Thursday, August 05, 2010

Reference to Kim Jong-il's heir at North Korea's mass games

Banners bearing the abbreviation "CNC" appeared for the first time at North Korea's Arirang mass calisthenics performance. CNC stands for "computer numerical control" and is understood as an arcane code for leader Kim Jong-il's son and heir apparent Kim Jong-un, who according to propaganda spearheads the country's modernization.

The North Korean media use the phrase "achieving CNC production" whenever they stress the importance of cutting-edge technology. The North Korean media started using the term CNC in August last year to refer to the younger Kim when he was anointed successor, but this is the first time that the term appeared at an "Arirang" performance, which is the country's showcase extravaganza for foreign visitors.

"North Korea appears to be pitching computerized technology to justify the hereditary transfer of power" since Kim Jong-un ostensibly spearheads the development of such technology, said Kim Yong-hyun, a North Korea expert at Dongguk University. "North Korea may also be trying to let others know that the transfer of power is progressing smoothly."

Chosun Ilbo

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