¿Adónde va Corea del Norte?

SEÚL – De acuerdo con la televisión estatal norcoreana, el infarto que provocó la muerte de Kim Jong-il el 17 de diciembre fue debido a “un intenso estrés físico y mental desencadenado por trabajar excesivamente.” Al conocer ese informe inmediatamente me surgió una interrogante: si aceptamos el diagnóstico que ha dado a conocer el régimen, ¿por qué necesitaba Kim trabajar tan arduamente a pesar de su delicado estado de salud? En cierto sentido, su muerte repentina parece simbolizar el desamparo de un dirigente desesperado que tenía ante sí desafíos abrumadores.

Visto así, lo que es más importante preguntarse es si el hijo inexperto de Kim, el “gran sucesor”, Kim Jong-un, de veintitantos años, podrá consolidar el poder y de alguna manera sacar al país de sus fuertes males. Hasta ahora, la sucesión en Pyongyang parece desarrollarse sin complicaciones. No obstante, a pesar de las apariencias, pocos regímenes totalitarios, excepto los de Hitler, Stalin y Mao, han logrado mantener un círculo inmediato de poder monolítico. Es improbable que Corea del Norte sea la excepción a la regla.

La legitimidad del reclamo de poder de Kim Jong-un es frágil a pesar de sus vínculos de sangre con su padre y abuelo, la dinastía que ha gobernado Corea del Norte desde su comienzo. El “gran sucesor” apenas ha estado dos años formándose para el cargo, en comparación con los 14 años que pasó su padre aprendiendo directamente de Kim Il-sung. Por supuesto, Kim Kyung-hee, la hermana de Kim Jong-il, y su cuñada, Jang Seong-taek, asumirán algo así como un papel de regentes desempeñándose como madrinas del gran sucesor y como fuerza para movilizar al ejército a fin de que cierre filas con la  dinastía Kim.Aunque no queda claro cuán lealmente y por cuánto tiempo Kim Kyung-hee y Jang respaldarán a Kim Jong-un. Incluso podrían suplantar a Kim reclamando el poder para ellas mismas.

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