ROK government’s assessment of North Korea’s 2014 New Year Address
n In North Korea’s 2014 New Year Address, Kim Jong Un describes 2013 as a “proud year in which the entire Party, the whole army and all the people waged an all-out offensive in support of the Party’s new line of developing the two fronts simultaneously and thus achieved brilliant successes in building a thriving socialist country and defending socialism.”
- (In terms of politics) North Korea evaluates that the party-centered political system has been reinforced
- (In terms of military) North Korea assesses that it strengthened national defense power and achieved “a brilliant victory in the acute shutdown with the imperialists.”
- (In terms of economics) North Korea says it has become an economic power and has improved the living quality of the people.
n With regards to the execution of Jang Song Taek, Kim Jong Un says North Korea’s ruling party has become stronger after removing “factional filth”
- Kim Jong Un states that North Korea “took resolute measure of removing the factionalists lurking in the Party” and that “the Party and the revolutionary ranks were further consolidated and the single-hearted unity was consolidated to the maximum.”
- Kim Jong Un expresses his willingness to strengthen the surveillance system by emphasizing the importance of securing the monolithic leadership system and upholding North Korea’s revolutionary regulations and order.
n Kim Jong Un states that the new year 2014 will be a year that makes a “fresh leap forward on all fronts of building a thriving socialist country.”
- Kim Jong Un highlights that North Korea “should keep up agriculture as a major thrust of our effort in the struggle for economic construction and improving the people’s standard of living and concentrate all our efforts on farming.”
- In particular, Kim Jong Un mentions the importance of construction. He suggests “ushering in a new heyday of construction this year.” It seems that Kim Jong Un wishes to leave a legacy of achievements through construction projects.
？ For the first time, North Korea includes comments on fish markets, protection of natural resources and forestry.
？ Also, North Korea’s emphasis on frugality is unusual. (mentions three times)
- With regards to the direction of the internal management of the economy, North Korea expresses its determination to pursue an economic policy under the control of the party.
n Kim Jong Un states that it will “continue to strive for better inter-Korean relations,” but North Korea’s criticism against the South still continues. Therefore, there is a need to carefully study North Korea’s future actions and attitude.
- Kim Jong Un says, “it is high time to put an end to such slander and detrimental to national unity and reconciliation,” but he also disapproves of the South Korean President’s remarks on Inter-Korean relations and mentioned the possibility of a nuclear disaster.
n The New Year Address restates its unchanged position without mentioning nuclear weapons
- North Korea’s determination to protect its sovereignty has become stronger, but did not specifically mention nuclear weapons.