In yet another hint as to Kim Jong Eun’s true status, Secretary of the International Department of the Chosun Workers’ Party Kim Young Il pointed to the beginning of the leadership of the successor at a recent conference in Cambodia.
Alongside politicians from 31 Asian states including South Korea, Kim was attending the 6th International Conference of Asian Political Parties in Phnom Penh on December 2nd as the head of the Chosun Workers’ Party delegation. There, according to Rodong Shinmun, Kim used his speech to explain, “At the Workers’ Party Delegates Conference, we appointed respected Comrade General Kim Jong Eun to Vice Chairman of the Central Military Commission of the Party.”
Kim also made several further mentions of the results of the Delegates’ Conference. Speaking of Kim Jong Il, he said “Our great leader, Comrade Kim Jong Il continues as General Secretary of the Chosun Workers’ Party…”, but by using the most honorary of terms like “respected”, he appeared also to emphasize the fact that the era of Kim Jong Eun has begun.
Chosun Central News Agency also reported the details of Kim’s speech on December 4th, emphasizing the words, “Every member of the Party and the people, with the great pride and self-respect of having a man of unsurpassed greatness at the highest level of the revolution, celebrated the 65th anniversary of the founding of the Chosun Workers’ Party splendidly last October; a great political festival to be spoken of as a special event in our people’s history.”
Given the context of the Korean used, it appears that the “man of unsurpassed greatness” refers to Kim Jong Eun.
Also, Kim reportedly added, “The nation’s economic power is being strengthened by the creation of Chosun-style iron, textiles and fertilizer, while we have seized control of the foundations of CNC technology; the most advanced CNC-equipped factories are being built constantly.”
Synthesizing these reports coming from Rodong Shinmun and Chosun Central News Agency and based on the fact that a major Party figure participating in an international conference should talk of Kim Jong Il and Kim Jong Eun in the same breath suggests the formalization of the Kim Jong Eun succession to power
Especially, Kim Young Il mentioning CNC, which the North Korean authorities are promoting as an amorphous “achievement” of the successor is seen in some quarters as tantamount to an announcement that Kim Jong Eun’s leadership has began. Recently, North Korea has allegedly been encouraging the expansion of CNC technology into most industrial fields.
Kim Yeon Su, a professor at National Defense University in Seoul, explained to The Daily NK, “This is to proclaim to the outside world that Kim Jong Eun has advanced to the successor’s position and that he has begun to lead.”
Professor Kim commented, “During the South Korea-U.S. joint military exercises in the West Sea (November 30th~December 1st), Kim Jong Il went on an on-site inspection without Kim Jong Eun. This is a very exceptional incident and an expression of trust in Kim Jong Eun and confidence, suggesting that the Kim Jong Eun succession leadership system is ready.”
Meanwhile, also during his speech, Kim Young Il repeated existing arguments that the shelling of Yeonpyeong Island was based on the right to self-defense, and asserted that responsibility for it lies with South Korea.