De zuivering van Pyongyang

TOKYO – Tijdens de Koude Oorlog refereerde de term Kremlinologie aan de pogingen om te begrijpen wat er gebeurde tijdens het indrukwekkende hoogtepunt van de Sovjetunie en eigenlijk achter het hele IJzeren Gordijn. Kremlinologen monitorden (op welke manier dan ook) wie er in en uit de gratie waren binnen de kern van het Sovjetleiderschap. Er werd groot belang aan gehecht wie er een officieel document tekende of wie er waar stond bovenop Lenin’s mausoleum tijdens militaire parades  op het Rode Plein.

Dit was allemaal kinderspel vergeleken met de pogingen om het regime in Noord-Korea te ontcijferen, waar de waarheid veel ondoorzichtiger is.

Overweeg bijvoorbeeld wat er op 17 december gebeurde. Choe Ryong-hae, de vicevoorzitter van de Centrale Militaire Commissie van de Koreaanse Arbeiderspartij was opvallend aanwezig op het podium bij de herdenking van de tweede verjaardag van de dood van ‘Geliefde Leider’ Kim Jong-il, de eerste grote ceremonie na de zuivering en executie van Jang Song-thaek, de voormalige vicevoorzitter van de Nationale Defensiecommissie. Choe’s speech, met dreigementen naar de Verenigde Staten en Zuid-Korea, leek de toon de zetten voor zijn politieke promotie.

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