October 22, 2020

North Korea says it will reward skill — not seniority — in its party officials

Rodong Sinmun stressed that officials’ abilities matter more than seniority, signaling potential reshuffle in Jan. 2021

It’s no secret that the North Korean leadership tends to be on the older side: With decades of experience under their belts, some top officials have been around since Kim Il Sung — the country’s founder — ruled the country.

But Kim Jong Un himself is only 36 years old, and state media recently emphasized that his close circle is measured by their skill, not their level of seniority. On Tuesday, North Korea’s state-run Rodong Sinmun newspaper reiterated that officials’ right to speak or “authority” is “not guaranteed by one’s position … but by one’s competence.”