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What’s Next For North Korea

Death of a dictator. North Korea’s Kim Jong Il is dead. We’ll look at what’s ahead for his country and the world.

In this Oct. 10, 2010 file photo, North Korean leader Kim Jong Il salutes soldiers while watching a massive military parade marking the 65th anniversary of the communist nation's ruling Workers' Party in Pyongyang, North Korea. Kim arrived in Russia's Far East on Saturday Aug. 20, 2011, and will meet with President Dmitry Medvedev during a visit expected to last a week, the Kremlin said. (AP)

In this Oct. 10, 2010 file photo, North Korean leader Kim Jong Il salutes soldiers while watching a massive military parade in Pyongyang, North Korea. (AP)

North Korea’s Kim Jong Il took a starving, isolated, paranoid country – his own – and gave it nuclear weapons.  But in seventeen years as North Korea’s “Dear Leader” he never really opened the doors to the so-called Hermit Kingdom.

Now we’re told Kim Jong Il is dead. That a maybe thrity-year-old little-known son, Kim Jong Un, is taking over.  For many neighbors and beyond, this is frightening news.  North Korea works in a reality of its own, but with missiles and nuclear technology that travel the world.

Up next, On Point:  death of a dictator and a high-wire changing of the guard in North Korea.

-Tom Ashbrook

Guests

Evan Osnos, China correspondent for The New Yorker.

Stephen Bosworth, Dean of the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University, Former Special Envoy to North Korea.

Brian Myers, a researcher of North Korean ideology and propaganda at Dongseo University. He is author of The Cleanest Race: How North Koreans See Themselves—And Why It Matters.

Victor Cha, holds the Korea Chair at the Center for Strategic and International Studies. Professor of government and director of Asian Studies at Georgetown University School of Foreign Service. From 2004 to 2007, he served as director for Asian affairs at the White House on the National Security Council

Highlights

A vulnerable nuclear arsenal is only one threat in the wake of the death of 17-year dictator Kim Jong Il. North Korea’s chief benefactor China, is worried about a failed state on their borders and a refugee crisis.

This time of year, the river between North Korea and China – the principle route for escaping refugees — is frozen and passable. “The leadership in Beijing is huddled up and thinking about what they have to do in order to prevent some sort of immediate collapse,” said Evan Osnos, China correspondent for The New Yorker, based in Beijing.

“There is no other country on the planet right now that has the kind of influence on North Korea that China does,” said Osnos, pointing to the vast aid packages of arms, fuel and food aid, that China has shipped to its precarious client state over the past few decades.

Other North Korea watchers are more bullish on the stability of the state. “I would be surprised if this gets out of control in any serious way,” countered Stephen Bosworth, Dean of the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University, Former Special Envoy to North Korea.

“The North Koreans have been planning for this for years.” Bosworth said that 2012 will be an important year for the state, because it is the 100th anniversary of the birth of Kim Il Sung, the father of Kim Jong Il and North Korea’s first leader.

Whatever happens, it is unlikely that state known as the Hermit Kingdom will look to liberalize their ossified economy. “They view the China path as too hazardous, too risky,” Bosworth said. “They understand the importance of economic reform, but to them it poses an unacceptable level of political risk,” Bosworth said.

“The North Koreans are not willing to [like the Chinese leadership] get rich by sacrificing political control,” agreed Victor Cha, a North Korea expert at Georgetown University.

Indeed, the staying power of the state may hinge on the power of national propaganda. Brian Myers author of The Cleanest Race: How North Koreans See Themselves—And Why It Matters, said that the North Korean self-narrative is one of extreme race-based nationalism, reminiscent of the fascism of the 1930s.

“Psychologically, that’s a very appealing doctrine because it is just as adopted to bad economic times as to good ones,” Myers said. “When things go badly, you just blame the outsiders.”

From Tom’s Reading List

Time Magazine “(PYONGYANG, North Korea) — North Korea announced the death of supreme leader Kim Jong Il and urged its people Monday to rally behind his young son and heir-apparent, while the world watched for signs of instability in a nation pursuing nuclear weapons.

New York Times “SEOUL, South Korea — Kim Jong-il, the North Korean leader who realized his family’s dream of turning his starving country into a minor nuclear-weapons power even as the isolated nation sank further into despotism, died on Saturday of a heart attack, according to the country’s state-run media.”

