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Old 2008-09-09, 16:39   Link #1
zSolaris
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North Korea's 60th Anniversary

North Korea celebrated it's 60th Birthday today.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/asia-pacific/7605615.stm


Now, as a Korean, I find this appalling that this nation still exists in this day in age and that it is allowed to continue to oppress my blood brethren. But, I won't go into that as I don't have the time to do so.


As can be seen in the article, Kim Jong Il is missing from the ceremonies (which rarely happens) and it is presumed that he has suffered from a stroke. Well, I hope that is the case and that Kim Jong Il won't have a stretched out regime like Fidel Castro did.
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Old 2008-09-09, 17:32   Link #2
Terrestrial Dream
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Good and I hope that this sob dies. If he does really die I hope that there will be some progress, and really North Korea has no choice but to progress as the country needs foreign aid to survive.
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Old 2008-09-09, 17:39   Link #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zSolaris View Post
As can be seen in the article, Kim Jong Il is missing from the ceremonies (which rarely happens) and it is presumed that he has suffered from a stroke. Well, I hope that is the case and that Kim Jong Il won't have a stretched out regime like Fidel Castro did.
If this is true, then it may make the next few years very interesting, especially given the news yesterday that North Korea has broken the IAEA seals on the Yongbyon nuclear reactor and is restarting work on it. From what I understand, the Dear Leaders children are relatively western, having been schooled in Europe and learning english and french (one is apparently also a fan of Eric Clapton). Were one of them to come to power, then we might see an eventual thawing of relations, perhaps even a partial opening up of the country.

However it is more probable that the conservatives in the government will continue to enforce the status quo, and as conditions continue to deteriorate in the country, may become desperate enough to gamble everything on military confrontation. That would have to be a last resort move by them as, despite all their sabre rattling, they must know that they could not win any confrontation on their own, and I highly doubt that China will come to their aid this time.
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Old 2008-09-09, 17:42   Link #4
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i thought team america already finnished him off, damn
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Old 2008-09-09, 18:31   Link #5
tenken627
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Actually, it was Kim Il Sung (Kim Jong Il's father) who had the stretched out reign like Fidel Castrol.

When Kim Il Sung fell ill in the 90's, people also hoped that the nation would change under the son, Kim Jong Il. After Kim Sung Il died in 1994, people hoped that Kim Jong Il would be incompetent, and the regime would fall apart (much like how people hope that Castro's reign would fall apart when he dies).

Fast forward 14 years, and North Korea's regime is still ongoing after the world's first hereditary Communist hand-over. The difference this time is that Kim Jong Il has not named a successor as of yet. We knew that Kim Jong Il would take over from his father, much like we know that Raul Castro would take over from his brother Fidel.

Kim Jong Il has 3 sons. The eldest, Kim Jong Nam, was thought to be the successor, but events may have lead up to the point where he is no longer considered the heir apparent. Kim Jong Nam has been reported (everything denied by the North Korean government of course) covertly in Japan a few times. One time, he was actually caught with a forged Dominican Republic passport, and deported out of Japan. Other times, he has been reported to be seen with upscale call girls (escort girls) in Japan.

He has also been reported to be living in Macau with his family for a few years until 2007, spending a lot of time gambling in the city's growing casino industry.

I've read that Kim Jong Nam is back in the consideration as the successor, and who knows. Kim Jong Il himself was supposedly quite the party boy before he himself became leader. It wasn't until Kim Jong Il assumed leadership that he supposedly really settle down.

But, it's the second son, Kim Jong Chul (the eldest son of Kim Jong Il's favorite wife) who is the rival heir. And he has the backing of North Korea's army.
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Old 2008-09-09, 18:40   Link #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tenken627 View Post
Actually, it was Kim Il Sung (Kim Jong Il's father) who had the stretched out reign like Fidel Castrol.
I know where you're going at with this but I think you don't understand what I was trying to say. Castro underwent multiple phases of being "severely ill" then showing back up a few months later. What I am saying is that I hope Kim Jong Il doesn't copy Castro and actually goes under sometime soon.
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Old 2008-09-09, 18:47   Link #7
tenken627
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Originally Posted by zSolaris View Post
I know where you're going at with this but I think you don't understand what I was trying to say. Castro underwent multiple phases of being "severely ill" then showing back up a few months later. What I am saying is that I hope Kim Jong Il doesn't copy Castro and actually goes under sometime soon.
What I'm trying to say that the same speculations were given to Kim Il Sung just 14 years ago until he finally died. He appeared in public, then he didn't, then he did again.

