North Korea Table of Contents
Figure 1. Administrative divisions of North Korea, 1992.
IN THE EARLY 1990s, the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DRPK, or North Korea) remained a vestige of the Cold War era. An isolated, closed, and tightly controlled communist society, North Korea was governed by a leadership that was only gradually opening the country to the outside world--and was doing so, in large part, only because its dire economic circumstances were forcing the issue. Although China, the former Soviet Union, and East European communist countries had undergone some degree of political and economic change, North Korea remained virtually the same as it had been for the more than four decades of its existence.
Korea's division in 1945 along the thirty-eighth parallel was originally intended as a temporary partition to facilitate the surrender of Japanese forces on the Korean Peninsula at the end of World War II. Superpower rivalry between the United States and the Soviet Union, and continued occupation of the peninsula, gave rise to the establishment of two hostile, competitive nations. North Korea was formed under Soviet sponsorship in the northern half of the peninsula. With the assistance of the United States, the Republic of Korea (ROK, or South Korea) emerged in the southern half. North Korea comprises approximately 55 percent of the total land mass of the Korean Peninsula. Some 22 million people live in the north, compared with about twice that number in the south.
North Korea's attempt at reunification by military action in 1950 led to the Korean War (1950-53), known in North Korea as the Fatherland Liberation War. Although North Korean troops initially were successful on the battlefield, only the massive introduction of the Chinese People's Volunteers into the conflict halted the almost total destruction of North Korean forces by the United States led-United Nations (UN) Command forces. The commanders of the Chinese, North Korean, and UN Command troops signed an armistice agreement in July 1953. Neither the United States nor South Korea signed the agreement, but both countries have adhered to it, and the armistice remained in force as of late 1993.
North Korean society revolves around the "religion of Kim Il Sungism" and his chuch'e (see Glossary) ideology, North Korea's own brand of Marxism-Leninism, national identity, and self-reliance. Kim's "religion" and chuch'e have supplanted Confucianism and other religious and philosophical beliefs such as Daoism, Buddhism, Christianity, and Ch'ndogyo (see Glossary). Interestingly, some observers have suggested a possible connection between Confucian strictures and the transformation of North Korea into a society demanding loyalty to Kim Il Sung, the country's paramount leader.
North Korea's social services are similar to those of other socialist countries. Education is universal, free, and compulsory for eleven years. Health care is provided by a national medical service, and the country has a national health insurance system. Both the education system and the centrally controlled media stress social harmony. Contemporary cultural expression is also driven--and controlled--by the Korean Workers' Party (KWP) and the state.
In the beginning of its regime, North Korea was distinguished by its successes in agricultural growth rates and yields. This record, however, has not been duplicated in terms of growth and yield since then. There were reports of food shortages (leading to rioting and the imposition of food rationing) in the early 1990s, but the shortfalls were as much attributable to poor weather conditions and distribution problems as inherent problems in the agricultural sector.
North Korea's efforts at industrialization have not been very successful. Although the country initially achieved some success in industrialization, the overall record is grim. A portrait emerges of a centrally controlled economy in decline: resources are inequitably allocated, production is hindered by lack of energy and modern technology, shortages of energy and oil have resulted in production declines, and labor productivity is low. Low productivity stems, in part, from obsolescent plants fitted with broken-down equipment, few spare parts, and lack of the technical expertise needed to fix equipment. Further complicating matters, heavy demands for electricity necessitate its production on a staggered schedule in order to maximize its effective use. In addition, the development of key industries is linked to increased electrical production and the construction of power plants. Calls for greater electric power production are common (plants are idled because of cutbacks in power).
In the early years of the regime, the government stressed heavy industry and accorded consumer goods and light industries second priority. Since the late 1970s, however, economic planners have paid more attention to light industry. And, in the early 1990s, some planners even advised operating light industry plants on a full schedule, thereby increasing the production of people's daily necessities. Nonetheless, heavy industry--particularly defense needs--has remained a focus of central planning and a drain on the economy. The military's hold on scarce resources-- and the priority of the military over other sectors--adds to the large demands for resources and has further undermined economic efficiency. North Korea has repeatedly failed to achieve economic goals and production schedules. In the past, Soviet and Chinese aid permitted some production targets to be met within specified time allotments, but others had to be sacrificed.
