09/27/2010, 00.00
NORTH KOREA

Army appoints "third Kim" delegate to Congress

by Joseph Yun Li-sun
According to local sources, it is a decisive signal: tomorrow, Kim Jong-un will be designated as heir to the "Dear Leader" Kim Jong-il. But some also speak of a coming economic reform, which will be outlined by the dictator to the country’s leadership.

Pyongyang (AsiaNews) - The North Korean army, the only apparatus capable of opposing the dictatorship of Kim Jong-il, has appointed the dictator’s third son Kim Jong-un as its delegate to the Workers Party Congress which opens tomorrow in the capital. According to several sources, it points towards two things: first, the appointment confirms that Congress will be held for the first time in 20 years, second, it indicates the "third Kim" the heir designated by the Korean dictator.

The appointment was officially made on August 25 but only emerged last night. The representatives of the armed forces have indicated only Kim Jong-il in the official gazette, but an internal circular to the Armed Forces said that the heir has also been chosen by the military. This is because the Congress delegates do not represent the entire sections, but are divided by provinces: Kim Jong-il, for example, was appointed delegate to the committees of the provinces of North and South Pyongyang.

Meanwhile, as shown by the photograph taken from the site of the Korean Central Television, the delegates began to arrive in Pyongyang yesterday. The circulation of news of the appointment by the army confirmed the succession. As Ryu Dong-ryeol, who teaches at the Korean Institute of Political Science, explains "for a man who will lead a country based on the Songun, the theory that preaches the army 'first', it is natural to be indicated by the Military Commission.

In any case, the first step is to appoint Kim Jong-un member of the Central Commission of the Party. According to internal rules, in fact, the Commission organizes and oversees all projects relating to the country. And it is always the Commission which officially appoints the heir to the throne, as happened in 1974 for Kim Jong-il.

Meanwhile it is rumoured that the dictator will present a new economic reform to raise the country bent by floods, by the disastrous currency reform launched some months ago and above all by the five-year economic policies decided by the Politburo. According to one source, the reform could open the regime to the free market, strengthening trade areas like the "Inter-Korean" Kaesong, where North and South workers live and work together.
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