The ROK Defense Ministry has stated in a report to the National Assembly that North Korea has deployed a large number of troops and arms near Pyongyang. According to the Chosun Ilbo:
South Korea’s defense ministry said in a report to Parliament Tuesday that the large numbers of soldiers, armored vehicles and artillery have been stationed near the Stalinist state’s capital since mid-July. The report said the deployment appears to be related to a meeting of key communist party delegates next month and the party’s 65th anniversary on Oct 10.
The article goes on to note that a large number of analysts have speculated that an announcement regarding the successor to Kim Jong-Il will be made during one (or both) of these key events.
This is VERY TYPICAL of current reporting on North Korea. It is almost accepted within the journalistic and analytical community that a succession a succession plan is under-way and that Kim Jong-Un is the man (or boy). Nobody questions whether the deployment of troops is because the leadership is getting scared or because people are venting their frustration more frequently.
Every report just repeats the same old crap that the public wants to hear – Kim Jong-Il is passing the leadership mantle to his third son, and North Korea will continue as always.
To me, this seems eerily similar to the analytical community’s acceptance of the stability of Mikhail Gobrachev’s hold on power in the Soviet Union: “Yes, they are reforming, but this is the Soviet Union, it will last forever”.
Change is unforeseen, quick and only anticipated by those smart enough not to say anything before and loud enough to tell everyone they were right after the fact!