North Korea's poor record of debt repayment and its bad credit rating severely limit its ability to engage in international trade. Further, it has little to sell abroad. The demands made by China and Russia that North Korea pay hard currency for purchases exacerbate the situation. The country's trade problems are also compounded by the layers of economic sanctions the United States has placed on North Korea.
North Korea is not known for releasing statistical (or other) information, and its revelations about its economy are offered in vague terms. For example, at the fifth session of the Ninth Supreme People's Assembly held in April 1993, the Third Seven- Year Plan (1987-93) was not even mentioned in discussions on the state budget. North Korea does not usually discuss increases and decreases in terms of real figures, but provides them as percentages.
In early 1993, a spate of articles from Russian sources, published in the South Korean and Japanese press, detailed North Korea's economic woes. In March 1993, East European and Russian diplomats stationed in P'yongyang, North Korea's capital, revealed that North Korea's gross national product (GNP--see Glossary) may have declined as much as 7 to 10 percent. Russians and East European observers attributed the economic decline to failures in the mining industry, which accounts for approximately 40 percent of GNP. Estimates for declines in the production of iron, steel, and cement and in oil refining also are significant. Agriculture presents a mixed picture: rice production continued a decline that began in 1990, but corn and cabbage production apparently has increased. Meanwhile, critical shortages of raw materials and fuel mean that factories operate at far less than capacity. The garment industry is the only area of increased economic activity.
Some analysts have theorized that North Korea's economic problems will ultimately force it to open somewhat to the outside world. Some observers viewed the leadership changes announced at a December 1992 session of the Supreme People's Assembly as aimed at promoting advocates of economic reform and an opening to the outside world. Others argue, however, that the leaders of North Korea fear that economic reform and an opening to the outside world could erode the foundation of the totalitarian state. Political unrest and disarray similar to that experienced in the former communist nations could lead to the collapse of the regime in P'yongyang.
Survival of the current regime remains North Korea's foremost priority. Since its founding, the country has been ruled by a single person, Kim Il Sung, in an extremely rigid system. A guerrilla leader active in the resistance against Japan before World War II, Kim became head of state in September 1948. Over the years, a cult of personality has grown up around him. In 1993, at age eighty-one, he continued to dominate the political scene and was the long-standing general secretary of the KWP Secretariat and president of the government. He turned over the chairmanship of the National Defense Commission to his son and designated successor, Kim Jong Il, in April 1993 as part of the process of grooming and positioning his political heir. In his position as president, Kim Il Sung had also previously controlled the military; he appointed his son supreme commander, or wnsu, of the army in 1992. Like Kim Il Sung, key leaders hold multiple offices: party, state, and military. The death of the elder Kim may destabilize the political situation as contending forces vie for power and Kim Jong Il attempts to assert control.
Chuch'e ideology is also a dominant force in North Korea. On November 23, 1993, the South Korean government released the text of the revised 1972 North Korean constitution, which had been approved, but had not been made public, by the Ninth Supreme People's Assembly on April 9, 1992. The revised constitution substitutes chuch'e for Marxism-Leninism as a guiding principle of politics; changes the term of office for members of the Supreme People's Assembly and its Standing Committee from four years to five; and extends by a year the terms of office for the president, Central People's Committee, National Defense Commission, Central Court, and Central Procurator's Office.
The end of the Cold War and the resulting changes in the communist world--the breakup of the former Soviet Union and the East European communist countries--have presented challenges both to P'yongyang and to its allies. Not the least of these challenges has been their dealings with and diplomatic recognition of South Korea. The Soviet Union and South Korea established diplomatic relations in September 1990; China and South Korea opened trade offices (with consular functions) in 1991 and established diplomatic relations in August 1992. The success of South Korea's Nordpolitik (see Glossary) further contributed to the isolation of North Korea. In particular, Seoul's establishment of diplomatic relations with Moscow and its considerable trade with Beijing--more important than its trade with P'yongyang--have meant that North Korea has lost the ability to play the two communist giants off against one another. For China and Russia, the economic advantages of a relationship with South Korea mitigate the effects of a lesser relationship with North Korea.
Normalization of relations with Japan remains a contentious issue. North Korea expects compensation for the period of colonial rule and wants hard currency, investment capital, and technology. North Korea also wants Japan to respect the three- party joint declaration issued by Japan's Liberal Democratic Party and Social Democratic Party and by North Korea's KWP. In addition, it wants Japan to respect North Korea's independent position and apologize for its past deeds. Japan's pressure on the nuclear issue will likely deter an early resumption of negotiations.
