Kim Jong-un within Songun Legacy Politics

By | December 20, 2013 | No Comments


Kim Jong-un within the Distorted yet Present reality of the Songun Era | Original Image: KCTV

Kim Jong-un within the Distorted yet Present reality of the Songun Era | Original Image: KCTV

It is impossible to say with certainty at this stage whether the purging of Jang Sung-taek will lead to fundamental policy shifts at the highest levels: foreign, trade, and defense and nuclear policy. Administrative and policy boundaries in Pyongyang are more sensitive than ever and, by clearly signposting that it’s “business as usual,” the leadership has arguably shown that it knows how vital the process of policy delineation really is.

As the bureaucratic inertia and momentum from the purge continue, we contend that something else has occurred, which is of arguably more importance. The purge reinforces above all the one dynamic upon which all the others rest and have rested for many years: The inheritance and permanence of the Songun (or “military-first”) political line.

This singular preference for the “military-first” line has been reflected most recently in intense post-purge calls to remain loyal to Kim Jong-un. Kim is the “exemplary center” of the Korean revolution: in other words, the leader who transcends Workers’ Party and state, and in so-doing sets the boundaries of what is, and is not, acceptable policy.

To reiterate: this is not a new theme; rather, it represents the acceleration of an old one. The emphasis is, as ever, on the hereditary system and the vital need to justify, yet again, the bloodline of the supreme North Korean office. If Jang Song-taek were to contravene the need for a bloodline succession, there was massive weight being turned against him in that endeavor — and anyone who might have joined him.

The declaration of the “Day of Songun” on 25 August 2013, and the extensive speech given on that day by Kim Jong-un are the present focus of our analysis. The functions of that speech were as follows:

1. To backdate the Kim Jong-il succession

Kim Jong-un’s reign has seen an adjustment and pragmatic rearranging of various historical tropes in North Korea. Just as Kim Il-sung has been conveniently reincarnated as a harbinger of Kim Jong-un rather than a historical character in his own right, now that Kim Jong-il is dead, his legacy and historical personage have become the target of even greater manipulation and modification than was the case during his lifetime.

This process of alteration goes far beyond cleaning up the Dear Leader’s yellowed, jagged teeth and patchy pre-death hair for his eternal portrait, or even making him equal to Kim Il-sung as a youthful horseman. Rather, it reaches back insistently into Kim Jong-il’s youth.

The eight-year old Kim Jong-il’s poem to his father at the Korean War battlefront has taken on the privileged position of a historically relevant document–now set to music by none other than the Moranbong Band. While this could be seen as what Max Fisher has termed “The Infantilization of Kim Jong-il” or some neat Oedipal tricks, the fact remains that Kim Jong-il’s youth is vitally important for the securing (and re-securing) of legitimacy for theNorth Korean  notion that youth and leadership go hand in hand.

For a leader whose youth is all too apparent and who faces a possible crisis at any moment by a non-bloodline challenger for power (such as Ri Yong-ho, or the increasingly ubiquitous Jang), the need to backdate the succession seems apparent.

The new spurt of Kim Jong-il’s Works edited and published after his death in 2011 also operate within this sphere: Whereas traditionally, Kim Jong-il’s written records (the Works) once started in 1967 and his biography handled the myths of his childhood through university years, under Kim Jong-un’s guidance, his father’s written production has been significantly backdated.

North Koreans are now being asked to study no fewer than 100 speeches and writings of Kim Jong-il allegedly dating from the last four months of 1962 alone — and this already into Volume 5! Apart from the obvious and overbearing lessons imparted by such work on a reflection on the youthful “achievements” of the Kims as it reflects upon their depicted right to rule, the point ever seems to be: The bloodline succession was fixed in 1960, as was North Korea’s turn toward a military-first policy.

Kim Il-song with an AK-47 and his tank of a son. Featured painting in new DPRK exhibition. | Image: KCTV

Kim Il-song with an AK-47 and his tank of a son. Featured painting in new DPRK exhibition. | Image: KCTV

2. Reinterpreting Kim Jong-il and North Korea’s survival in the 1990s as acts of greatness paralleling those of the Korean War.

