Category Archive 'Kim Jong-Un'

18 Sep 2017

Photo of the Year

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12 Aug 2017

What is Kim’s Strategy?

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Slate interviews B.R. Myers, a regional expert, about what North Korea is really trying to accomplish with all the saber-rattling and provocations.

The stars are aligning very nicely for the strategy [Kim Jong-Un] inherited from his father. Just as North Korea is perfecting its nuclear weaponry, China has acquired the economic power to punish South Korea for improving its missile defenses. Opinion polls in the South now strongly favor the left-wing presidential candidate Mun Jae-in, who in 2011 expressed hope for the speedy realization of a North–South confederation. If he or anyone else from the nationalist left takes over, years of South Korean accommodation of the North will ensue, complete with massive unconditional aid.

This went on under George W. Bush, and the alliance survived. Donald Trump, however, is much less likely to allow an ostensible ally to subvert UN sanctions while paying tributary visits to Pyongyang. And Kim Jong-un knows this. He knows that whatever security guarantees Trump gave to Seoul were made to the current conservative administration only. So Kim Jong-un has a better chance than his father did of pressuring the alliance to a breaking point. With China’s support he can pull a left-wing South Korean administration in one way while pushing the Americans in another.

Having lived in South Korea for the past 15 years, I don’t share most Americans’ confidence that it will always choose America over a North-supporting China. My own impression—bolstered by the ongoing controversy surrounding the stationing of the THAAD missile defense system—is that a growing number of South Koreans would rather see their state’s security compromised than risk their own prosperity.

Let’s not overestimate South Koreans’ attachment to their own state, which a sizable but influential minority still considers illegitimate. The most popular movie in Seoul at the moment is a thriller about a joint North–South effort to catch a criminal ring of North Korean defectors. That plot tells you something right there. The main North Korean character is played for cool by a handsome Tom Cruise type, while his South Korean counterpart is a homely, tired-looking figure of fun. There is a tradition of this sort of casting. The subtext: Serving the North is glamorous; serving the South, not so much. Let’s keep in mind that Kim Jong-un is watching these movies too.

[W]e must stop focusing on short-term shifts and nuances in North Korean propaganda and instead grasp the fundamental consistency its ideology has maintained since 1945. We have to take that ideology seriously, however absurd the personality cult may seem. To a radical Korean nationalist, the division of the nation, the race, is an intolerable state of affairs. So too is the continued presence of the foreign army that effected that division in the first place.

Were Kim Jong-un to share our own leader’s love of slogan caps, his would read: Make Korea Whole Again. Unification is not just central to the North’s ideology, but the only sure and lasting solution to its security problem. That makes the nuclear crisis all that more difficult to solve. But we will never get anywhere if we don’t face up to the true and frightening nature of the North’s goals. For decades our politicians and cartoonists have mocked North Korean leaders as squalling babies who wave missiles around just to get our attention. We’re the ones who need to grow up.

RTWT

01 May 2017

Supreme Leader

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27 Jul 2016

And the Endorsements Keep Rolling In…

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trump-kim

Reuters:

North Korea has backed presumptive U.S. Republican nominee Donald Trump, with a propaganda website praising him as “a prescient presidential candidate” who can liberate Americans living under daily fear of nuclear attack by the North.

A column carried on Tuesday by DPRK Today, one of the reclusive and dynastic state’s mouthpieces, described Trump as a “wise politician” and the right choice for U.S. voters in the Nov. 8 U.S. presidential election.

It described his most likely Democratic opponent, Hillary Clinton, as “thick-headed Hillary” over her proposal to apply the Iran model of wide sanctions to resolve the nuclear weapons issue on the Korean peninsula.

Read the whole thing.

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But, hey! Kim Jong-Un was undoubtedly just reciprocating. After all, back in January, Donald Trump had kind words for North Korea’s insane and murderous dictator. In fact, he praised him specifically for his ruthlessness and brutality.

Telegraph:

Donald Trump has praised the leadership style of North Korea’s dictator Kim Jong-un, for the “amazing” way he murders political rivals.

During a Republican political rally in Iowa at the weekend, he repeated his assertion that Muslims should not be allowed to enter the US before turning his attention to the North Korean despot, who has carried out frequent purges of officials.

“You’ve got to give him credit. How many young guys – he was like 26 or 25 when his father died – take over these tough generals, and all of a sudden… he goes in, he takes over, he’s the boss,” said Mr Trump, known for his own less than subtle style of leadership in the American version of The Apprentice.

“It’s incredible. He wiped out the uncle, he wiped out this one, that one. This guy doesn’t play games.

09 Jan 2016

North Korea’s Problem

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NKoreaProblem

09 Jan 2015

The New Criticism

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NewCritics

Hat tip to Walter Olson.

19 Dec 2014

Kim Jong-Un Gets the Respect He Deserves

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KimJong

On Twitchy.

10 Apr 2013

Viral Humor

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Hat tip to Henry Bernatonis.


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