The former North Korean premier was reinstated as first deputy director of the central committee of the Workers’ Party of Korea, according to an announcement on state-run Central Broadcasting Station, Yonhap News reported Aug. 21.Problems like this, I would imagine.
Pak, 71, fell afoul of North Korea’s military and party hardliners three years ago over his efforts to push market- oriented reforms, according to the Yonhap report. His return may indicate the leadership is willing to test economic changes again, said Kim Yong Hyun, a professor of North Korean studies at Dongguk University in Seoul.
“The North may be thinking that they don’t have a choice but to use more flexible policies to fix the economy,” Kim said. “Pak may have been emphasized within the North’s party as the hands-on person to fix its problems.”
The ruling elite has got to be seeing the writing on the wall. Some may be looking to the demise of Kim Jong-il as a chance to set the country back on the right track, positioning the Brilliant Comrade to take on the role of North Korea's Gorbachev. Surely he'd like to star as the hero in Pizza Hut commercials someday.
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