Readers will recall paragraph 39 from the previous post, wherein the voice of Kim explained:

(39) 주체의 사회주의는 위대한 수령님께서 한생을 다 바쳐 마련해주신 우리 혁명의 고귀한 전취물이며 우리 인민의 생명이고 참된 삶과 행복의 보금자리입니다. 우리 혁명의 승리적전진을 가로막고 우리의 사회주의를 없애버리려는 미제와 제국주의련합세력의 무모한 반공화국압살책동이 극도에 이르렀던 지난 세기 90년대는 우리 혁명에서 가장 준엄한 시련의 시기였습니다. 우리 군대와 인민이 자주적인민,자주적근위병으로 승리자가 되느냐 아니면 또다시 제국주의식민지노예가 되느냐 하는 운명의 갈림길에서 단연 선군의 기치를 높이 추켜드시고 주체의 사회주의를 영예롭게 수호하고 빛나는 승리를 안아오신것은 우리 장군님께서만이 이룩하실수 있는 력사의 기적이였습니다. // The Juche-oriented socialism is a precious gain of our revolution Comrade Kim Il Sung achieved devoting his life, and it is our people’s lifeblood and the cradle of their true life and happiness. The 90s of the last century, when the reckless anti-DPRK moves of the allied forces of the US and other imperialists to check the victorious advance of our revolution and stamp out our socialism went to extremes, was a period of the severest ordeals for our revolution. When our army and people were at the crossroads whether they would remain an independent people and guards to become victors or be reduced to the imperialists’ colonial slaves again, Comrade Kim Jong Il determinedly held up the banner of Songun, and defended the Juche-oriented socialism with honour and achieved brilliant victories. This was a miracle of history which only our General could bring about.

Our comment to this paragraph read as follows:

“Severest ordeals” is a euphemism for famine, the collapse of the socialist economy, and near war with the United States (1994). Whereas Kim Il-sung’s credentials were earned by actually fighting the imperial enemy (in Manchuria), Kim Jong-il’s accomplishment was to prevent regime collapse when the chips were stacked against him–a feat, no doubt. However, perhaps the more veritable feat was that accomplished by the propagandists in the 1990s. It can be gleaned from this paragraph the difficulty–but absolute necessity–of positioning not only Kim Jong-il but also Kim Jong-un within the Mt. Baekdu bloodline, and thus the guerrilla tradition.

And lo, the Arduous March thus takes on the character of the Korean War. Having taken up the mantle of revolution from the manifestly unpopular Kim Jong-il, the propagandists buttressing the Kim regime have to reinterpret that legacy of collapse, which, unlike the Korean War, is in the recent memory of all who survived. Collective societal sacrifices should always be made for some reason and goal, after all. This is important in itself, but also related to the next sub-theme, perhaps the most important of all.

Kim Jong-un, standing, appropriately, in front of a tank. | Image: KCTV

Kim Jong-un, standing, appropriately, in front of a tank. | Image: KCTV

3. Kim Jong-un’s delivery of material benefits to the people and rising of living standards as promised.

The circumstances of this delivery are unclear, which is both problem and solution. Whereas Kim Jong-un’s April 15, 2012 and the New Year’s speeches were given which much fanfare, stood at a podium, to specific audiences, and carried in full on Korean Central Television, this work emerged only as a textual source. Kim is the one credited with linking the date of the Day of Songun to April 15 in terms of importance, more so than his own birthday, note, thus putting his stamp on the country’s calendar.

The themes of the text and its context suggest:

1. Emphasis on the importance of succession and bloodline in a manner very similar to Kim Jong-il and Kim Il-Sung’s previous speeches, lightly updated by the youthful hand of Kim Jong-un;

2. Some as-yet opaque slow reworking of the military’s role in economic society, emphasizing construction capacity couched in militant language and reemphasizing the institutional power of the National Defense Commission;

3. Clear indications to North Korea’s adversaries that denuclearization is not in the cards, coming just prior to another diplomatic push by both China and the United States;

4. The building up of Kim’s personal charisma in the form of a new holiday, lending further to the sense that the Kim Jong-il era can be encapsulated and that progress is being made, even though for some that is demonstrably not the case; and

5. Like other such documents, it also indicates the essential need to appear fluent as a theorist (note the dialectics near the end; the patient explanation of the relationship between Juche and Songun).

Below, we complete our annotated journey through Kim Jong-un’s “Day of Songun” statement (see part I and part II). The original Korean text is followed by the official North Korean translation into English (separated by two “common slashes”), and these are followed by Sino-NK commentary where appropriate (in the quoted text).


