(AsiaNews) - Recent purges, targeted killings and appointments in Pyongyang are
part of a broader plan of economic and social renewal of North Korea, a final
attempt by its dictator, Kim Jong-un, to stay in power and keep afloat the
country's oligarchic and militarised regime.
dictator wants to change everything in order that nothing changes," a source in
South Korea's Interior Ministry told AsiaNews.
"He knows he is very close to a popular uprising."
to the source, North Korea is planning economic reform, particularly in
agriculture, which has suffered the most for years, after Kim Jong-un and his
powerful uncle Jang Sung-taek successfully replaced the old army chief of staff,
who opposed change, with a crony.
order to continue the leadership overhaul, the government has set up a special
bureau to run the economy in lieu of the armed forces (among the largest in the
world), which had been given that task by the late Kim Jong-il. The latter's
third son knows "that he cannot control the military the way his father did. However,
he also knows that he must revive the economy because the population is at end
of its tether."
of North Korea's 23,000,000 people make a living from farming. However, this is
not enough since their equipment is antiquated and grain production tends to be
substandard because of environmental conditions. Central planning has also
destroyed personal initiative.
he came to power, one of the first things Kim Il-sung did was to seize farmland
from rich landlords. In the 1950s, about 4,000 large collective farms employing
some 300 families were created, incorporating all small farms. However, such
changes did not meet expectations because of poor environmental conditions and
migration of peasants to industrial centres.
every economic field, but especially light industry, the lack of foreign
capital has prevented the introduction of modern technologies. The country is
unable to buy the equipment it needs to rival increasingly rich South Korea.
The lack of technology and the country's inefficient centrally planned model
have held back its development.
analysts believe that North Korea's future lies in the "Chinese model" of small
scale, step-by-step liberalisation, eventually followed by the introduction of
will not happen for a simple reason," the source told AsiaNews. "As soon as ordinary North Koreans see that a better life
is possible without the regime, it will overthrow it. If Kim Jong-un wants
change, he has to demobilise the military and start talks with the south. Only
this way, he can save himself and the country."