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Kim Jong Un elected as general secretary of Workers’ Party

Kim Jong Un elected as general secretary of Workers’ Party

Posted January. 12, 2021 07:36,   

Updated January. 12, 2021 07:36


North Korean leader Kim Jong Un has been elected as General Secretary of the Workers’ Party, a post scrapped after the death of his father Kim Jong Il in 2011. The post was also held by his late grandfather Kim Il Song and his late father Kim Jong Il. The election appears to be an attempt to strengthen Chairman Kim’s one-man dictatorship by officially putting him in the ranks of his father and grandfather, marking his 10 years in power.

North Korea’s state-run Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) said on Monday that Kim Jong Un has been endorsed as the General Secretary of the Workers’ Party at the sixth-day session of the party’s eighth congress. Chairman Kim’s title within the party changed from the First Secretary, decided at the meeting of party representatives in 2012, to Chairman of the Workers’ Party decided at the party’s seventh congress in 2016, to General Secretary. North Korea revised party rules to reinstate the secretariat system, which was abolished five years ago returning to the Kim Il Sung-Kim Jong Il era.

The title of General Secretary had been left open since Kim Jong Il was designated as the Eternal General Secretary one year after his death in 2012. A South Korean government official said North Korea elected Kim Jong Un as the General Secretary to trumpet the fact that there is no counter-balance to Kim after 10 years in power.

Contrary to expectations that Kim Yo Jong, Kim Jong Un’s sister and the first Deputy Director of the Party, will be promoted to a higher position, she was not included in the party’s Politburo. However, she was called 20th among the members of the Workers’ Party Central Committee and was given a second-row seat during the party congress on Sunday.

Oh-Hyuk Kwon hyuk@donga.com