Kim Jong-un is North Korea’s dictator, a successor from his father – Kim Jong-il, who died on 17 December 2011. Kim Jong-Un is child of deceased president Kim Jong-il and his late third wife Ko Yong-hui. Kim Jong-un received his education in Switzerland, however avoided the Western influences and returned to Pyongyang to engage in North Korea military. A few months into his leadership, Kim Jong-il decided to launch a rocket stating to put satellite into the orbit, however, it was not a successful plan in September 2012. Following this, there was a successful launch of satellite using 3 stage rocket in December 2012, as well as the nuclear test was carried out in February 2013.
From these moves, public and other nations such as USA, South Korea and Japan have been worried about nuclear equipment and war threats with North Korea. Other countries were worried that the 3rd generation Kim was going to be more aggressive than his father. On the other side, some also expected that Kim Jong-un was going to improve North Korea economy in more positive way. Nevertheless, we must take a look at what is the difference between the father and son’s dictator leadership style?
Kim Jong-un was born in early 1984 and has had neither many experiences with leading a country nor military exposures. Netizens also mentioned that he was too young and inexperienced and would suffer pressure politically when he was in charge of North Korea. When he overtook his father position, public speculated that he would open up a new economy era with Western influences during his school time, however, it seemed that he would still follow his father policy: no change in “military first policy”. i.e military is the main pillar of support for the regime. However, there are some differences between Kim Jong-il and Kim Jong-un: while the father had been trained over two decades by the 1st generation Kim , the son has had merely appeared in front of the public. However, 3rd generation Kim appeared to be more friendly, more smiley in front of the army and public, at least in North Korea citizen’s eyes “Kim Jong-un has, during his first month in power, reminded people of his grand father—not just in terms of physical appearance, but also in terms of interactions with ordinary people. The third-generation Kim has been shown putting his arms around soldiers, walking arm-in-arm with them, and even putting his hand up to a person’s cheek. The pictures convey a more personal and caring image than any of Kim Jong-il.”
If in the past, images and news about North Korea living conditions were not published out and speculated by the world to be a restrictive and underdeveloped economy, we can see that North Korea has slowly improved, though there is only modest change. There have been series of photos taken by foreigners when visiting North Korea. North Korea has developed its entertaining systems, recreational activities. It has its own airlines, ski resort and water park. “Kim Jong-un has gotten rid of his father’s austerity policy and Pyongyang has seen an increase in the number of privately run restaurants, luxury stores, and cellphones users. Four years ago it was difficult to spot a car in the North Korean capital, but today there are small traffic jams during rush hour.”
Photo source : http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2012/07/kim-jong-un-amusement-park-photo-british-diplomat , http://luxpresso.com/photogallery-lifestyle/inside-north-koreas-newest-luxury-ski-resort/27546
China seems to be North Korea’s major trading partner. Some argued that the improvement on North Korean’s wealth is much connected with its partnership with China, especially border cities such as Dandong SEZs. However, North Korea has just gone through an internal politic battle, in which Kim Jong-un executed his uncle Jang Song-thaek, who was experienced in dealing with SEZs along North Korea’s border. This move was said to be used by Kim Jong-un to consolidate his power and prove his authority, as well as eliminate all internal opposition. Kim Jong-un also used this to send the message that he was not going to implement the same strategy as Deng Xiaoping to reform economy.
Kim Jong-un’s absence since September 2014 is notable by the public. This, however, is not the first time President of a country has gone missing and it is not even the first time North Korea dictator has not appeared in front of public for a period of time. There have been theories that his health had issues, his family members are sick, or even some politic battles are undergoing silently. However, he reappeared in an apartment complex and energy institute with his smile and specially, with the aid of “walking cane”. His reappearance with a cane is somehow a confirmation that he probably has gone through an operation. However, he affirmatively assured that the power is still in hands. Some sources identify that it is noticeable that six top officials vanished in alleged execution, i.e there is a mystery whether or not the only communist’s dynasty dictator was busy arranging his cabinet.
By going through all of this internal political debates, I believe that President Kim Jong-un is trying to get his power in place to change NK’s economy in more positive way, even though it is modest change. North Korea is trying to develop its tourism activities along the coast of Wonsan district and in Mount Kumgang, by recruiting foreign businessmen, which was stated in the foreign investment conference held in Dalian, China. Promisingly, even my point of view, the world is expecting a positive economy reform led by President Kim Jong-un after his reappearance.