North Korean Leadership: Kim Jong Il's Integenerational Balancing Act
NATIONAL DEFENSE UNIV WASHINGTON DC INST FOR NATIONAL STRATEGIC STUDIES
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One key to the unexpected longevity of North Korea-the worlds last unreformed Stalinist polity-lies in Kim Jong Ils adroit balancing act between the old and young elites since coming to power in 1994 following his fathers death. Based on inclusive politics and an honor-power sharing arrangement, Kim Jong Ilss balancing act has effectively reduced factional cleavages that might otherwise have crippled the hereditary succession plan. The honor-power sharing arrangement-which gives honors to the older elites and real power to younger elites has secured the loyalty of both the old guard and younger hopefuls. As long as Kim Jong Ilss balancing act works and internal solidarity remains firm, the new regime could survive for a prolonged period. If the balance breaks down, Pyongyangs power circle will slip into a centrifugal spiral, followed by power struggles among rival factions and the eventual collapse of the regime.
- Government and Political Science