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Kim Jong Il Has Complete Control over Aides, Media

Posted February. 11, 2008 03:08,   


It is a well-known fact that North Korean National Defense Committee Chairman Kim Jong Il keeps a tight rein on his close aides.

According to North Korean defectors who used to be top officials in the communist regime, Kim invites outstanding North Korean elites, who draw his attention, to official events or feasts to see their personalities and abilities after conducting multi-dimensional verification on them beforehand.

Once these elites pass this test, they become part of the “inner-circle politics.” However, the sources say unanimously that those who fail the test will never have a chance to claim a top position in the regime. Chief researcher Hyun Seong-il (Ph. D. in politics) at the Institute for National Security Strategy, who was formerly an official of the Workers’ Party of North Korea, defined the “inner-circle politics” as a “form of politics where Kim relies on his unofficial close aides to run national affairs rather than on official governing or decision-making bodies.”

It has been reported that Kim includes his close aides in decision making process by granting them political power and economic privilege, and collecting ideas through their “proposals” in both official and unofficial occasions. The Central Committee of the Workers’ Party, which is the highest official governing body in the party, has not had a single session since 1980 and the Central Committee Plenary Meeting of the Workers’ Party was last convened in 1993 when the deceased North Korean leader Kim Il Sung was still alive.

Kim Jong Il also reportedly pays special attention to “mediacracy” to stir up the public and get his message across.

Lee Joo-cheol, an expert on the North Korean media, said, “North Korea’s media is more of a political device to penetrate Kim’s message to the public and realize his ideals rather than a news reporting organization.” Therefore, the state-run Chosun Central TV and the Rodong News Agency is controlled and censored by the party’s secretariat, the Propaganda and Agitation Department and the Organization and Guidance Department, rather than by the Cabinet.

South Korea’s Unification Ministry releases various materials on North Korea including a list of “main North Korean figures” to the public annually after conducting a thorough analysis on the aforementioned media and two other North Korean radio channels – the Central Broadcasting Station and the Pyeongyang Broadcasting Service.