Some experts say that the idolization of Kim Jong-un, Chairman of the Workers’ Party of Korea, has reached its peak. Nam Sung-wook, Professor of Unification Diplomacy at Korea University, pointed this out in his presentation under the title ”Assessment of Kim Jong-un Regime” during the 2016 Korean Peninsula Unification Symposium held at the Grand Ballroom of the Westin Chosun Hotel, Seoul, on May 27.
Professor Nam explained that the idolization of Kim Jong-un was one of the five major resolutions of the 7th WPK Congress, quoting a statement from the Congress that it found effective solutions to the problem of carrying forward the revolutionary cause, thereby setting an example for the world in defending and adding brilliance to the revolutionary cause of the leader from one generation to the next. He stressed that North Korea declared the completion of the third-generation hereditary succession of power.
Professor Nam said, referring to the scene where Kim Yong-nam, President of the Presidium of the Supreme People’s Assembly of North Korea, and Hwang Pyong-so, Director of the General Political Bureau of the Korean People’s Army (KPA), were standing on both sides of Chairman Kim Jong-un and clapping their hands towards him, “They present a scene where they seem to tremble with fear while clapping their hands. This is an attempt to boost the level of the idolization of Kim Jong-un to the greatest extent.”
At the 7th Party Congress, the official title of Kim Jong-un was changed from the First Secretary of the Workers’ Party of Korea (WPK) and the First Chairman of the National Defense Commission to the Chairman of the WPK. In regard to this, Professor Nam said, “The title of Chairman of the Workers’ Party appears to be more of a symbolic title indicating leadership over the party as a whole rather than as a specific position.” He also said, “According to the Party regulations, Kim Jong-un was appointed as chairman of the Party as well as member of the Party Central Committee, member of the Political Bureau of the Party Central Committee, member of the Party Central Committee Political Bureau Presidium, and chairman of the Party Central Military Commission. This is an attempt to assert that Kim Jong-un has been given a rank equivalent to that of his father and grandfather and so to flaunt his ascent as the third-generation ruler from his family, with the same title that Kim Il-sung held.” Then he added, “Kim Jong-un’s new title—“Chairman of the WPK”—shows his desire to raise himself to the level of a god, beyond his status as a mere man.”
Professor Nam also explained with regard to North Korea’s Five-Year Economic Development Strategy, “It is a strategy, not a plan, and a mere guideline. It emphasizes the production of food and electricity, but has no concrete action plan,” and he added, “North Korea will turn its economy into a Robinson Crusoe economy and drift toward deeper economic isolation.”