The Mystery of Kim Jong Eun Succession Propaganda

Shenyang, China — Propaganda related to the succession of Kim Jong Eun (Woon), which was suspended on Kim Jong Il’s instruction back in July, seemed to have been restarted around the founding day of North Korea, September 9th, but has now halted once again. As a result, cadres are extremely confused as to how they should proceed.

One Party cadre from North Hamkyung Province told The Daily NK last Thursday, “Another decree suspending succession propaganda again has been handed down. We cannot figure out what’s going on.”

Several sources inside North Hamkyung Province have also said that in early November the authorities looked like they were carrying out succession propaganda events, but now everything has stopped again

▲ What has been the shape of Kim Jong Eun succession propaganda thus far?

Kim Jong Eun first appeared on the scene in the middle of December, 2008 when Kim Jong Il went for some on-site inspections in Jagang Province.

Sources report that Jong Eun was charged with escorting Kim on the tour. According to one rumor, Kim introduced his son to the Chief Secretary of the Jagang Provincial Committee of the Party as “the one who will succeed me.”

Since February 26th, when the Central Committee of the Party sent a “secret letter” to members of the Workers’ Party, “Reporting to Party Members,” rumors about Kim Jong Eun have been spreading like wild fire.

Around the time of the election to the Supreme People’s Assembly on March 8th, the North Korean authorities started promoting the succession within the military, and since May, when the “150-Day Battle” publicly started, the fact that Kim Jong Eun had been designated the successor to Kim Jong Il was told to members of the Party in lectures.

Ahead of Kim Il Sung’s birthday on April 15th, the authorities began to popularize a song, “Footsteps,” which implies Kim Jong Eun’s succession, among school children and, since early May, the song, “Chollima (swift horse) of Military-First Politics,” which was reportedly written by Jong Eun himself, could be regularly heard on the so-called “third broadcasting.”

June was the peak time for propaganda for the succession on the third broadcasting. The official title of Kim Jong Eun was confirmed as the “Youth Captain of Baekdu” and “Military-first Youth Captain.”

However, on July 9th, Kim Jong Il handed down a decree ordering quieter succession propaganda to the Propaganda and Agitation Department of the Party, and as a result the publishing and reporting fields reduced their output, while lectures were only held for military authorities and high officials.

Subsequently, in late July and early August, a further internal decree suspending succession propaganda completely was handed down, leading to a rumor that Kim Jong Eun had been eliminated from the succession race.

It was even rumored that Kim Jong Eun had cooked up a document in secret for the purposes of promoting his own persons to important posts, incurring the anger of Kim Jong Il.

Again, following the September 9th founding day of North Korea, Kim Jong Il issued another direct decree, “On making quiet progress in the succession case,” to the military authorities.

Therefore, following the anniversary of the founding of the Workers’ Party on October 10th, provincial organizations of the Party started issuing succession propaganda for Kim Jong Eun once more, and from November 1st the third broadcasting started promoting Kim Jong Eun intensively.

(to be continued)