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N. Korea revises leadership ideology to legitimize rule of Kim Jong-un

All Headlines 15:01 August 12, 2013

SEOUL, Aug. 12 (Yonhap) -- North Korea has recently revised its leadership ideology to legitimize the rule of Kim Jong-un and his family, experts here said Monday.

The communist country changed the "10 rules of its monolithic ideological system" in June, which have a more direct impact on everyday lives of its citizens than the country's Constitution or the bylaw of the ruling Workers' Party of Korea (WPK).

The rules were first introduced in April 1974 to outline the importance of unconditional obedience to the leader and what actions must be taken by the country as a whole to express allegiance.

Local Pyongyang watchers claimed that the rules made up of 10 articles and 65 sections were reduced by five sections, with emphasis placed on justifying the inheritance of power by the incumbent leader by highlighting the need for the country to fully complete the legacies left behind by the country's founder Kim Il-sung and his son and former leader Kim Jong-il.

The move marks the first time Pyongyang opted to change the rules governing the leadership system in 39 years.

"The changes are tailored to reflect the character and goal of the country under Kim Jong-un and to strengthen the leader's grip on power," said Kim Yong-hyun, a professor of North Korean studies at Dongguk University in Seoul.

In a characteristic dynastic succession of power in the North, the current leader Kim Jong-un took power following the sudden death of his father Kim Jong-il in late 2011.

Every North Korean is taught to pledge loyalty to each generation of the Kim family, known in the communist country as the Mount Paektu bloodline, that has run the country since its founding in 1948.

Mount Paektu, or Baekdu, located on the Sino-North Korean border, is the highest peak on the Korean Peninsula.

The latest revisions to the 10 key rules also omitted all reference to dictatorship of the proletariat and communism. The North had erased all mention of communism from its Constitution and the WPK bylaw in 2009 and 2010, respectively.

In addition, the prologue of the new rules stated that the country has acquired military capabilities based on nuclear arms and that it is in the process of striving for economic self-reliance. The North had proclaimed itself as a nuclear power when it changed its Constitution in April last year.

Related to the changes, the Ministry of Unification said that the recent amendment is part of a continuing process of trying to prop up the current leader.

"The latest move mirrors changes that have already been reflected in the Constitution and other laws," Seoul's unification ministry spokesman Kim Hyung-suk said.

yonngong@yna.co.kr
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