N. Korea's government begins its collapse?
February 1, 2005 3:16 PM   Subscribe

The beginning of the end for Dear Leader? This Times (of London) report is filled with telling details.
posted by Tlogmer (44 comments total)

 
I thought you were refering to Bush. Some have begun to call Bush "Dear Leader".
posted by VP_Admin at 3:21 PM on February 1, 2005


How interesting, VP_Admin. You certainly aren't a fuckwit.

North Korea: Let Them Eat Yellowcake.
posted by Pretty_Generic at 3:25 PM on February 1, 2005


you're such a tease
posted by matteo at 3:26 PM on February 1, 2005


At least he isn't talking about mathowie.
posted by jokeefe at 3:26 PM on February 1, 2005


i will dance a jig if it turns out that fuck is on his way down. let's all hope that a govt that actually cares about its citizens replaces his.

that said, i wearily resign myself to the fact that the u.s. media and most red voters will give bush 100% credit for kim's downfall, should it occur.
posted by lord_wolf at 3:29 PM on February 1, 2005


A lot of this seems like the sort of wishful thinking we heard from Ahmed Chalabi and his crew prior to the Iraq war. There's little if anything in the way of hard evidence - we hear from a "Christian activist," some "exiles," and unnamed policymakers and diplomats. We hear rumors and "reports" that have "heightened the sense" that the regime is collapsing. Not coincidentally, the article refers to this poorly substantiated erosion of the regime's grip as something "that should give ammunition to conservatives in Washington who call for a hardline policy."
posted by stonerose at 3:30 PM on February 1, 2005


I would readily assassinate Kim Jong Il. Almost anything would be an improvement.
posted by Pretty_Generic at 3:30 PM on February 1, 2005


How interesting, VP_Admin. You certainly aren't a fuckwit.
...
posted by Pretty_Generic


Is that so?
posted by VP_Admin at 3:34 PM on February 1, 2005


While the article seems to rehash the frequent "the regime is falling, Kim is going down" meme that has been so prevalent since the spotlight was put on N. Korea, conventional news sources seem to be hinting that there does seem to be recent movement indicating Kim may step down. Considering that he's going to probably install one of his sons, I wouldn't hold out too much hope, lord_wolf. On the other hand, because it's probably going to be one of his sons, I don't think Bush will get much credit either, as it won't be a downfall but a succession.
posted by Bugbread at 3:36 PM on February 1, 2005


Is it so? No, it was sarcasm. It is not so. Rather, the reverse is so.

Pleasure doing business.
posted by Pretty_Generic at 3:37 PM on February 1, 2005


stonerose, I don't know that it's all neocon puffery...portraits of Kim Jong-Il were removed from some state buildings, as seen in photos released by the North Korean news agency last year.
posted by paul_smatatoes at 3:37 PM on February 1, 2005


This seems to be a weekly thread on Mefi. Which is fine by me. But, just remember that if the regime collapses, there will need to be a relief effort that makes the Tsunami campaign look like small-time help.
posted by ParisParamus at 3:38 PM on February 1, 2005


I've been insulted! I demand satisfaction!
posted by VP_Admin at 3:39 PM on February 1, 2005


there will need to be a relief effort that makes the Tsunami campaign look like small-time help.

Which is fine by me.

I demand satisfaction!

Which is fine by me.
posted by Pretty_Generic at 3:40 PM on February 1, 2005


I know what we can do about Kim Jong Il. We need to send Pretty_Generic, who has courageously volunteered to assassinate him.


I would readily assassinate Kim Jong Il. Almost anything would be an improvement.
posted by Pretty_Generic


Thank goodness we have such men among us. I'm feeling better about 'merka already!
posted by VP_Admin at 3:41 PM on February 1, 2005


I'm British. You're a microbe.
posted by Pretty_Generic at 3:43 PM on February 1, 2005


I'm British. You're a microbe.
posted by Pretty_Generic


Still, you're very brave for your willingness to liberate the North Koreans by assassinating Kim Jong Il. The world needs more men such as yourself.
posted by VP_Admin at 3:45 PM on February 1, 2005


Ta. Cup of tea?
posted by Pretty_Generic at 3:48 PM on February 1, 2005


Is there going to be a "collapse", or simply a transition of power to a military junta? If the generals take over, it might mean stabilization and entrenchment of the current system, even in the absence of the current figurehead.