Washington Post “Kim Jong Il, the strangely antic and utterly ruthless heir to North Korea’s Stalinist dictatorship, died of an apparent heart attack Saturday, state media reported Monday. He was said to be 69.”

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  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1816544 Dan Trindade

    Will Kim Jong-Un adopt a more aggressive posture to make his mark on the global stage, testing more missiles or perhaps detonating another nuke? Or will he reach out to the world for help modernizing his backward nation? One way or another the world’s eyes have turned towards the Hermit Kingdom once again and as when they detonated a nuke in ’06 we all hold our breath..

  • Terry Tree Tree

    Hopefully, the new Kim, and the existing powers in Korea, will do what is REALLY best for ALL the people of Korea!
       I’m not qualified to make that determination, I hope the people that make the decisions in, and for Korea, ARE qualified, and do the best for a people that have suffered a long time!

    • Modavations

      You think your qualifified to pipe in on absolutely everything.Furthermore,you’re wrong 100% of the time.Today you’re toooooo much

      • Terry Tree Tree

        Moda taught Indiana Jones Archaeology?  Moda has been called up for advice by several U.S. and world leaders?  Moda’s own assertions!   Moda NEVER lies?

        • Anonymous

          I’m sorry but the guy has a point.
          You’re wrong on this and seem not to be able to admit it.

        • Modavations

          This is what I mean about the pathetic left,the humorless left.Indiana is not real!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Terry Tree Tree

    My sympathy to the family at their loss.  I only have limited information about Kim Jong Il, and NO personal knowledge, so no personal anecdotes. 
        I wish the best for the family, and his country!

    • Anonymous

      Please do google search at least.
      This man and his family of despots stuff their fat faces while the majority of the people starved and still go hungry. He created a paranoid society in which so oppressive that people risk drowning, freezing and certain death if captured trying to escape. Offering up sympathy is a nice gesture however under the circumstances of who this man was and what he stands for I would say it’s a bit ill placed. Despots do not need nor deserve sympathy upon their demise. Wrath is more the ticket.

      • Terry Tree Tree

        I am aware of the news circulated in this country about him.  I did NOT like that information, nor do I condone the things that I have heard and read about him, and his actions!
            I advocate sympathy to the family, at the loss of a family member.   That changes things for the family. 
           I hope N. Korea will be a better place, from this day forth!  Perhaps, with the extension of sympathy to the family, I can influence that in a positive manner?

        • Anonymous

          You don’t get it, do you.

          • Terry Tree Tree

            Maybe, maybe not?

          • Anonymous

            As I said before, do some research before you make comments. It’s a good idea in this case.

          • Terry Tree Tree

            The decendants of some despots have become far more benevolent than the despot! 
               I will NOT condemn Kim Jong Un, as a despot, since the press hasn’t much information to offer about him!  He may be the most benevolent leader ever!  NOT if we condemn him as a despot, BEFORE finding out what kind of leader, or person that he is!

          • Ellen Dibble

            Consider the situation in Syria, where Bashir al Assad seems to want to be a more moderate leader, but the power centers that had surrounded his father are still in charge.  That is what he told Barbara Walters: I don’t give these orders; the military does that.  
                This makes a lot of sense to me; the puppeteers are not going to hand over the reins to some upstart who’s been in London studying medicine; oh, no.  He might have “ideas.”  Stability could be at risk.  We’ll just put a cocoon around him and carry on as usual.  I can imagine this happening.  I can imagine it happening in North Korea.

          • Modavations

            Syria is the worst of the Mid-East Police States

          • Anonymous

            Sorry, your wrong, period.
            Kim Jong Un has been in line to take over from his father for years now. What part of him being part of a family of despots do you not get?

            Stalin’s daughter just passed away and her life was anything but easy. She suffered from the blood that her father had on his hands.

            The other issue is you seem to think that admitting to being wrong is somehow a weakness.
            In this case you keep digging a deeper hole.

          • Modavations

            And Stalin was cool and Mao was cool,and KimI(I’m so ill)Jong is my “fellow traveler”.My friend,in my opinion,you are too much

          • Terry Tree Tree

            Did I praise Kim Jong Il, in ANY way?

