Kim Jong Il


I hear the son looking to take charge is more sane.


heard he is a pervert…

Succession is an interesting issue in those regimes. Kim Jong Un could become a Deng Xiaopeng type of figure for N. Korea, if he starts to liberalize. Or he could be an Erich Honecker if he proceeds with some kind of unification deal. Or he could simply be a Brezhnev type that keeps the thing going while drinking and whoring and sending the occasional tank column south. However, the guy is young, probably not even 30. So there will probably be a power-sharing junta type of arrangement for a while, during which time another faction - perhaps with support of Jong Un’s older brother - might make a reach for power. If the top bureaucrats and military are actively aware of how insane Kim Jong Il may have been, and not just a group of sycophants that started to believe the flattery they gave, then there may be agreement that reforms are needed. However, if the military sees its situation as somehow sustainable - continually transferring resources from the economy to itself, while there is near famine everywhere else - then there will probably be nasty purges of anyone who even hints of changing things around. It’s a tricky time, but I actually think that there is more opportunity here for things to get better than there has been in a long time. However, the country also has nukes, and presumably a lot of pent-up frustrations in many places, including the military. So risk levels are up, but I actually think the chance for an improvement over the next few years is substantially higher.

deng wasn’t the son…this is more like stalin appointing his offspring…how you think it is going to turn out?

Well, it’s hard to imagine anyone being much worse than Kim Jong Il. North Korea is a country with half the population of South Korea, but 3% of the GDP. How corrupt or deluded would any succeeding administration have to be to keep this up?

Oh, you’re right. Deng wasn’t a blood relative, Jong-Un is. Well, that blows my analysis out of the water.

being a blood relative makes a huge difference…i think the chances of him being worst might even be higher…he is one mean looking asian…

I think the youngest son looks less mean then the father. There was a nice article last year on this guy in some european newspaper with this photo the headline was " Idiot or genius?"

hopefully this link works

It does make a difference, but the difference is not “huge,” particularly because the Korean state is not officially a hereditary monarchy. Yes, unofficially, it is, but that doesn’t mean he can’t be challenged for power based on the fact that blood relationships are not sufficient ground for assuming political power, and that - for a country that is officially at war - things like age and experience may be considered more important. He is still going to have to fight off contenders for power, which may be another family member, like his elder brother, or may be an institution, like the party apparatus or the military. And once in power, if he holds it, he is going to have to address the fact that the system as it stands is not financially sustainable, and the implosion of resources is likely to happen on his watch. So the question is whether to lead change or be overcome by it. He was partly educated in the West, it seems. How that has affected his outlook on the world will be important, assuming he is able to retain power.

Even a hereditary monarchy would be only a weak argument for political stability. If a bunch of generals really wanted to overthrow the younger Kim, why would they respect a Kim family drafted constitution?

Kim Jong Il? No Kim Jong Dead. In most countries the military and the government are allied where the government lets the military elite have a bunch of nice stuff. Essentially bribes them into protecting their legitimacy to rule. While a military career might seem like a retarded idea in the US, something for rednecks and college dropouts, in most countries its a way to power and wealth. In the West we are a little different. The rich, e.g. bankers, bribe the government to protect the legitimacy of their rule over the masses. The military gets their bribes by allowing retired generals to go work in the private sector and make a bundle. Vuala. What im getting at here is that it does not really matter much about who the leader is so much as what the alliance is and what they are willing to do to keep it in place. If the top military brass want to keep their special positions (which are also probably hereditary) then they will do whatever they need to do to keep that country looking the same way it does today. This is what has happened in Egypt and every other banana republic in the world.

This. Furthermore, going forward North Korea is a client state of China, and a useful buffer for them against US backed presence in Japan and Korea and Taiwan. So I wouldn’t expect this dynamic to suddenly evaporate now that Kim’s gone.

Those in power always want to stay in power. Even if it’s at the cost of the people. Sad, but often true…

That’s true, but the policy doesn’t always stay the same. And the other thing is that who gets to be part of “those in power” can change. People at the top can empower some parts of the existing establishment over others, and this can change the dynamic over time.

Unlikely, do a little game theory in your head on this. If you are TOP MILITARY BRASS do you want to share your power with the people and democratize things? This would mean giving up all your perks: money, title, military housing, and elite military academies for your kids to attend? Nah, you wouldn’t. Just think, if you were a partner at Goldman do you think you’d want to share your your wealth evenly with the rest of America and send your kids to public school? Nah, you wouldn’t. The only thing that can happen is that those not in power get together and revolt. They can’t do that as long as the military has the will and the ability to beat them down. Remember Gadaffi? Do you think all those rebels were really just invented by twitter and facebook like CNN likes to say? Nah, these guys have been pissed off for decades. They have a natural racial hatred for Gadaffi and his kind that goes back centuries. What happened? NATO! We took out his military with a bunch of missiles and that was the end of the power monopoly. End of dictator. We didn’t take out the military in Egypt and guess who is still in power? The top military brass. Same thing in Pakistan, same thing pretty much everywhere. So, unless someone is gonna take out N. Korea’s military they will slaughter any revolt the people put up. Status Quo remains.

We don’t see much of the N Koreans revolting and protesting. I’m not sure it’s simply because of fear or that they actually like their leadership. Apparently there was footage of people crying in the streets when he died? But the state controls everything… so it may just be more propaganda. Anyone Korean want to chime in?