(52) 우리는 위대한 장군님께서 한평생 걸으신 선군의 길,자주의 길,사회주의의 길을 끝까지 이어나가며 장군님의 유훈을 찬란한 현실로 꽃피우고 주체혁명위업,선군혁명위업을 빛나게 완성하여야 합니다. // We should follow to the end the road of Songun, the road of independence and the road of socialism that the great General traversed throughout his life, translate his instructions into brilliant realities and accomplish the revolutionary cause of Juche, the revolutionary cause of Songun, with credit.

As Brian Myers has said many times over (and most recently in his review of Charles Armstrong’s Tyranny of the Weak), independence and sovereignty are bounded tightly to the militarization of society–an ongoing “revolution,” the end of which would mean the end of North Korea itself. National defense, militarization, socialism, and autonomy are key ingredients in North Korea’s ideological staple and can be located in any “outer track” publication.

One KCNA (an outer track source) article entitled “Nuke and Peace” [핵과 평화] exemplifies “the road of Songun,” as described above. Peter Ward, in a Sino-NK essay on North Korean politics and ideology in 2013, elaborates:

It is through these  ideological staples–weapons and national defense, autonomy and socialism–that the North Korean state seeks to legitimize itself as the true representative of the Korean people. … The logic is unmistakable: As the DPRK works with the peoples of the world and their states to struggle with US imperialism, the ROK is a willing participant in perpetuating its own neo-colonial dependence and spreading such dependence across the Asian continent. North Korea’s nuclear weapons confer upon Pyongyang an autonomy  (자주성) and dignity (존엄성) that the South has long since lost. The North seeks to use nuclear weapons to bring peace and liberation.

(53) 모든 일군들과 당원들과 근로자들이 김정일동지의 선군혁명사상으로 철저히 무장하고 장군님의 위대한 선군령도업적을 깊이 체득하며 그것을 혁명투쟁과 건설사업에서 철저히 구현하고 빛내여나가도록 하여야 하겠습니다. // All officials, Party members and other working people should firmly arm themselves with the General’s idea of the Songun revolution, deeply study his great Songun leadership achievements and thoroughly apply and add lustre to them in the revolutionary struggle and construction work.

(54) 총대중시,군사중시로선을 철저히 관철하여 나라의 방위력을 철벽으로 다져야 합니다. // The line of giving importance to arms, to military affairs, should be implemented to the letter for the strengthening of the defense capabilities of the country to be steel-strong.

(55) 인민군대를 사상과 신념의 강군,백두산혁명강군으로 더욱 억세게 준비시켜야 합니다. // The KPA should be prepared more firmly into an army strong in ideology and faith, a powerful Paektusan revolutionary army.

The army is not, it should be noted, the final arbiter and guarantee of state power in the international community; rather, it secures the future of the Mt. Baekdu revolutionary bloodline, known less prosaically to most as the Kim dynasty.

(56) 당의 령도는 인민군대의 생명이며 당의 령도를 떠나서는 인민군대의 위력에 대하여 말할수 없습니다. 인민군대의 총적방향은 오직 하나 우리 당이 가리키는 한방향으로 총구를 내대고 곧바로 나가는것입니다. 우리의 총대는 영원히 당과 그 위업을 굳건히 담보하는 억척의 지지점이 되여야 합니다. // Leadership of the Party is the lifeline of the KPA, and its might is inconceivable separated from the leadership of the Party. The general direction ahead of the KPA is one, that is, to advance straight forward with guns levelled in the very direction our Party indicates. Our arms must serve as an ever-lasting cornerstone that ensures a sure guarantee for the Party and its cause.

(57) 인민군장병들은 그 어떤 시련이 닥쳐오고 정세가 어떻게 변하든 오직 당과 수령만을 알고 당과 수령을 결사옹위할 하나의 사상,하나의 각오로 심장을 불태워야 합니다. 인민군군인들은 우리 당의 혁명사상으로 튼튼히 무장하고 목숨은 버려도 혁명의 붉은기,주체의 당기를 끝까지 지키겠다는 투철한 신념을 지녀야 합니다. // The officers and men of the KPA should burn their hearts with a single idea, a single determination, to support only the Party and the leader and safeguard them unto death, whatever ordeals may crop up and however the situation may change. They should equip themselves firmly with the revolutionary ideas of our Party and cherish a steadfast faith that they will defend to the end the red flag of the revolution, the Juche flag of the Party, at the cost of their lives.

