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I just hope that Kimmy the Third isn't going to try and 'prove' himself by doing something stupid
ever said anything vaguely intelligent in relation to North Korea?
Thought this was a joke thread
and are running silly filler stories. CNN have complete coverage...
but there's a lot of news out there, you know?
we shouldn't make fun of dwarfish film nerd dictators. it's totally not funny or cool.
you're asking for intelligent and reasoned discussion in a thread created by someone called "scrotum".
doesn't reflect on me in 2011
There was that guy who visited North Korea a few years back.
that is what really killed him
another world leader has gone in what is surely the most newsworthy year (globally) since 1989/1991. Of course bequeathing the position of power to his 20something year old son, who until last year was not even first in line of succession, is a worry. Id hope this will be like a sci-fi movie where everyone wakes up from the evil trance put upon them but in reality those closest to Jong-il will harness the reigns of power and continue his repressive regime. Which is a terrible shame.
However, the imminent threat of a tactical nuclear strike on Seoul is, in the short term at least, severely diminished, so this might be a prime time for the West / South Korea to intervene and put an end to the suffering and cult of personality that has loomed large in NK for decades. But the situation is temperamental and with a rigorously trained army that, I'm guessing, dwarfs South Korea, that might be ill advised
already reports are filtering through of slave camps for Russian women 'used' by those high up in the regime. grim.
That was possibly in bad taste :-/
Both the worry and the opportunity comes from the fact that the North Korean authorities may be divided and, despite the nominated successor, it's extremely conceivable there may be in-fighting for power.
The problem is that may lead to the whole thing to collapse or may lead to Kim Jong-un, or someone else, either creating an external distraction or doing some pretty brutal things to enforce a grip on power, Things may be about to get better or may get a lot worse. So many unknowns.
I wouldn't be surprised if this /actually/ happened months ago, and they've been slowly grooming the son in the public eye to ensure a smooth transition.
There was a rumour of bad health for quite a while. He would not have been seen that much due to the fact that he would have physically looked weak, which is no use when trying to promote an image of godliness.
If Kim Jong-Un manages to hold onto power I'll be amazed - chances are there will be some kind of military coup with Jong-Un as the public face at best.
For a long time intelligence reports have been hinting that some very senior generals in the regime have wanted to strike out at the South. The country is at the absolute edge - its only major exports are forged documents and cash, and the military takes up most of the GDP that Jong-Il wasn't using for his personal stash. The northern generals might see now as the last chance they'll have to strike, even if it's only to take the South down with them.
I'd be shitting myself if I was in Seoul right now.
Kim Jong-Un sounds like he was named when a soul singer came to sing a song about his da.
Rory McIlroy, Luke Donald et al can breathe a little easier now.
More seriously, while it's quite right that this is dominating the headlines given the potential global impact, a shame that this will overshadow the death of Vaclav Havel, a man whose achievements made him a genuine 20th century hero.
will have any influence on the regime. That said, got a feeling that even if he wanted to liberalise the DPRK, the military wouldn't let him. In any event, the South Korean and Chinese governments must be pretty anxious now. For them, maintaining the status quo might well be the least bad option - obviously war would be catastrophic, but the collapse of the regime would lead to an influx of refugees neither country could deal with.
Come on senescence, make this a Christmas to REALLY remember.
Will be very angry if this means I can't go. This is just like Kim Jong Il. Why does he always have to ruin EVERYTHING?
I imagine they'll be extra keen to get tourists in for a while so they can try even harder to pretend like the whole country isn't going to shit.
You might get lucky, even, and be the first to see a new monument of some kind. Though in my experience there isn't exactly a shortage of monuments.
Sky News are coming to my office to interview my manager!
The one I linked you to for the tour I'm going on.
Wow. In that case, make the most of those contacts.
My friend who runs a North Korean news site says he's been told by a source that there's going to be 100 days of mourning, during which no tourists will be allowed into the country.
That means up until early April, I think.
'the new dear leader likes to look at things, too. updated every so often as the lil'est Kim starts to get out more.'
L O L
I can't decide whether he looks podgy and harmless or like he's going to eat you.
He looks like he's just let one go. What a joker.
good actors or brainwashed?
You have to show despair otherwise you might get reported to the secret police, but there's a strong sense that most people are faking it because they think everyone else is genuine and they don't want to stand out.
everyone in NK suddenly deprogrammed and without a purpose. mass suicides. frightening.
The propaganda of the DPRK is so utterly total that you have to essentially give adults a crash course in how the world works. It's not just things like 'how to open a bank account', it's teaching the concept of what a bank is in the first place.
Then, after the short course is over, they're shoved out into the streets with a few thousands dollars from the government, often right into the hands of gangsters who know that northerners are easy to scam. They become alcoholics, or suffer depression. Some even flee back to the North, preferring the devil they know.
I don't think it's too ridiculous to point at a film like The Day After Tomorrow - with millions of Americans suddenly swarming across Mexico as refugees - and say it's not unlike what could happen if the DPRK regime were to suddenly collapse. It's not like the German situation - the gap between North and South is economically four times larger, and population-wise ten times larger, than between East and West. Furthermore, the ideological damage of the northern regime is far more complete than that of East Germany.
Again, if I was in Seoul, I'd be shitting myself right now.
I'm not well enough informed in this area. Why would you be shitting yourself if you were in Seoul, in particular? Is it because people possibly fleeing NK would go there, since it's the capital and in the north? Or as in that Seoul is most susceptible to a possible attack?
But Seoul is very close to the DMZ anyway, and if the North decided to send the rockets over they're lucky that they've got the centre of the southern economy a short stone's throw away (almost literally).