Although North Korea has sought reunification of the peninsula on its own terms through the judicious use of force, subversion, or even peaceful political means, efforts at inter- Korean reconciliation through dialogue began in the early 1970s and continued in the early 1990s. The admission of the two Koreas into the UN in September 1991 marked a turning point in P'yongyang's inter-Korean policy, despite the fact that the two countries remain committed to unification according to their own programs. Although seated alongside South Korea, North Korea has said it would continue to pursue a "one-Korea policy." Both sides continue their political maneuvering. The signing of the historic December 13, 1991, Agreement on Reconciliation, Nonaggression, Exchanges, and Cooperation, and the Declaration on the Denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula, both of which became effective in February 1992, marked another turning point in inter-Korean relations. The former agreement is sometimes referred to as the North-South Basic Agreement, the latter as the Joint Denuclearization Declaration.
On February 28, 1993, North Korea issued another three-part memorandum on reunification. Three conditions were cited in order for "peace . . . to be guaranteed and the reunification process be continuously promoted on the Korean peninsula." First, the United States and South Korea must end their annual Team Spirit exercises. Second, South Korea must "take the road of national reunification on the principle of national independence." Third, the United States must renounce its Korean policy, which originated during the Cold War.
North Korea's Ten-Point Program of Great Unity of the Whole Nation for Reunification of the Country was presented at the April 1993 session of the Supreme People's Assembly. This program, adopted with the approval of all Supreme People's Assembly deputies, urged an "end to the national division."
North Korea also affirmed its continued interest in holding dialogue with South Korea and somewhat softened its standard demands. For example, the usual demand for the withdrawal of United States troops from the Korean Peninsula was recast and now echoed South Korea's expression of a "will to have US forces withdrawn from South Korea."
In May 1993, Kang Song-san, premier of the State Administration Council, sent a proposal to South Korea that the two sides exchange special envoys--"deputy prime minister-level officials fully in charge of reunification affairs, and the sooner the exchange of their visits, the better." Kang viewed this exchange as opening a new phase in implementing the North- South Basic Agreement and the Joint Denuclearization Declaration and as a way to move forward on the issue of reunification. Kang appealed to South Korea to recognize the importance of "national interest" and to grasp "the opportunity for the North and South to jointly open a bright future for the nation."
The legacy of mutual suspicion continues, however. North Korea maintains that inter-Korean barriers could be dismantled and mutual cooperation ensured once both sides end their arms race and bring about mutual and balanced force reduction. South Korea insists that dialogue should address nonpolitical questions until the two countries have developed mutual trust. Political issues influence all aspects of contact, however.
North Korea's apparent program to develop the ability to produce nuclear weapons has greatly complicated its relations with all nations. In December 1991, after years of secretly working to develop the means to produce plutonium, North Korea and South Korea signed the Joint Denuclearization Declaration. In this document, North Korea publicly pledged it would not develop, purchase, or otherwise seek to obtain nuclear weapons, nor the means to reprocess plutonium. In early 1992, North Korea finally signed a nuclear safeguards agreement with the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA). This agreement enabled the IAEA to inspect the major facilities at North Korea's main nuclear installation, Yngbyn.
IAEA inspections revealed discrepancies between North Korea's claims about the amount of plutonium it had produced and the amount suggested by technical data developed during the inspections. To resolve these discrepancies, the IAEA sought to collect samples at two nuclear waste sites, which North Korea had tried to mask as rice paddies. When repeated diplomatic efforts failed to gain the desired access, the IAEA director general made a call for "special" inspections as provided for in the safeguards agreement between the IAEA and North Korea.
Parallel to these developments, North Korea's eighteen-month- long dialogue with Seoul ground to a halt in the winter of 1992. The first signs of renewed friction had appeared in October 1992, when Seoul's internal security agency, the National Security Planning Agency, announced that it had uncovered an extensive North Korean spy ring. Also in October 1992, at the annual United States-South Korea Security Consultative Meeting, it was decided to resume preparations for Team Spirit, the two countries' annual joint defensive exercise that had been suspended in early 1992 in recognition of North Korea's signing of the Joint Denuclearization Declaration. It was noted, however, that the 1993 exercise would not be held if there were significant progress in the South-North dialogue, particularly concerning formulation of a South-North nuclear inspection regime. North Korea pointed to these developments as it disengaged from all meetings with Seoul except for those focused on implemention of the denuclearization accord in the Joint Nuclear Control Committee (JNCC). But JNCC talks were discontinued in late January 1993 when the United States and South Korea announced they would conduct Team Spirit 1993.
