SEOUL, Dec. 15 (Korea Bizwire) – North Korean leader Kim Jong-un is expected to reveal his new aides in a major community party convention to be held in May next year, a South Korean government think tank said Tuesday.
The reclusive North is also unlikely to conduct a nuclear test in 2016, raising the possibility of a breakthrough in efforts to resume the six-way talks, according to the Korea Institute for National Unification (KINU).
It noted that the North’s Workers’ Party of Korea plans to hold its first congress since 1980 in May next year.
Chances are high that it will set the stage for a “political ceremony for the full-scale resignation of the second revolutionary generation led by Choe Ryong-hae and the rise of the third and fourth revolutionary generations to power,” the institute said in a report on the outlook for next year’s security situation involving the North.
Choe, a party secretary, was one of the closest confidants to Kim but he has reportedly been demoted and underwent “re-education” as a punishment for an unconfirmed reason.
As to the scheduled party congress to be attended by more than 3,000 officials, the KINU said it would introduce more new faces in the ruling elite rather than fresh policies.
“A new line-up of power elites in the Kim Jong-un administration will be revealed,” it said, adding Kim is apparently confident of his grip on state affairs. “That would have been a basis for Kim Jong-un’s decision to open the 7th party congress in 2016.”
The institute expects Kim to offer an olive branch toward the South in his New Year speech.