The first move came from North Korea’s National Defence Commission (of which the ‘great successor’ is the deputy chair). “On this occasion, we solemnly declare with confidence that foolish politicians around the world, including the puppet forces in South Korea, should not expect any changes from us,” the Commission said in a statement cited in North Korean media. “The veritable sea of tears shed by the army and people of the DPRK will turn into that of retaliatory fire to burn all the group of traitors to the last one.” Ultimately, “The DPRK will have no dealings with the Lee Myung Bak group of traitors forever.”
Such violent rhetoric should not come as a surprise for it’s a fundamental aspect of Juche, Kim Il-sung’s militarist ideology that underpins the North Korean regime. The direct reference to the South Korean president, a conservative politician and staunch defender of a tough policy vis-à-vis the North, is also nothing new since he has been called a “puppet” and a “traitor” since he was elected to office.
The only new element is the reference to the change of power, which presumes the new leader’s go-ahead. A source inside the South Korean government told AsiaNews that such a “message must come from him since he chose the Commission to raise tensions. It’s a provocation that comes ahead of Kim Jong-un’s first official action, an address to the nation at the start of the new year, which should prove fundamental for inter-Korean relations.”
Ever since the peninsula was divided, the leaders of the two Koreas have used 1 January to set the guidelines of relations across the 38th parallel.
“Kim Jong-un comes to this moment with fear because it will be his first test as leader.” However, “threats do not scare Seoul; they should frighten Pyongyang instead because it is increasingly running short on food with an economy that is getting worse.”