한국정치 노트 Notes on the Politics of Korea

핵실험 중지 발표 이후, 호오를 떠나 북한 지도자의 인간적 모습, 특히 슬픔을 표현한 뉴스를 본 적이 있는가 ? 드물었다. 이것도 시대의 변화이다.



며칠 전 노동당 중앙위에서 김정은은 아주 길게 뭔가를 발표했다. 그 연설문을 듣고나서 든 생각은, 김정은이 병진노선( 핵개발과 경제발전) 의 승리를 말했음에도, 북쪽 사람들 생활은 여전히 힘들고, 평양과 비평양 북 시민들 빈부격차가 커지고 있다는 느낌을 받았다. 몇 페이지짜리 긴 글, 자신감과 진취적인 문체임에도, 왠지 북한 현대사를 생각하니 슬픔이 조금 올라왔다.



교육과 과학을 발전시키자는 게 김정은 발표 요지였다. 그런데 학교 시설들은 어떻게 혁신하겠는가? 사실 남이나 북이나 똑같다. 김정은은 지식경제라는 단어를 사용했다. 지식경제시대를 북한이 어떤 방식으로 만들어나갈 것인가 ? 그것이 북 시민들의 소비생활 일상생활까지 혜택으로 이어지기까지 여러 조건들이 필요해 보였다.



흥미로운 것은 20세기 초반 사회주의 건설을 부르짖던 열정적인 사람들의 연설문과 김정은의 선언은 크게 다르지 않았다는 점이다.



이제 북쪽 청소년들이 청년들이 군대, 김정은 특유 표현대로 '무력'에 집중하지 않아도 되는, 말 그대로 지식경제에 매진하는 날이 올 것인가 ?


김정은의 전투경제 개념과 지식경제시대, 이 두가지 조금은 어울리지 않아 보이는 엇갈린 단어들이 크게 부각되는 연설이었다.


 갈 길이 멀다.





Uncontrollable grief' of Kim Jong-un over North Korea bus disaster

State media describes reaction of regime leader after 32 visiting Chinese died when their coach plunged off a bridge


Justin McCurry in Tokyo


Tue 24 Apr 2018 05.05 BST Last modified on Wed 25 Apr 2018 00.24 BST

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 Kim Jong-un meets with China’s ambassador, Li Jinjun, after 32 Chinese tourists and four North Koreans died in a bus crash.

 Kim Jong-un meets with China’s ambassador, Li Jinjun, after 32 Chinese tourists and four North Koreans died in a bus crash. Photograph: -/AFP/Getty Images

Kim Jong-un expressed his “bitter sorrow” over the deaths of dozens of Chinese tourists after their bus plunged off a bridge in North Korea.


The state-run KCNA news agency reported on Tuesday that the North Korean leader had visited two Chinese survivors of the crash on Sunday in which 32 Chinese and four North Koreans died.


In his first reported visit to the Chinese embassy on Monday, Kim was quoted as saying he felt “uncontrollable grief” over the accident in North Hwanghae province.


The display is another sign that Kim is attempting to portray himself as a conventional leader – equally at ease offering sympathy to victims of tragedies as making fiery pronouncements – ahead of Friday’s summit with the South Korean president, Moon Jae-in, and another planned meeting with Donald Trump in late May or early June.


The agency quoted Kim as saying the North Korean people “take the tragic accident as their own misfortune”. North Korean authorities would do all they could “to alleviate the pain of the bereaved families”.


Li Jinjun, China’s ambassador to North Korea, thanked Kim and said his visit to the embassy demonstrated the two countries “unbreakable and great friendship”, according to an account of the meeting by Yonhap news agency.


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 Kim Jong-un visits survivors of bus crash – video

Having spent the first six years of his leadership appearing at North Korean factories and military units, as well as making occasional forays to concerts, amusement parks and sports facilities, Kim made a surprise trip to China in March, amid a thaw in relations between Pyongyang and Beijing.



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While the former North Korean leader Kim Jong-il was a regular visitor to the Chinese embassy, his son reportedly avoided direct contact with Beijing’s officials in Pyongyang as bilateral ties were tested by the North’s nuclear and ballistic missile programmes and China’s support for UN security council sanctions.


Last week Kim took another step towards normalising his country’s image ahead of the summits when he gave his wife, Ri Sol-ju, the title of first lady, putting her on a par with Moon’s wife, Kim Jung-sook, and Melania Trump.


North Korean media had previously referred to Ri as “comrade”. It is reportedly the first time the title of first lady has been given to the wife of a North Korean leader since 1974, when it was used to refer to Kim Song-ae, the second wife of the regime’s founding leader, Kim Il-sung.


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 What we know about Kim Jong-un's wife, Ri Sol-ju - video profile

The Chinese tour group was travelling from Kaesong, near the border with South Korea, to Pyongyang when the accident occurred, according to NK News.


China’s health ministry said it was sending a team of medical experts, equipment and drugs to the hospital, where two Chinese were said to be in a critical condition.


While many North Korean roads are poorly maintained, the stretch between Kaesong and Pyongyang is among the best in the country and sees little traffic.


Chinese tourists make up about 80 percent of all foreign visitors to North Korea, according to the Korea Maritime Institute think tank. Tourism generates revenues estimated at 44 million USD a year for the country’s economy



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