Like Grandfather, Like Grandson

Kim Jong Eun’s first twenty minute public speech at Kim Il Sung’s centennial birthday has emerging responses from the North Korean defectors that Kim Jong Eun surprisingly “resembles his grandfather”.

Kim Jong Eun had his eyes fixed on his note emphasizing the continuation of ‘military first politics’. Kim Jong Eun waved his body from left to right during the speech and delivered in a calm voice but showed no ambition. Evaluation comes that it was difficult to feel the ‘charisma’ of a Supreme Leader.

The defectors who watched the clip of Kim Jong Eun’s speech unanimously said, “He is trying hard to give the same voice and gesture as his grandfather Kim Il Sung.” Especially in the last part of the speech when he shouted “Forward!” and threw his right hand out is exactly the same gesture Kim Il Sung used to do often.

In particular, the defectors said that Kim Jong Eun looking at the mass after each sentence and rocking his body side to side while speaking are exactly the same gestures as his grandfather.

Kim Chul Min a former senior military official from North Korea revealed to Daily NK, “Kim Jong Eun’s appearance and voice, rocking body from side to side, looking at the mass after his sentences are all gestures that resemble Kim Il Sung”. In particular, his aides wearing a white uniform standing next to Kim Jong Eun brings up Kim Il Sung’s days.

Choi Ryong Hae, Lee Young Ho and Jang Sung Taek wore the same white military uniform at the public speech of the victory parade in 1953 after the armistice agreement. At time during the Korean War Kim Il Sung and his close advisers wore a white top uniform and dark blue pants.

North Korean defector Choi In Hae also said, “Kim Jong Eun’s speech reminded me of Kim Il Sung”, “Kim Jong Eun’s hand movement in the last part of the speech was the exact replay of Kim Il Sung’s documentary films”, “Kim Jong Il never showed any hand gestures but Kim Il Sung did it a lot”.

The defectors said that it is intended to give the people high expectations for the system evoking nostalgia of the Kim Il Sung era. It is interpret that this process of image making Kim Jong Eun as the ‘wealthy era’ is to obtain support from the people.

Seo Jae Pyung the secretary general for the Democratization of North Korea pointed out, “The North Koreans have doubts about Kim Jong Eun but through ‘like-Kim Il Sung’ speech may be able to earn expectations from the people”, “However, if there are no substantial changes then the people will realize that it is merely just a image making show”.

Kim also emphasized, “They would have ‘a little bit of hope’ at first but if there are no changes in the regime no more expectations will come”, “Most people already know that Kim Jong Eun is imitating Kim Il Sung to gain loyalty from them”.