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Kangsong Taeguk (strong and prosperous state)

Kangsong Taeguk [Kangsong Buguk] -- "rich nation, strong army" -- refers to a nation that is militarily powerful and economically prosperous, and seems to be modeled after Deng Xiaoping's 'Four Great Strategies for Modernization,' especially in Kim Jong-il's attachment of great importance to the military. This slogan may also reflect the fact that Kim Jong Il may want both economic reforms and enhanced military power through nuclear weapons and ballistic missiles. The September 1998 Supreme People's Assembly (SPA) meeting that elevated Kim Jong Il to the DPRK's "highest post" also embraced the new objective of becoming a "powerful and prosperous state" [Kangsong Taeguk]. The following month Pyongyang declared that "defense capabilities are a military guarantee for national political independence and the self-reliant economy," and that "the nation can become prosperous only when the barrel of the gun is strong."




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