Kim Jong Un, youngest son of the Demorcatic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) top leader Kim Jong Il, was elected vice chairman of the Central Military Commission of the Workers' Party of Korea (WPK) on September 28.
Kim Jong Il (L) and Kim Jong Un (R) [File photo]
According to the Western media, the WPK conference, the first of its kind in 44 years, was a milestone in the transfer of power in DPRK. It is now almost certain that Kim Jong Un will take over the top position from his father.
In all countries, government reshuffles lead to changes in domestic and foreign policy. In the case of DPRK, past leadership changes have had a strong impact on the Korean peninsula and the nuclear issue.
The period of Kim Jong Il's rise to power was a case in point. Kim was elected First Vice Chairman of the National Defense Commission in 1990, and supreme commander of the armed forces in December 1991.
At the end of 1991, DPRK signed the Agreement on Reconciliation, Non-aggression, Exchanges and Cooperation, and the Joint Declaration on the Denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula. In January 1992, it signed the Convention on Nuclear Safety with the IAEA. From May 1992 to February 1993, the country underwent six IAEA nuclear inspections.