People hoping for his death finally got it in 1994, but North Korea still hasn't changed.
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Old 2008-09-09, 20:15   Link #8
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The leaders of North Korea are afraid that the collapse of the regime will lead to them being tried for crimes against humanity. They are right to be afraid - if the collapse comes at the behest of a US-led coalition, that is probably what is going to happen (think Saddam). This is why they won't let this nuclear missile thing go - to them, it's their lifeline.

I don't think any North Korean leader thinks that the country is in great shape, or that Communism works as a system. No doubt they want to implement reforms ala China and still maintain their rule, but since their rule, unlike the rule of the CCP, is based pretty much on terror and ignorance, opening up North Korea and letting North Koreans meet their South Korean counterparts will almost certainly spell their doom. The US also has few economic interests in such a small country. Whereas Deng could've counted on China's significant nuclear deterrence force to prevent Americans from trying anything funny and the appetite of Western businesses for the Chinese market, North Koreans have little, by comparison. In the grand scheme of geopolitics, their fall can only serve Western interests because it'd enforce the view of the West as top dog and provide one more card for use against China.

So why doesn't the West act, as it did in Iraq? There are several reasons. One is the desire of China and South Korea (and possibly Japan). Neither country wants to see North Korea attacked. Both are worried about collateral damage, refugees, and the political instability created by a DPRK collapse. Both realize that Kim has missiles and tanks and probably nukes - none that can reach America, but plenty that can reach Seoul, Beijing, and Tokyo.

From that point on, however, Chinese and South Korean interests diverge. China, like all countries, wants to be surrounded by pro-China neighbors, and it's not sure it can trust South Korea, which is allied with the US. They know that the collapse of the DPRK will likely result in American bases all the way up to the Yalu River. They went to war to prevent such an outcome before, and while Sino-American relations have developed, since then, it's not so developed that China is necessarily willing to take the risk. They are also aware of resurgent South Korean nationalism which, besides being a threat in and of itself, is also capable of being used by outside powers to harm Chinese interests.

South Koreans, on the other hand, want to see their country united. It's been the dream of generations of South Koreans (and presumably North Koreans, as well). Unification won't be easy - developing North Korea, like developing East Germany, will take time - but at least it'll bring closure to this sordid chapter of Korean history and allow Koreans to move forward from where they are now. And of course, any South Korean politician who brings about peaceful unification will receive a huge popularity boost and go down in history. For that reason alone, some might be willing to take the risk.

So what will happen, in the event of a North Korean collapse? Many things are possible, and much depends on how the collapse occurs. If it's a top-down, Soviet-style collapse, where the North Korean government admits that it's defeated and begs for diplomatic immunity in return for handing the country over to the UN, then a peaceful resolution is possible. No doubt each power in the six-party talks will maneuver for their own interests, in that case, and much will depend on backdoors diplomacy. If, on the other hand, it's a bottom-up collapse, where the population, stretched beyond tolerance, rises up against the government, or some sort of major conflict breaks out between government factions, then things can get alot more chaotic. I can see interventions from any number of nations, in that case, and then the fate of North Korea becomes more uncertain - though I think unification will still be the end result because the US has sufficient leverage among the other nations in question (including China) to make it happen, but the process might come at great costs to the players involved.
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Old 2008-09-09, 20:48   Link #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lathdrinor View Post
So why doesn't the West act, as it did in Iraq? There are several reasons. One is the desire of China and South Korea (and possibly Japan). Neither country wants to see North Korea attacked. Both are worried about collateral damage, refugees, and the political instability created by a DPRK collapse. Both realize that Kim has missiles and tanks and probably nukes - none that can reach America, but plenty that can reach Seoul, Beijing, and Tokyo.

South Koreans, on the other hand, want to see their country united. It's been the dream of generations of South Koreans (and presumably North Koreans, as well). Unification won't be easy - developing North Korea, like developing East Germany, will take time - but at least it'll bring closure to this sordid chapter of Korean history and allow Koreans to move forward from where they are now. And of course, any South Korean politician who brings about peaceful unification will receive a huge popularity boost and go down in history. For that reason alone, some might be willing to take the risk.
A very good read and I agree with a lot of what you say. However, I have a few points to contest. Not to to undermine your argument, just me being a bit anal retentive with facts.



1. Even during their 60th Anniversary Military Parade, there was very little show of any mechanized armor or other such weaponry. Most nations, in fact all, that have a decent show of such weapons would indeed show them to prove that they indeed have the fighting power. The fact that North Korea has not lends heavily to the theory that North Korea does not have such weaponry.

