North Korea marked the 75th anniversary of the founding of its ruling Workers’ Party in Pyongyang last month. In an unusually frank speech, Kim Jong-un apologised for his shortcomings as leader, and his failure to make good on promises to improve living standards amid crushing sanctions, the coronavirus pandemic and a series of natural disasters.
Kim Jong-un may soon receive the rank of Taewonsu (Grand Marshal or Generalissimo), North Korea’s highest possible military rank, which is expected to help reinforce his power, South Korea’s National Intelligence Service (NIS) has reported, its prediction part of an intelligence forecast on the expected restructuring of North Korea’s leadership at the upcoming Eighth Congress of the Workers’ Party.
“There is a possibility of the restructuring of the power structure to reinforce Chairman Kim Jong-un’s status, and of a new internal and external strategic route,” the NSI said in a presentation earlier this week.
Kim Jong-un was appointed to the rank of Marshal in 2012, shortly after succeeding his father as supreme leader.
United States Forces Korea classifies Taewonsu to be the equivalent of a “Seven-star General,” a rank which does not exist in the US Army.
The Workers’ Party’s Eighth Congress is expected to take place in January 2021. Along with Kim’s expected jump in rank, NIS expects Kim’s younger sister, Kim Yo-jong, presently the party’s…