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Date: Thu, 23 Jul 1998 11:59:24 +0000
Sender: H-Net list for Asian History and Culture <H-ASIA@H-NET.MSU.EDU>
From: Marilyn Levine <mlevine@lcsc.edu>
Subject: H-Asia: Upcoming Korean Elections (1 reply)

From: Vincent K Pollard <pollard@hawaii.edu>
Cross post from: H-NET List for Diplomatic History

Will Kim Jon Il become President of DPR Korea, after this election?

Response to query by Professor Mizuno Mitsuaki to the H-Asia list, 23 July 1998

Is there some reason why he would not? An important anniversary is approaching—the 50th anniversary of the founding of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea in September 1948. That, arguably, would be an auspicious date on which to assume the presidency of the DPRK.

The other question was: Will foreign policy of DPR Korea change? I think foreign policy will not change after the election, because no change will happen even after the election.

What kind of changes do you have in mind? Arguably, Kim Jong Il might feel more confident after the elections. But would he feel confident enough to negotiate a peace treaty with Japan, that is, to back down from the recent demands of $10 billion in reparations?

Vincent K Pollard, PhD
Lecturer—Political Science
University of Hawai’i-Manoa * Phone: 808 956-4240