A New Leader for Hell on Earth

December 19th, 2011 at 1:00 pm | 14 Comments |

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It was the noted atheist Christopher Hitchens who remarked in a debate before his untimely death last week, sickness that if indeed there was “all-seeing god” watching over us, order “it would be like living in North Korea.”

And now the latest in the family of hereditary dictators of North Korea has died at age about 69 – Kim Jong-il, leaving his third and youngest (known) son , Kim Jong-un, as heir to impoverished country at age 28.

Although North Korea is a paranoid state where the regime keeps an “all-seeing eye” on everyone to make sure citizens aren’t subversively listening to Voice of America on pre-set radios, it’s difficult to take the country seriously.

Yes, the Kims have been adept at intimidating the world – first with Kim Il-sung, placed in power by Stalin and known as “Great Leader” who attacked South Korea in 1950, followed by his heir in 1994, Kim Jong-il, known as “Dear Leader” who threatens neighbors with nuclear weapons, and now by his son Kim Jong-un who is an unknown factor and dubbed for the moment “Successor Leader.”

Put bluntly, North Korea is a fruitcake regime. Without anything in the way of resources–except soldiers and nutbar leaders who threaten and bluff–North Korea has a first strike potential to do considerable damage to South Korea, but then would be obliterated If America retaliated.

Russia and China have to be embarrassed by North Korea, whose propaganda machine depicted Kim Jong-il as a jet fighter pilot, a composer of operas, a movie producer with a photographic memory, and a golfing phenom who in his first attempt at the game scored 11 holes in one.

Nuclear arsenal or not, how does one take this guy and his regime seriously?

That’s part of the trouble. There’s no guarantee the country will act sanely with the current leadership it must worship on pain of death.

While the new “Kim” on top — Kim Jong-un — is unknown, odds are he’s as nutty as his dad. On second-thought, maybe not. He’s got generals around him who’ll curb (or try to curb) any excessive loony tunes emerging. Dear Leader dad was one for the ages.

Reality is, we know more about the dark side of the moon than we do about the inner workings of North Korea. What we do know is that every year there is starvation, as crops fail and the country’s budget is dedicated to the military. Appeals for foreign aid are invariably answered (mostly by generous South Korea) and food aid goes to the army.

It’s been noted that the Kims may be the only fat people in North Korea – papa being addicted (we were told) to imported lobsters and cognac. When he was in school, Kim Jong-il was one of those rare students who allegedly could repair motor cars, or sewing machines while fine tuning electric motors and inventing electronic wizardry. Smart kid.

American presidents are particularly vulnerable to appeals of hunger – as well as being susceptible to gestures of blackmail: Give us aid or we’ll test nuclear weapons. That sort of stuff that U.S. administrations take more seriously than they should.

Japan is vulnerable to nuclear blackmail. North Korea missile and rocket testing that goes astray, periodically threatens Japan.

All in the name of gaining respect for North Korean bellicosity.

While threats of war are nonsense – terrorism is very real.

Last year North Korea torpedoed a South Korean warship, killing 43 sailors. As if to refute South Korea’s accusations of aggression, North Korea bombarded a South Korean island. That’s the sort of country it is, under the Kim dynasty. If you say we don’t want peace–we’ll kill you.

In the past, the late and now lamented (in the streets of Pyongyang) “Dear Leader” was credited with a 1983 bombing in Myanmar that killed 17 South Korean officials negotiating with the Burmese. And then blowing up a Korean airline, killing 115. All when Kim Jong-il headed North Korea’s espionage service, before succeeding his dad.

Some years ago, around the time that Kim Il-sung was fading, South Korea’s Institute for North Korean Studies published a book: The Son Also Rises which documented the family’s history, noting that uncles, aunts and offspring “are all in the gravy up to the elbow.”

As if to enhance North Korea’s goofiness, when Kim Il-sung died, he was declared “President for Life,” which would have been more accurate it if it had been for “afterlife.” Anyway Kim Jong-il never took the title “President,” but preferred to be “chairman,” and Supreme Commander.”

What happens now that he world has a young “sole leader” in North Korea is anyone’s guess. Likely nothing – for a while. We’ll know soon enough it Kim Jong-un is as nutty as his dad – who, although crazy, was not stupid, witness how he persuaded the West to leap through hoops. What chance does the kid have with a dad like his?

One thing certain – China will do what it can to harness North Korea not to be foolish and do something provocative that may jeopardize China’s commercial dealings with the developed world.

That’s the good news. The bad news is another Son is also rising…

Recent Posts by Peter Worthington

14 Comments so far ↓

  • armstp

    How much did Kim Jong-il really run the country? I suspect he had no influence. It is run by a group of military and wealthy elite. His son Kim Jong-un has no chance of actually running the country.

    North Korea is basically “conservativism”/Ayn Rand/Republicanism/Liberaterianism taken to their extreme.

    • Carney

      North Korea is basically “conservativism”/Ayn Rand/Republicanism/Liberaterianism taken to their extreme.

      At the risk of troll-feeding, that is the most nonsensical, oxymoronic, calmly crazy sentence I have read in a long time. And I’ve read a lot of Lyndon LaRouche for kicks.

      • WaStateUrbanGOPer

        You needn’t apologize Carney: this sort of gross stupidty and ignorance, intellectual dishonesty and moral cowardice, deserves a brutal response. Armstp’s comment is peerlessly awful, indeed the most awful comment I’ve ever seen posted on this blog.

        • ROlshansky

          Allow me to conclude that was easily the finest written sentence I’ve seen on this site yet.

      • Graychin

        Carney, I hope you will call out with equal fervor the next person who refers to Obamacare as “Stalinist.” :D

      • Baron Siegfried

        Jah. That’s just silly . . . what you have is a traditional Korean royal dynasty with a Leninist veneer. They just changed the brand to suit Stalin. But if you read medieval Korean history, this is really nothing new, though the weapons and partition are.

      • armstp

        Your “conservative” ideology basically is driving toward your utopia country run by a wealthy and military elite that enslaves the population. Sounds like a North Korea to me.

        • WaStateUrbanGOPer

          You have no sense of proportion or nuance, do you? You sound a lot like the sort of wooly headed college sophomores who insist that “1984″ was about the evil of American corporations rather than totalitarian socialism.

        • Russnet

          Armstp, that is asinine. More reason to not take you seriously.

  • Vrag

    He’s got little man hands!!!! you know what they say about dudes with little chubby fingers!!

  • Oldskool

    “Nuclear arsenal or not, how does one take this guy and his regime seriously?”

    Give him a break, it’s not like he has House Republicans to deal with.