(From USA Today)
When North Korea’s first party congress in 36 years kicks off Friday, it is certain to feature all the pageantry, saber-rattling and over-the-top rhetoric the world has come to expect of the reclusive and erratic regime.
But count on serious business, too. And possibly even good news for the outside world.
Kim Jong-un, the nation’s 33-year-old leader, is expected to consolidate power and gain formal approval for his policy of Byongjin — simultaneous development of both the economy and nuclear weapons.
That will replace the Songun, or “military first,” policy of his late father, Kim Jong-il, whom the young leader succeeded in 2011.
“The congress is intended to revive the party and roll back the military. Songun has bankrupted North Korea and made it permanently dependent on China,” said Robert E. Kelly, professor of political science at Pusan National University, in South Korea. Read More