Kim Jong-il dead, North Korea’s future uncertain

North Korean leader Kim Jong-il is dead. State media reported the Dear Leader died on Saturday due to “great mental and physical strain” while on a “high-intensity field inspection.” Kim Jong-il was 69 years old.

News of Kim Jong-il’s death prompted a great outpouring of public grief, though North Koreans could hardly be expected to display any other kind of emotion in the tightly managed Stalinist state.

Kim’s son, the 20-something Kim Jong-un aka the Bright Leader, is the heir apparent. But the younger Kim is not secure in his power and the elder Kim’s death could result in a dangerous power vacuum in what is arguably the world’s most dangerous flashpoint and potentially embroil China and the US in a military confrontation in the Korean Peninsula.


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  • Andrewwhyte76

    I thought Kim had a thing for Sweedish prostitutes so shouldn’t some of the girls in the harem carraige had been blonde, blue eyed, tall, busty and long legged?

  • Andy Foead Wirya

    Missile dick?

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  • richard wills

     It would be very difficult for anyone to rise out of the pack of wolves the Kim’s have surrounded themselves with.
    Which of the Kim’s seems the most pliable will be needed to front for the junta that is the more likely scenario. But the result of this will be feudalism with a a number of big & small warlords splitting up the country between them.

    Possibly there are enough provident and judicious technocrats to pull another “Russian Miracle”. The basic problem is the weight of Korea’s history. The Korean people have always been pugnacious and violently discordant. Using the term  “A unified Korea” is committing a classical oxymoron. Frankly, they are the Irish of East  Asia and over the span of their history, similarly self-defeating.

    Perhaps being at the crux of the triangle of an ambitious Russia, an evolving China, and the Satrap of Japan as the western shield for Imperial American hegemony over the Pacific. This will be an incentive to the resulting pieces of Korea to confederate enough to take advantage of their Geo-political position as a buffer state. The best we can hope for is a minimal level of internal violence. The Three Powers all have a vested long-term interest encouraging the establishment of a stable Korean nation.

    • Blount777

      >”The Korean people have always been pugnacious and violently discordant. ” What evidence from history are you using to make such a claim? When the Hermit Kingdom began to interact more with the outside world, it was out of necessity and due to increasing tension and intrusion by foreign powers.  You’ll have to forgive me if I immediately dismiss an argument that goes “_______ people have always been______.”

      Countries change, people change, and national identity changes too. There was no such thing as the nation of Germany until many smaller states were unified into one national identity for instance. There was no such thing as North and South Korea before a proxy conflict, civil war, and international bickering left it that way.

      • richard wills

         This is where the embarrassment of DNA testing comes in handy. When people use a term such as ethnic identity or racial stereotype, often the most statistically correct term is that they are a shared cultural identity. When you look over the span of the history of this peninsula it has been invaded and conquered a multitude of times.

         And throughout this bloody history what survived, when all else failed, was the indomitable spirit of the Culture that is the Nation of Korea/Chosun/Hanguk. As happens to isolated island nations, limited resources and land result in chronic outbursts of violence. The situation never remains stable for very long.

        If the Three Powers sincerely want a stable nexus between them, then we all must encourage and reward Korea with shared resources and commerce. That they not to descend again into the Hermit Kingdom. Or worst, chaotic domination by warlords and other gangster elements.

        Historically, the Culture of the Korean People is their greatest national heritage and one that can influence the world if they would share it with us. And we were smart enough to learn from it.