Skip to comments.N. Korea's rejection of foreign delegations raises questions about stability
Posted on 12/20/2011 11:24:01 AM PST by gandalftb
North Korea's decision to not welcome foreign delegations to the funeral of former leader Kim Jong-il has some analysts in South Korea speculating about instability in the North, with the abrupt death of Kim heightening the uncertainty surrounding his untested heir-apparent.
North Korea declared a 13-day mourning period through Dec. 29 from the day of Kim's death on Saturday, while stating it will not accept foreign delegations at a state funeral set for Dec. 28 in Pyongyang. No entertainment will be allowed during the mourning period.
(Excerpt) Read more at english.yonhapnews.co.kr ...
Doing so would offer the new leader Kim Jung-un a golden opportunity to meet with allies and establish opportunities for future cooperation and support and arms sales.
It would also offer foreign delegations access to second and third tier, etc. NK leadership. That could be seen as threatening to Kim Jung-un and is likely the reason for the ban on all foreigners.
China has formally accepted Kim Jung-un as the new leader.
NK troops on exercise have all been recalled to their barracks, another odd move, that means that ammunition and weapons are confined to the armories.
I recall reports back in 1994 that many hardliners were opposed to Kim Jong-il's succession because Kim Il-sung had promised that there would be no dynastic succession. Now we are into the third generation dynasty and many hardliners remain. They cannot be happy, particularly about a 27 year old hedonistic novice running a deeply troubled country with a restless military.
BTW, Kim Jong-un appears to have been born on either January 1 or January 8, 1984, making him 27 now. The NK Supreme People's Assembly just passed a law making January 1 a national holiday as his birthday.
Interesting post. Thank you for sharing it.
” They cannot be happy, particularly about a 27 year old hedonistic novice running a deeply troubled country with a restless military. “
And at least some demonstrated Nuclear Weapons capability...
(Don’t feel bad - nobody else is talking about it, either...)
Is it possible given their financial state and trade isolation that they might not have the resources to pull of a state funeral and deal with hundreds of foreign dignitaries at one time successfully? We all know they are a hollow shell putting on a false front of success and power. That shell could be too thin to take the strain of a grand event without months of prior planning and accumulating supplies.
It should also be considered:
In 1994 Kim Il-sung died. It took 3 years for Kim Jong-il to take the titles of General Secretary of the Workers’ Party in 1997, and Chairman of the National Defence Commission in 1998which was then declared to be “the highest post of the state”.
Only last month did Kim Jong-il require all NK foreign embassy staff to pledge loyalty to Kim Jung-un, another odd and paranoid move. Or maybe not so paranoid, Kim Jon-il’s fears may have some basis.
Doesn’t seem that odd esp when 99% of the delegation will be some sort of intelligence operative. Who will miss Kim? I think no one. Why else would someone want to go to NK for reasons other than intelligence gathering.
It’s apparently not become clear to the jackasses who consider themselves our ‘leaders’ that North Korea is one fuc-ed up rotten little speck of dirt.
NK should have been blown off the map a long time ago doing the poor starved citizens a large favor!
The pathetic US State Department,upon the election of a new administration, needs to be completely gutted and restaffed with normal human beings instead of a gaggle of homosexuals and socialists.
NK has its friends, particularly the Chinese, but it is a short list. Funerals are prime opportunity for a “coronation” of the new leader by the outside world, that goes to greatly legitimizing the new regime.
I have never heard of a dictator succession anywhere, anytime that excluded allies, very odd.
I believe the new leadership is in play.
Any foreign rep who could have attended would have drawn the short straw.
“99% of the delegation will be some sort of intelligence operative”
Good point, that would be expected. However, the Chinese already are already deeply positioned to gather intel from NK from its highest ranks. The Chinese could have sent high level trade and defense ministers to reassure the new leader.
BTW, Kim Jong-un secretly traveled to China/Manchuria three months ago, alone to establish relationships there. The Chinese vigorously denied it and later admitted it. I recall that trip and the high security, worries of sabotage, double trains, etc. It was first thought that Kim Jong-il was on board and only later that it was Kim Jong-un.
I have little doubt that Jong-Un is probably a figurehead. The question is.... for the military or for his aunt?
#5- good point
He is a 4-star General without ever serving a day in the armed forces. lol. I am sure that gets a lot of respect there. heh
On the civilian level, there are people insisting on attending the funeral despite N. Korean stance: widow of Kim Dae-jung, chairwoman of Hyundai Asan, and people from Roh Mu-hyun Foundation. No surprise in this line-up. They are so predictable in their pro-North leanings. SK gov. said the first two can go if they wish (and NK relents and accept them.) However, they refused permission for the third. These folks are not spy material for S. Korea. If they are indeed spies, they would be working for NK regime, not SK gov. It remains to be seen if NK regime make exception for them, which is possible. They can manage small number of certifiably loyal foreigners.
