Kim Jong Un becomes general secretary of his labor party.
North Korea’s ruler receives the title of General Secretary of the Labor Party – like his father. Experts see the symbolic act as an attempt to maintain authority.
North Korea’s ruler Kim Jong Un has been appointed general secretary of the Labor Party he leads. At a party congress, Kim was “unanimously” awarded this title, the state news agency KCNA reported. All delegates welcomed this with “stormy applause”.
So far, Kim has held the title of chairman of the party. Observers viewed the move as an attempt to strengthen Kim’s authority as economic problems grew. It is mainly symbolic, as Kim has been chairman of the party since 2016, which in terms of content corresponds to the title of General Secretary.
His father, Kim Jong Il, who died in 2011, also held General Secretary’s title. Kim was elected leader of the Labor Party five years ago. At that time, the young ruler strived for an image different from that of his father by getting another title, said researcher Ahn Chan Il from the World Institute for North Korean Studies in Seoul. It looks as if he wants to emphasize “the connection to his father” to “consolidate his position of power” in difficult times.
The North Korean economy suffers severely from the international sanctions in place against the country because of the nuclear and missile program. The economic problems are exacerbated by the foreclosure measures that the country imposed on itself during the corona pandemic.