Skip to comments.Bill Keller: End may be near for monstrous North Korean regime(the day after?)
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.
Because when North Korea goes, the Day After is likely to last 20 years.
(Excerpt) Read more at thejakartaglobe.com ...
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.
Very little happens in NK without the PRC’s approval.
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.
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.
” 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.
I suspect behind the scenes, China and South Korea have been talking about how to handle NoKo when the SHTF.
China has a lot of experience with this. Their methods have been effective historically. Kill anyone who causes any problems.
“Very little happens in NK without the PRCs approval.”
Actually, North Korea is more like China’s crazy brother who won’t get a job.
For ONCE I’d love to see the FHTS!
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.
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.
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.
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.
Not unlike what Keller's NYT advocates for every. Damn. Day.
I don't like the New York Times, but I love the way they write. When they're on, they're on....
Without China, NK would starve.
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.
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.
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 PRCs 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.
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.
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.
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?
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.
Thanks for the insight.