In Rodong Shinmun last weekend, Kim Jong Il made his first ever public admission that the North Korean regime he rules with an iron fist has failed to bring about the desire of founding leader Kim Il Sung, who once said he hoped that the people of North Korea could “eat rice with meat soup, wear silk clothes and live in a tiled roof house.”
However, President of the Committee for Democratization of North Korea Hwang Jang Yop, himself a former high official in the Kim government, was unmoved by Kim’s expression of regret, pointing out that Kim has much more than that to be sorry for. “Since he has chosen to admit to the failure of his economic policies,” Hwang told a seminar on Friday, “he should have apologized first for his neglect during a famine where 3,000,000 people starved to death.”
“This was not a real admission of failure, but a bold-faced excuse,” Hwang concluded dismissively.
“It means that he thinks he has achieved everything in politics and the military, but came up short on economic policies. He is someone who cares not one bit about people’s food security, but pretends to have great concern for people’s problems.”
On an attendant note, Hwang also urged the South Korean government to think carefully before holding a summit with Kim. “If meeting with Kim Jong Il were to produce any benefits, then it would be fine,” he conceded, “But, he is only interested in getting one over on South Korea, so there is no need for South Korea to meet with him.”
Concluding his commentary, Hwang also talked about the succession, giving his inside analysis on who is probably training Kim Jong Eun for his future role. “If Kim Jong Eun is receiving succession instruction, it will be being done by the Party rather than the military.”
He added, “Kim Jong Il generally believes that politics is about dealing with people, and that doing Party work well makes you good at people management. Even though Kim talks about the military spirit often, he knows that one cannot govern a state by military force alone.” Therefore, Hwang believes that Kim may be planning to make Jong Eun work for the Guidance Department of the Central Committee of the Party.