      • Terry Tree Tree

        I do not know that Kim Jong Un is a despot, one of his brothers chose the playboy way out.  Regardless of what I think of the reign of Kim Jung Il, I think there may be family members that will miss him.
           I will NOT label Kim Jung Un as a despot, until the proof surfaces.  That would lead to a self-fulfilling prophecy, easier than any good result!

      • Terry Tree Tree

        Where did I extend sympathy to the despot Kim Jong Il?  The news media admit they don’t know much about Kim Jong Un, and his brother chose to be a playboy, instead of having anything to do with government! 
           To call Un a despot, before he is a known factor, can cause him to become one, even if he would choose to be benevolent!  I chose NOT to accuse him without evidence.

    • Ellen Dibble

      Kim Jong Il to me is a caricature of insularity, a cautionary figure for what can happen if one has so much power that nobody is honest with you anymore, that sort of thing.  It isn’t even funny.  It’s pathetic.

    • Modavations

      You’re pathetic.Why are there no dogs in N.Korea.They ate them all.

  • JUST CORY PLEASE!

    The discarded topic on remotely controlled military vehicles was much more interesting and dynamic than this.

    What’s to say, really?  Hatred for North Korean despots…  sympathy for their people…

    This is just a boring and predictable topic.

    • TFRX

      I don’t know that I’d say that. Osmas mentioned (at :11) the Chinese trying to persuade Kim Jong Il to try their particular mishmash of totalitarian enterprise. That’s something that wouldn’t have happened a dozen years ago.

    • Terry Tree Tree

      Remote-controlled millitary vehicles will be around for the forseeable future!  I’m sure they will get back to that subject.
          Kim Jong Il’s death is breaking news, and needs to be discussed now, to consider a significant change to world policies!
          Maybe someone will post something pertinent, AND un-boring for your benefit?

  • Chris B

    What are they going to call the new guy, after the Great Leader and the Dear Leader?

    Maybe there should be a contest?

    • Anonymous

      Stupendous Leader

  • Jasoturner

    I think this kid is marginalized and pushed aside within the year.  Will a military dictatorship (rather than a cult of personality) lead to more rational foreign policy?  Who knows, though Burma is an interesting example of one potential outcome.

  • Jdander

    Why are you talking about the death of kim jong and not about Czech leader Vaclav Havel, who died on Sunday? 

    It is tragic that you dedicate a program to dictatorship, but not one to democracy and one of democracy’s greatest champions of the 20th and 21st century. 

    There is much more to learn from Havel than kim jong. Very disappointed with your ignorance toward the passing of Havel.

    Thanks.  Usually satisfied with your program.  Not Today.

    • Terry Tree Tree

      Vaclav Havel should have been one of the two shows today!  Kim Jung Il’s death, and the potential consequences of that, should have been the other!
         Hopefully Vaclav Havel will be the lead story tomorrow!

    • http://gregorycamp.wordpress.com/ Greg Camp

      Havel didn’t have nuclear weapons. He does deserve his own hour.

      • Terry Tree Tree

        Havel had something MORE powerful! 

  • Ellen Dibble

    I missed the start of the show, but —
    It sounds like there will be a junta in charge, and to me, this resonates with what Egyptians are contending with:  It’s one thing to “lose” a dictator; it’s another thing to get rid of the tools of oppression (the army; the junta). 
        It sounds to me as if the stronger the dictator, the easier for a people to be liberated from that.  Although the cult of personality could be pretty disabling for the population, very difficult to disengage from.  A junta couldn’t inflict that cult of personality, I suppose.

  • Rex

    I don’t believe that these crying North Koreans are faking it. They pretty much have nothing and have been brainwashed to believe that he is the almighty and infallible. They were not allowed to think for themselves and to break down in tears over their leader’s death is all they know to do.

    • Anonymous

      As far as brain washing goes, I doubt it.  They smuggle in western items like vinyl records, and VCR tapes despite the fact that the government has banned them and South Korean newspapers are smuggled in as well.  Sure there is a significant amount of people brain washed, but I think there’s a healthy amount of people who know about the outside.

      I’m sure there’s a mix of genuine and fake mourning.  I recall many stories from my Russian friends who were forced to attend military parade marches and forced to applaud with threat of being shot from a pistol pushed into their backs.  More likely, worse coercion techniques exist in N. Korea.

