The team of researchers also point to a change in rhetoric from Kim Jong-un from his father
Professor Michael Lammbrau, from Mercyhurst University, in a collaboration with researchers Taehee Whang and Hyung-min Joo from Yonsei and Korea University respectively, have revealed how the two dictators have utilised propaganda.
The team of researchers used self-learning machine technology to produce a filter that can predict the frequency of North Korean nuclear tests with incredible accuracy that compares the work of Kim Jong-un and his father.
North Korea publishes the majority of its propaganda on its Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) website. The researchers, in their paper, compare the articles published from 1997 to 2014 which spans across the two dictators’ reigns.
Since taking power, Kim Jong-un has taken decidedly provocative actions that have significantly increased the rogue nation’s nuclear development – the paper states that a weak grip on power could explain why Kim Jong-un decided to chase military successes.
It says: “For two reasons, however, we suspect that Pyongyang is having a second thought about its nuclear programme. In particular, the nascent Kim Jong-un regime may be pursuing a nuclear programme for reasons other than those of its predecessor.
“First, the sudden death of Kim Jong-il in 2011 has made it urgent for Kim Jong-un to deal with a succession crisis. After graduating from a college, Kim Jong-il joined the Organisation- Guidance Bureau which was considered the core of the ruling Workers’ Party of Korea (WPK) in the early 1960s.
“Ten years later, Kim Jong-il became a permanent member of the Political Committee, the highest ruling organ of the WPK. For the next two decades until the death of Kim Il- sung in 1994, Kim Jong-il had a plenty of time to consolidate his position as the next leader of North Korea.
“By contrast, Kim Jong-un, who was barely 30 years old when succeeded his father, did not have such a luxury. When the sudden collapse of Kim Jong-il in 2009 gave an impression that his days were numbered, the North Korean regime had to hurry a succession process.
“On September 28, 2010, Kim Jong-un was thus appointed to vice-chair of the Central Military Committee of the WPK, a new post created for him while his dying father held its chair position.
“Within a year or so, Kim Jong-un took the official title of ‘Dear Respected Leader’ after the death of Kim Jong-il on December 17, 2011.
The team of researchers also point to a change in rhetoric from Kim Jong-un, declaring the arrival of the young despot put an end to the possibility of nuclear disarmament in the hermit kingdom.
The paper continues: “Second, the rhetoric of the KCNA on nuclear issues has changed in recent years. Previous studies show that Pyongyang had sent two consistent messages from 1991 to 2011; that is, denuclearisation of North Korea was possible but three conditions should be satisfied beforehand (i.e., no US hostility, no US nuclear threat, and a peace treaty).
“After Kim Jong-un rose to power, however, the North Korean regime has announced that its denuclearisation is no more possible. On January 22, 2013, Pyongyang made a shocking statement that its denuclearisation was ‘no more possible’ due to ‘intensifying US hostility’.”
The analysis from the machine learning system analysed key words from the two North Korea leaders and identified language that appeared with increasing regularity.
Results showed that Kim Jong-il targeted an international audience with his rhetoric to bolster support from sympathetic countries such as China and Russia while his son directed articles at a domestic audience to support his position at the top of the communist throne.
The paper goes on: “The key words which show a certain pattern in the pages of KCNA immediately before a North Korean nuclear test during the Kim Jong-il era include ‘suppression,’ ‘DWI (down-with-imperialism),’ ‘delegation,’ ‘foreign,’ ‘greeting’ and ‘cooperation’.”
“Most of these terms (i.e., suppression, delegation, foreign, and cooperation) are targeted at an international audience. It seems that Pyongyang wants to consolidate its ties to those parts of the world which are sympathetic to North Korea before it conducts a nuclear test, probably in anticipation that its nuclear test would further isolate the country.
“Prior to a nuclear test which would further isolate the country, North Korea wants to boast that its relations to the outside world (especially, sympathetic countries, such as Russia, China, and some third world countries) remain solid.”
The behaviour of Kim Jong-il is contrasted with the domestic audience targeted by his son due to a seeming lack of control.
The paper added: “According to the Kim Jong-un model, by contrast, the key words which separate nuclear threat articles from peace items during the Kim Jong-un period are ‘star,’ ‘satellite,’ ‘respected,’ ‘service,’ ‘sovereignty,’ and ‘defending’.
“The most interesting characteristics of the Kim Jong-un era is that unlike his father who focused on international audience, Kim Jong-un has mainly aimed at domestic audience prior to a nuclear test.
Since taking power Kim Jong-un has taken decidedly provocative actions
“Whereas the father with a firm domestic control had been able to aim at international audience before his two nuclear tests, the young son in midst of a succession crisis had to target domestic audience when he conducted the third North Korean nuclear test immediately after his rise to power.
“A careful reading of these KCNA articles containing the six ‘attack words’ (so to speak) reveals an interesting pattern that the Kim Jong-un regime was mainly targeting at domestic audience before it conducts a nuclear test, probably in an attempt to consolidate the power of the young inexperienced leader in midst of a succession process.
“In this respect, there is a stark contrast to Kim Jong-il with a firm grip on power, who was mostly focused on international audience before his two nuclear tests, probably in an effort to consolidate his ties to the outside world when upcoming nuclear tests were most likely to lead to an international isolation of the country already in a deep trouble.
Results showed that Kim Jong-il targeted an international audience with his rhetoric
“As far as nuclear provocations are concerned, the expression ‘Like Father, Like Son’ does not apply to Pyongyang where the son is looking inside while the father used to gaze outside.”
The research paper only analyses the behaviour of Kim Jong-un up until 2014, however in an exclusive interview with Express.co.uk, Michael Lammbrau revealed that he is using machine learning to analyse more recent behaviour of the despot leader.
He said: “We can currently use machine learning to analyse the behaviour of Kim Jong-un to include up to his most recent missile test in ‘English’, however, the goal is to build a tool that can incorporate daily published articles, in various languages in order to improve understanding and overall accuracy in our models.”