Is North Korea Restructuring?
Yes, says the Donga Ilbo:
North Korean leader Kim Jong Il instructed on Dec. 29 that all of the regime’s institutions, including the Workers` Party, the cabinet, the military and national security agency, reduce their bureaucracies and the number of senior officials by 30 percent beginning in 2008, according to a well-informed source on Pyongyang’s internal affairs.
The article goes on to describe the scope of the reclusive state’s vast bureaocracy:
The communist regime has a huge organization system. The National Defense Commission consists of one committee and two departments, while the cabinet is made up of three committees, 30 sections, one institute, one bank and two departments. The Workers` Party also runs five committees, two departments, 14 bureaus and one research center. Each of them has increased their size by launching an agency that can earn foreign currency, since the so-called “March of Hardship” in the mid-1990s.
This restructuring process will no doubt be a test of the power of Kim Jong-Il’s leadership. Perhaps we will soon find out just how strong a grip he has on the country?
However, questions remain as to how strictly the reform measure will be implemented as many of Kim’s recent instructions have lost their effectiveness as time passes.
In addition, it cannot be ruled out that the regime’s solidarity and stability may be undermined due to a strong backlash from assigning officials to the workforce.
Read the full article here