North Enshrines Kim’s Nuclear ‘Achievement’

It has been revealed that last month’s Supreme People’s Assembly session in Pyongyang, the event which saw Kim Jong Il enshrined as eternal chairman of the National Defense Commission and Kim Jong Eun elevated to 1st chairman of the same body, also saw North Korea amend the ‘Socialist Constitution of the DPRK’. Most controversially, the revised constitution declares North Korea to be a nuclear-armed state.

The amendments now appear in the Korean version of the document carried by the country’s gateway portal, ‘Naenara’. Primarily, a multitude of references to Kim Jong Il that were absent from the last amendment in 2009 have been added following his death in December last year.

“In the midst of the collapse of world socialism and the wicked attacks of the imperialist alliance,” the most notable phrase declares, “Kim Jong Il gloriously defended the noble socialist inheritance of comrade Kim Il Sung with military-first politics, turning our nation into an invincible political ideological state, nuclear-armed state and undefeatable militarily strong state, and paving the glorious way to the construction of the strong and prosperous state.”

The phrasing appears to have been added primarily in order to emphasize Kim Jong Il’s military achievements in the relative absence of other successes.

Elsewhere, pre-existing clauses have been lightly amended to include reference to Kim Jong Il alongside his father. For example, the opening sentence of the preamble now states, “The Democratic People’s Republic of Korea is the socialist motherland of Juche which has applied the idea and leadership of great leader comrade Kim Il Sung and great leader comrade Kim Jong Il.” The pre-existing sentence ended on the words “Kim Il Sung.”

Chris Green, Leiden University
Christopher Green is a researcher in Korean Studies based at Leiden University in the Netherlands. Chris has published widely on North Korean political messaging strategies, contemporary South Korean broadcast media, and the socio-politics of Korean peninsula migration. He is the former Manager of International Affairs for Daily NK. His X handle is: @Dest_Pyongyang.