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Bill Keller: End may be near for monstrous North Korean regime(the day after?)
Jakarta Globe ^ | 04/30/12 | BILL KELLER

Posted on 05/01/2012 6:22:17 AM PDT by TigerLikesRooster

Bill Keller: End may be near for monstrous North Korean regime

By BILL KELLER

The New York Times

Published: April 30th, 2012 04:49 PM Last Modified: April 30th, 2012 04:49 PM

The one thing everyone knows about North Korea is that we know very little about North Korea, except that it is miserable, totalitarian, nuclear and erratic. It is the hermit kingdom, the dark side of the moon.

But thanks to many thousands of refugees who have reached freedom by way of a long underground railroad through China, we know a lot more now about the grim reality. We understand better how the government sustains its dreadful power, and where that power could be faltering. Among people who follow the country closely, there is fresh discussion of whether this most durable of monster-states could be nearing its end days, and what we should do about it.

In recent weeks the news spotlight has focused on the 29-year-old novice tyrant Kim Jong Un, performing his family's time-tested repertoire of bellicose bluster. Like a lunatic waving an assault rifle as he dances on a high window ledge, Kim galvanizes our attention.

But the more interesting story is down below.

/snip

Because when North Korea goes, the Day After is likely to last 20 years.

(Excerpt) Read more at thejakartaglobe.com ...


TOPICS: Foreign Affairs; News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: aftermath; collapse; nkorea
Well, NK had already created a mess. In recent days, it also managed to figure out that it can use this situation to its advantage. Threat of unleashing the mess in all directions if it collapses could ward off pressure from its neighbors, according to its reasoning. This approach did manage to buy the regime some time. Temporarily.

Watching over this development is China. It has been making the futile effort to maintain the status quo, which is about to end. It will definitely try to control "the day after." The way it has been handling N. Korean problem does not exactly inspire confidence. It will try again to have it all by itself, pusing things too far. It will make a bigger mess, which bite it in the ass. It will consume too much of Chinese attention and resources in the end. The result is that it will overextend itself. China has outstanding domestic problems and potential clashes with many of its neighbors. The center won't hold if it is too obsessed with N. Korea. It is not the first time it happened to China. They had this problem in the past.

1 posted on 05/01/2012 6:22:24 AM PDT by TigerLikesRooster
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To: TigerLikesRooster; AmericanInTokyo; Steel Wolf; nuconvert; MizSterious; nw_arizona_granny; ...

P!


2 posted on 05/01/2012 6:24:10 AM PDT by TigerLikesRooster (The way to crush the bourgeois is to grind them between the millstones of taxation and inflation)
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To: TigerLikesRooster

Very little happens in NK without the PRC’s approval.


3 posted on 05/01/2012 6:24:20 AM PDT by Eric in the Ozarks
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To: TigerLikesRooster

I could possibly be cheered by this story, if it weren’t for the fact that Bill Keller hasn’t a shred of integrity or credibility.


4 posted on 05/01/2012 6:27:58 AM PDT by DGHoodini (Iran Azadi)
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To: TigerLikesRooster
The Kims followed Stalin's number one rule to keep power. (Paraphrase) Step on the masses with all of your weight and never give them a breath, lest they entertain rebellion...

Mike

5 posted on 05/01/2012 6:34:21 AM PDT by MichaelP (The ultimate result of shielding men from the effects of folly is to fill the world with fools ~HS)
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To: TigerLikesRooster

China likely has its agents and supporters spread throughout DPRK’s Army. When TSHTF, China will attempt to organize them into a Government.

Much will happen behind the scenes. What we will likely see from the distant vantage point in the West is announcement of a coup and a quick, bloody purge of the Kim regime.


6 posted on 05/01/2012 6:36:31 AM PDT by PGR88
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To: TigerLikesRooster

” It will try again to have it all by itself, pusing things too far. It will make a bigger mess, which bite it in the ass. It will consume too much of Chinese attention and resources in the end. The result is that it will overextend itself. “

Let’s hope so.