In paragraph 56, the speech links the “Mt. Baekdu revolutionary army” to the leadership provided by the Party, without which the army would allegedly be incapable of attaining and sustaining its strength. In paragraph 57, meanwhile, it is revealed that each individual member of the armed forces should be a fervent defender of both Party and, importantly, the leader, or Suryeong [수령/supreme leader].

(58) 전군에 백두산훈련열풍을 세차게 일으켜 모든 군인들을 김일성-김정일군사전략전술과 영웅적전투정신,완벽한 실전능력을 소유한 일당백의 용사로 준비시키며 부대안에 강철같은 군기를 세우고 정규화적면모를 훌륭히 갖추어야 합니다. // They should make their training more intensive, as the anti-Japanese guerrillas did on Mt. Paektu, so as to prepare themselves into a-match-for-a-hundred combatants possessed of Kim Il Sung’s and Kim Jong Il’s military strategy and tactics, heroic combat spirit and actual war capability, establish rigid discipline in their units and assume the perfect appearance of a regular army.

In terms cut straight from the pen of Suh Dae-sook, this element of the statement ends on the ultimate guarantor of the superior moral legitimacy of the Kim family state; namely, its semi-mythical Manchurian upbringing.

(59) 군인들이 군무생활을 잘할수 있게 초소와 병영을 고향집처럼 잘 꾸리도록 하며 군인들의 물질문화생활조건을 원만히 보장해주어야 합니다. // Military posts and barracks should be laid out as if they were the service personnel’s native houses, and satisfactory material and cultural living conditions provided so that they can lead a good service life.

(60) 인민군장병들은 조국보위의 기본임무를 수행하면서도 사회주의건설의 여러 전선과 주요전구마다에서 돌파구를 열어제끼며 인민을 위한 일에서 만족을 모르고 언제나 앞장에 서야 합니다. // While discharging their basic duty of defending the country, the service personnel should make breakthroughs in several sectors and major projects of socialist construction, and never feel contented in doing things for the people but always take the lead in this regard.

It is in paragraph 59 and 60 that the statement starts to flirt with on the ground reality, and this is where trouble lurks. How is one to “원만히 보장,” or “satisfactorily guarantee,” the material living conditions of servicemen? How can the state and party convincingly argue that this is or shows signs of soon being the case? Does this even matter? It is a core question of this research.

(61) 국방공업발전에 큰 힘을 넣어야 합니다. 국방공업부문에서는 우리 나라를 천하무적의 군사강국으로 빛내이기 위한 투쟁에서 보다 큰 전진을 이룩하도록 하는데 힘을 집중하여 정밀화,경량화,무인화,지능화된 우리 식의 무장장비들을 더 많이,더 질적으로 만들어내야 합니다. // A great effort should be channeled into developing the defence industry. The sector of the defence industry should concentrate its efforts on making a bigger stride in building our country into an invincible military power, and thus produce more and better-quality military hardware of our own style that are precise, light, unmanned and intelligent.

(62) 로농적위군은 전투정치훈련을 강화하여 전투력을 더욱 높이며 일단 유사시에 자기 도,자기 군,자기 향토를 튼튼히 지키도록 하여야 합니다. // The Worker-Peasant Red Guards should enhance their combat capabilities through intensive combat and political training and reliably defend their respective provinces, counties and villages in time of emergency.

(63) 사회주의건설의 모든 전선에서 대비약,대혁신을 일으켜야 합니다. // All the sectors of socialist construction should bring about a great leap forward and great innovations.

(64) 우리 당의 병진로선을 높이 받들고 경제강국건설에 더욱 박차를 가하여 인민생활을 획기적으로 높여야 합니다. // We should radically improve the people’s standard of living by giving a spur to the building of an economic giant, holding aloft our Party’s line of simultaneously promoting the two fronts (economic development and the upbuilding of nuclear forces).

This, then, is the Byungjin line, a dual-development plan that promotes both the people’s economy (인민의 경제) and the development of nuclear forces. Although (re)introduced with great vigor in 2013, the policy of parallel military-economic development is not a novel policy for the DPRK. Officially, Byjungjin 2013 (제2병진로선) has its roots in a December 1962 Central Committee Plenum.

Charles Armstrong recounts:

… the December 1962 Central Committee Plenum declared as a policy of “equal emphasis,” or a “parallel program of economic and military development,” [제1병진로선] had disastrous long-term effects on the domestic economy.

