Jang Song Thaek officially purged

What Jang’s dismissal means to NK leadership

While some analysts claim that the dismissal marks the hard-liners’ predominance over the moderates, I suggest this is one of general steps, the way it was meant to be, of generation transition in the NK leadership. The old has to leave the stage one day after all. At first, it was Ri Yong Ho who was ousted. Now it was Jang’s turn, it seems.

However, unlike in the case of Ri, Rodong Sinmun posted a very explicit and harsh announcement of Jang’s dismissal today. It was reported today by a SK newspaper that there was a gunfight between Jang aide’s gang and KPA soldiers who tried to take over Jang’s company. While it remains to be seen whether the report is true, it may explain Rodong Sinmun’s explicitness.

Dismissals, purges of the old vassals actually prove the new Kim Jong Un regime’s consolidation, not a fragility, I think.

Relation with China

Since Jang Song Thaek is known as pro-China, some are concerned about NK’s relationship China. But as I said above, it is not related topics like that. It was just the next step in the transition of power. So I don’t expect any major (and even minor) changes among Sino-DPRK relations.

The Aide seeking asylum in South Korea

There are reports of Jang’s aide(s) are seeking asylum in South Korea. The most recent report says a counsellor-class worker of NK embassy in unnamed country is “recently” seeking asylum in South Korea. We don’t know how “recent” it is. However, an intelligence source told me a few days ago he hasn’t heard any of such a high profile defection until November.

Kim Kyong Hui

She’s a member of the royal family. She can keep her position well unless she tries to do something against Kim Jong Un. There were reports of her illnesses and health issues. Maybe she would take a rest while keeping her seat in the NK power elite.

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