Thursday, May 31, 2007

Lil' Kim update!

Dictators of the World reader Michael left a comment asking for more about North Korean dictator, the Dear Leader himself, Kim Jong-Il. As ever, Michael, I'm eager to oblige my loyal readers, and remind them that I do indeed take requests.

Kim certainly appeared to have the world by the short and curlies when he detonated North Korea's first nuclear bomb last October. News about the Dear Leader himself, however, is very hard to obtain thanks to North Korea's worst-on-earth press freedoms and highly secretive military style governance. What little the west does hear comes largely from rumors, and from the occasional high level defectors who manage to sneak across the Chinese border on their way to eventual relocation in South Korea. So what's the latest scoop on Lil' Kim?

Apparently, things aren't looking so rosy for the reigning demigod of juche thought. There are reports that the 66 year old portly scion of the Kim dynasty is suffering from heart disease exacerbated by "advanced" diabetes. That Kim is suffering from diseases of affluence in a country that is, once again, wracked by hunger and malnutrition and reliant on foreign charity to feed itself, sums up the reign of the Kim dynasty almost perfectly. As any monarch in poor health is wont to do, Kim Jong-Il is reputedly weighing his options regarding secession to the throne.

Rumors abound of a nascent power struggle emerging from Kim's three eldest sons, and Kim allegedly fears incapacitation by poor health would lead to a power struggle, not just among his sons, but also among North Korea's ridiculously bloated military high command. Would the generals knock off the pretenders to the throne if Kim were laid low by a stroke? Would one of his sons kill his brothers to eliminate his potential rivals? Will the Chinese finally lose patience and put a long overdue end to the entire charade of the North Korea's existence once and for all by leaning on their client state to unify with South Korea?

If any of these rumors are true, we could be looking at the last gasps of the world's most repressive country. But even if Kim is on the way out of the picture, he has one thing he can still take comfort in - apparently, he's become an ironic icon for Japanese hipsters.

I'm still trying to figure that out, too.

1 comment:

Michael said...

Superb update on 'lil Kim. You rarely disappoint.

Thanks for taking my request --- I'm honored to be mentioned by name next to immortals like Mao, Stalin, etc...

In all seriousness, the Chinese would be foolish to encourage reunification with the South. Have you read somewhere that this is one of their foreign policy goals? I would love to see that.

From the Chinese perspective, it seems to me that in the larger picture, they benefit from having 'lil Kim next door. A dissolution of the DPRK and the Kim dynasty would have the negative effect of reducing by one the number of adversaries the Americans have in the hemisphere. This dysfunctional North next also serve as a constant threat to the Japanese as well --- another perk for the Chinese.