Kim Jong Il Visits the Military
Kim Jong Il, who began the year by visiting economic sites and pledging to make economic development his top priority for the year, has decided to pay a visit on a military unit. Kim’s public appearances are often interpreted as indicators of Kim’s priorities. This latest visit comes amidst rising tensions between North and South. Hankyoreh cites unnamed “experts” who believe the rise in tensions were orchestrated by the military:
Seoul experts have said the confrontation was led by the North Korean military.
“He [Kim Jong Il] expressed satisfaction over the fact that all the soldiers of the company have acquired high military technology and combat capacity enough to beat back the enemy’s invasion at a single stroke,” the Korean Central News Agency said in its English report of Kim’s visit to the KPA Unit 350. The KCNA report, monitored in Seoul, was dated April 5 but dispatched on the 6th.
In the latest salvo in the Inter-Korean war of words, the Rodong Shinmun continued to direct bellicose threats at the South:
“It is as clear as noonday that their persistent insistence on the above-said provocative assertion would only lead to a war on this land (KCNA, via AFP)”
Finally, the Associated Press reports on a Rodong Shinmun warning to the South that it’s government “will not last:”
South Korea’s new government will not last if it continues to allow its U.S.-led policy to ruin reconciliation efforts on the Korean peninsula, North Korea said Monday.
The North’s official Rodong Shinmun newspaper criticized President Lee Myung-bak’s government for “following the U.S. imperialists” and driving inter-Korean relations to catastrophe.
Those who “dance to the whistle of outside forces will only suffer a collapse,” it said in a commentary.
UPDATE: From Nightwatch:
Kim regularly visits military units and does so more frequently than civilian facilities because of safety and security considerations. He feels safer among the military than in the general public. The timing of the new report reinforces the image that the nation is prepared for a crisis. It is not, but the propaganda machine operates on its own rules.