Best of the Week
Most Popular
1. Investing in a Bubble Mania Stock Market Trending Towards Financial Crisis 2.0 CRASH! - 9th Sep 21
2.Tech Stocks Bubble Valuations 2000 vs 2021 - 25th Sep 21
3.Stock Market FOMO Going into Crash Season - 8th Oct 21
4.Stock Market FOMO Hits September Brick Wall - Evergrande China's Lehman's Moment - 22nd Sep 21
5.Crypto Bubble BURSTS! BTC, ETH, XRP CRASH! NiceHash Seizes Funds on Account Halting ALL Withdrawals! - 19th May 21
6.How to Protect Your Self From a Stock Market CRASH / Bear Market? - 14th Oct 21
7.AI Stocks Portfolio Buying and Selling Levels Going Into Market Correction - 11th Oct 21
8.Why Silver Price Could Crash by 20%! - 5th Oct 21
9.Powell: Inflation Might Not Be Transitory, After All - 3rd Oct 21
10.Global Stock Markets Topped 60 Days Before the US Stocks Peaked - 23rd Sep 21
Last 7 days
Stock Market Investing LESSON - Buying Value - 27th Nov 21
Corsair MP600 NVME M.2 SSD 66% Performance Loss After 6 Months of Use - Benchmark Tests - 27th Nov 21
Stock Maket Trading Lesson - How to REALLY Trade Markets - 26th Nov 21
SILVER Price Trend Analysis - 26th Nov 21
Federal Reserve Asks Americans to Eat Soy “Meat” for Thanksgiving - 26th Nov 21
Is the S&P 500 Topping or Just Consolidating? - 26th Nov 21
Is a Bigger Drop in Gold Price Just Around the Corner? - 26th Nov 21
Financial Stocks ETF Sector XLF Pullback Sets Up A New $43.60 Upside Target - 26th Nov 21
A Couple of Things to Think About Before Buying Shares - 25th Nov 21
UK Best Fixed Rate Tariff Deal is to NOT FIX Gas and Electric Energy Tariffs During Winter 2021-22 - 25th Nov 21
Stock Market Begins it's Year End Seasonal Santa Rally - 24th Nov 21
How Silver Can Conquer $50+ in 2022 - 24th Nov 21
Stock Market Betting on Hawkish Fed - 24th Nov 21
Stock Market Elliott Wave Trend Forecast - 24th Nov 21
Your once-a-year All-Access Financial Markets Analysis Pass - 24th Nov 21
Did Zillow’s $300 million flop prove me wrong? - 24th Nov 21
Now Malaysian Drivers Renew Their Kurnia Car Insurance Online With Fincrew.my - 24th Nov 21
Gold / Silver Ratio - 23rd Nov 21
Stock Market Sentiment Speaks: Can We Get To 5500SPX In 2022? But 4440SPX Comes First - 23rd Nov 21
A Month-to-month breakdown of how Much Money Individuals are Spending on Stocks - 23rd Nov 21
S&P 500: Rallying Tech Stocks vs. Plummeting Oil Stocks - 23rd Nov 21
Like the Latest Bond Flick, the US Dollar Has No Time to Die - 23rd Nov 21
Why BITCOIN NEW ALL TIME HIGH Changes EVERYTHING! - 22nd Nov 21
Cannabis ETF MJ Basing & Volatility Patterns - 22nd Nov 21
The Most Important Lesson Learned from this COVID Pandemic - 22nd Nov 21
Dow Stock Market Trend Analysis - 22nd Nov 21
UK Covid-19 Booster Jabs Moderna, Pfizer Are They Worth the Risk of Side effects, Illness? - 22nd Nov 21
US Dollar vs Yields vs Stock Market Trends - 20th Nov 21
Inflation Risk: Milton Friedman Would Buy Gold Right Now - 20th Nov 21
How to Determine if It’s Time for You to Outsource Your Packaging Requirements to a Contract Packer - 20th Nov 21
2 easy ways to play Facebook’s Metaverse Spending Spree - 20th Nov 21
Stock Market Margin Debt WARNING! - 19th Nov 21
Gold Mid-Tier Stocks Q3’21 Fundamentals - 19th Nov 21
Protect Your Wealth From PERMANENT Transitory Inflation - 19th Nov 21
Investors Expect High Inflation. Golden Inquisition Ahead? - 19th Nov 21
Will the Senate Confirm a Marxist to Oversee the U.S. Currency System? - 19th Nov 21
When Even Stock Market Bears Act Bullishly (What It May Mean) - 19th Nov 21
Chinese People do NOT Eat Dogs Newspeak - 18th Nov 21
CHINOBLE! Evergrande Reality Exposes China Fiction! - 18th Nov 21
Kondratieff Full-Season Stock Market Sector Rotation - 18th Nov 21
What Stock Market Trends Will Drive Through To 2022? - 18th Nov 21
How to Jump Start Your Motherboard Without a Power Button With Just a Screwdriver - 18th Nov 21
Bitcoin & Ethereum 2021 Trend - 18th Nov 21
FREE TRADE How to Get 2 FREE SHARES Fractional Investing Platform and ISA Specs - 18th Nov 21
Inflation Ain’t Transitory – But the Fed’s Credibility Is - 18th Nov 21
The real reason Facebook just went “all in” on the metaverse - 18th Nov 21
Biden Signs a Bill to Revive Infrastructure… and Gold! - 18th Nov 21
Silver vs US Dollar - 17th Nov 21
Silver Supply and Demand Balance - 17th Nov 21
Sentiment Speaks: This Stock Market Makes Absolutely No Sense - 17th Nov 21
Biden Spending to Build Back Stagflation - 17th Nov 21
Meshing Cryptocurrency Wealth Generation With Global Fiat Money Demise - 17th Nov 21
Dow Stock Market Trend Forecast Into Mid 2022 - 16th Nov 21
Stock Market Minor Cycle Correcting - 16th Nov 21
The INFLATION MEGA-TREND - Ripples of Deflation on an Ocean of Inflation! - 16th Nov 21

