Archive for Kim Jung-il

North Korea – What Now?

Posted in Iran, North Korea, Nuclear Weapons, UN, United Nations with tags , , , on 06/01/2012 by floroy1942

The ‘Dear Leader’, Kim Jong-il is finally dead and has been replaced by his son, Kim Jong-un the ‘Great Successor’, ‘Supreme Leader’, ‘Great Leader’ or  ‘Supreme Commander’ (take your pick). A mere 28 or 29 years old (no-one seems sure which), Kim Jong-un is an enigmatic figure who came to the world’s attention a relatively short time ago.

He has now taken over a nation with nuclear weapons, severe economic problems, and is crippled by UN sanctions. It is a country that has the most inhumane and barbaric prison system in practically all the world, and the entire population is brainwashed from birth to think of their leader is a ‘god’.

Funeral Procession

NK Radio broadcast that even nature itself was in mourning for the ‘Dear Leader’ as ice cracked loudly on a lake on Mount Paekto and a glow was seen at the top of the mountain which is revered by North Koreans for it is from there that Kim Jong-il’s father led the resistance against the Japanese. A crane (bird) circled a statue of the departed leader in Pyongyang three times before perching in a tree. Just about anything out of the ordinary was branded ‘nature’s’ grief’.

 Funeral by Official Korean News:

http://youtu.be/mFqSMdqiLwM 

Kim Jong-un has gained control of the State, the Party, and the North Korean Army all within two weeks of his father’s death, which is essential if he wishes to maintain control of the country. He is a very young man, educated in Switzerland, and the youngest of Kim Jong-il’s three son’s. He has practically no political or military experience and will without doubt be leaning heavily on his ‘advisors’ within the government and military. However, it would seem he has done sufficient for the moment to ‘stay in charge’.

First Public Show of Emotion

The big question on everybody’s lips is; what will he do with all the power that has been thrust upon him at such an early age? Analysts the world over are waiting to see which way he bounces, and with good reason.

As the supreme leader of a rogue state with nuclear weapons he could be responsible for leading the world into another dark period in it’s history, or on the other hand, he could eventually be the one to free his people from tyranny. He has the choice of being remembered by history as just another despot, or a great champion of freedom.

I guess the choice is not all his for there will be powerful men behind him, plus a very capable army. It is for sure, not all the decisions are made by him, as the ‘power behind the throne’ flexes its muscle to see how much it can get away with. This not so unusual in such situations when a young, untried and inexperienced ‘kid’ takes over the ‘family business’.

Eldest Son - Playboy

His history to date has been a closely guarded secret in Pyongyang but it is known he is Kim Jong-il’s youngest son by his third wife. The first two sons were overlooked to take over the reins because of political scandal resulting from the eldest, Kim Jong-nam, being deported from Japan for trying to enter the country on a false passport, and the middle son Kim Jong-chol not being considered ‘manly’ enough by his father, which in plain language means he’s a faggot!

The 'Homo' One

That left Jong-un as the only contender and it’s fairly clear there will be no attempts by his brothers to usurp him, for the eldest is a playboy and the  youngest much the same, so I should think that as long as the money flows allowing them their outrageous lifestyles, they will stay out of the picture. As for the new leader,  he is almost impossible to read, for he has a poker champions face and I for one have yet to see a photograph of him smiling. Even the eyes give nothing away!

While it will be surprising for a power-grab to come from any other quarter in North Korea, there are those among Jong-un’s inner circle, and certainly among the government and military, who have their own agenda’s which as usual in such situations means increasing ones power or influence.

Considering the complete subjugation of the North Korean people it is hard to imagine that any form of regime change will come from there as in the Middle East. It is not possible for any form of action to start a move towards democracy in North Korea for the simple reason there is probably no-one left alive who remembers what democracy is.

