In an apparent bid to facilitate its hereditary power succession, North Korea has rewritten major regulations governing its ruling party, allowing its leader-in-waiting to take full control of the state with greater ease, a government source said Thursday.
The revisions were approved at the landmark convention of the top Workers’ Party delegates in September, during which Kim Jong-un, the youngest son of leader Kim Jong-il, rose as a vice chairman of the Central Military Commission, the source said.
“The revisions paved the way for the Kims to monopolize every part of the North Korean system while making it official that the country is a dynasty,” the source said, asking not to be named because of the intelligence nature of the documents he cited.
North Korea removed a clause that made it mandatory for the party to hold a general convention every five years, the source said. Instead, the party can now elect senior members and revise its regulations just by holding a top delegates’ meeting.
“Another measure that makes it easy for Kim Jong-un to take power is to automatically appoint the party secretary as head of the Central Military Commission,” the source said, adding that the move suggests Kim Jong-un, a four-star general, may be on track to succeeding his father as party secretary.
“This allows Kim Jong-un to control both the party and the military just by rising to the top of the party, the source said.
Kim is believed to be no older than 28. His birthday is this Saturday, Jan. 8.
The Central Military Commission within the party has also been given more power, the source said, as it now “governs all defense and military programs conducted between each party convention.”
The revision signals that the commission may grow more powerful than the National Defense Commission, the highest seat of power headed by Kim Jong-il but not yet joined by Kim Jong-un, he said.