Incidentally, it seems that the current internal problem that the N. Korean government is obsessed with is that of long hair.

Pretty_Generic and VP_Admin: Take it to email.
posted by mr_roboto at 3:49 PM on February 1, 2005


stonerose writes: "A lot of this seems like the sort of wishful thinking we heard from Ahmed Chalabi and his crew prior to the Iraq war. There's little if anything in the way of hard evidence...."

I bet we could invade them with just the US Air Force and a single Army Division to secure the ground!

But Don "Robert S." Rumsfeld outbid me.

He says we can do it with one aircraft carrier and a squad of Marines.

Something about the North Koreans throwing candy and flowers.

Don's shockingly awesome!!
posted by orthogonality at 3:51 PM on February 1, 2005


I know a guy with an authentic pair of muzzle-loading caplock duelling pistols, he might be willing to let you guys borrow them. High quality too! Real drilled-steel barrels, none of that Damascus crap. .62 caliber, I believe.
posted by zoogleplex at 3:53 PM on February 1, 2005


Pretty_Generic and VP_Admin: Take it to email.

I was going to suggest getting a room. I do love power-flirting when it hides behind masculine posturing.
posted by jokeefe at 4:02 PM on February 1, 2005


I believe if this happens, it's largely because of the film "Team America: World Police".

I also believe Stallone ended the Cold War with his movie "Rocky IV".
posted by First Post at 4:03 PM on February 1, 2005


I think I've been misunderstood. When I said "I demand satisfaction", I was merely coming onto Pretty_Generic, not challenging him to a duel.
posted by VP_Admin at 4:03 PM on February 1, 2005


Luckily I have MSci Dildonics. The kit's in the post. USB.
posted by Pretty_Generic at 4:07 PM on February 1, 2005


I always had the impression Kim was trying to modernize following the Chinese model, i.e., without losing control. So maybe we'll be worse off, rather than better off, without him. What do you think?
posted by atchafalaya at 4:11 PM on February 1, 2005


I always had the impression Kim was trying to modernize following the Chinese model

What gave you that impression, atchafalaya?
posted by Bugbread at 4:14 PM on February 1, 2005


see also
posted by shoepal at 4:28 PM on February 1, 2005


portraits of Kim Jong-Il were removed from some state buildings, as seen in photos released by the North Korean news agency last year.

I think this was back in December. I asked a friend who works in military intelligence for Asian countries (not as hush-hush as you'd think...at least what he could tell me), and he said it had all the earmarks of a well-publicized rumor. No one could verify it, but given the coup-like situation that everyone keeps reporting, it makes sense that it's a red herring put out by the coup leaders, apparently a military coup.
posted by zardoz at 4:32 PM on February 1, 2005


Well, he seemed to be headed that way with Clinton; I think the agreement was, you give up your nukes and we'll give you the power plants. Plus there were other moves toward normalization like family reunions, joint manufacturing ventures, tourism, etc., that I don't hear about much anymore.
Then, Bush et al came into office more or less saying the deal was off. This was then followed by a reported admission that they had resumed work on their nuke program. The way I see it, that's the only card they've got to play. So they play it.
posted by atchafalaya at 4:35 PM on February 1, 2005


Clinton trusted too much--the naive dick.
posted by ParisParamus at 4:49 PM on February 1, 2005


I’m worried about what happens if the situation deteriorates, just from continuing current trends or added pressure from sanctions. They’ve got a humongous arsenal, including probably several nukes, and will they use–or sell!–them if/when the elite begins facing the same food and basic resource deprivation as the masses? So far, the military rank and file aren’t facing the same starvation as the rest of their countrymen but that’s likely to change soon. One more nightmare to keep me awake nights.
posted by billsaysthis at 4:54 PM on February 1, 2005


What's trust got to do with it? What is that guy going to do with the bomb, anyway? It's a dead end. The only hope they've got is to get on the gravy train while it's still in the station. It's going to take decades to get them to the point where they can realistically support democracy.