Founder of the Kim Dynasty

Since Kim Il-sung began the family dynasty in 1948, all forms of protest and dissention have been punished by incarceration in the labour camps and the entire population have been ‘re-educated’ to follow the party line. It has got to the stage where many of the simpler folk in the country are convinced their leader actually makes the sun rise and set each day. This of course is encouraged by the media and propaganda of the government.

Many western journalists are calling the outpouring of grief at Kim Jong-il’s funeral one of the biggest theatrical con jobs in history. I must admit the scenes I saw on the TV of men and women shedding buckets of tears for the ‘Dear Leader’ were grossly overdone. I get the impression that most of it was for home consumption, because they must have known it would not be believed in the rest of the world.

 Korea ‘Mourns’: http://youtu.be/gd9YEISLlJk

Will Things Change For Them?

But what of the original question; what now for North Korea? In my view, if changes come we will not see any under this new leader for at least five years. If the young man Kim Jong-un has any intention of improving the living standards of his people he will have to proceed slowly, consolidating his power base and waiting for many of the old die-hard generals to die and perhaps replace them with ‘his own people’.

On the other hand, he may be quite content to ‘ride the wave’ as it were just like his father before him. Live the luxurious life while keeping his people under ‘the yoke’.

The one fly in the ointment is the continued affect the UN sanctions will have, not only on the North Korean economy but on the NK political standing in the world. The country is already to all intents and purposes politically isolated, with the exception of Iran that wants its nuclear secrets and the Chinese who tolerate the NK leaderships antics merely to keep the peace.

Korea's Message To the World

It is within the bounds of possibility that Kim Jung-un, if he is indeed a good poker player, can gain much from trading off the NK’s nuclear weapons for aid  through the UN. He would run into problems with some of his generals who naturally enough see the nuclear weapons as a ‘must have’. If he has sufficient hold on power it may be achievable for eventually a ‘bargaining chip’  loses its power if you hold on to it too long.

Whichever way it goes, I don’t see much change for the ordinary people of North Korea, and certainly not for those incarcerated in the merciless labour camps. Life will continue to be a living hell and the ruling elite will pluck the fruits of their labour as always.

In conclusion, will the ‘Supreme Leader’ be the breath of fresh air his country’s people need – maybe, but to be honest I am very doubtful, at least for the forseeable future.

Roy.

North Korea – An Analysis

Posted in North Korea, Nuclear, Nuclear Weapons, Security Council with tags , , , , , , on 29/05/2009 by floroy1942

For many months the North Korean leadership have been playing a game of brinkmanship with the international community and the UN. Why, what is their goal?

Using their emerging nuclear capability as a tool of intimidation, they have taken on the world with threats of expanding their weapons capability and test firing missiles. Naturally, there is a certain nervousness among the surrounding countries, South Korea, Japan and China, at the prospect of North Korea achieving a nuclear weapon and the means to deliver it. The United States feels especially uncomfortable with the prospect of a nuclear armed North Korea, considering its many interests in the Far East.

This scenario may be some way off, but the ‘writing is on the wall’. In particular the firing of a long-range missile last month, thinly disguised as ‘a satellite launch into space’, caused much controversy and initiated an emergency meeting of the Security Council at the UN. After North Korea’s weapons test last Monday a further meeting was called.

It must be said that the UN, for all its supposed power is, and always has been, impotent in this and most other crisis’s the world over. It has never been possible for all nations, and in particular the permanent members of the Security Council, to agree on anything. So far, North Korea has received little more than punitive sanctions, for this read – a ‘slap on the wrist’, from the Security Council for its provocative actions.

In the past, it was always China and Russia who were hesitant to take any positive and meaningful action against the North Koreans for fear, they say, of making the situation worse. I believe events have proven them wrong. It would seem by its actions of late, North Korea had every intention of following this path regardless of any pressure brought to bear by the UN Security Council, or anyone else for that matter.

Traditionally, America has been the most hawkish when dealing with North Korea, as it sees a threat to its Far Eastern bases should they ever get a viable nuclear capability. But despite acting in its own interests, I believe it is also acting in the interests of the whole world, because no-one wants Kim Jong-il and his cronies to attain the status of a nuclear power.

