North Korean armed forces may demand for a military-centric government or reshape the current political order if the Kim Jong Un regime is unable to tackle the country’s failing economy, South Korea’s Yonhap News Agency reported, citing a Seoul-commissioned report. Pyongyang has been hit with international sanctions following its nuclear and missile tests in January and February, leading to its crippling economy.
The Industry-Academy Cooperation Foundation, affiliated with the Seoul National University of Education, brought out the report, titled “A Study on the Party-Military Relations of the Kim Jong Un Regime,” Tuesday. The Unification Ministry-commissioned report stated that lack of economic progress in the reclusive state might deteriorate the governing legitimacy of the ruling Workers’ Party, Yonhap reported.
“The stability of the Kim regime and party-military relations hinges on the country’s economic growth and continued military spending. In the event of an economic failure, a shift in the Kim regime could emerge as the military — rather than regular North Koreans — would first demand a shift in party-military relations or call for a military-centric order,” the report stated, according to Yonhap.
The report also noted that the almost effortless transition toward the current regime following the death of Kim’s father Kim Jong Il in December 2011 was a “result of the military's relative concessions.” It further stated that under the young leader’s authority the center of power has shifted to the ruling party from the military. The report also said that one of the most decisive tasks facing Kim is recovery of the country’s economy to make good on Pyongyang’s much-publicized goal of a “strong, prosperous” state.
Following North Korea’s Feb. 9 rocket launch, which came a month after Pyongyang said it had successfully tested a hydrogen bomb, the United Nations Security Council members are trying to work out additional sanctions against the country. Japan announced fresh sanctions earlier this month, expanding restrictions on travel between the two Asian countries. The sanctions also included a complete ban on visits by North Korean ships to Japanese ports.