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  • » 02/15/2012, 00.00


    Necrocracy in Pyongyang, Kim Jong-il becomes 'grand marshal'

    Joseph Yun Li-sun

    The late dictator is raised to the highest rank in the armed forces. Like his father, the 'eternal president' who died in 1993, he gets a huge bronze equestrian statue.

    Seoul (AsiaNews) - After making the Kim Il-sung 'eternal president', North Korea's rulers have elevated his son Kim Jong-il, who died in December, to the rank of Grand Marshal of the Democratic People's Republic of Chosun (Korea). The last Stalinist regime in the world has thus raised its reigning cult of the personality (and correlated propaganda) to new outlandish heights. The nomination came on the eve of the celebrations to mark Kim Jong-il's 70th birthday, tomorrow.

    With the announcement also came the unveiling of a new statue at Mansudae Art Studio in Pyongyang of Kim Jong-ol on a horse. The new monumental landmark joins an existing statue of Kim Il Sung, also mounted on a horse.

    The late dictator's birthday, one of the country's main civic holidays, is known as the 'Day of the Shining Star'. According to North Korea's ruling ideology, Kim Jong-il was born on a mythical mountain on a very dark night. After he was born, a great shining star shot across the heavens.

    However, his appointment as grand marshal also has a political function. Kim Jong-il's elevation to a higher rank means that his old post as a five-star general will be available to his third son and heir Kim Jong-un. Without it, the latter cannot fully take over North Korea's armed forces.


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    See also

    29/02/2008 NORTH KOREA
    Clapton invitation means Kim Jong-il has chosen his heir
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    15/04/2011 NORTH KOREA
    Kim Jong-un staking succession on the ‘Day of the Sun’
    Kim Jong-il’s third son is the heir designate to the throne of Pyongyang, but has not yet received the official investiture, which he desperately needs. After sponsoring real estate developments, he is betting his future on following in the footsteps of his grandfather Kim Il-sung, whose birthday today it is, in order to convince the people that he is different from his father and that he can save them from destruction.

    09/05/2016 18:10:00 NORTH KOREA
    Kim Jong-un to focus on nukes, burying his father’s legacy and any hope for peace

    The Workers' Party of Korea is holding its first congress in 36 years. Dressed in tie and suit to honour his grandfather Kim Il-sung, the country’s young dictator rejects international demands, and asserts that North Korea is a responsible nuclear power. He also reasserts the regime’s principles of Juche and Songun, adding byungjin or dual-track approach to nuclear development.

    15/02/2005 NORTH KOREA
    Is Kim Jong-il preparing his succession or strengthening his hold on power?
    There are different views but all agree that something is happening in Pyongyang.

    20/12/2011 KOREA
    In Pyongyang, people cry for food, not Kim
    Source tells AsiaNews that the grief seen on national TV “is not linked to the dictator’s death” but rather to hunger, concern about the coming winter and fear of the future. People want peace and an end to an “era” that “was very dark”.

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