The vast majority of arms that North Korea possesses is in the form of short-range missiles that barely can reach into central South Korea. Yes, this is a concern mostly for Seoul. However, even their Taepodong-2 Missile cannot reach either Beijing or Tokyo (assuming it works...which it doesn't). Of course, North Korean missiles can reach into a number of major cities in Northern China which could be a major problem.


2. The vast majority of the North Korean population--at least the newer generations--live in a state where they are brain washed constantly with anti-South Korean propaganda. There was, in fact, a BBC special recently on the banks of the Yalu where a North Korean refugee refused help because there were South Koreans in the group that had come hunting for such refugees and ended up dying the freezing water because of it. Most North Korean refugees in China actually avoid trying to run to South Korea as they believe that South Korea is, essentially, the Devil Incarnate (though they don't have a religion, for the most part). Aye, the older generations of North Koreans dream to be reunited with their South Korean brothers and sisters but those generations are dying off quickly.
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Old 2008-09-09, 21:03   Link #10
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Good points. I think the DPRK must've retired alot of its weaponry (it certainly had quite a bit during the Korean War), though I think its stockpiles of missiles should not be underestimated. Better to be safe than sorry, after all.

And it's sad to hear about the brain-washing; I suspected something like this (North Korea being a hermit state and all) - and it's one reason why the DPRK has a hard time opening up. It doesn't seem to be in the same position as China in the 1970s. Once the illusion is broken, the legitimacy of Kim's regime goes down the drain.
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Old 2008-09-09, 21:38   Link #11
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I'll avoid this thread, given the ignorance of North Korea.


All in all, only a person anchored in the understanding of Korean tradition can remotely understand North Korea.
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Old 2008-09-09, 21:40   Link #12
tenken627
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Originally Posted by Lathdrinor View Post
South Koreans, on the other hand, want to see their country united. It's been the dream of generations of South Koreans (and presumably North Koreans, as well). Unification won't be easy - developing North Korea, like developing East Germany, will take time - but at least it'll bring closure to this sordid chapter of Korean history and allow Koreans to move forward from where they are now. And of course, any South Korean politician who brings about peaceful unification will receive a huge popularity boost and go down in history. For that reason alone, some might be willing to take the risk.
The economic consequences of the reunification of East Germany and West Germany is still being felt today, although not as much 20 years later.

The difference is actually pretty large between the German reunification and possible Korean reunification.

It has been written in many different articles over the years that at the time of German reunification, the GDP per capita ratio between West and East was 3 to 1.

The GDP per capita ratio between South and North Korea is 13 to 1.

The population ratio between East and West Germany at reunification was 1 to 3. The population ratio between North and South Korea currently is 1 to 2.

With such a large gap in GDP per person, and without a larger proportion of South Koreans to North Koreans in population to help buffer, the reunification of Korea right now could possibly destroy the Korean economy, instead of just inhibiting it temporarily like the German one.


Quote:
Originally Posted by zSolaris View Post
The vast majority of arms that North Korea possesses is in the form of short-range missiles that barely can reach into central South Korea. Yes, this is a concern mostly for Seoul. However, even their Taepodong-2 Missile cannot reach either Beijing or Tokyo (assuming it works...which it doesn't). Of course, North Korean missiles can reach into a number of major cities in Northern China which could be a major problem.
Interesting speculation, but this part is not true.

The Taepodong-2 Missile is built to travel 5,000-6,000 km (3107-3728 miles), which could hit the western coast of the United States, as well as parts of Europe.

The missile has failed in tests, but they are still working on it.

The currently deployed North Korean long-range missile is the Nodong-1, which has a range of 1,200 km (745.6 miles), and is basically an adaption of the Soviet Scud Missle. This missile can currently hit almost anywhere in South Korea and Japan, and parts of Eastern China and Russian Siberia.

Apparently it works to some degree, because countries such as Libya and Syria buy them, and Iran and Pakistan have variants of them in their arsenal.
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Old 2008-09-09, 22:06   Link #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tenken627 View Post
Interesting speculation, but this part is not true.

The Taepodong-2 Missile is built to travel 5,000-6,000 km (3107-3728 miles), which could hit the western coast of the United States, as well as parts of Europe.

The missile has failed in tests, but they are still working on it.

The currently deployed North Korean long-range missile is the Nodong-1, which has a range of 1,200 km (745.6 miles), and is basically an adaption of the Soviet Scud Missle. This missile can currently hit almost anywhere in South Korea and Japan, and parts of Eastern China and Russian Siberia.

