Something Weird is Happening in North Korea

Discussion in 'Politics & Current Events' started by Anthony, Nov 18, 2004.

  1. Anthony

    Anthony Member+

    Chelsea
    United States
    Aug 20, 1999
    Chicago
    Club:
    DC United
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    In the last two days, there have been reports of portraits of Kim removed from public places, the media ceasing to refer to Kim as the "Dear Leader" and anti-government flyers showing up inthe Capital.

    What is going on?

    Is Kim looking to soften his image in advance of upcoming talks on security in the region?

    Is Kim suffering form the same "cold" that used to kill Soviet leaders?

    Is there an internal power struggle?

    Is there some sort of US-Chinese subversion plot going on?

    Did Team America get Kim?
     
  2. cnoc

    cnoc New Member

    Dec 19, 1999
    up the airy mountain

    yes
     
  3. tcmahoney

    tcmahoney New Member

    Feb 14, 1999
    Metronatural
    If Kim is gone, I'll shed no tears. I just hope we don't wind up with someone worse, but someone who decides that it's time for North Korea to join civilization.
     
  4. 352klr

    352klr Member

    Jan 29, 2001
    The Burgh of Edin
    Juche!!!
     
  5. bigredfutbol

    bigredfutbol Moderator
    Staff Member

    Sep 5, 2000
    Woodbridge, VA
    Club:
    DC United
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    Agreed. Problem with a replacement in that dystopia from hell is--Who? Who could possibly have any legitimacy whatsoever in that Stalinist/dynastic mess of a government? I of course know next to nothing about the inside workings there, but I can't imagine anybody with any integrity has managed to build any kind of power base in the shadow of Dear Leader.
     
  6. 352klr

    352klr Member

    Jan 29, 2001
    The Burgh of Edin

    I've checked wires, newspaper sites, and tv sites and haven't seen anything. I also checked on top of Mt.Paetku when I was frolicking waiting for the rainbow to come out and saw nothing there as well. Link?
     
  7. BenReilly

    BenReilly New Member

    Apr 8, 2002
    http://www.suntimes.com/output/news/cst-nws-nkorea18.html



    http://english.chosun.com/w21data/html/news/200411/200411180022.html
     
  8. Mel Brennan

    Mel Brennan PLANITARCHIS' BANE

    Paris Saint Germain
    United States
    Apr 8, 2002
    Baltimore
    Club:
    Paris Saint Germain FC
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    Word is that the latest wife died of breast cancer recently; maybe dealing with death so personally, so intimately, had has a humanizing effect on the head of the government.

    Maybe. Maybe not.
     
  9. Anthony

    Anthony Member+

    Chelsea
    United States
    Aug 20, 1999
    Chicago
    Club:
    DC United
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    The guy is a certifiable nut job, how worse could someone else be?

    I mean, the guy once kidnapped a Japanese film director because he wanted North Korean films to be better.

    The only concern I have is that North Koreans have been so brainwahsed, they might not know what to do post Kim. Look at East Germany. They are better off materially and politically than they were before teh fall of communism, yet there seems to be a yearning on the part of a substantial part of the population there for a return to communism (or even a return to fascism).

    This is what I could see occuring.

    The US, South Korea and China essentialy make a deal -- we want Kim out and the missile/nuclear program ended, the Chinese want US troops off the peninsula. South Korea wants to end the dividsion of their country. China gets rid of Kim. The South Koreans do not immeidately unify the country but essentially run North Korea as a semi-colony (looking at the German example, they will take about 30 years) . We remove our troops.

    Everyone is happy.
     
  10. Anthony

    Anthony Member+

    Chelsea
    United States
    Aug 20, 1999
    Chicago
    Club:
    DC United
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    Here is a report from an Australian newspaper

     
  11. AFCA

    AFCA Member

    Jul 16, 2002
    X X X rated
    Club:
    AFC Ajax
    Nat'l Team:
    Iran
    Although it probably wasn't all it's 'cracked up' to have been a lot of 'ossies' didn't have a bad life in the DDR. At least that's what many of them still say.
     
  12. Anthony

    Anthony Member+

    Chelsea
    United States
    Aug 20, 1999
    Chicago
    Club:
    DC United
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    There was an interesting article recently about that. I do not remember where I saw it. The author noted that by purely statistical analysis, former East Germany was better off today that in 1989. The complaint was that some people were better off than others.

    But it is true that among the communist countries, East Germany was, economically, the best off. As I told my German mother-in-law, only the Germans could make a go of communism.
     
