NK regime may be stable for now, but the boy King is ruling by extreme fear

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North Korean ruler Kim Jong-un is ruling by fear, and that is silencing the country’s elite class – for now, former South Korean National Defense Committee Chairman Hwang Jin-ha told Borderless News Online in an interview.

“(From a) short term standpoint, it seems to be stabilized,” said Hwang of Kim’s regime.“Through cruelty…he is keeping his position stable.”

But in the long term, it’s unsure whether Kim will maintain control or not.

“It is questionable whether or not that kind of policy of leadership nature can be sustainable,” he said, noting that the previous two leaders did not rule nearly as much by fear as the younger Kim.

Kim Jong-un is taking this approach because he found himself ill-prepared to take over the country, not having had a long enough grooming period under his father, Kim Jong-il, Hwang said.

North Korea’s Kim family has a long history of purging its enemies and potential rivals in order to maintain power. Like a drug lord, the most brutal and cunning always wins the day in North Korea.

The younger Kim is no exception, and carried out a purge when he first came to power, killing North Korea’s no. 2 man, who also happened to be his uncle.

The ruling class in North Korea is allegedly worried about the ruler who has even had several of his father’s longtime advisers killed, and the country’s elites are for now is keeping quiet.

Kim is the dominant figure in the North Korean system but is still securing his grip on power, and the transition will likely still take years, experts said.

Still, the North Korean system is designed to preclude a coup and one would present difficulties for potential plotters. While Kim may not be as popular as his father or grandfather, he does draw legitimacy from those relationships. Any new government after a coup would likely need either another family member to provide legitimacy or find a way to legitimize itself.

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