Kim Jong-Il Dies

Breaking news that North Korean Dictator Kim Jong Il has died at the age of 69.

Early word is that he died of a heart attack aboard one of his luxury trains while on a ‘tour’. South Korean forces and US forces in South Korea are on high alert. Given that in the past North Korea has dealt with crisis situations by launching missiles and staging attacks on South Korean territory that is not unreasonable.

At the same time after the death of Kim Il Sung there were some agreements reached in the five and six power talks. So it is possible that 2012 could be a better year for work with North Korea. This could well be a demonstration of the whole Juche theory and the Asian concept of face.

Information is sketchy at best and the official North Korea News Agency web site is not functioning.

In theory his successor would be his son Kim Jong Un but he is only in his late 20′s and it is unclear if sufficient time has passed for him to consolidate power. When Kim Jong succeeded his father he had been preparing for his leadership role for more than 20 years, while Kim Un has only been in the apprenticeship mode for a couple of years at most. At the same time early reports tonight say Kim Un has been named head of the funeral committee for his father.

The lack of a clear power base for Un could mean that military leaders might try to step in. Another option is that other members of the Kim family (who also have positions of power) could take control for a time in some sort of power sharing agreement. This is what happen when Kim Il-Sung died and his son Kim Jong Il was in a power sharing agreement for a time.

A prime candidate for power behind the throne would be Kim Jong Un’s uncle, Chang Sung-Task

Whatever happens I would expect the official word to be that Kim Jong-Un is in power but his actual control may be limited for a period of time. The powers that be in North Korea know that if they let the system collapse they will be out in the cold. In addition, the PRC has decided that it is in their best interests to keep North Korea going and so they would exert influence to stabalize things.

Another factor to consider is that Kim Jong-Il was ill for some time so we may well have some sort of power sharing structure already in place which will simply become official.

Wikipedia does have some pretty good resources on the power structure in North Korea.

         

Author: PATRICK EDABURN, Assistant Editor

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14 Comments

  1. Oh crap. What now?

    Junior knumbnuts going to play Napoleon Bonaparte and start another bloodfest? Has he calculated that we are too weak to fight because of Iraq and Afghanistan?

  2. Allen: “Junior knumbnuts going to play Napoleon Bonaparte and start another bloodfest? Has he calculated that we are too weak to fight because of Iraq and Afghanistan?”

    Hmmm… what other bloodfests have Obama started? He is not Bush and does not commit US soldiers to follies to enrich his supporters.

  3. Never said Obama started anything. It’s all bush and the medieval conservadips. The world knows that. What’s your point?

  4. Just wondering why you think Obama will start another bloodfest… I don’t see any reason to believe he would start another bloodfest and you admit that Bush, etc. started the others…. ANd not sure why you refer to Obama as “Junior knumbnuts”.

    Not sure I understand your first post and just wanted clarification.

    Thanks-

  5. Do we really need to turn this into another hate Bush thread ??

    Wouldn’t it make more sense to focus on the current story ?

  6. I’m not think Obama will start another bloodfest, I’m referring to Kim Jung’un playing great conqueror.

  7. The scary part about places like North Korea are that the new guy is often worse, trying to outdo Dad.

  8. Patrick, Bush must always and forever carry the responsibility for his actions. Besides, isn’t that what conservatives are always going on about…responsibility? He does that in part by realizing people will condemn him for them. The fact that we are a war weary nation, bankrupt because of an unnecessary war he started, should come up when the prospect of war raises it’s head. It is just and fitting to do so.

  9. What was that Judy Collins song?
    “Send in the Drones”? jk

  10. Hey, be nice to the new guy: he’s got some big shoes to fill.

    Kim Jong-Un Privately Doubting He’s Crazy Enough To Run North Korea

    “While emphasizing that he was definitely completely insane and would likely become even more so as leader of North Korea, the younger Kim nevertheless wondered if he could ever be enough of a lunatic to truly replace the most unhinged dictator on the planet.”

  11. Excuse me, but are you people insane or just plain paranoid?

    North Korea is not going to do a damn thing, they know that if they started a war they would get their asses handed to them so fast it would make your head spin.

    South Korea has twice the population, at least five or six times the GDP per capita, and 21st Century technological base, the support of the US, Japan, and even China, it’s not even competitive.

    The South Korea’s fear is that North Korea collapses and that they are forced to absorb a third world shit hole into their economy, forcing major investments in infrastructure, increasing the supply of unskilled labor and dragging down everyone’s standard of living.

  12. QF-

    South Korea would gladly “absorb” their family in the north. If only to eliminate a nuclear threat! However I would suspect that the unification of Korea is a deep desire of all Korean people, and, rightly so.

  13. @Allen and QF
    I agree that the South Koreans would welcome their northern bretheren. They truly wish that prosperity had come to both Koreas (or better yet to a unified one under democratic rule). I also agree with QF that N. Korea would get rolled by S. Korea. N. Korea has equipment from the 60′s. Their tanks might not be even capable of harming a S. Korean tank (or U.S. one, or British, etc.).

    China, however, would not allow N. Korea to start a war. If NK started a war, the Chinese leadership would be in the catastrophically unenviable position of deciding whether they should support their old ‘ally’ or keep the U.S. from cancelling all the debts to Chinese interests.

    Although I hesitate to guess which choice the Chinese would make, logic dictates that they would let NK die a well-deserved death. Of course, quite often, when dealing with war, most world leaders are not accused of using logic–or at least not well.

  14. Rcoutme-

    Your forgetting China. Obviously we will have to nuke China first thing, should Kim Jung’un start war. Otherwise they will nuke us, and, I have it on good authority that their weapons are up to date.

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