Waking up to the news this morning, we find the AP reporting that North Korean leader Kim Jong Il has died. It doesn’t surprise many of us who follow the news, as we have known he is a man of great excess and his choices have caught up with him. And what would we expect from a man whose only function is to act as an emperor to a society that is so brainwashed, they can accept starvation and utter poverty as a norm?
While Kim sipped on cognac and ate the best food money could buy, many of his subjects have been dying from hunger while being forced to work in malnourished states of health. Ironically, the official North Korean news agency has portrayed Kim’s death as a result of overworking and stress. At the ripe old age of 69, he supposedly died of a heart attack. But knowing that the man is so given to the vices that come with luxury, it may be that he died in an alcoholic coma or cirrhosis of the liver. At any rate, we’ll never know because we have only what they tell us to go on.
This is the problem with a strict communist society that has done nothing more than mimic the ancient Asian culture of emperor worship. Communism was sold to the masses as tool to spread wealth and give workers a fair share of food, clothing, and shelter so that a greater classless society can someday be realized. Openness and fairness was to have been the new norm, each according to his ability and each according to his need.
In the case of North Korea, they have in effect traded one form of tyranny for another. Reading their history on the peninsula, it doesn’t take much thought or reflection to see that this is a region that is accustomed to being enslaved by brutal regimes that care nothing for the people they lead. The only problem we have now is, the North may now be led by a young inexperienced post adolescent heir to the emperor’s chair named Kim Jong Un.
In Il’s case, he spent years being groomed and gained some measure of maturity that only age can bring. But in Un’s case, he is in his late 20s and really has no clue about anything. I don’t know about the readers of this post, but when I was in my 20s I thought I knew a lot more than I really did. And, I was far more impulsive than I am today. This is not exactly the best qualification or characteristic to have on board, when leading what may very well be a nuclear state.
The best we can hope for is the military will allow Kim Jong Un all of the vices his father enjoyed, so he can lay around in the same drunken state enjoying the best life has to offer. Every now and then, he can sober up enough to wave to a crowd during a parade or an official state function and then go back to his world of escape from reality. I say this because it is this strategy that will allow men of far greater wisdom to keep some level of restraint on the bombs. A drunken sated kid will only seek to satisfy his fleshly urges and will not make many horrible decisions that might destabilize the region even further.
Many wonder if this has been the case with his dad. If this is not the case, the power will very likely go to Un’s head and he will seek to flex his muscle very soon. It has been reported that a missile has already been fired, but this is not the kind of act I worry about at all. They have been doing these things for some time now and for the most part, this has done little else but rattle nerves. If he chooses to rule with every whim that a brash young punk would do, this might become a powder keg in which we will not be able to effectively respond.
I have very little faith in our state department to track and map out much of a strategy to deal with this kind foreign police challenge. It may be time to allow Japan the ability to defend itself and rearm for its own defense, instead of needing to depend on the U.S. to provide most of the muscle. If not now, when?