Market Oracle FREE Newsletter

How to Protect your Wealth by Investing in AI Tech Stocks

A Rare Congress and Mixed Signals in North Korea

Politics / North Korea May 08, 2016 - 09:04 PM GMT

By: STRATFOR

Politics

For the first time in more than 35 years, North Korea is preparing to hold a full Congress of the Workers' Party of Korea (WPK). Originally intended to be a regular occurrence for the WPK, party congresses convened only sporadically until 1980, when Kim Jong Il was named as Kim Il Sung's successor, and juche (loosely translated as self-reliance) was formalized as the government's official guiding philosophy. In the years since, though the WPK has officially remained at the center of the North Korean political system, party congresses have lost their central role in the political cycle. Scheduled to begin May 6, the 2016 congress marks the revival of a more public political style in the country, playing on the formalism of party structure and events.


Analysis

Since rising to power in North Korea, Kim Jong Un has emulated his grandfather, Kim Il Sung, more than his father, Kim Jong Il — not only in his appearance but also in his leadership style. Much more than Kim Jong Il, Kim Il Sung was a public figure, more likely to press the flesh and more inclined to work through the party structure. In part, adopting his grandfather's mien enabled Kim Jong Un to rapidly gain legitimacy and recognition as a leader: Unlike his father, he could not rely on nearly 15 years of public appearances as the chosen successor.

At the same time, Kim Jong Un's divergent leadership style also reflects the difficulties of managing North Korea in his father's backroom manner. Without knowledge of all of the various factions, personalities and side arrangements, the young leader found imitating Kim Jong Il's top-down approach to be a daunting task. Early struggles inside his administration, along with the various purges, represented an attempt to restructure the balance of power among North Korea's elite, break some of the backroom systems and reinstate more formal channels of authority. Though much still happens behind closed doors, and though personnel changes still often occur long before they are announced, North Korea has moved back toward a more conventional structure of power and government.

