International Seminar "Evaluation and Development of Kim Jeong-eun Regime in North Korea" (12 May, 2014)
The East Asian Media Research Center at the Graduate School of Media Communication, the East Asian Research Center at the Graduate School of Public Policy and the Eurasia Unit for Border Research in Japan (UBRJ) at the Slavic Eurasia Research Center (all institutions affiliated with Hokkaido University) co-hosted an international seminar titled, "Evaluation and Development of Kim Jeong-eun Regime in North Korea." We invited Professor Geun-sik Kim from the Far East Research Center at Kyungnam University in Korea, specialist on North Korean politics, as well as Dr. Mitsuhiro Mimura (Economic Research Institute for Northeast Asia, ERINA) and Prof. Akihiro Iwashita (Slavic Eurasia Research Center, Hokkaido Univ.) as discussants to discuss and explore the current status of the North Korean regime.
In the presentation, Prof. Kim talked about the stability of Kim Jeong-eun's leadership after establishing the strong basis for the hereditary dictatorship by punishing to death his uncle and who would have been the "key policy advisor" Jang Sung-thaek. Some of the changes seen in this regime are cleavages among the elites in North Korea and the development of the unofficial economy as North Korea is trying to obtain foreign currency by various methods. In terms of policy direction, with the rise of China North Korea seems to have obtained confidence both in the field of security and economic policies and is most likely to take a hard line policy toward the U.S. and South Korea. However, he also mentioned that Kim Jeung-eun regime may be facing instabilities in the long run. Questions pertaining to human rights issues, as well as the future of North Korea were among many issues talked about in the discussion. (Written by Naomi Chi)