Family succession : North Korea changes ruling principles to legitimise succession of power


(By Audrey Yoo): North Korea has revised the 10 fundamental principles of the ruling Workers’ Party to legitimise the hereditary succession of current leader Kim Jong-un and his family, reported South Korean daily Chosun Ilbo on Monday.

Pyongyang reportedly revised the principles in June the first time since April 1974 when the late Kim Jong-il became North Korea’s leader.
The revised rules stipulate that North Korea and the Workers’ Party will be “kept alive forever by the Baekdu bloodline”. Baekdu Mountain is the highest on the Korean Peninsula and the ‘Baekdu bloodline’ refers to the Kim family.
The country’s founder Kim Il-sung, called the Eternal President, died in 1994 and leadership passed to his son Kim Jong-il, the Eternal General Secretary of the Party.

Current leader Kim Jong-un took power when his father died in late 2011.
In addition to cementing the rule of the Kim family in the 10 principles, Pyongyang also added a warning against the bourgeoisie, most likely in response to increasing foreign influences from South Korea and China, noted experts.

References to socialism and communism were also removed from the revised principles and replaced with “juche revolution”, a belief that is the essence of North Korean politics which declares the North Korean people as the masters of the country’s fate.

Factionalism, regionalism and familism were also condemned in the changed principles.

Observers of North Korea said the revisions are a sign that Kim Jong-un had yet to consolidate his power.

Although North Korea has a constitution and the ruling party’s bylaw, the 10 principles have a more direct impact on the daily lives of North Koreans, who are required to pledge allegiance to the Kim family.

UPI World News
North Korea enshrines hereditary rule
Published: Aug. 12, 2013 at 12:35 PM

SEOUL, North Korea, Aug. 12 (UPI) — North Korea has revised its 10 founding principles to include that the transfer of power remain in the Kim family.
Previously, one of the 10 principles used to read “We must honor the great leader comrade Kim Il-sung with all our loyalty,” referring to the founder of North Korea, Chosun Ilbo reported Monday.

That principle was amended to, “We must honor the great leader comrade Kim Il-sung and general Kim Jong-il with all our loyalty.”
Clauses pertaining to the principle establish a sole leadership system and that North Korea’s Workers Party must be led “eternally” by the “Baekdu bloodline,” referring to the Kim dynasty.

“The ruling ideology has shifted from centring around Kim Il-sung to Kim Il-sung and Kim Jong-il, while Kim Jong-un has been elevated to the same status as the elder Kims,” a North Korean government source, whose name was not reported, said. “The focus is on legitimizing and legalizing the hereditary transfer of power.”

North Korea’s principles were last changed in April 1974, when Kim Jong-il was appointed successor to Kim Il-sung.

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