June 29, 2010 by davidfday
North Korea’s Jang Song Thaek, Kim Jong Il’s brother-in-law , was recently promoted to vice-chairman of the powerful National Defense Commission. This is significant because the heir-apparent in North Korea, Kim Jong Un, is Jang’s nephew and, as a top North Korean military official, Jang provides a critical KPA military brass support network for Jong Un. To stabilize the transistion of power from Kim Jong Il to his youngest son, Jong Un, it must be remembered that Jong Un has no military leadership experience; he does not have the “smoke of the revolution” about him, and will need the military support network provided by his uncle, Jang Song Thaek, if he is to carry any credible authority with the KPA.
The regime transistion of power is extremely delicate for North Korea. The last transition in this feudal, Stalinist regime took place over a period of some 14 years. Kim Jong Il had years to nuture relationships and leadership credibility within Pyongyang circles as the mantle shifted from his father, Kim Il Sung.
As the grandson of the revolution, Kim Jong Un does not have the luxury of time given his father’s ailing health. The support of the senior KPA will be critical for him to assume and hold power. Uncle Jang’s appointment, then, is an important step in this transition.
See, also Blog article called, North Korea: “The Cheonan Was Bait for an Internal Propaganda Frenzy “ also located on this website.