North Korea strengthens leadership rhetoric

Aug. 12, 2013 at 2:07 PM
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PYONGYANG, North Korea, Aug. 12 (UPI) -- North Korea redrafted state rhetoric in an effort to strengthen the position of the nation's young leader, a Korean expert said from Seoul.

Kim Jong Un, then in his late 20s, assumed power in 2011 when his father Kim Jong Il died of an apparent heart attack. The former leader had succeeded his father and founder of North Korea, Kim Il Sung, in 1994. North Koreans are conditioned to venerate the family.

The North Korean government revised a series of decrees outlining its "monolithic ideological system," reports South Korea's Yonhap News Agency. First introduced in the 1970s, the rules are designed to highlight the importance of honoring the ruling family unconditionally.

Yonhap reports the list of 10 rules was winnowed down to five sections stressing the importance of hereditary rule.

"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," Kim Yong-hyun, a North Korean studies professor at Dongguk University in Seoul, told Yonhap.

Kim Jong Un is the supreme leader of North Korea, leading the military and ruling Workers' Party of Korea. Yonhap reports the revision is the first time the provisions have been changed in 39 years.

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