Monday, May 25, 2009

Ah North Korea, Never Dull

I have not yet finished telling my stories about China which means I should get on that soon. But I've been distracted for the moment by North Korea and all their foolishness.
Stupid nuclear bombs.

It’s been nutty. There is all sorts of speculation on what is going on in Dear Leaders regime. Granted mostly in South Korea life goes on as usual and few are even thinking about it. I actually gave it little notice until last night when I got a letter from the American Embassy. That’s a first.

In 2006 they launched a bunch of missiles into the ocean between Korean and Japan. Those were good times. Later, in October, they tested their first nuclear missile underground. I stocked up on water and Ramen. My co-teachers thought I was crazy. Turns out they were right. There was really nothing to worry about.

This was followed by two years of supposed disarmament.

And suddenly, earlier this year North Korea went batshit again. We had the April missile launch and now a nuclear test. So everyone is asking why.

The theory I’m going with and the one that seems the most likely is that Kim Jong Il is on the way out and there is not direct line of succession. During a North Korean election a few months ago his son was running for the parliament. It’s pretty much a lock seat as anyone that is supposed to be elected will be elected to a seat. This is not a democracy in North Korea. However Kim’s son was not one of the ones to be elected. Which means his life in politics is effectively over.

Worst case scenario is that a puppet Kim has been paraded around since mid-2007. I say puppet as, if you like conspiracy theories, there is a possibility they could have a Kim body double standing in for him in the few rare public appearances that have been made in the last few months. Should that be the case it means the general’s are running North Korea.

When I think about that I can’t help but to think about General Jack D. Ripper saying:

(quoting Clemenceau) He said “war was too important to be left to the generals.” When he said that, 50 years ago, he might have been right. But today, war is too important to be left to politicians. They have neither the time, the training, nor the inclination for strategic thought.

Thinking about that, does not make me comfortable.

From the Embassy I’ve got little but cold comfort as well. The short email, barely managing to be three paragraphs can be boiled down to the following: Update your evacuation plans and be prepared.

The joys of living abroad.


The Kandles said...

Thanks Sara, hoping for the best outcome for N&S Korea. And you.

Saradevil said...

We should be alright over here, but honestly it's a little more sketchy than usual. I refuse, however, to start worrying until the Koreans start worrying.

GeologyJoe said...

i feel like i'm getting inside information from a spy.
keep it coming because i'm sure we are not getting the same stories in the US.