I'd say the naive dick is the guy who thought threatening and bluster would get better results. And I'd say it's the result of either stupidity or a cold calculation about how it would play in Peoria.
posted by atchafalaya at 5:20 PM on February 1, 2005


I found the "Sunshine Policy" of the south Korean leader to be sane and intelligent. Kim Jong Il is bat-shit-crazy. I would take my cues from South Korea, who surely has a stake in managing their relationship with North Korea effectively.

Bush is in no position to judge anyone else's sanity. I'm not sure who scares me more, him or Kim Jong Il.
posted by VP_Admin at 5:30 PM on February 1, 2005


The problem with North Korea is not just the Dear Leader. It's an unstable totalitarian regime, a profoundly dysfunctional and desperate society. While the Dear Leader has fewer redeeming characteristics than, well, anyone I can think of, this is a dangerous time. It's pretty obvious that there is a power struggle of some kind. I am thinking this opposition probably has more in common with Stalin, than Dubcek.

And I don't see any effort on behalf of this U.S. administration to do anything.
posted by gesamtkunstwerk at 5:34 PM on February 1, 2005


I was merely coming onto Pretty_Generic

What a difference a missing space can make...
posted by kindall at 6:00 PM on February 1, 2005


"I found the "Sunshine Policy" of the south Korean leader to be sane and intelligent. Kim Jong Il is bat-shit-crazy. I would take my cues from South Korea, who surely has a stake in managing their relationship with North Korea effectively."
I thought the Sunshine Policy can be summed up as:

0) Decide you want to be a Nobel Peace laureate
1) covertly bribe the Kim Jong Il with US $100,000,000.00
2) Announce the sunshine policy, and ask NK for talks.
3) NK says they will talk to you
4) receive the 2000 Nobel Peace Prize

The policy was a big scandal in South Korea. Kim Dae-Jung lost a bunch of face (after rising to stardom with the peace prize)...
posted by bugmuncher at 6:37 PM on February 1, 2005


I think it was pragmatic and intelligent. Here's a possible take on that "scandal":

"Mr Kim and his supporters have made little effort to refute the allegations. Instead, they emphasise that the payment was justified to achieve the greatest breakthrough in cross-border relations for 50 years."

http://www.guardian.co.uk/elsewhere/journalist/story/0,7792,986680,00.html
posted by VP_Admin at 6:55 PM on February 1, 2005


Aw, you guys are bastards. He's just ronery. So ronery...
posted by graventy at 7:07 PM on February 1, 2005


Maybe someone should hook him up with that Dildonics stuff that Pretty_Generic has...

(ducks)
posted by zoogleplex at 7:25 PM on February 1, 2005


From the TimesOnline article: "On a freezing night when Rajin was sunk in gloom, its oil refineries empty, its power stations inert, one building stood ablaze with lights on the bleak seashore northeast of the city.

It was a casino, where slate-faced Chinese gamblers squandered thousands of dollars at the baccarat table while impassive guards scrutinised them for any hints of dodgy play."


"Studies have shown" that an omniscient tone without any clear indication of when something happened ("on a freezing night" -- which one?) to whom (was the writer there or did someone whisper this information in his ear from the next pillow?) indicate that what we are reading is probably fictitious bullshit. I'll believe life in North Korea sucks, but I don't believe Sheridan has any first-hand experience inside any surreptitious North Korean casinos. That it's hard to picture some Brit reporter being let into a secret secret-police gambling den makes me wonder which details are true, assuming it's not all lies.

If it's always been so hard to get information from that place how have some reporters known so much? Are we reading spies' reports perhaps, or spy fiction?

So. Are we being prepared for U.S. troops to "liberate" North Korea after Iran or before? Or is this, and probably the rumors about Iran, just a smokescreen to deflect us from their real plans elsewhere? (Is there anybody in Antarctica the U.S. could "bring democracy" to?)
posted by davy at 7:36 PM on February 1, 2005


But davy, it clearly states that the research for this article took place "over many months"!
posted by stonerose at 8:35 PM on February 1, 2005


I agree with stonerose and davy. This article isn't very well written. Including sentences like, "Yet even as it tries to fight off God it has made its peace with Mammon" really don't help, either. Journalism and preachiness are mutually inexclusive.
posted by baphomet at 11:10 AM on February 2, 2005


I was merely coming onto Pretty_Generic

What a difference a missing space can make...

kindall wins!
posted by Doohickie at 6:52 PM on February 2, 2005


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