      • Anonymous

        Well, not only that but there are humanitarian outfits and NGOs immediately to the south of the DMZ who use hundreds of conventional balloons to float over South Korean literature, films and TV dramas via DVD, and more and more cell phones of late. That’s not to mention the increasing north Korean migrant workers with extended assignments in China and Vladivostok, Russia. IOW, they’re not as isolated, clueless to the rest of the world and “brainwashed” as we’d have them.

  • Ellen Dibble

    Could be their healthy souls are kicking in and they are crying, actually, in unmitigated relief — not anything mediated by understanding, or measured hope or fear.  Just a sense of all the good and bad of one moment.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1816544 Dan Trindade

    If we’re going to speculate, I think that Kim Jong-Un will take a year or two to strengthen his position and then begin to slowly open his nation. As he does he will allow in foreign investment and tightly control modernization to better prepare his nation for a reunification push sometime in the next decade. If he does it correctly he could end up ruler of a unified Korea sometime in the 2020s or 2030s.

    • Terry Tree Tree

      At least, Un could end up respected for the improvements those actions would make for his country!

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1816544 Dan Trindade

      Totally delusional. I borrowed it from a video game 
      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Homefront_(video_game)

  • http://gregorycamp.wordpress.com/ Greg Camp

    In the long term, we hope so, but a well placed nuke can ruin your day.

    • Ellen Dibble

      A well-placed nuke, unless it took out the whole of the superpowers, wall to wall, sea to shining sea, has a fair chance of resulting in not only your regime being taken out, but pretty much any other centers of authority and power that you have at your disposal — it seems to me.

    • Terry Tree Tree

      Granted!  Unfortunately!  Destruction is always far easier than construction!  Taking life is easier than saving it!
         Exploiting people to accumulate wealth and power for ones-self, is easier than raising the station of those that you could exploit!
         Many chose the easier path of destructiveness, causing the constructive course to be even harder, for those that choose to do so!

  • http://gregorycamp.wordpress.com/ Greg Camp

    You’ve never worked with crazy people, have you?  How about angry teenagers?  The leaders of North Korea strike me as lunatics stuck in adolescence.

  • Ellen Dibble

    People noting Havel here, he too was up against a leadership that squelched the ability to think for yourself, to communicate using meaningful words.  Google Sylvia Poggioli, Havel.  I heard it on NPR ATC yesterday morning.  Here’s an excerpt:  ”One of Havel’s least-known works, a collage of radio clips called, Czech Lands, My Beautiful Czech Lands, was written after the 1968 invasion. By juxtaposing politicians’ speeches, music, cheering crowds and the banal sounds of humanity, Havel shows how political rhetoric has deprived words of their meaning. Totalitarian society, he posits, has morally destroyed the individual. His message was the need to restore the real meaning of words in order – as he often said – to be able to live within the truth.”
    Havel, who is now dead, understood how thought could be made lame by  leadership.

  • Tom Jackson

    My parents told me that when FDR’s death was announced in 1944 people were crying openly on the streets of New York.

    • Anonymous

      What’s your point? People did the same thing when JFK was assassinated and when John Lennon was shot.

  • Sjg627

    he is the 3rd son  what about the first 2?  any other relatives that might challenge

    • Ellen Dibble

      Did the father pick the third son?  Or did the generals, picking the one they could most easily manipulate.  The younger one might not yet have learned to take a certain distance — from the entire cult, the mind-control in place.  And once outside that cultishness, one can often turn first in destructive directions, whether to, um, the Italians would call it bunga-bunga, or capitalist excesses, all that.  So the older sons may be uncontrollable.  The father … google him.   Then judge the effect of his regime, its apparent attitude toward his “dear people,” and its apparent attitude toward others, for example.  Maybe that’s all from sisters and uncles and puppeteers who are actually still in place?  And that’s why he was known mainly for his, um, hobbies?

      • 1111

        He picked the third son.

