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  • » 11/17/2010, 00.00

    NORTH KOREA

    Kim the “third” to thin out party ranks

    Joseph Yun Li-sun

    Like his father, a ruthless Kim Jong-un launches an “anti-corruption” campaign to consolidate his hold on power. “Senior officials are trembling with fear because they don't know where heads are going to roll,” a source says.

    Seoul (AsiaNews) – After floods and another famine, North Korea is in for more troubles. Kim Jong-un, Kim Jong-il’s third child and heir, has begun purging government and party ranks. Under the guise of an anti-corruption campaign, North Korea’s 27-year-old heir apparent is carrying out a personal vendetta against local cadres. He is not waiting around for his father to die to consolidate his power.

    On his orders, police raided party offices and arrested party officials suspected of corruption. The crackdown began in the northeastern province of North Hamkyong, on the border with China,  the Seoul-based North Korea Intellectuals Solidarity reported.

    According to the North Korean defectors' group, 15 senior border officials were arrested and charged with bribery, smuggling activities and turning  a blind eye to people fleeing the country.

    "This is a purge for generational change . . .  . Senior officials are trembling with fear because they don't know where heads are going to roll," a spokesperson for the group said.

    The young Kim is following in the footsteps of his elder, who reportedly had people executed in the 1990s every time problems proved too difficult to handle.

    In 1997, the ‘dear leader’ had So Kwan-hi, then party secretary in charge of agricultural affairs, shot for the famine the dictator created. More than a million people died at the time.

    Similarly, Pak Nam-gi, the then director of the party Planning and Finance Department, was executed in March to pay for his botched currency reform of November 2009.

    The ruthlessness of the young Kim is probably why Kim Jong-il appointed him deputy party secretary and deputy president of the Central Military Commission, choosing him over other sons and pretenders to the throne of Pyongyang.

    As AsiaNews reported some months ago,  Kim the younger carried out a campaign of violence and intimidation against his brothers and aunt, a fact that impressed Kim Jong-il.

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    See also

    03/11/2011 NORTH KOREA
    Pyongyang purges regime, five officials shot "with 60 bullets"
    Executed at the end of October in the military base at Seoncheon County, North Pyongan Province. A sixth person has committed suicide, driven also the local head of the NSA and ten party cadres. In September, fired more than 30 party cadres to Shinuiju.

    03/12/2013 NORTH KOREA
    Kim Jong-un's uncle removed in Pyongyang's latest purge
    Jang Song-thaek, the regime's eminence grise who handled the transition of power after the death of Kim Jong-il, was removed from his post at the National Defence Commission. A major powerbroker in the regime, he is married to the sister of the deceased 'dear leader' and acted as his nephew's guardian. The latter now appears to be on his way to emancipation.

    29/02/2008 NORTH KOREA
    Clapton invitation means Kim Jong-il has chosen his heir
    Kim Jong-chul is the chosen one. First son from the Dear Leader’s fourth marriage, he is said to love the music of the American guitar player. Since last year he is deputy chairman of a leadership division of the Korean Workers' Party, the same post his father had before taking over.

    13/12/2013 NORTH KOREA
    Pyongyang, Kim Jong-un executes his uncle: The worst traitor of all time
    Jang Song- taek , who is married to the late Kim Jong-il’s sister, was arrested ten days ago. In Overnight he was sentenced to death and immediately executed. Accused of plotting to grab power, he pays for his friendship with China.

    10/12/2013 KOREA
    North Korea, the purge of Jiang "is a clear message. Kim doesn't need a No. 2"
    Analysts agree: the removal of the powerful former tutor gives all power to the young dictator. The photos of the humiliating arrest and the charges against the uncle of the dictator "demonstrates that no one is safe in North Korea."



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