What! No singing, no dancing, no drinking, no laughing. Well, I did not want to go anyway.
Nothing would surprise me at this point. The Kims have some extended family with deep ties to old hard-liners. It would take very little for the Kims to get behind a military strong man and force a coup.
You make a good point, why wouldn’t NK allow its closest friends to show up and kowtow and swear loyalty?
How stupid and cheap of them. January 1 is already a national holiday in North Korea. At least they could have the decency to the workers, to the 99%, to make the holiday on 2 January to make it a double vacation streak. But then, anyone in the Korean Workers Party to suggest that would probably be sent to Camp #14, along with their entire family.
I have footage from Japanese TV shot by surreptitious camera, at Dandong along the North Korean border with China on the Chinese side, showing increased Chinese border guard presence, invariably to stop refugees seeing their chance, in an effort to return them to DPRK whereupon they would surely be torture, executed and maybe even their organs taken out for reselling. This footage aired last night on Japanese TV here. Another thing. There is a large contingent of Third World and even Brit, Canadian, French and Australian embassies in Pyongyang. To my knowledge their phone lines are still up. Will they be temporarily expelled? Will they be told to stay in their embassies? What if one of them expresses a desire to either attend the funeral of Kim Jong il at the Ambassadorial level or to go to a memorial set up for him to lay a wreath (such as could be expected from Venezuela and Cuba) and particularly China and Russia. This is weird. Merits close watching.
I can see junior having a “hunting accident” very soon...these people are like 10th century European Nobility, the king dies and all the barons start plotting.
You’d think meeting these military men (who allegiances aside have risen through the military or at least served), that he would feel a bit embarrassed to hold military ranks like this.
For a person to be unable to feel the emotions of humility, shame and embarrassment will only ever lead to disaster, and this is always a key component of the rise of any dictator.....as well as the fall!
The only emotions this guys probably understands is...
You are correct. I saw a report that 2,000 guards were sent to the NK border yesterday.
The Chinese are worried that if there is a leadership confusion, many NKs will make a run for the border.
Rumor has it that Kim Jong-uns uncle, Jang Song Thaek, will rule behind the scenes.
They likely view it as humiliating that their dear leader died before he could finish planning a formal transfer of power,if there was going to be a military coup.....the foreigners would have been invited in,as a show of strength by the ruling faction.
That their keeping this in-house,shows it is not a house divided against itself.
Communism in its purest form. An entire starving nation run by a 20 something with almost no life experience.
And apparently they are all fine with that.
That appears to be the case, yes. Tense border, but very quiet right now. Hordes of North Koreans in Chinese border towns being ordered to return back to North Korea. Many going with flowers and then across the bridge from Dandong, China to the other side. Pyongyang run restaurants closed down for a number of days, in mourning.
I like your tagline, he may have been assassinated.
After his stroke 2 years ago, he has been weakening and this was no surprise.
The Kim family is firmly in charge of NK anyway they want it done.
“Rumor has it that Kim Jong-uns uncle, Jang Song Thaek, will rule behind the scenes.”
Reuters is confirming:
“Jang Song-thaek, 65, brother-in-law of Kim Jong-il and the younger Kim’s uncle, is seen as the power behind the throne along with his wife Kim Kyong-hui, Kim Jong-il’s sister. So too is Ri Yong-ho, the rising star of the North’s military and currently its seniormost general.”
Not terribly surprising. He’s too young and spent too much time abroad to have formed coalitions for immediate seizure of power.
Considering the age structure, just pick the 3 youngsters: http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/news/2822160/posts?page=666#666
I saw a report last night that showed a photo of Jung il on an escalator with his entourage behind him, the 1st person behind him was his sister and behind her was Jung un and then behind was his sister’s husband.
I don’t think she & her husband want jr running the show....ever.
Kim Jung-il has a remarkable resemblance to Kim Il-sung and the Kim family may want him for a figurehead to the NK public, PR puposes, ribbon-cutting, etc.
possibly, but I don’t think they can have it both ways for long.
Agreed, odd that the Chinese were so quick to recognize Kim Jong-un, I thought they would wait until after the funeral.
The Chinese are looking for stability and don’t want a flood of refugees. Most NKs know about the better life in China and would bail if they could.
8 border guards made a run for it last week, the NKs shot two dead. It’s a very unstable game in NK. Right after the Cheonyang incident there were a number of the command staff that were purged. I think the incident was used as a way of testing loyalty for a future purge.
NK is easily the most unstable nuclear power in the world and I think we should all be ready to plug our ears when they melt down.
Thank you gandalftb for the update and ping.