Overseas Brethren Summoned

The North Korean authorities have invited a number of overseas cadres and individuals working for entities under the United Front Department of the Central Committee of the Party to North Korea to commemorate the founding of the Chosun Workers’ Party on October 10.

A source in China acquainted with North Korean domestic reported on the 25th, “Visits by cadres from overseas pro-North Korean organizations, which usually happen for the founding day of the regime on September 9, are going to happen this year for the founding day of the Party, October 10.”

“Branches of the North Korean Committee for the Peaceful Reunification of the Fatherland, Overseas Koreans Aid Commission and National Economic Cooperation Federation in the U.S. Canada, Europe, China and within Chongryon (General Association of North Korean Residents in Japan) are recruiting big groups to come to the fatherland,” the source added.

The reason why the North has selected the Party founding day in October instead of the September 9 regime foundation day is presumably to emphasize the results of the impending Delegates’ Conference and discuss the organizations’ duties thereafter.

The source said, “The succession system of Kim Jong Eun could be publicized and a new direction for economic development may be put forward at this Delegates’ Conference,” so, he went on, “The intention behind summoning overseas organizations is to propagate the legitimacy of the third generation succession and to request more active donations and investment from overseas businessmen.”

There are still difficulties to overcome as far as the leadership of Kim Jong Eun is concerned, not least his age, lack of experience and the fact that he is the second son between Kim Jong Il and Ko Young Hee, Kim’s third wife.

Therefore, from the North Korean authorities’ point of view, if they make the best use of the propaganda capacity of overseas pro-North Korean figures, it can help them overcome Kim Jong Eun’s inherent weaknesses, and additionally in the future give them a chance to emphasize domestically the idea that even overseas brethren are enthusiastic about having Kim Jong Eun as the successor.

Secondarily, the authorities may be hoping to create a positive atmosphere for investment in North Korea by utilizing overseas Koreans’ economic clout and intelligence.

He said, “Overseas organizations accept as a fact that Kim Jong Eun will be appointed to the Standing Committee of the Central Committee through the Delegates’ Conference. Therefore, a new direction in the economic sector is the main concern.”

“This may seem from the facade to be a part of commemorative events for the Party founding day,” the source also mentioned. “However, when the North Korean authorities want to win overseas Koreans over to their side, they tend to emphasize the motherland rather than the Party. Therefore, we can allege that participation in the commemorative events is not the main purpose.”

Indeed, the United Front Department of the Central Committee tries hard not to be seen as an organization affiliated with the Party. Therefore, they would not invite overseas cadres and related individuals to Pyongyang only to commemorate the Party founding.

On the other hand, the authorities regularly invite overseas cadres for the founding day of the regime on September 9, Kim Jong Il’s and Kim Il Sung’s birthdays, and for the annual KimIlSungia and KimJongIlia festivals.

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