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Monday, April 25, 2011     GET REAL

North Korea military seen ousting Kim family
in event of uprising

By Lee Jong-Heon, special from

SEOUL — North Korea’s powerful military may seek to eliminate the country’s leader Kim Jong-Il and his heir Kim Jong-Un should there be a mass uprising, a researcher at a South Korean state-run think tank said.


North Korea's Kim Jong-Il, front right, and his third son Kim Jong-Un, front left, pose with North Korean officers. KCNA via Korea News Service/AP
The researcher said top officers would act to prevent the total collapse of the country, where the military enjoys special privileges.

“Kim Jong-Il and his son Jong-Un will be the main targets of public resentment in case of an uprising in North Korea,” said Park Hyeong-Jung in a forum.

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“As the military in Egypt ousted Hosni Mubarak in response to the recent public uprising, North Korea’s military could seek to remove the two Kims in case such an uprising take places in the North,” he said.

The military in the North has enjoyed vast privileges under Kim Jong-Il’s ruling principle of songun (military-first) in which the top priority is given to the 1.2 million-strong armed forces.

Kim Jong-Il is ruling the reclusive country in the capacity of the top military commander.

But his son and heir-apparent Kim Jong-Un is likely to be at odds with the military in the course of building up his own power base, Park said.

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