Kim Jong Eun is not aiming to improve the lives of the people by moving towards reform and opening; rather, he is only interested in giving off a ‘man of the people’ image, according to Korea Institute of National Unification Senior Researcher Park Hyung Jung.
Park, speaking today at the debate ‘Kim Jong Eun Regime and the Situation on the Peninsula’, said, “Since the Day of the Sun on April 15th, Kim Jong Eun has been trying to show that he is a people-friendly leader, but actual policy has been oriented in an anti-livelihoods direction.”
He asserted, “Looking at North Korean foreign policy through the state media and Kim Jong Eun’s public speeches since Kim Jong Il’s death last year, it seems there will be no changes in policy in the Kim Jong Eun era. Only the displays of people-friendly remarks and actions were enhanced.”
“Some say that Kim Jong Eun is preparing for ‘reform’ and policies that significantly better the lives of the people, but based on official announcements in Rodong Shinmun and Kim Jong Eun speeches, this is a continuation of what went before.”
Therefore, he predicted that under the Kim Jong Eun system, “anti-reformation, strengthening of police governance, increasing foreign currency earning efforts, strengthening of regime survival, negligence of people’s living conditions and human rights violations will all continue.”
Kim Hak Sung, a professor from Chungnam University agreed that it is unlikely that Kim Jong Eun will embark on economic reforms, especially when his power base is weak.
Professor Kim said, “Last April, North Korea’s official media mentioned that Kim Jong Eun will embark on policies to overcome economic problems; however, the North Korean system with its ‘mafia’ economic structure will not find reform easy when reform cannot avoid shaking the system.”