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.