June 08, 2009 11:17
Hardline xenophobic brass are gaining ground in North Korea after South Korean money dried up since the Lee Myung-bak administration was inaugurated, according to AERA, a weekly associated with the Japanese daily Asahi Shimbun.
"During the 10 years of the left-leaning Kim Dae-jung and Roh Moo-hyun administrations, nearly 1 trillion yen (approximately W13 trillion) including investment from civilian enterprises went to North Korea," the weekly said. "Since the Lee Myung-bak administration's inauguration, South Korea has become tight with money, and this has dealt a severe blow to the North Korean military."
Some reports say that North Korean leader Kim Jong-il collapsed again in early May, which may have been the reason for bringing forward the nuclear test and haste to ensure the succession, AERA said. The weekly quoted intelligence officials as saying Kim is now too frail to work even for an hour a day.
Meanwhile, the New York Times last Wednesday said Kim Jong-il's third son Jong-un's path to power "is hardly assured: some intelligence officials believe that everyone from the North Korean military to Kim Jong-il's eldest son may be plotting behind the scenes to derail the succession plans."
"It also is not clear if a society that reveres seniority would accept such a young leader," the daily added.
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