Was Kim Jong-un's 1st Tour a Warning to S.Korea?

      January 02, 2012 12:26

      Kim Jong-un's visit to a historically important armored division on New Year's Day can be interpreted as a warning to South Korea, pundits believe. When his father Kim Jong-il last visited the tank division on Jan. 5, 2010, North Korean state TV showed drills simulating an invasion of the South.

      A South Korean intelligence official said, "Two months after Kim Jong-il's visit to the 105th Seoul Ryu Kyong-Su Guards Division in 2010, North Korea sank the Navy corvette Cheonan. We should watch carefully what the result of Kim Jong-un's visit on Sunday will be."

      KCNA bemoaned Seoul's decision to ban travel to North Korea for the funeral of Kim Jong-il, and said the soldiers of the division "have hatred and urge for revenge" against the Lee Myung-bak administration, "who committed a grave crime against the Korean race."

      Pundits also believe the visit to the unit, which is seen as the birthplace of the regime's disastrous "military-first" doctrine, was a message to both the domestic and international public that the policy will remain unchanged.

      Others say the new leader wanted to proclaim to all and sundry that his regime is stable. An Unification Ministry official said, "It seems he is trying to dispel doubts surrounding his inexperience and lack of charisma."

      Three out of the "gang of seven" who walked alongside Kim Jong-il’s hearse also accompanied Kim on Sunday -- Jang Song-taek, the vice chairman of the National Defense Committee and widely thought to be the power behind the throne, Ri Yong-ho, vice Chairman of the Workers Party's Central Military Commission, and Kim Jong-gak, the senior deputy director of the North Korean Army's General Political Bureau.

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