Apparently it works to some degree, because countries such as Libya and Syria buy them, and Iran and Pakistan have variants of them in their arsenal.
*facepalms*

I forgot about the Nodong-1. However, if I am not mistaken, it still cannot reach Tokyo or Beijing. Both are, I believe, just outside it's range.
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Old 2008-09-09, 22:26   Link #14
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Originally Posted by zSolaris View Post
*facepalms*

I forgot about the Nodong-1. However, if I am not mistaken, it still cannot reach Tokyo or Beijing. Both are, I believe, just outside it's range.
It can easily reach Tokyo and Beijing. The Hyunmoo IIIC, a cruise missile in development by ROK, is supposed to be able to hit Shanghai if needed.
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Old 2008-09-09, 23:15   Link #15
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Originally Posted by Kang Seung Jae View Post
I'll avoid this thread, given the ignorance of North Korea.


All in all, only a person anchored in the understanding of Korean tradition can remotely understand North Korea.
I disagree, but please do enlighten us with your understanding of Korean tradition.
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Old 2008-09-09, 23:24   Link #16
Hari Michiru
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Originally Posted by Kang Seung Jae View Post
I'll avoid this thread, given the ignorance of North Korea.


All in all, only a person anchored in the understanding of Korean tradition can remotely understand North Korea.
OT: And yet you believe that you understand enough of Chinese tradition to criticize the CCP.

I don't think that the West should do anything drastic in North Korea, because it is in a very delicate state, and the slightest disturbance will initiate something bad, like a war or something.
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Old 2008-09-09, 23:24   Link #17
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Originally Posted by Lathdrinor View Post
I disagree, but please do enlighten us with your understanding of Korean tradition.
Answer the following questions, and then I'll go on:


1. Please describe the ideology of Jucheism in one sentence.

2. Please describe why it is possible for Kim Jong Il to inherit the leadership.

3. Please describe what the term "어버이" means.


I promise you, once we get through with this, you will know that DPRK isn't some wacky evil communist state that the West seems to believe the DPRK is.




Quote:
Originally Posted by Hari Michiru View Post
OT: And yet you believe that you understand enough of Chinese tradition to criticize the CCP.
Enough to understand why the CCP believes the way it does, and to counter the actions. It goes along with heritage and the study of East Asian Cultures.
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Old 2008-09-09, 23:27   Link #18
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Originally Posted by Kang Seung Jae View Post

I promise you, once we get through with this, you will know that DPRK isn't some wacky evil communist state that the West seems to believe the DPRK is.
OT again: And yet China is a 'wacky evil communist' state in your eyes. I don't get your reasoning. XD

I don't see why people are so keen on targeting communist states though; it's not like the majority of the Western population even knows the true meaning of communism...
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Old 2008-09-09, 23:33   Link #19
Kang Seung Jae
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Originally Posted by Hari Michiru View Post
OT again: And yet China is a 'wacky evil communist' state in your eyes. I don't get your reasoning. XD
Nope. It's a Sinocentric empire that utilizes the policies of the past dynasties to make it seem that "China" has always been a multiethnical united state, indivisible from time eternal. They have hijacked the Qing's policies of ethnic harmony and Sun's "Five Races Under One Union" (which is just a bastardized Han nationalism to preserve the outer territoies that has never been part of China until the Northern Tribes conquered China proper).

I could go on, but this is a DPRK thread.
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Old 2008-09-10, 00:13   Link #20
Lathdrinor
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Quote:
Answer the following questions, and then I'll go on:


1. Please describe the ideology of Jucheism in one sentence.

2. Please describe why it is possible for Kim Jong Il to inherit the leadership.

3. Please describe what the term "어버이" means.


I promise you, once we get through with this, you will know that DPRK isn't some wacky evil communist state that the West seems to believe the DPRK is.
You misunderstand me. I want you to define those terms. You obviously think that you have knowledge that the rest of us do not, so ... Educate us. It is often said that a scientist does not really understand something until he can explain it to a lay person in terms that they can understand. The same is true of a scholar of Korean traditions. If you think the West misunderstands North Korea, then explain it in terms that the West can understand.

If not, then I agree with Hari - if your point is that we can't understand Korea because we're not Korean, then you certainly can't understand China. For one thing, many Western observers of the DPRK are well-versed in East Asian history, probably moreso than you, so to claim that they don't "get" it is sheer ethnic arrogance.
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