12/02/2009, 00.00
NORTH KOREA
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The "third Kim" frightens the two Koreas

by Joseph Yun Li-sun
Sources explain the North Korean leadership: Kim Jong-un is the chosen successor of the Dear Leader. But will be a dictator worse than the father, autocratic and cruel. Denied rumours that had the master of Pyongyang on the brink of death.

Seoul (AsiaNews) - Kim Jong-un, heir to guide North Korea, "will be a far worse dictator than his father. He is much more autocratic and cruel than the 'Dear Leader', and we know this well. We fear for the future".  Speaking is a source within the leadership of the country, on condition of anonymity: "His Western education makes him very dangerous: he knows the world outside of Asia, and he does not like." Meanwhile, in the south rumours of the alleged death of Kim Jong-il, announced yesterday by some media have been denied..

Kim Jong-un is the second son of Ko Yong-hee, the third wife of the "Dear Leader", who died in 2004. His father chose him several months ago, after at least two years of uncertainty over his succession. The Stalinist regime's official media have not reported the investiture, but gave ample space to his promotion to the top of the Workers' Party. His father, before being officially a successor to Kim Il-sung, he held the same role.

According to some analysts, this "dangerous" nature comes from the environment in which it was born and lived. Despite a brief period of study in Switzerland, Kim Jong-un attended his father's court and had to deal with the brothers, born from the first and second marriage of the "Dear Leader", who have blocked all the ways to climb power.

The anonymous source said that the father "has appreciated this spirit. Kim Jong-il would have even given his permission to kill any of the other candidates to the throne; the dictator's younger sister Kyong-hee, her husband Jang Song-taek and the 'first lady' Kim Ok ". The most dangerous candidate seems to be Jang: after removal from power, which caused his wife a severe depression, he is now considered the second most powerful man in the scheme.

Currently, uncle and nephew, seem to be working in common accord on the ambitious project to modernize Pyongyang. As Kim Jong-il before them, in fact, the change of dictator sees in turn a division of government contracts. This is to keep the few good entrepreneurs in the country, whose flight would seriously jeopardize the domestic economy. Trying to save what remains of the income of the country, Pyongyang also announced yesterday a "surprise" revaluation of the national currency and the closing of state stores until next week.

The North Korean Foreign Ministry has informed diplomats that 100 old won will be worth one in the new currency. According to South Korea's Yonhap news agency, the purpose of this first revaluation in 17 years "is to reduce inflation and the spread of the black market." Yan Moon-soo, the University of North Korean Studies in Seoul, explained that the regime aims to "stop the hoarding of banknotes stored by the population. Whoever sets aside large amounts of money, legally or illegally, will feel exposed and afraid. There will therefore be less currency in circulation on the market and greater control of the regime on the population".

 

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