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North Korea announces the Seventh Congress of the Communist Party

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North Korea announced that the next year it will be hold the seventh unitary Congress of the Workers’s Party. The event is meaningful, in consideration of two elements: the last congress organized by the Communist Party of North Korea dates back to 1980, over 35 years ago; on this occasion, Kim Jong-Il, father of current President Kim Jong-un, made his political debut with an appearance that marked his preeminent position on the succession line. The transfer of power was realized only a few years later, in 1994, with the death of the Eternal President Kim Il Sung.

The seventh congress should take place in May 2016, as reported last Thursday by KCNA, the regime’s news agency. Officially, the plenary meeting has been called to reflect “the demand of the party and the developing revolution.”, in the aftermath of the celebrations for the 70th anniversary of the Communist Party of North Korea, with magnificent military parades that took place a few weeks ago. In fact, the news has generated a wave of speculation on the part of international and South Korean analysts about the real implications of the event.

The Congress could reaffirm the central role of President Kim Jong-Un in the management of power, and serve as a stage to announce economic reforms or new diplomatic relations, to reduce the country’s isolation on the international scene. It could also lead to a reshuffle in the party, with the replacement of some officials with others closer to the dictator. A second hypothesis concerns a possible shift in the internal balance, with a transfer of power by the army in favor of the Party, in a country always marked by a military-political dualism in which the

Socialist armed forces have the fundamental role of economic engine. In this case, the President may decide to eliminate the system of “National Defense Commission,” which has always played a key role in state affairs, transferring its functions from the Army to the Worker’s Party.

In any case, it is possible to speculate about significant changes that could even affect the theoretical physiognomy of Juche, the self-sufficiency and nationalism based theory on which the north Korean communism has built its specificity, In opposition to Marxist-Leninist internationalism.

Luca Marchesini
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