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`N. Korea Stops Discussion on Power Transfer`

Posted September. 12, 2009 03:07,   


North Korea has apparently stopped discussion on its upcoming power transfer, with the North’s No. 2 man saying Pyongyang does not wish to discuss it.

Kim Yong Nam, president of the North`s legislature Supreme People`s Assembly said this in an interview with Japan`s Kyodo News.

Experts presented mixed analyses on Kim’s comment, however, amid doubts over whether he told the truth. On his comment, certain experts said the North made a reasonable decision while others cited irrational aspects of Pyongyang’s authoritarian regime.

Nam Seong-uk, director of the Institute for National Security Strategy in Seoul, said, “Kim Yong Nam seems to have told the truth. Kim Jong Il must have ordered a stop to discussion on the power transfer.”

After the reclusive leader recovered his health, he took control of national affairs and prevented division among elites, Nam said.

The stop to the discussion over power transfer came after more political figures began lining up to seek favor with Kim Jong Il’s youngest son Jung Un, who is the heir apparent, resulting in confusion in internal communication and policymaking processes.

Seoul officials said Pyongyang has recently showed unprecedented confusion in major foreign policy.

A case in point is the North’s water discharge from Hwanggang Dam along the Imjin River last week, which killed six South Korean campers. This happened after the North offered a series of reconciliatory gestures, including Kim Jong Il’s meeting with Hyundai Group Chairwoman Hyun Jeong-eun and the dispatch of a delegation to South Korea to pay tribute to the late former President Kim Dae-jung last month.

Certain North Korean officials have reportedly criticized their leadership for excessively provoking the U.S. by launching a long-range missile in April and conducting a second nuclear test in May to smooth the way for Kim Jong Il’s successor.