Armstrong continues:

The regime had made the choice between guns and butter, as it were, and would never veer from the priority placed on guns. If anything, the diversion of resources from the civilian to the military sectors of the economy would only increase over time, and by the 1990s, when North Korea seemed to be tilting against the hurricane winds of history itself, the DPRK would be utterly and grimly unique: a starving country with the world’s fourth-largest standing army. Such a situation was by no means inevitable, but in retrospect it is clear that the wretched circumstances of North Korea in the 1990s had their roots in the “parallel economic policy” of the 1960s. [emphasis added]

Putting the Byungjin line into historical perspective renders such statements like “We should radically improve the people’s standard of living…” rather nonsensical. What does Byungjin 2013 have in store for the people? If history is any guide, nothing good.

(65) 경제강국건설의 주타격방향인 농업과 경공업전선에서 혁신을 일으키고 살림집건설을 힘있게 다그쳐 인민들이 유족하고 행복한 생활을 누리도록 하여야 합니다. // We should make innovations in the sectors of agriculture and light industry, major thrust areas in building an economic giant, and promote construction of dwelling houses, so as to ensure that the people lead an affluent and happy life.

(66) 인민경제 선행부문,기초공업부문에 힘을 집중하여 이미 마련된 자립적토대가 은을 내게 하고 현대화,생산정상화의 동음이 세차게 울리도록 하여야 합니다. 특히 전력,석탄공업부문에 큰 힘을 넣으며 금속공업과 화학공업을 쌍기둥으로 하여 인민경제 모든 부문을 발전시켜야 합니다. // We should concentrate our efforts on the priority sectors of the national economy, the basic industry sectors, to ensure that the existing self-supporting foundations pay off, and vigorously push ahead with the effort for modernizing them and normalizing their production. We should direct a strenuous effort to the electric-power and coal-mining industries in particular, and develop all sectors of the national economy with metallurgical and chemical industries as twin pillars.

(67) 과학기술을 빨리 발전시키고 전민과학기술인재화를 실현하여 지식경제시대의 요구에 맞게 인민경제의 현대화,CNC화수준을 높이고 나라의 경제구조를 완비하여야 합니다. // By rapidly developing science and technology and educating all the people to be well versed in science and technology, we should raise the level of putting the national economy on a modern and CNC basis and perfect the economic structure of the country in keeping with the requirements of the era of the knowledge economy.

Another key question and problem for “Songun Korea.” Developing nuclear weapons and a viable people’s economy requires well educated personnel, as such developments are neither easy nor free. Yet a surfeit of education can be enormously dangerous for a regime rooted in mass (though not elite) ignorance of the external task environment. Educated people tend to want to exercise their hard-won intellects. Can this be achieved without loss of ideological cohesion, even assuming one were minded to try?

(68) 사회주의문명국건설을 힘있게 다그쳐야 합니다. 사회의 모든 성원들이 사회주의문화의 창조자,향유자로 되게 하며 문화건설의 모든 부문에서 새로운 전환을 일으켜 건강하고 문명한 생활을 누리려는 우리 인민들의 념원이 현실로 꽃피게 하여야 합니다. // We should accelerate the construction of a cultured socialist nation. It is important to make all the members of society become artists and enjoyers of socialist culture and bring about a fresh turn in all the sectors of cultural construction. By doing so, we should translate into reality the people’s desire for a wholesome and cultured way of life.

(69) 사회주의강성국가건설에서 결정적전환을 가져오기 위하여서는 당조직들의 전투적기능과 역할을 더욱 높여야 합니다. // In order to bring about a decisive turn in the construction of a thriving socialist country, the militant functions and role of Party organizations should be further heightened.

(70) 당조직들은 선군혁명의 전위조직이며 당의 사상과 령도는 당조직들을 통하여 실현됩니다. 당조직들은 당의 유일적령도체계를 세우는것을 당사업의 주선으로 확고히 틀어쥐고 모든 일군들과 당원들과 근로자들이 령도자의 사상과 령도를 충직하게 받들며 모든 사업을 당의 사상과 의도에 맞게 해나가도록 하여야 합니다. // Party organizations are the vanguard organizations of the Songun revolution, and the Party’s ideology and leadership are implemented through them.They should regard it as the main line of Party work to establish the monolithic leadership system of the Party, and ensure that all officials, Party members and other working people support the leader’s ideas and leadership with loyalty and conduct all types of work in line with the Party’s ideas and intentions.