I know nothing about Korean politics, I do know I once got a very cheap plasma screen shipped from SK when they were all the rage. I just wanted to say hi to medulla.
Going home for christmas? Think there needs to be a Glasgow MEAt soon.
I'll be back in the UK in December 2012. A festive DiS meet up can be had then.
Merry Christmas to you. x
and done something in preparation for this?
But there's not exactly a rulebook on how to deal with 24 million refugees who have effectively been living as medieval serfs their entire lives.
this is incredible. how can this...how can this happen?
one of them is literally just going "woooooooooooooooooo"
It will be interesting to see how the country reacts to his death. The fact that Kim Jong Un was thought in Europe might be a factor to how the country will be run, but it is likely that the systems in place will stay the same.
would be able to feed it's own people.
North Korea is basically Albania under Hoxha, but with Nukes and WMD's
but it is probably their poor economics that are stopping them from being a fully recognised power, their military power is quite substantial.
The DPRK might have 1.1m soldiers but they can't afford socks for any of them, their weapons are late-60s technology at best, and morale is extremely low. And whilst they might have nukes, they don't have any kind of effective missile delivery system for them - they can bombard Seoul with old-fashioned rockets, but not anything like a nuclear bomb.
The South would win any war, without any doubt. The only question is how many thousands or millions the North would be able to take out before crumbling.
China is always doing a balancing act with North Korea. In its current state it's a buffer between itself and lots of American soldiers, and has a lot of strategic value. There's the headache of the regime deciding to fire missiles or whatever every now and again, but usually China can get them to stop fucking about if they want. Refugees are also an issue at the moment, but firm policing seems to keep too many North Koreans from risking a swim across the lightly-guarded Yalu or Tumen Rivers. So China funds North Korea just enough to keep it ticking over without leading to a full-blown humanitarian issue that it might have to deal with directly.
The other consideration, though, is that South Korea is a huge economy these days, and the benefits of direct trade routes (by rail and road) are enormous. If the North just stormed across the DMZ, and a full war broke out, I would hope that China would realise that it would then be a choice between a) a huge and expensive conflict that nobody really wants, or b) slapping down North Korea in some way (occupying it, perhaps, or merely organising a coup) and accepting that their buffer state is going to have to accept defeat. It would be out of their hands, in a way, and I hope they choose the second option.
or I II OR III
it appears that the launch was in the morning, before they had announced the death to the n korean populace.
with equal bemusement in North Korea. Actually, they probably don't have TVs and it didn't make their news. But the point remains.
what a silly thing to say
The pictures sent around the world after 'The Princess of Hearts' died would have made the country looked like it was collapsing and everyone was laying down to throw themselves on a fire in some kind of altruistic act. Much the same as the (much more staged and controlled) pictures of the North Korean streets.
was our best known news medium internationally.
otherwise people probably think she is the eternal princess.
For the average North Korean Kim Jong-Il, like Kim Il-Sung, was their god. It's beyond being sad at the death of a princess for the tragedy of it - when you spend your entire life being told that the Dear Leader is all that protects you and your nation and your race from the outside world, that he can control the weather and hit a ridiculous golf score, then you believe it because you don't know any different. And when he dies you honestly will think that the nation itself has lost a part of its soul, that you yourself have lose some of your soul.
Combine that with the fact that there are three separate secret police organisations, all tasked with watching each other and the general population for signs of deviancy, then it's absolutely not a surprise that you get such huge outpourings of grief. Even if you don't believe, you have to make sure you pretend like you do. Not so much 'staged' as 'self-preservation'.
not the whole framework that they exist in? If he was then LOL WTF WAT A DORK GTFO LOOOSER
There were people openly weeping in the streets, they chucked so many flowers off motorway bridges onto her coffin they had to keep stopping to remove them. People were jeering and booing when Buckingham Palace dared not put the Union Jack at half mast. They closed the country down for a day. But really, most people didn't care that much but that isn't quite so interesting news. Pretty similar scenario really.
I did get his Guide To Cinema, though.
It's fucking awful.
Nothing to envy
Aquariums of Pyongyang
under the loving care of our fatherly leaader
It explains the ideological structure of the North Korean state in full, and unlike other books on the country actually uses primary sources and not hear say and rumour. It's academic, but very readable. It explains that the key to understand NK is not that it is a communist, or even Stalinist, state, but is actually a strange hybrid of ideologies (the fascism of Imperial Japan, the bureaucracy of the USSR, Confucian hierarchies) underpinned by Korean ideas of racial purity and superiority. Reading it made understanding the news from that part of the world far easier.
Nothing To Envy is probably the most powerful of the testimonial books, but I'd be wary of trusting it for actual facts on the ground in the country now. A lot of what it describes is from the late 90s/early 00s famine, when things were (amazingly) worse than they are now. The people in the book often have an active incentive to exaggerate things, too, and it's written in a very colourful style that makes me suspicious. But, it is powerful, and as long as you keep a little bit sceptical, then I think it's a good way of getting inside the mindset of someone raised under that environment.
it's pretty incredible to think that, if the reported figures of between 1 and 2m deaths during those famines is true, that's 4%-8% of the country's current population. or the equivalent of 2.5-5m deaths here.
Such evil, evil people.
Obviously not in quantitative terms.
Stalin's regime was responsible for an awful lot of Russian deaths.
That's what I meant by 'murderous to its own population'.
yeah same here
The bit about the noodle shop owner, jesus fucking christ. Wish it had said more about how Korea ended up that way- noticeably glosses over the US's involvement and South Korea's own problems. But as far as the North is concerned- what I find scary is that it's impossible to know what to believe about it. Every account you read about it is so horrible and so surreal you don't know how much credence to give it. It literally is like an alien world on our own planet.
looks like some kind of slug-creature.