The 2016 party congress, then, will not reveal anything significantly new, but rather will confirm the shifts and changes in the bureaucracy's structure and personnel. To a certain extent, this will move North Korea a bit further from one-man rule as Kim Jong Un accepts and even encourages greater responsibility among various departments and ministries. Moreover, Pyongyang has opened the party congress to foreign reporters, using it as an opportunity to showcase Kim Jong Un's government not only to North Korea, but also to the rest of the world.

On a Mission for Missiles

Meanwhile, a series of missile tests has been underway in the country. In recent weeks, Pyongyang has conducted several tests of both the Musudan road-mobile intermediate-range ballistic missile and a submarine-launched ballistic missile (SLBM). Although these systems are critical to a viable nuclear weapons program, international observers consider the tests to have been partial successes at best. In some ways, this is not unexpected. Compared with other countries, North Korea carries out very few tests of its missile systems. And even in the best-funded programs, numerous failures pave the road to success. On the other hand, the tests may have been accelerated to coincide with the party congress, thereby increasing the risk of failure.

For Pyongyang, the Musudan failures may be the most significant. These road-mobile systems, capable of reaching U.S. forces in Japan and perhaps even Guam, have already been deployed (with conventional warheads) as an important component of the country's deterrence strategy. North Korea often deploys major weapons systems with minimal testing. However, Musudan's failures suggest that the entire system may be faulty. By comparison, the partial success of the SLBM is less worrisome. After all, the system is still a developing technology, on which Pyongyang appears to be conducting a more robust domestic test cycle than it has on previous missiles.

But aside from the party congress, a deeper reason underlies Pyongyang's accelerated missile testing. North Korea is nearing the moment when it can demonstrate each component of a functional nuclear weapons system. These components include missiles (preferably mobile ones that cannot be easily detected and destroyed prior to launch and that are capable of reaching a target), nose cones that can survive re-entry and small enough nuclear weapons to fit atop them. While North Korea does not need to demonstrate all of these features in a single test, it must nevertheless prove each one.

Making a Gamble

As Pyongyang approaches a viable nuclear weapon and delivery system, the pressure is rising for the United States and other countries to pre-empt it. Consequently, the final moments of North Korea's transition from a working program to a demonstrated system are the most dangerous, providing a last chance to stop the country from becoming a nuclear weapons state. For North Korea, then, these final steps must happen quickly. Because 2016 is a presidential election year in the United States, Pyongyang may feel it has a window to finalize its nuclear arms program while the United States is preoccupied with domestic politics and unlikely to take military action. Furthermore, having just held parliamentary elections and facing a presidential contest in 2017, South Korea, too, is in the midst of political transition.

North Korea is making a gamble, one that bets both on its read of U.S. politics and on its own ability to overcome technological hurdles. The country's various concurrent activities — throwing a party congress and opening the country to foreign reporters, sentencing another U.S. citizen to hard labor and offering a last-minute deal to end its nuclear program — serve to confuse the situation and keep people guessing about just what Pyongyang is or is not up to. Even the failed missile tests leave room for doubt abroad, potentially buying North Korea a little more time. And though success in these final stages is not guaranteed, Pyongyang is striving to achieve technology and capabilities that many other countries attained decades ago. Thus, it would take a political decision, rather than a technological struggle, to delay or end North Korea's nuclear ambitions.

" A Rare Congress and Mixed Signals in North Korea is republished with permission of Stratfor."

This analysis was just a fraction of what our Members enjoy, Click Here to start your Free Membership Trial Today! "This report is republished with permission of STRATFOR"

© Copyright 2016 Stratfor. All rights reserved

Disclaimer: The above is a matter of opinion provided for general information purposes only. Information and analysis above are derived from sources and utilising methods believed to be reliable, but we cannot accept responsibility for any losses you may incur as a result of this analysis.

STRATFOR Archive

© 2005-2019 http://www.MarketOracle.co.uk - The Market Oracle is a FREE Daily Financial Markets Analysis & Forecasting online publication.


Post Comment

Only logged in users are allowed to post comments. Register/ Log in