By February 1993, all South-North dialogue had stalled, Team Spirit 1993 was about to begin, and the IAEA had yet to gain access to the two suspected North Korean nuclear waste sites at Yngbyn. The IAEA Board of Governors served notice to North Korea on February 25 that if it did not cooperate with the IAEA's director general and allow access to the suspected sites, the board would find North Korea in noncompliance with its obligations under its safeguards agreement with the IAEA and would report the situation to the UN Security Council.
North Korea reacted on March 12 by announcing its intention to withdraw from the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty (NPT); it would be the first nation ever to do so. A ninety-day grace period would have to run its course before the withdrawal became effective.
There was an immediate, worldwide outcry. The more than 100 members of the NPT urged North Korea to reconsider its decision to withdraw. The IAEA Board of Governors passed a resolution at the end of March that found North Korea in noncompliance with its safeguards obligations and referred the matter to the UN Security Council. The global condemnation of North Korea climaxed on May 11 when the Security Council passed, with China and Pakistan abstaining, Resolution S/25768, which urged North Korea to comply with the IAEA director general's requests for "special" inspections at the two suspected nuclear waste sites. The resolution expressed full support for the IAEA, asked that North Korea remain a member of the NPT, and called on UN members to assist in seeking a solution to the impasse.
The United States subsequently agreed to engage North Korea in the first ever bilateral talks. At the first round of talks held in New York in June, the two countries issued a joint statement in which they noted that "the two sides discussed policy-related issues raised for fundamentally resolving the nuclear issue of the Korean Peninsula, and expressed support of the Declaration on the Denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula in accordance with the purpose for preventing nuclear proliferation." North Korea stated that it had "decided to unilaterally and temporarily suspend the effectuation of the withdrawal from the NPT as long as it considers necessary." A second round of talks in Geneva produced some additional progress toward a resolution of the nuclear issue. The United States promised that as part of a final resolution of the nuclear issue, it would be willing to consider assisting North Korea in its desire to acquire light-water reactor technology.
P'yongyang promised that it would maintain continuity of safeguards, which requires IAEA inspection of its nuclear facilities, and indicated that it would consult with the IAEA about outstanding safeguards issues and resume serious dialogue with Seoul prior to a third round of talks with Washington.
As of late 1993, however, North Korea remained reluctant to allow the scope of inspection that the IAEA deems necessary to maintain the continuity of safeguards. Further, North Korea had yet to agree to resume its dialogue with South Korea. Consequently, the United States was refusing to agree to a third round of talks with North Korea. In short, the talks appeared close to being broken off, despite the willingness of the United States to suspend Team Spirit 1994 and to ultimately consider improving diplomatic and economic ties with P'yongyang in exchange for its remaining a member of the NPT, complying fully with the IAEA, and agreeing to the implementation of the Joint Denuclearization Declaration.
The future of the Korean Peninsula is far from resolved. Although there has been progress in inter-Korean relations, much remains to be worked out. The costs of reunification are high, both economically and politically. Analysts have noted that some South Korean government officials believe that North Korea has designated 1995 as the year for reunification and is accelerating its war preparations. Much of the current increased posturing by North Korea--particularly its nuclear stance--may be related to this issue. The only certainty is that the situation is far from closure.
December 16, 1993
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The chronology of events since the Introduction was written shows little progress in inter-Korean relations, United States- North Korea relations, or full compliance by North Korea with IAEA nuclear inspection. The situation remains uncertain. Desirous of diplomatic recognition and economic aid from the United States--the latter also from its neighbors--P'yongyang, in the view of some observers, has used the "nuclear card" as a strategy to exact concessions from Washington but is also determined to continue its military program and develop a powerful nuclear arsenal. The United States Central Intelligence Agency suspects that North Korea already possesses two nuclear bombs and may have the potential to develop four to five more weapons.
