights. What is your plan of response against them? Could I have your opinion on the current North Korean human rights, as well?
Human rights is an issue only the rich can mention. Human rights are not necessary to reactionaries. Rather, because I treated them severely, I have been able to maintain my regime. From now on, it will hardly be changed. It is because the people are bound to presume upon my patience and kindness.
I have realized that I must not give any opportunity to the people, watching the socialist states in Eastern Europe collapse. Did you know, Ceausescu, a Rumanian, was killed in misery? The only way for me to avoid being killed in such misery is just spurring the people. I think it is undesirable to talk about more.
Q: The Chosun worker's party convention has not been held for 25 years and the Center of the Party has not had any conventions for 12 years. Moreover, the Center of the Party military conventions have not been held for 12 years. Some people say that the Chosun worker's party does not function anymore. Is there any plan to normalize the party system and to rearrange positions of senior Party members?
The party is just for form, and in practice purports maintaining my regime. It is good for me only if my instructions are well conveyed and implemented. Over the past 10 years, I have overcome many desperate situations. The key secret was the very military force, the military-first politics. I have formulated the efficient, manifest command system that contents me.
If necessary, later I will hold party conventions. I have no reason to do it now. I will think about it after surmounting the quarreling obstacle the U.S. provided.
Q: Last year you forced some international aids organizations such as the WEP to withdraw out of North Korea. You even denied receiving humanitarian aid. However, the lives of the North Koreans are still in difficulty. Do you have any outstanding idea to guide the North Korean economy?
It is good enough for the people to be fed just enough not to die of starvation. Kim Il Sung, Suryeong, had always said to me, "Do not care about the economy too much." The priority is in maintaining the present regime, and the people will find their ways for themselves. Forcing international organizations to withdraw.... I did so because they are so picky with the little help they give. The South Koreans and the Chinese only give us, not asking for anything. Isn't it so cool? If you want to provide us with something, then do it that way.