I don’t know anything about history, politics or the world at large, so before reading this post please bare in mind that anything I say will be shoddy at best and ludicrous at worst. I’ve never been to North Korea, and neither have you. It sounds crap though.
Anyway, Kim Jong Il died of a dicky ticker on a train the other day, and so I read some countries’ official responses, just to see how foreigners got on with the news. The differences were predictable I suppose if you know anything about world relations. I don’t. Do you? Other oppressed countries or communist countries said things like:
“Burma will convey its condolences over the demise of North Korean leader Kim Jong-Il”
Fair enough, you got to play nice with your buddies. On the other hand, non-communist countries in the vicinity seemed a little more jumpy about the news, Japan: the Prime Minister instructed them to be “best prepared in case of any unexpected development.” Translation – “Uh oh… what’s gonna happen now??”
Countries far enough away not to be concerned with any political upheaveal said things like:
Canada: “”Kim Jong-il will be remembered as the leader of a totalitarian regime who violated the basic rights of the North Korean people for nearly two decades. We hope his passing brings positive change allowing the people of North Korea to emerge from six decades of isolation, oppression and misery.” No beating around the bush there, another country not beating around the Bush (the USA) publicised a word from their chairman of the subcommittee on East Asia in the House of Representatives:
“Kim Jong-Il was the epitome of evil, a dictator of the worst kind who ruled his country with an iron fist and dished out constant pain and misery to his people.” No mincing round there…. please don’t try and have a scrap though Mr America, we’ll all end up as dust. They’re mad over there.
Countries who are a little slimier and more measured said things like:
Britain’s William Hague: “The people of N Korea are in official mourning after the death of Kim Jong Il. We understand this is a difficult time for them. This could be a turning point for North Korea. We hope that their new leadership will recognize that engagement with the international community offers the best prospect of improving the lives of ordinary North Korean people. We encourage North Korea to work for peace and security in the region and take the steps necessary to allow the resumption of the Six Party Talks on denuclearisation of the Korean Peninsula.” – softly, softly catchy nothing… but also don’t get exploded up by firey nuggets of nuclear goo.
So what will it all mean? Only time will tell, but we have been left in his youngest son’s capable yet mysterious hands…. hmmmm.. so here is what I’ve found out about Kim Jong-Un…
He was born Kim Jong-woon which I reckon sounds much fresher than “un” but it was not my choice, I wasn’t even asked. He was born in ’83 or ’84, it’s not confirmed, which is odd, but that makes him just 27ish. A whipper snapper, does that mean he will be easily influenced by the older heads around him or will he be a bolshy petulant dipstick stamping his mark with blood all over the hills and villages of an already struggling nation? Or neither of the above.
One thing that I thought may be a positive thing is that, under a pseudonym, he went to an English language school in Switzerland (possibly because the Swiss have always been neutral about Korea’s less than great human rights shizzle) and while there was described as shy by class mates. On a negative bent he was also very competitive. Uh oh… a meat head sports knob per chance?
It’s strange that his youngest son took to the throne, here is the reasoning: His eldest half-brother, Kim Jong-nam, had been the favorite to take over from Daddy, but apparently got black balled after 2001, when he was sprung attempting to enter Japan on a dodgy Dominican Republic passport to visit Tokyo Disneyland. He ended up getting detained in China and Daddy was more than a litle embaressed. Ferris Beuler eat your trousers out. Shame that guy didn’t make it. As for the other brother… according to a chef that was close to the action his elder brother, Kim Jong-chul is too feminine in character, while Jong-un is “exactly like his father” – Uh oh….. the chef goes on to say “If power is to be handed over then Jong-un is the best for it. He has superb physical gifts, is a big drinker and never admits defeat.” – Double uh-oh…… Kim Jong-chul was also reportedly spotted in Singapore on 14 February 2011, where he was attending an Eric Clapton concert. In my humble opinion both Cul and Nam seem a lot more fun than old sporty boy Un.