In March 1994, almost one year after nuclear inspections were halted in North Korea, visas were issued to two teams of IAEA inspectors for access to seven of the nine nuclear facilities they sought to examine as part of the inspection process. Subsequently, the United States announced that a third round of high-level talks with North Korea on diplomatic and economic matters would be resumed in Geneva on March 21. The United States and South Korea agreed to conditionally suspend--pending North Korea's holding of nuclear inspections--their annual Team Spirit exercise scheduled for late March. For its part, North Korea also agreed to resume talks with South Korea. In early March, a broken seal was discovered at the Yngbyn nuclear reprocessing facility, a site where the surveillance cameras have been without operating batteries since October 1993. On March 16, the third round of talks between the United States and North Korea was canceled because of P'yongyang's refusal to allow a complete IAEA inspection. On March 21, President Clinton ordered a battalion of Patriot missile interceptors shipped to South Korea. That same day, the nine-member IAEA board (with China abstaining) passed a resolution asking North Korea "immediately to allow the IAEA to complete all requested inspection activities" and to "comply fully with its safeguards agreement."
On March 31, 1994, the UN Security Council issued a formal statement calling on North Korea to allow the IAEA full and complete inspection of all North Korean nuclear sites. (The United States, with the support of Britain, France, and Russia, had wanted to issue a UN resolution--which carries the weight of international law--on the matter, but China opposed such a stance.) The statement proposed a six-week deadline for the IAEA to report on whether or not inspections had been completed and whether or not North Korea was in compliance with international nuclear safeguards. A few days later, North Korea rejected the demand to comply with full inspections as "unjustifiable."
The stalemate continued in April. By mid-April Kim Il Sung had announced that the United States must abide by its pledge to proceed with high-level talks without preconditions. Moreover, Kim denied that North Korea has been--or is--developing nuclear weapons. On April 18, United States Navy ships began offloading Patriot missiles in South Korea.
There was no resolution to the situation in May. On May 19, the IAEA condemned North Korea for "serious violation" of the nuclear inspection program. At issue was the marking, or segregation, of certain critical withdrawn uranium fuel rods for eventual sampling to determine how much plutonium had been accumulated. If the IAEA cannot properly monitor, that is, sample, the withdrawn fuel rods, the agency cannot verify whether or not fuel has been diverted for use in nuclear weapons. (By measuring the radioactive fuel content of rods, scientists can determine the amount of plutonium that has been accumulated for nuclear weapons. Uranium fuel rods are replaced every few years. North Korea has said that the present rods are the original rods that were placed in 1986 and that they are almost spent, necessitating their replacement. The United States suspects that many of these fuel rods were secretly replaced in 1989 when the reactor was shut down for 100 days and that the removed fuel rods were ultimately reprocessed for use in nuclear weapons.)
After failing to conduct complete inspections in March, the two IAEA teams were again sent to North Korea in May to conduct nuclear inspections. Their efforts were again stymied. Complications were introduced when North Korea told the inspectors that they could observe the removal of fuel rods but that they could not test the rods. They were also informed that rods would not be set aside for future measurements and that IAEA inspectors could neither visit two nuclear waste sites nor complete the inspections at the plutonium reprocessing plant at Yngbyn. In response, the IAEA demanded an immediate stop to the withdrawal of fuel rods. In May, one IAEA team confirmed that North Korea had withdrawn approximately 4,000 spent fuel rods out of an estimated 8,000 rods in late May. The IAEA wanted 300 critical rods that constitute the core fuel element set aside for sampling.
By late May, the United States had warned that it would cancel new high-level talks if North Korea did not comply with IAEA demands and that it would press for international economic sanctions. North Korea has continued to reject the complete inspection program, claiming that it has a "unique status"-- attained in March 1993--when it threatened to withdraw from the NPT but then suspended its threats under United States pressure. North Korea has said that it will never allow the IAEA to mark and sample the rods even if threatened with economic sanctions under a UN resolution. On May 30, Britain, China, France, Russia, and the United States issued a statement urging North Korea to set aside fuel rods for future sampling. The following day, the IAEA telexed North Korea either to halt the withdrawal of fuel rods or to follow acceptable procedures for storing the rods under international supervision.
