Another Code Word Hints at N.Korean Succession

      July 02, 2010 10:05

      The byword "Party Center" used to describe Kim Jong-il when he was the heir to the North Korean leadership, has reappeared in the North Korean press. In an editorial on Wednesday about a Politburo meeting in September, the paper said, "We must defend with our lives the party's Politburo meeting attended by our Great Comrade Kim Jong-il and rally in support around the Party Center." The Politburo meets in September for the first time in 44 years.

      The term "Party Center" first appeared in an editorial in the Rodong Sinmun in February 1974 after Kim Jong-il was anointed to succeed Kim Il-sung and has been rarely used since the elder Kim's death in 1994. "It's likely that 'Party Center' refers to Kim Jong-un, the heir apparent," said a source familiar with North Korean matters. "It could be part of preparations for the appointment of Kim Jong-un as a Politburo member of the central military committee at the September meeting."

      At an April rally marking the 98th anniversary of the birth of Kim Il-sung, North Korea featured a slogan saying "Let's Protect With Our Lives the Party Center Committee Attended by our Great Comrade Kim Jong-il." Since 1996, North Korea had been using the term "Leadership of the Revolution," but has now begun using the term "Party Center Committee."

      North Korean propaganda and news reports are written almost entirely in a kind of code that bears very little relation to ordinary speech, whereby "the traitorous clique," for example, refers to the South Korean government.

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