Party Set for Kim’s Further Ascent

On the 20th, the Politburo of the Chosun Workers’ Party Central Committee announced news of a 4th Chosun Workers’ Party Delegates’ Conference to convene in mid-April, a mere 18 months after the 3rd in September, 2010.

According to Rodong Shinmun and Chosun Central News Agency, “Honoring for all time the sacred revolutionary life of comrade Kim Jong Il and his immortal revolutionary achievements whilst also uniting around comrade Kim Jong Eun so as to complete the work of Juche and the military-first revolution, we will convene a Party Delegates’ Conference in mid-April, Juche 101(2012).”

Chosun Workers’ Party regulations state that a Delegates’ Conference should be convened by the Central Committee of the Party in the period between one Party congress and the next in order to pass decisions on Party policy and other key issues. It was at the 3rd Party Delegates’ Conference, after a 44-year hiatus, that on September 28th, 2010, Kim Jong Eun emerged publicly as the successor, becoming vice-chair of the Party Central Military Committee and a member of the Central Committee of the Party itself.

Accordingly, it is seen as likely that the upcoming April conference will be used to fill those positions left vacant by the sudden death of Kim Jong Il on December 17th, 2011, with Kim Jong Eun set fair to take on some of the official posts he has yet to formally adopt.

It is probable that Kim will accede to one or all of Party General-Secretary, Politburo of the Central Committee of the Party member and Central Military Committee Chairman. However, one role that he will not accede to is chair of the National Defense Commission. That position is filled upon the decision of the Supreme People’s Assembly.

However, with the SPA likely to meet as normal at the beginning of April, Kim may even be endowed with it before any of the others, although there is countervailing speculation that the might be left the position empty, nominally filled by the late Kim Jong Il.