7 posted on 05/01/2012 6:36:37 AM PDT by nuconvert ( Khomeini promised change too // Hail, Chairman O)
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To: DGHoodini
Yeah, on a same league as Krugman. LOL. There are some folks who are a couple of steps ahead of him when it comes to N. Korea. They know smooth management of the aftermath is not possible. Bill Keller is still up there, dreaming that there could be some miracle deal with China on this issue. The progress in N. Korea is not from bad to good, but from ‘unfathomably hellish’ to ‘very disastrous.’
8 posted on 05/01/2012 6:37:40 AM PDT by TigerLikesRooster (The way to crush the bourgeois is to grind them between the millstones of taxation and inflation)
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To: PGR88

I suspect behind the scenes, China and South Korea have been talking about how to handle NoKo when the SHTF.


9 posted on 05/01/2012 6:38:40 AM PDT by dfwgator (Don't wake up in a roadside ditch. Get rid of Romney.)
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To: TigerLikesRooster

China has a lot of experience with this. Their methods have been effective historically. Kill anyone who causes any problems.


10 posted on 05/01/2012 6:42:04 AM PDT by driftdiver (I could eat it raw, but why do that when I have a fire.)
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To: Eric in the Ozarks

“Very little happens in NK without the PRC’s approval.”

Actually, North Korea is more like China’s crazy brother who won’t get a job.


11 posted on 05/01/2012 6:44:20 AM PDT by AppyPappy (If you really want to annoy someone, point out something obvious that they are trying hard to ignore)
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To: driftdiver
China's Achilles Heel is over-extension. There are cases where the center collapsed because it got bogged down in a protracted mess. Based on the current behavior of Chinese regime, I don't see them handling this in a “reasonable manner.”
12 posted on 05/01/2012 6:46:33 AM PDT by TigerLikesRooster (The way to crush the bourgeois is to grind them between the millstones of taxation and inflation)
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To: PGR88

For ONCE I’d love to see the FHTS!


13 posted on 05/01/2012 6:49:14 AM PDT by AmericanInTokyo (Study closely socialist Hugo Chavez' usage of 'popular masses' in the streets to thwart 1992 coup)
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To: TigerLikesRooster

I’d agree it won’t be reasonable. Lots of people will die. The only real question is whether the violence will bleed over into other countries. IMO it probably will. My inlaws in SK think it will also.

The chinese military seems to be making a move for more power across the board. Its almost as if the civilian govt has no control over the military.


14 posted on 05/01/2012 6:57:04 AM PDT by driftdiver (I could eat it raw, but why do that when I have a fire.)
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To: Eric in the Ozarks
Very little happens in NK without the PRC’s approval.

We constantly made the mistake in the Cold War of assuming that the Soviet Union controlled everything in China, North Korea, or Vietnam; it's clearly been shown by history that they didn't.

The North Koreans are pretty independent; the Chinese help them to desperately avert the regime collapsing and having millions of refugees come across the border.

15 posted on 05/01/2012 7:28:04 AM PDT by Strategerist
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To: TigerLikesRooster

NK will not become democratic any time soon, it will go to Chinese rule. The people of NK are so brainwashed and undereducated there is no way they could maintain a free government on their own. It’s sad to say, but Chinese rule is actually their best option until a generation can be raised up that can think for themselves.


16 posted on 05/01/2012 8:00:17 AM PDT by Marko413
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To: TigerLikesRooster
when China pulls the plug then they're done.Until then the military will build their missiles and the people will continue to eat the bark off the trees.
17 posted on 05/01/2012 8:09:44 AM PDT by Gay State Conservative (Unlike Mrs Obama,I've Been Proud Of This Country My *Entire* Life!)
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To: TigerLikesRooster

I just can’t take Keller seriously here.

His words remind me of other leftists who proudly celebrated the fall of the Berlin Wall, as if they had been stalwart anti-Communists all along, when the truth is that they had wholeheartedly supported the East German regime and all of its Socialist atrocities up to the very moment when it all collapsed, in the belief that the German Democratic Republic was superior in every way to the “corrupt” American system and Western values that they despised (and still do).

If the totalitarian, collectivist goals and actions that Keller has fervently championed ever triumph over traditional American ideals and freedoms, North Korea will serve as a good model of what will result.


18 posted on 05/01/2012 8:10:25 AM PDT by Zeppo ("Happy Pony is on - and I'm NOT missing Happy Pony")
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To: TigerLikesRooster
It explains how the regime has endured longer than any of its bestial prototypes: longer than Hitler, longer than Stalin, longer than Mao, longer than Pol Pot. The tools are enforced isolation, debilitating fear, dehumanizing hunger and utter dependence on the state.