  • Ejbaker

    Hi Tom, This is Ed Baker in Brookline. My cell phone number is 617-686-8732. I am a member of the Harvard Korea Institute Executive Committee, have taught at universities in Seoul for the last 4 years and have been involved in Korea since serving in the Peace Corps there from 1966 to 68. I commented on air but had too little time. I did not miss Brian Myers’ point. He is wrong. There is no chance NK will make the mistake of thinking SK (and the US) will not defend against an attack from the north. They made that mistake once and learned from it. They’ve engaged in harsh rhetoric often since 1953 but haven’t attacked and won’t because they know how weak they are and how strong our side is. It is time for the US to accept the long-standing NK demand that we engage in peace treaty negotiations to end the Korean war. I have a great deal more to say, backed with a lot of experience, thought and writing and hope to have the chance to say it. The key point is that we must act in such a way as to insure peace, and persuade the Lee Myung Bak government to also be very careful. The consequences of war in the Korean peninsula are to horrendous to contemplate for our friends in the South, for the innocent ordinary citizens of the North, and for the neighboring countries of Japan and China. Even Russia which has a short border with NK will be affected.

    • Terry Tree Tree

      Thank you for this revealing info!  Your cautions sound reasonable to me.

    • Anonymous

      I’ve just finished listening to the entire podcast. First, thank you Dr. Baker for having called in and I wish Tom had found more time for you to express your thoughts especially on the prospects of a return to some form of neo-Sunshine and what that return would resemble in more detail.

  • 1111

    Kim’s family tree

  • Modavations

    Look at a night photo of the Korean Peninsula.”Nuff said

    • Anonymous

      Nothin’ but CFLs and LEDs.  That’s where they come from, and why the light they give off is so strange and cold.  So-called “better bulbs” are a little piece of totalitarianism for your home use.

  • http://twitter.com/BackBayFens J

    If you’re wondering about the weeping North Koreans if it’s real or not, it really depends on who they are.
    About 80% of North Koreans who live in PyongYang, the capital city, would cry for real because they are the 3 million hard core loyalists and beneficiaries of the regime at the cost of all the other 20 million North Koreans.
    For those who live out of PyongYang, about 80% of North Koreans would cry out of fear or to fake their loyalty because they know the other 20% are watching.
    That’s what we heard from the North Korean defectors.

  • notafeminista

    I’m reading the comments here and finding something interesting.  Terry Tree Tree openly admits to not knowing much about Kim Jong Il and expresses sympathy to the family.
    Jeffe68 in reply makes an allusion to the horrors that were the Kim administration (and rightly so) nothing that people risking drowning and freezing just to get out of the country and that despots neither need or deserve sympathy.   Upon reflection, I think of this:
    The same conditions have existed in Cuba for 50+ years (people willing to risk drowning to leave Cuba) and yet Castro is hailed by the Left as a hero.  What conditions must be met for a leader to be considered a despot?

    • notafeminista

      ..oops.  “noting” ..not “nothing”….editor on holiday break ;)

    • Anonymous

      I’m no fan of Castro and I’m pretty left leaning.
      Having grown up with Cuban expats might be why.
      But Cuba is not North Korea, not by a long shot.
      I also think that Cuba is going to open up in the next few years big time. Something I doubt North Korea will ever do in the near future.

    • Hidan

      If only Cuba was like Haiti right? The free market did wonders for them.

      • notafeminista

        You didn’t answer the question.

    • Hidan

      “What conditions must be met for a leader to be considered a despot?”

      Obvious not  having the 2nd biggest stake in Newscorp(owners of Fox News) or Spending 300 Million on Tweeter wouldn’t get you on the list. Nor hosting the U.S. Navy base.

      But the standard of if a leader is a despot or not tends to be on if there an U.S. ally.

      • notafeminista

        So you would place Castro (or Chavez or Mugabe) where exactly?

    • Terry Tree Tree

      Sympathy to the family, is in NO way endorsing, NOR excusing the despot Kim Jong Il! 
         I said I don’t know him personally, nor much about him that was not a newscast.
         You can twist this into an endorsement for Kim, or Castro?

    • Jasoturner

      Castro is hailed by the left as a hero?  That’s so bad it’s not even wrong.

