North Korea Leadership Watch

Research and Analysis on the DPRK Leadership

Succession, Stomp by Stomp

Kim Jong-il’s birthday celebrations continue in the DPRK, but seem to be winding down with belated greetings and celebrations being reports by the North Korean press.  Over the weekend on the pretext of the Lunar New Year, Kim Jong-il attended a concert by the Unhasu Orchestra with his favorite cohorts: MPAF and MDC Vice Chairman VMAR Kim Yong-chun; KPA political boss Gen. Kim Jong-gak; Chief of the General Staff Gen. Ri Yong-ho;  KWP Secretaries Choe Thae-bok and Kim Ki-nam;  Mr. and Mrs. Jang Song-thaek; intel boss Kim Yang-gon; new International Department director Kim Yong-il; and, MOFA Senior Vice Minister Kang Sok-ju.

On Monday, senior leaders held a national meeting at the 25 April House of Culture where Kim Yong-nam read the annual KJI birthday report.  The opening ceremonies for the figure skating Paektusan Prize were held and the skaters performed a routine for the birthday Suryong to the tune of “Confetti of Best Wishes.”  Down the street from the ice rink, a synchronized swimming event took place at the Changgwang Health Complex.

Amid all these birthday and New Year’s celebrations, the quiet succession campaign continued.  As I had previously written, senior DPRK leaders gathered at the People’s Palace of Culture to watch Great Succession, a documentary on KJI assuming the leadership role from Kim Il-sung.  Meanwhile on early Saturday evening, Korean Central TV broadcasted a newer documentary Great Dedication: The Year 2009, A Year of Transformation.

The latest production of the Party History Institute chronicled KJI’s guidance and inspection tours, as well as other significant events in the DPRK.  Among the footage of propaganda work and political education is the image of a Party official inculcating cooperative farm workers on the lyrics of a song called “Footsteps” which is believed to refer to the footsteps of alleged hereditary successor Kim Jong-un.

A propaganda official is shown teaching the lyrics of "Footsteps" on a cooperative farm

Hopefully there isn’t a dance associated with “Footsteps.”  Thousands of North Korean citizens stomping in unison may explain the 6.7 magnitude earthquake in the DPRK neighborhood.


This article was written on 18 Feb 2010, and is filled under KCTV, Kim Jong-il, Kim Jong-un, leadership succession, Propaganda, Propaganda and Agitation Department, succession.

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