Not unlike what Keller's NYT advocates for every. Damn. Day.

19 posted on 05/01/2012 8:15:40 AM PDT by martin_fierro (< |:)~)
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To: TigerLikesRooster

20 posted on 05/01/2012 8:21:05 AM PDT by martin_fierro (< |:)~)
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To: TigerLikesRooster
...spotlight has focused on the 29-year-old novice tyrant Kim Jong Un, performing his family's time-tested repertoire of bellicose bluster. Like a lunatic waving an assault rifle as he dances on a high window ledge, Kim galvanizes our attention.

I don't like the New York Times, but I love the way they write. When they're on, they're on....

21 posted on 05/01/2012 8:31:43 AM PDT by GOPJ (Had a Christian minister yelled at a bunch of gay students - the New York Times would have covered i)
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To: Strategerist

Without China, NK would starve.


22 posted on 05/01/2012 9:04:33 AM PDT by Eric in the Ozarks
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To: TigerLikesRooster
The North Koreans are pretty independent; the Chinese help them to desperately avert the regime collapsing and having millions of refugees come across the border.

Yes, that is the bottom line. It's like being locked up in a room with a guy holding a grenade, and you have a gun. Kill him and you both die. China would have to somehow get around or co-opt the Kim personality cult there before imposing its will on NK.

23 posted on 05/01/2012 9:13:33 AM PDT by expat1000
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To: dfwgator
I suspect behind the scenes, China and South Korea have been talking about how to handle NoKo when the SHTF.

I'd love to believe that this was true but in my experience governments tend to bounce from one crisis to the next without a lot of foresight.

24 posted on 05/01/2012 11:43:29 AM PDT by Straight Vermonter (Posting from deep behind the Maple Curtain)
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To: Strategerist; Eric in the Ozarks
15 posted on Tue May 01 2012 09:28:04 GMT-0500 (Central Daylight Time) by Strategerist: “We constantly made the mistake in the Cold War of assuming that the Soviet Union controlled everything in China, North Korea, or Vietnam; it's clearly been shown by history that they didn't. The North Koreans are pretty independent; the Chinese help them to desperately avert the regime collapsing and having millions of refugees come across the border.”

3 posted on Tue May 01 2012 08:24:20 GMT-0500 (Central Daylight Time) by Eric in the Ozarks: “Very little happens in NK without the PRC’s approval.”

If you changed that to “without Chinese acquiescence” I could agree, but it would be wrong to think that North Korea is micromanaged or even “macromanaged” out of Beijing. It's always hard to tell for sure what's happening in any pariah state, let alone something as extreme as North Korea, but Chinese leaders are claiming to be surprised by North Korea's missile provocations. If that really is true, it's likely Kim Jong Un’s way of making clear to both the Chinese and to his own military leaders that he doesn't take orders from China.

Let's never forget that the Kim dynasty, over the years, has learned that the way to survive is to defy even Stalin and Mao, let along their less-vicious and more-pragmatic successors, ignoring their offers of outside help in order to preserve North Korean independence and ability to say “no” to outsiders.

A further complication is that trying to make sense of North Korea requires understanding it in the category of an ancient Asian kingdom, not any modern category of dictatorship. It's really a dynasty supported by the military, much like Asian kingdoms had been for thousands of years before extensive contact with the West, while using the external trappings of Communism. It's quite possible that the Kim dynasty and the founders of North Korea actually believed in Communism, but regardless of what they believed ideologically, Communism turned into a very useful way for the Kim dynasty to assert its own control without having to deal with ancient Confucian scholarship traditions, the landed or bureaucratic aristocracy of the yangban class, or the “foreign influence” of Christianity which in the 1920s, 1930s, and early 1940s, competed with Communism as the major ideology animating the anti-Japanese nationalist elements in both northern and southern Korea.

China's tolerance presumably has limits, but the Kim dynasty has a self-interested motive in not being viewed by its military as being tributary vassals of the current Chinese government — not the least being that China has its own leadership problems at the moment. This is a country that has inherited thousands of years of xenophobic hatred of outsiders, and while China is the one exception to that rule — there are centuries of history between China (especially the Manchu Dynasty) and Korea — being viewed as independent and self-sufficient is not a mere overlay of ideology for North Koreans.