      • Heaviest Cat

        To me, that’s contradictory. As a “leftist’ I don’t feel, the “hero” narrative has a place in a democratic society. That’s what went wrong in Cba .Too much power concentrated in one “hero”

  • http://twitter.com/BackBayFens J

    I’m a South Korean and I absolutely agree with Brian Myers. His analysis about both North Korean perceptions of themselves and changing South Korean political climate are very accurate. Also, like someone earlier said, North Korea most likely will not start a total war, but it was the South Korea’s series of inactions after the navy ship sinking against North that provoked YeonPyong Island shelling. Brian almost said S.Korea is “not courage enough” and then changed the word “not convinced enough” As a South Korean, I have to admit it is true that most South Koreans are afraid of a war and do not want to jeopardize their economic wealth. Many North Korean hardliners know this and they want to take advantage of it just as they did on the YeonPyong Island. North Korea military will continue limited and regional provocations including terrorism to strengthen their positions inside North.
    War must not happen, but those who believe you can persuade North Korea only with conversations and negotiations simply because you know about other 3rd countries Must not assume about the North Koreans. I have met and talked to different North Koreans and they are from a very different world.

  • ElfmanNW

    Karl Marx would never have envisioned
    rule by a dynasty.  Such a thing was in fact in direct
    opposition to everything Marx believed in. He  came from a
    country that when he wrote Das Kapital and the Communist Manifesto
    was still governed by the Kaiser.  Kim Jong Iland now his son
    cloak simple totalitarianism Communism.

    On a lighter not this is funny:

    http://www.theonion.com/articles/kim-jongun-privately-doubting-hes-crazy-enough-to,18374/

    • ElfmanNW

      “lighter note” :(

  • http://twitter.com/BackBayFens J

    Also, Mr. Bosworth already mentioned the nuclear bombs and tens of thousands of artilleries that North Korea has, but if you still think the US should just bomb North Korea should know that North Korea has hundreds tons of Bio and Chemical weapons that they can drop with their missiles to South Korea, Japan, and the US troops. Once the North Koreans realize the end of their regime with the US attack, they will try everything they got.   

  • Wise Infidel

    I dont see much difference between, Egypt,  NK or Pakistan, Bahrain, for that matter – India. Privileged masked political elite rule with impunity above the law leaving the rest of the masses under privileged and in India’s case at 70% poverty level! Instead of preempting upheaval in India, we are rewarding perpetrators of nuke walmart, exporters of jihadism per UK/PM, violent political Islam per Pope.

    First three have vast military industrial complex of the type that we accused Hitler of – by definition ‘fascism’. In last two, we see majority in the civil society being ruled by minority religious cult or assortment of cults – media deifying the honchos as semi-gods – much like the assorted Kim’s of NK.  In fact, bollywood Kims ['Khans' to be exact] are indeed being worshiped as avatars of Gods!!!

    I dont see any urgency or flurry of activities in int’l circles regarding India which is also a nuke nation where imams and mullahs virtually rule the state by proxy.

    Surprisingly Bush Jr gave India more nuclear power by giving her special access to nuke technology and material!  No one even cringed!  France was the first to sell such technology as economic colonialism – basically as a vulgar profiteer!!! Dont we experts at all in USA?!

  • Wise Infidel

    Incidentally, India is also ruled by a family dynasty – that of Indira Gandhi – a secretive family – with illegal zillions in Swiss banks – now the third generation as in NK.

    Dissidents are routinely jailed as in NK, malnutrition per UNICEF is rampant as in NK, bollywood (movies have been funded by Mumbai underworld) and the neo-colonial rulers are very secretive as in NK, ugly upheaval is about to take place per Reuters news agency-

    http://in.reuters.com/article/2011/12/19/india-trade-min-rupee-idINDEE7BI0CS20111219?type=economicNews.

    NK has an ally in China as a client/vassal state; India has none.  This might well be far more calamitous than any thing we have even seen.

  • Wise Infidel

    The non-violent struggle against corruption was met with arbitrary arrests. So no Arab type spring for NK or India!? Why?!  The civil society is too gentle, too civil and too subservient form years of nazi type media propaganda. (on anti-corruption protests, here is the link-
    http://in.reuters.com/article/2011/12/19/breakingviews-2011-a-year-of-gandhian-st-idINDEE7BI09K20111219?type=economicNews)
    This might well be far more calamitous than any thing we have ever seen.  Dont we have any experts at all in USA?!

  • Jkallo

    Brainwashed. Nothing more to say.

  • Anonymous

    Carl from Boston:

    When will chicken-hawks like you ever learn that it’s not up to “us” to bomb North Korean and “get it over with.” Easy to say when you’re sitting in Boston and don’t risk the katusha rocket counter attacks that would wipe out most of Seoul. It’s easy to sabre-rattle when sitting on the sofa in Boston, isn’t it?

