O. V. KIRYANOV
Correspondent of Rossiyskaya Gazeta, post-graduate student of ISAA MSU
North Korea, Kim Jong Keywords:, reforms, military elite, foreign policy
The young Kim Jong-un, who found himself at the head of North Korea at the end of December 2011, managed to do quite a lot even before the crisis on the Korean peninsula. At least the 30-year-old politician managed to establish himself in the position of the undisputed leader, overturning the forecasts voiced earlier by some experts that "after the death of Kim Jong Il, due to the inexperience and low authority of the heir to the DPRK, it will inevitably drift from a single-handed to a collective style of government or even to chaos, accompanied by uncompromising struggle between various factions of the North Korean elite"1. Who is now the "most important" in the Juche Country, no one disputes and doubts - it is the young Kim.
In addition to the castling in the style of "Kim son replaced Kim father", some innovations began to appear in the DPRK, which made it necessary to talk specifically about the" Kim Jong Un era", and not a blind continuation of the course of his predecessor. This "wind of change" began to be felt in a variety of areas-from the appearance of North Koreans to domestic politics and the economy.
And here the experts are again vying to argue with each other. Some believe that Kim Jong-un has not done anything serious yet, but only plays on the public with his new, "fresh", but superficial actions, which are mistaken by some for almost an analogue of the Soviet perestroika 2. Others believe that the new leader and his entourage have indeed already made a fundamental decision on the need for reforms and started them, especially in the economic sphere.3 And some of the inconsistency of their actions is explained by fears for the stability of the regime and the desire to first "test the ground" and teach the people to change gradually, without rushing headlong into the water.
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