I think a good case could be made that independence and self-sufficiency are more important to the ruling class in North Korea than Communism was for the ruling classes of the old Soviet Union or China even in their Stalinist and Maoist heydays, and being seen as not dependent on outside help may very well be more important to those who have real power in North Korea than core American values of democracy are to those involved in American government.

How can China expect to run a country like that if it takes over? I don't know the answer. Mao and Stalin thought the Kim dynasty was the answer but it's become clear that the Kim dynasty wants to run itself in its own way. Xenophobia is a Korean reality that has existed for thousands of years, and without access to the outside world, most North Koreans don't know any different way of viewing things.

25 posted on 05/01/2012 9:45:14 PM PDT by darrellmaurina
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To: darrellmaurina
Kim Dynasty and its personality cult were created out of certain necessity. Kim Il-sung was not interested in joining the changing tide of the "communist world," let alone the rest of the world. When Khrushchev unleashed de-Stalinization, there was a same movement inside N. Korea. Kim's political opponents challenged his rule. Kim narrowly survived the power struggle. He purged all figures friendly to Soviet Union. Some N. Korean figures defected to Soviet Union and lived there for decades. While communist bloc(except China) relaxed its totalitarian grip, N. Korea responded by going the opposite direction. It even stopped cultural/human exchange with fellow communist countries. All N. Korean students studying in European communist countries were recalled and viewed as not trustworthy, because they could contaminate N. Korea. Kim Il-sung cannot tolerate deStalinized generic communism. Hence, Kim's admiration of Mao grew in comparison. Years later, Mao was gone and Deng changed the course of China. N. Korea again started to distance itself from China, tightening the inflow of information and personnel traffic. Still some years later, the whole E. European communist countries collapse in a short time span. N. Korea was in a shock, especially Kim Jong-il. They agonized over what lesson they can learn from it. Predictably, the answer is "to go in the opposite direction at full throttle."

N. Korea consistently bucked the trend in communist bloc for decades. It is the only country which was obsessed with preserving rule by personality cult. Hereditary succession has become indispensable. Even after death, Kim Il-sung's successor will renounce the Kim's supposed greatness. He wanted to be a grand idol in perpetuity. The only folks who can be trusted to carry out this job are his descendants.

It all started as one man's egomania who wanted to be exalted in his personality cult forever. Juche, self-reliance, is a strategy and ideology to ensure his untarnished greatness preserved. The legitimacy of his personality cult is earned from Juche. Juche should be put into action from time to time, to keep it fresh and alive. That is why N. Korean regime needs periodic provocations or some outrageous political maneuvers. To show that NK's godly great leader is indeed great, which justifies his status.

However, it has run its course. It will bite the dust, leaving behind a gruesome mess, which people around the world ponder over for many years to come.

26 posted on 05/02/2012 4:33:34 AM PDT by TigerLikesRooster (The way to crush the bourgeois is to grind them between the millstones of taxation and inflation)
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To: TigerLikesRooster

N. Korea is an unique country which faced the same situations with the rest of communist world but learned the exactly opposite lessons from it time and again.


27 posted on 05/02/2012 4:43:12 AM PDT by TigerLikesRooster (The way to crush the bourgeois is to grind them between the millstones of taxation and inflation)
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To: TigerLikesRooster
You wrote: “When Khrushchev unleashed de-Stalinization, there was a same movement inside N. Korea. Kim's political opponents challenged his rule. Kim narrowly survived the power struggle. He purged all figures friendly to Soviet Union. Some N. Korean figures defected to Soviet Union and lived there for decades.”

Out of curiosity, do you know the history of Vladimir Kim of Kazakhstan, and the other Koreans who run the much of the oil and mining industry in Central Asia?

http://www.forbes.com/lists/2007/10/07billionaires_Vladimir-Kim_MWC1.html

I know a bit of the history of the Koreans who had been Japanese laborers in the southern half of Sakhalin Island who were kept there after World War II when the Soviet Union took control of the entire island, but I don't know the details of the Korean settlement of Soviet Central Asia and I'm wondering if these North Korean defectors were in that group.

28 posted on 05/02/2012 7:31:35 AM PDT by darrellmaurina
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To: TigerLikesRooster

Thanks for the insight.


29 posted on 05/02/2012 3:38:05 PM PDT by Sawdring
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