    And another thing, Carl, we don’t pay “billions” to protect Japan. Japan actually pays dearly for the US’s nuclear umbrella protections and they also pay roughly 70% of total costs to house US troops in Okinawa. Additionally, they tend to make huge US weapons purchases like F-15s and missile defense systems. Same for ROK (South Korea) who pays a slightly smaller percentage to host US Forces Korea.

    Less than one week out of Iraq and we have morons either brandishing the “appeasement” card again or guys like Carl from Boston advocating “we get it over with” by bombing the DPRK. And people wonder why Americans are thought of as being stupid.

  • Hidan

    Looks like the N Korean’s are acting like the Right wingers did for the “The Gipper” both of their supports seems to be just as brainwashed. (Least the Media)

  • Terry Tree Tree

    WOW!!  Jeffe68 and Modavations on the same side?  How did I accomplish that miracle?  Is ulTRAX and TFRX going to go there too?
       ALL because they didn’t READ my comments! 
       The EXPERTS on N. Korea, don’t know what is going to happen there, NOR much about Kim Jong Un, by their own admission.   Yet these commenters, and others, KNOW what is going to happen there, and ALL about Kim Jong Un?
       Modavations has told us many times, he NEVER lies. 

    • Modavations

      What is it I’m accused of lying about?

    • Anonymous

      I must say that you dug your own hole here.
      Now you’re on the defensive and making false accusations. I read all your comments that pertained to me asking you to reconsider your absurd idea of offering condolences to Kim Jong Il’s family. Now you try to spin this with crap about not knowing about what is going to happen. I never said a damn thing about Kim Jong Un or about knowing what is going to happen.
      I’m against people, like yourself posting diatribes like this as defensive measures in stead of owning up to a mistake.
      You made misinformed comment that you now have blown up into this personal attack crap. Instead of admitting to your mistaken sentiments, and I’m here to tell you that they were very mistaken, you keep going on about it.
      I really hate to write this here but you and this Modavations character have a lot in common, a lot of hubris. Try to admit fault once in your life, it’s better than digging ditches and turning them into trenches.  

      • Terry Tree Tree

        As a Volunteer Fire Fighter, a Volunteer Rescue Squad Member, and a former Volunteer Medical First Responder, I have dealt with families of drug addicts, drunk drivers, possible murderers, possible child-abusers, and others, when they lost said person that did dastardly deeds!  I did NOT know how the family members felt about the repulsive individual, and expressing sympathy to them, at the loss of a family member, seems to me a decent thing to do, regardless of how I was revulsed by the actions of the deceased.
            Nowhere did I express grief over the loss of Kim Jong Il. 
            Some of the false indications that I somehow liked or condoned Kim Jong Il, I have responded to, as anyone would.  Explainations are all I offered. 
           You and Moda have taken that as you will. 
            The inferrence that I somehow praised Kim Jong Il, angers me.

  • Okitaris

    The U.S. should leave the Koreans alone we have screwed them over by dividing the country.   Just after the Japanese were driven out the U.S. jumped at the chance (ever the opportunist) to, as one state department lackey said, to gain a foot hold on the Asian continent.   The U.S. should get out of Korea as soon as possible.    Saving the tax payer billions of bucks.  And apologise profusely for screwing them over.

  • Klstrq

    What a pity that the starving peasants of N. Korea didn’t have the opportunity to listen to your fine coverage of the elegant cuilinary tasts of Kim Jong Il.

  • Don’t do anything

    South Koreans are now very worried about North Korea, which might do unexpected things in these uncertain circumstances. At the same time, we are also deeply worried about the US and China for the same reason. Please don’t do  anything toward North Korea, rhetorically, militarily, or economically. Life of 50 million South Koreans is at risk. Wait and see what happens in North Korea at least for a while.

  • Josephferris76

    I recently played in the first Ultimate Frisbee tournament to be held in
    North Korea – If anyone is interested my photos from the trip are here:

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/josephferris76/sets/72157627450542765/

    Along with my North Korea blog: 

    http://americaninnorthkorea.com/

  • Pingback: Lo más sensato que he escuchado acerca de la muerte de Kim Jong Il | El blog de Villalobos Jara

  • jackson J. tom

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