(71) 당조직들은 오늘의 총공격전에서 일군들과 당원들과 근로자들의 정신력을 최대로 발양시켜야 합니다. 기적을 낳는 어머니는 대중의 정신력이며 강성국가건설에서 새로운 전성기를 열어나가기 위한 기본열쇠는 대중의 심장에 불을 다는것입니다. // In the current general offensive, Party organizations should give fullest play to the spiritual strength of officials, Party members and other working people. The mother of miracle is the spiritual strength of the masses, and the key to ushering in a new heyday in the building of a thriving nation is to motivate their hearts.

(72) 당조직들은 일군들과 당원들과 근로자들속에서 장군님의 선군혁명사상과 업적의 위대성을 깊이 체득시키고 빛내이기 위한 교양사업을 짜고들어야 합니다. 당조직들은 대중속에서 화선식정치사업을 드세게 벌려 모든 일군들과 당원들과 근로자들이 인민군대의 수령결사옹위,결사관철의 정신과 투쟁기풍을 체질화하며 김정일애국주의를 높이 발휘하여 《마식령속도》창조의 불길을 세차게 일으키도록 하여야 합니다. // Party organizations should scrupulously educate officials, Party members and other working people to learn the greatness of the General’s idea and achievements of the Songun revolution and exalt their brilliance. They should intensify the frontline-style political work among the masses so that officials, Party members and other working people make it an element of their living to learn from the spirit of the service personnel of defending the leader and carrying out his instructions unto death and their fighting spirit, and make strenuous efforts to create the Masikryong speed by displaying Kim Jong Il’s patriotism.

(73) 군민협동작전의 위력으로 사회주의대건설전투를 힘있게 벌려야 합니다. // The service personnel and people should propel the grand socialist construction on the strength of joint operation.

This translation is misleading. What it intends to convey is that the fervent battle for grand socialist construction (사회주의대건설전투) is essential, and that it must be undertaken utilizing the power of the armed forces and people in concert. In other words, in the spirit of “일심단결” (ilsim dangyeol; monolithic unity).

Yet where does this notion intersect with lived reality? Can the farm worker whose crops are overwhelmingly procured for military use carry this spirited sentiment in his or her heart?

(74) 군민협동작전은 군대와 인민이 한마음한뜻이 되여 완강한 공격전을 벌려나가는 위력한 투쟁방식입니다. 인민군대 지휘관들과 사회의 지도일군들은 군민협동작전을 위한 조직과 지휘를 짜고들며 군민의 정신력과 모든 수단을 총동원하여 자기 단위에 맡겨진 혁명과업을 제때에 어김없이 수행하여야 합니다. // Joint operation between them is a powerful struggling mode of the service personnel and people in waging an unyielding offensive with one mind and purpose. The commanding personnel of the KPA and leading civilian officials should scrupulously organize and command the joint operations and enlist their spiritual strength and all means to perform unfailingly and in time the revolutionary tasks assigned to their respective units.

(75) 위대한 대원수님들의 유훈과 숭고한 뜻을 받들어 조국통일의 새로운 국면을 열어나가며 침략과 전쟁을 막고 세계의 평화와 안전을 수호하기 위하여 적극 노력하여야 합니다. // True to the instructions and lofty will of the great Generalissimos, we should make proactive efforts to open a new phase of national reunification, prevent aggression and war and defend global peace and security.

(76) 우리의 선군혁명사상과 위업은 필승불패입니다. // The idea and cause of our Songun revolution are invincible.

(77) 위대한 주체사상,선군혁명사상이 우리의 앞길을 밝혀주고 당의 현명한 령도와 천만군민의 일심단결,무적필승의 인민군대가 있는 한 주체혁명위업,선군혁명위업의 승리는 확정적입니다. // As the great Juche idea and the Songun revolutionary idea illuminate the road ahead of us and there are the wise leadership of the Party, the single-hearted unity of all the service personnel and people and the invincible KPA, the victory of the revolutionary cause of Juche and the revolutionary cause of Songun is definite.

(78) 우리는 지난날과 마찬가지로 앞으로도 위대한 선군의 기치를 높이 들고 영원히 승리만을 떨쳐갈것입니다.(끝) // As in the past, so in the future, we will achieve only victory for ever, upholding the great banner of Songun. -0-


“Kim Jong-un within Songun Legacy Politics“ is part three of a series on ideology and North Korean statecraft that acts as an introduction to a project documenting the cultural and political strategies used by the DPRK government to promote its policy agenda and create strategic discord abroad. This research is supported by an Academy of Korean Studies Grant (AKS-2013- R-11).

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