Post by SolomonW Post by Rhino Post by SolomonW Post by Rhino
Here's one that's ripped straight from the headlines: suppose Kim Jung
Un is arrested by the South Koreans the moment he steps into South Korea
to meet the South Korean president for peace talks. The charge: crimes
against the Korean people.
What happens next? Do America and/or Japan press the South Koreans to
release Kim? Or were they behind the arrest? What do the South Koreans
do next? What do the North Koreans do? What would China, the only major
ally of the North Koreans do?
It would be a major blow to the leadership of North Korea because his
sister was with him.
I imagine the average North Korean would be jubilant that he was gone
and terrified that he would be released.
I doubt that they have been feed nonsense that he and hid family are God
figure for 60 years.
This. Personally I suspect that the result would be an immediate
resumption of the war. Especially if Kim Jung Un got shot in the
crossfire, because there's no way the North Korean guards would NOT
respond by shooting as soon as they saw the South Koreans try to arrest
or detain him.
Who would lead the war on the North Korean side with Kim Jung Un dead or
captured? Surely not Kim Jung Un!
The North Koreans have a substantial military but who would be in charge
in their leader's absence? While there may be a formal command structure
that says who makes decisions in Kim's absence, he would also have been
very careful about not letting any potential rivals have power. But the
problem is that anyone having power is automatically a potential rival!
Somehow, Kim has to balance the need to have competent people -
virtually all men in North Korea - at the top levels of his government
and military but he also has to make sure that they are unswervingly
loyal to him too and will not even THINK about using the forces at their
command to cut him out of power and put themselves at the top of the
pyramid or - heaven forbid - establish a democracy so that people can
choose their own leaders.
Remember that Kim has executed members of his own family, including a
half-brother and an uncle, when he found them insufficiently loyal or
somehow a risk to his power. So who does he actually TRUST to be in
charge when he's away?
I'm betting that he doesn't fully trust ANYONE and keeps them all on
very short leashes, surrounded by informers and under constant
surveillance to make sure they aren't up to something that undermines
Then again, he's obviously made two foreign trips now - one to China a
few weeks back and the more recent one to Panmunjon - so he must trust
*someone*, at least for a day or two.
Still, I have to imagine he is very uneasy about not being in Pyongyang
overseeing everything personally. I'll bet that some small (or maybe
large) part of him worries that someone will take advantage of his
absence to improve their own position, potentially to the point of
taking over. And that would certainly undermine the North Korean command
structure and the military in terms of re-starting the war. I wouldn't
be terribly surprised if at least a few generals make the ancient
realization that the cat's away so now the mice can play. Some may dare
to think that this is a golden opportunity to take over themselves,
either to perpetuate the existing system but with themselves in charge
or possibly even to overthrow the system. After all, these people all
live in perpetual fear of their own lives at the whim of their mercurial
dictators so I have to believe that in some interior corner of their
minds, they relish the thought of being free of the whole oppressive
system hanging over their heads....