Speculation is rife about the possibilities of nuclear weapon technology in the hands of such a dictatorial and oppressive regime as that in Pyongyang. It is not surprising they wish to hold on to the absolute power they have, and anyone, or anything that can upset that balance could become a target.

Should they see, for example the USA or Europe as a serious threat to their power base, they have the means to strike without direct involvement. One quick phone call to Bin Laden with the offer of a nuclear weapon and bingo, bye bye New York, London, Berlin or where-ever. I am sure Bin Laden and his pals would love to get hold of just such a device and use it against ‘the infidels’. Hopefully this is not likely to happen, but however far-fetched it may seem, it remains a nightmare that will not go away. It does make it abundantly clear that North Korea must be stopped before such a scenario becomes a possibility.

Yet another cause for concern is Pyongyang selling their nuclear technology to other countries in an effort to acquire much needed funds. It is well documented that they have sold missile technology to Syria, Egypt and other middle-eastern countries for this purpose. Should they begin selling nuclear weapons technology to these countries the whole balance of power in the Middle East will change forever, and not for the better. The world does not need a new arms race.

Experts have speculated that the main reason North Korea is following this antagonistic path, is to secure the succession for Kim Jung-il’s chosen son Kim Jong-un, his youngest. He is 25 years old, likes to drink and party as his father did, and has been groomed to succeed him. But outside of that little is known about him. Many experts believe he would become nothing more than a figurehead, and the power would remain in the hands of older, more experienced leaders.

Other experts are of the opinion, that this whole charade is nothing more than political blackmail, intended to get big rewards from the international community for ceasing their activities. To me that however does not hold water, because Pyongyang cannot expect to gain any more than it would have received under the six-nation talks that stalled some months ago.

Whichever way it goes, many Far Eastern countries are starting to get nervous, South Korea and Japan in particular. From reports it would seem even the Chinese are starting to lose patience with their neighbour. This could at last lead to a real consensus of opinion on action by the UN Security Council. Only time will tell, but in the meantime, the world waits with bated breath to find out what other surprises North Korea has in store.

Much has been said about South Korea becoming a full member of the Proliferation Security Initiative (PSI) teams operating around Korea, a decision that prompted their northern neighbour to suspend the armistice that has been in place since the end of the Korean War in 1953.

The teams initial purpose, was to intercept and inspect shipping suspected of carrying nuclear material or technology, to help prevent their spread to other nations. The various naval ships making up the force have to date however confined themselves to exercises alone.

The North Korean Government released a statement this week, saying that if any of their ships were stopped they would consider it an act of war. Tough words, and you can be sure it would be South Korea that felt any repercussions, although it is extremely doubtful that Kim Jung-il would be rash enough to risk a full scale war with the South, and America. North Korea starting a second war would bring the UN countries together to provide men and materials for the conflict just as they did in 1950. There is no hope for them with that course of action. The statement has however been sufficient for most Chinese fishermen to vacate the waters around North Korea, a measure that could be spontaneous, or at the behest of the Chinese government.

It may be just the usual political posturing that is always present with the Pyongyang gang, hopefully they do not have a more sinister purpose.

Whichever way you look at it, the situation is extremely complicated, and no-one has any real clue what is behind all this brinkmanship by the ‘Dear Leader’ and his cronies. The one thing we can be sure of, there is nothing innocent about it.

It is time for the UN to really show its muscle with sanctions that will bite hard at the Government and leaders of North Korea, and put them on notice the world does not want another nuclear capable nation, especially them.

The freezing of bank accounts, belonging to companies known to be providing the north’s regime with weaponry, are among plans mentioned in the press as measures that may be employed against the Pyongyang hierarchy, but we shall see what the Security Council comes up with. Hopefully the measures will be harsh enough to make Kim Jung-il back off.


As Bob Dylan once sang: “The times they are a-changin'” – Hopefully, not for the worse.


Roy.

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