Propaganda efforts have been underway in the lead-up to the 65th anniversary of the foundation of the DPRK to shore up legitimacy of the Kim family’s third generation succession.
The Rodong Sinmun reported on the 8th that “Together with the Great Suns (Kim Il Sung and Kim Jong Il), the history of Our Republic is also great.” The story ran on page one under the headline, “Long Live the Great Kim Il Sung, Kim Jong Il, and Chosun.”
The whole of page two carried photos of the Kim family, and Chosun Central Television today aired “My Country”; a film set in the immediate post-liberation period until the founding of the DPRK in 1948.
Here, North Korea is clearly linking “third generation sucession” to the 65th anniversary of the foundation of the regime. North Korea has a practice of declaring every five or ten years a “turning point”, where anniversaries of political events are held on a grand scale.
This year’s Foundation Day is the first such “turning point” since Kim Jong Eun came to power, and presents an opportunity to focus on building legitimacy around the young leader.
The North Korean authorities have invited compatriot groups and many international guests to view the festivities. According to North Korean media, supporters from a number of countries including Russia, Mongolia, Laos, Bangladesh, Pakistan began to arrive in Pyongyang from September 6th. Visitors from China, Japan, New Zealand and Australia are also making their way to the country.
Meanwhile elite cadres, with the exception of Kim Jong Eun and Jang Sung Taek, attended a “Celebratory Central Report Meeting” in the April 25 House of Culture on the 8th.
There, Chairman of the Presidium of the Supreme People’s Assembly Kim Yong Nam gave a report emphasizing “Kim Jong Il Patriotism”, urging attendees “Let’s firmly unite around Comrade Kim Jong Eun.”