Analysis of North Korean Media
ISHIMARU Jiro, editor of Rimjin-gang,
Paek Chang-ryong, reporter
The official media in North Korea such as Rodong Shinmun, Chosun Choongang TV, and Chosun Choongang Press reports and broadcasts Kim Jong-il or Kim Jong-un’s visit to military bases or industrial facilities everyday.
It is the indicative barometer to know the ranks among the power elites in North Korea by counting the numbers of accompanying the leader, the sequence of introducing them and their titles. If disappeared from the photos of entourage, it may suggest something unusual happened to that figure.
There have been number of speculative news about who would be the patron or the counselor by analyzing the photos of figures around Kim Jong-un after the death of Kim Jong-il. Paek Chang-ryong, an editing staff of Rimjin-gang, has noticed “unusual changes” in the regime through analyzing the photos of entourage of Kim Jong-un from one year ago before the purge of Jang Song-thaek. He explains that Jang Sung-teak’s manner was far beyond the common sense of Kim Il-sung/Kim Jong-il era, which might imply subtle change in the power structure of the regime.
The followings are photo analyses by Paek;
I watched his behavior or manner which appeared on the North Korean official media before his purge on December 2013. I exclaimed “there is no tension at all!”“will he be all right with his rude behavior?” As I check North Korean media everyday, I have been shocked several times by Jang’s behavior and manner in the pictures of Rodong Shinmun and Chosun Choongang TV news.
The thought of “unusual incident” struck my head. The most distinctive event was <the picture 1> in Rodong Shinmun at the timing of less than one year after the death of Kim Jong-il. As a person born and educated in North Korea, I have never imagined that any aide could be so relaxed with smile enough to direct with his fingers and fold hands in his back in front of the top leader. I was really shocked by “his impiety.”
The officials in the picture behind those two must of have had complicated feelings. Some might have weighed upon which rope they should have grasped seeing Jang’s impious manner without fear. Others might have felt jealousy and wariness by his sudden rise.
It might be unpleasant thing to Kim Jong-un that the foreign media and the North Koreans watched Jang’s arrogant look. The official media usually serve for the idolization of the top leader. It could damage the image of Kim Jong-un to appear on the media with his uncle so often, which might have implied that the new leader needed to have “counselor,” or “patron” because of his lack of leadership.
The media provided the evidence amid the gossip that the new ruler was a “novice.”
It can tell at a glance that Jang’s attitude has changed so drastically when compared with his polite manner in front of Kim Jong-il.