pushed to speed competition to set new records in economic production, keeping
a wartime spirit with dedication and sacrifice.
Fourth, the military leaders have been actively involved in policymaking, not
only for military policies but also for nonmilitary domestic and foreign policies.
However, it should be noted that it is extremely difficult to know exactly how
policy decisions are made in a secretive country like North Korea. As described
previously, the top military leaders have been ranked officially and in reality
right next to Kim Il-sung in the KWP hierarchy since 1945. With all available
data analysis, it is clear that the military has been more influential in constituent
policies that are primarily concerned with the internal distribution of power
among government institutions.32 Even though the military influence in policy-
making has been limited by Kim Il-sung, it appears that the military and Kim
have built a very close partnership.
Finally, the military has served the Kim Il-sung regime as a safeguard against
any anti-Kim Il-sung groups. The armed forces became personalized serving Kim Il-sung, not the state. This implies that the unity within the military is
likely to weaken now that Kim Il-sung has passed from the scene. During the
leadership transition in such an authoritarian country as North Korea, the military's support will be crucial for the peaceful leadership succession. But the
functions of the military described above will gradually diminish during the
post-Kim Il-sung era.
See Gregory F. T. Winn, "North Korea: A Garrison State", in
Edward A. Olsen
Steven Jurika, eds., The Armed Forces in Contemporary Asian Societies ( Boulder, Colo.: Westview Press, 1986), p. 105.
See Dae-Sook Suh, The Korean Communist Movement, 1918-1948 (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1967), pp. 7-8.
See Jae-Hwa Lee, The Korean Modern History of Independence ( Seoul: Baek San, 1988), p. 324-29. See also Dae-Sook Suh, Korean Communist, pp. 281-87.
Summarized from Ralph N. Clough, Embattled Korea: The Rivalry for International Support ( Boulder, Colo.: Westview Press, 1987), pp. 1-2. Almost nothing is reliable about Kim Il-Sung's activities. For detailed reference, see Chong-Sik Lee, "Kim
Il-Sung of North Korea", Asian Survey 7, no. 6 ( June 1967): 374-75.
See hBruce Cumings, "Introduction", in
Bruce Cumings, ed., Child of Conflict:
The Korean-American Relationship, 1943-1953 ( Seattle: University of Washington Pres1, 1983), p. 39.
See Robert A. Scalapino and
Chong-Sik Lee, Communism in Korea, Part I ( Berkeley: University of California Press, 1972), p. 383.
The KWP was unified in June 1949. The North Korean Workers' Party (NKWA)
was officially formed on 30 August 1946. The NKWA absorbed the South Korean Workers' Party, led by Park Hon-yong, in June 1949.
See Joungwan A. Kim, Divided Korea: The Politics of Development, 1945-1972
( Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1975), p. 33.
Questia, a part of Gale, Cengage Learning. www.questia.com
Book title: The Political Role of the Military:An International Handbook.
Contributors: Constantine P. Danopoulos - Editor, Cynthia Watson - Editor.
Publisher: Greenwood Press.
Place of publication: Westport, CT.
Publication year: 1996.
Page number: 335.
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