Also in late May, Japanese press reports, confirmed by United States officials, noted that North Korea appeared to be preparing for testing a new short-range ballistic missile within the next few weeks. Such a missile would be capable of reaching much of Japan. Department of Defense officials said that on May 31 North Korea tested a cruise missile in the Sea of Japan designed to hit ships at a range of more than 160 kilometers.
In early June, the uncertainty of the situation on the peninsula continued. On June 2, Hans Blix, director general of the IAEA, sent a letter to the secretary general of the UN stating that the IAEA was unable to "select, segregate and secure fuel rods for later measurements in accordance with agency standards" and that it could not determine the amount of plutonium that "has been diverted in the past." He subsequently announced that all but 1,800 of the 8,000 rods--including the 300 critical rods--had been removed and stored in such a way that the IAEA would be unable to determine their location in the reactor. The letter automatically placed the issue of sanctions on the UN Security Council agenda.
As of early June, United States had not yet decided on the level of sanctions it will seek. It also faces the difficulty of getting the full council membership--particularly China but also Russia--to agree to impose sanctions against North Korea. The action of the United States in extending most-favored-nation status to China in late May has been viewed as a means of appealing to China to either agree to economic sanctions or to use its leverage with North Korea to oblige it to comply with IAEA requests. And, the level of sanctions Japan is willing to impose also remained questionable. What remains certain is that the United States, China, Japan, Russia, and South Korea publicly want North Korea to comply with the nuclear inspection program, but they differ in their views on the level, the efficacy, and the timing of such sanctions.
Further complicating matters, North Korea has again threatened to withdraw from the NPT, stating that sanctions would violate the 1953 armistice agreement and be considered an act of war. Secretary of Defense William Perry has said that the United States will bolster its troops in South Korea and will defend that country if invaded by North Korea.
In mid-June the nuclear inspections issue continued to dominate events on the Korean Peninsula. The United States effort to garner support for the imposition of economic sanctions on North Korea was halted, however, as a result of events following the visit of former United States president Jimmy Carter to North Korea on June 15-18 and his meetings with Kim Il Sung. The United States agreed to resume its high-level talks (suspended for over a year) with North Korea in Geneva on July 8. In exchange, North Korea agreed to "freeze" its nuclear program: to allow IAEA inspectors to remain at Yngbyn, to halt reprocessing, and to stop reloading the reactor. However, this position is a short- term one. P'yongyang's long-term position on the nuclear issue will likely be contingent on the progress of the talks in Geneva.
During President Carter's visit, Kim Il Sung proposed a summit meeting between the leaders of North Korea and South Korea. On June 28, North Korea and South Korea agreed to hold such a meeting--the first since the division of the peninsula--on July 25-27 in P'yongyang. The agenda, however, was not discussed; a second, reciprocal meeting--likely to be held in Seoul--will be part of the agenda at the first meeting.
As of late June, the United States was considering a range of economic and diplomatic incentives in exchange for a freeze on North Korea's nuclear weapons program but planning for other contingencies. The United States Navy is sending two minesweepers and an amphibious vessel to Japan as a "purely defensive" measure in order to reinforce the United States military presence on the Korean Peninsula. The ships are scheduled to arrive by the end of July.
The talks in Geneva will likely be a forum for discussing the nuclear issue in a larger context. The dynamics of the situation will change, determined by the direction and progress, or lack thereof, of the talks.
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The uncertainty of the situation on the Korean Peninsula continued with the sudden, unexpected death of Kim Il Sung of an alleged heart attack "owing to heavy mental strains." As a result of Kim's death on July 8, which was also the first day of talks in Geneva between the United States and North Korea, it was announced that subsequent talks between the two countries had been suspended, and that the summit talks between North Korea and South Korea scheduled for late July in P'yongyang had been postponed indefinitely. P'yongyang announced, however, that it would resume discussions on the nuclear weapons issue after Kim's funeral, and on July 20, the United States announced that these talks were expected to resume within a few weeks. On July 16, Kim's funeral was postponed for two days, causing some speculation among Korea watchers as to whether Kim Jong Il's so far seemingly orderly succession was meeting resistance. For the short term, it is expected that Kim Jong Il will be able to assume the positions for which he has been groomed without overt resistance; his long-term success remains open to question. The constitution makes no provisions for succession; as of this writing, Kim has not been formally proclaimed either president of state or general secretary of the party.
June 29, 1994
Andrea Matles Savada
Data as of June 1993
North Korea Table of Contents