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IFANS PERSPECTIVES “Socialist Legalization” and Its Causes during the Kim Jong-un Era: With a Focus on North Korea’s Nuclear Capabilities and Succession System LEE Sang-sook Upload Date 2024-02-14 Hits 597
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1. Raising the Issue
2. Socialist Legalization and Nuclear Command and Control 
3. Progress in Socialist Legalization during the Kim Jong-un Era
4. Causes of Progress in North Korea's Socialist Legalization
5. Policy Considerations



1. Raising the Issue
 
During the Kim Jong-un era, the Workers’ Party of Korea (WPK or simply the party hereinafter) took measures such as filling the Political Bureau of the party with members and alternate members during the plenary session of the party’s Central Committee held on March 31, 2013 and normalizing the “party-state system” by holding a Party Congress regularly every five years after hosting the 7th Party Congress in 2016. 
Furthermore, during the 8th Party Congress in 2021, it can be verified that there was progress in the implementation of institutional measures within the WPK’s operations through a revision of the rules of the WPK to empower the plenary sessions of the party’s Central Committee and meetings of the Political Bureau to make crucial decisions. Considering that such political changes in North Korea diverge from the institutionalization of political systems in democratic countries and political institutionalization in socialist regimes generally aim toward improving efficiency and decentralizing through economic reform and opening, North Korea’s political institutionalization appears to be unique. 
This article seeks to define changes evident in the political system during the Kim Jong-un era as the concept of “socialist legalization,” which aims to enhance the efficiency of rule centered around the party within socialist regimes. After experiencing a crisis in its socialist regime through the “June 4th Incident” in 1989, China began to pursue “socialist legal construction” as its national goal from the late 1990s onward. Thus, the purpose of this article is to analyze the current state of progress and causes of socialist legalization during the Kim Jong-un era. Through this, I will examine how the causes of progress in socialist legalization in North Korea is related to the strengthening of its nuclear capabilities and early establishment of its succession system. 

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  #NorthKorea #Legalization #Peninsula #NuclearArms #Korean
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