[imText1]The reason North Korea’s regime can persevere is because of the central class’ fear of regime collapse.
As a result of this perseverance, North Korea has been able to resist isolation and pressure for more than half a century, with the system even defeating the “March of Suffering” where tens and thousands of people died of starvation.
Today, powers maintaining the North Korean system are the hierarchical upper class including the North Korean Workers’ Party, the National Security Agency, the National Protection Agency, prosecutors and adjudicators.
Overall, there are about 4 millions members in the North Korean Workers’ Party (statistics as of 1995), this being roughly 20% of the population. Retrospectively, these people control the 23mn North Korean citizens.
The central class incorporating junior secretaries to the party, training officers, novice elites, generals from the army, safety and protection agents use their power position to control directly the North Korean people.
The most of these people have strong loyalty for the regime. In particular, military generals or party officials especially fear punishment and the thought that their privileges may be removed. Though they may be leaders, it is not one’s own desire to escalate in power but fear of retaliation from new powers.
Local party officers, security agents and protection agents directly control, inspect and punish civilians. In essence, they absolutely control the North Korean people and hence fear direct retaliation from the people. The collapse of the regime, also means that they may become jobless and troublesome.
In the 80’s, there was an incident where the Kangkye Munitions Factory incurred an explosion. The people who thought that a war had risen killed the security agent in charge and threatened to evacuate the country regardless of war or not. The people armed with weapons even raided the home of the security agent in charge, with stones and batons. As this rumor spread, security officers throughout the country felt the tension and were all on alert. Hence, control forces even to the lowest rank have become the trustworthy pillar to the North Korean regime.
[imText2]Since the early stages of the regime, North Korea trained members of anti-Japan protestors and their families, Mankyungdae Revolutionary Academies and distinguished servicemen from the Korean War. As a result, the mindset of North Korea’s central class is relatively high in societal class awareness, as is their loyalty to Kim Jong Il.
Ideology amidst the central class and brainwashed passion
These people believe that the survival of the North Korea system is directly connected to their lifeline. They fear that they will not be able to receive the same privileges given by Kim Jong Il, if the current North Korean regime were to collapse. They believe that Kim Jong Il’s fate is their fate.
The North Korean regime is currently strengthening the multiple control system for their central class so that the ideology of the class is not shaken and the principals of Kim Jong Il kept intact.
In North Korea, every position and decision is focused around Kim Jong Il and his every single word is glorified. In one sense, it is a specialty of the dictatorial regime, but in reality it is a way to force the upper class to stand in awe and even dread the grand Kim Jong Il. Some defectors, once members of North Korea’s elite say that people work having no conscious awareness of their heavy duty or how to modify words spoken by Kim Jong Il.
Educational jobs by the central class are different to that of the common citizen. As the former Soviet Union and Eastern European bloc was merging in the 90’s inflicting collapse to the regime, elite officials internally passed video tapes on the end of Romania’s former President Nicolae Ceausescu to calm other comrades but in the end stirred greater fear.
Recently, it is said that tapes on the Iraq situation have been televised for commanders and military elites to see. The aim of this viewing, to plant into the minds of the commanders that compromises to the protection of the system means death.
The Kim Jong Il regime gives privileges to inspire the people supporting them. For example, people who work for the Central Committee systems department or the elite propagandists, receive a Mercedes Benz with the number plate ‘2.16’ symbolizing Kim Jong Il’s own birthday, and depending on the position, the car series is upgraded.
Other elites from the Central Committee and figures in key military posts are provided with luxurious apartments in Pyongyang. The apartment blocks are built and located separately to the average house. Soldiers guard the homes, even restraining relatives from entering the apartment premises. These homes are furnished with electrical goods, sofas, food and goods made in Japan, as well as being accompanied with western culture.
As Military First Politics was implemented in the late 90’s, private nurses, full-time house maids, private apartments and country residences, private cars, office cars, as well as “recreational clubs” with beautiful women, were granted as privileges to the head military and provincial officers.
Every Lunar New Year, expensive foreign gifts are presented to the core central class. However, across the bridge, local and system secretaries, public control officers await common goods that can be found in South Korea’s supermarkets such as mandarins, apples, cigarettes and alcohol. Nonetheless, people who work for North Korea’s local offices are more than happy to receive these gifts are it distinctly segregates them from the common North Korean citizen.
[Part 2 continues: OK to Capitalist Products, NO to Capitalist Systems]