  13. Dan Loney

    Dan Loney BigSoccer Supporter

    Mar 10, 2000
    Cincilluminati
    Club:
    Los Angeles Sol
    Nat'l Team:
    Philippines
    Well, I'm no expert, but I saw East Berlin towards the very end, and it was in pretty miserable shape. People driving around paper cars that sounded like sewing machines, looking at Western currency the way Gollum would look at his Precious. It would have lost a beauty contest against Bridgeport, Connecticut. Beats the hell out of me what East Germany would have had to be nostalgic about since Bismarck died, except Katarina Witt.

    Still, it was probably Narnia compared to North Korea right now.
     
  14. Anthony

    Anthony Member+

    Chelsea
    United States
    Aug 20, 1999
    Chicago
    Club:
    DC United
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    The nostalgia seems to be based on complaints that (1) some people have more than others now and (2) the West Germans look down on them.

    My wife's family is German and a friend who works for BMW camme to visit us. She complained that the problem with the East German employees is that they are always informing on everyone to the boss. She had to tell her subordinates that she really did not care what was said in the bathroom or who was sleeping with whom, so long as the work got done.
     
  15. Michael K.

    Michael K. Member

    Mar 3, 1999
    There or Thereabouts
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    How dare you.

    I mean, it's funny and all. I was born in the Park City and grew up within spitting distance, and I also saw a little of what was left of East Berlin in 1993, before the construction crane became the official city bird - you're uncannily correct, in that some of those old Soviet-era blocks wouldn't have looked out of place next to Father Panik Village.

    Still, how dare you. Talk about low-hanging fruit.

    (Threadjack complete)
     
  16. ElJefe

    ElJefe Moderator
    Staff Member

    Feb 16, 1999
    Colorful Colorado
    Club:
    FC Dallas
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    I visited Berlin in the summer of 1989, a few months before the wall came down. Walking through the checkpoints between West and East Berlin, it was amazing to see the difference.

    But I can see why some older East Germans (and even some younger ones) might think that things aren't so great now. They have to deal with economic insecurities that they never had to deal with before. They're also generally looked down on by west Germans and seen as a drag on the country. I met a girl from Leipzig who was about 20 years old a few months ago, and we were talking about Germany. Leipzig is in the east and I lived in West Germany from 1986-88.

    At one point, she asked me about the bad things that people in the West said about people in the East. I told her that in those days, it was completely different, that people in the West wanted nothing more than to reunite with the East and make Germany one country again, that the less-than-complimentary term for Easterners "ossies" didn't even exist. Then it occurred to me that when the wall came down, she was four or five years old. She's never known a time when west Germans weren't condescending towards east Germans.

    I think that mistakes were made with the reunification of Germany. For one thing, I think that many west German leaders made too many promises about how quickly things were going to get better for the east Germans. Another mistake that I really think hindered economic progress in the East was government regulations that essentially forced businesses to pay the same wages and offer the same working conditions (in terms of overtime pay, hours per week, and such) in the East as they would in the West. The problem was the infrastructure in the East was well behind the infrastructure in the West, and that if you were going to have to pay the same wages either way, you might as well continue doing business in the West. I think that if those sorts of regulations had not been there, more businesses would've been amenable to setting up shop in the East. (However, I understand that the strong German trade unions would never have accepted that, since it would've meant less money for their eastern members and fewer jobs for their western members.)

    I think that the German experience is one that Koreans will do well to pay attention to when the day comes that North and South reunite. For one thing, North Korea is far worse off than East Germany was and has a much longer road to travel in coming up to "first world" standards. For another thing, the North Korean people have been much more isolated from the outside world and more brutally indoctrinated than the East Germans ever were.
     
  17. bigredfutbol

    bigredfutbol Moderator
    Staff Member

    Sep 5, 2000
    Woodbridge, VA
    Club:
    DC United
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    Two things:

    1) I drove a Trabant for five months. I loved that car. I'd probably feel differently if I had been involved in an accident with a REAL car, but I won't have anyone dissing my Trabbie! :)

    2) My wife grew up in Bulgaria. Her recollection was that East Germans were materially much better off in the Red-old days, but that they had much less freedom--the secret police in Bulgaria were Boy Scouts with their own people compared to the Stasi. I suspect a lot of East Germans remember the (relative) material comfort and have conveniently forgotten the whole "everybody spying on their neighbors" part.
     
  18. Anthony

    Anthony Member+

    Chelsea
    United States
    Aug 20, 1999
    Chicago
    Club:
    DC United
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    In reality, materially, the East Germans are better off today. But as El Jefe says, today, even a social market economy like Germany, you still have insecurities. I mean, in a communist economy, you never get rich, you may be eating potato soup 5 nights as week, but at least you always have a job.

    Now, you may eat better, have better clothes and the like, but you are not guarranteed a job.
     
  19. tcmahoney

    tcmahoney New Member

    Feb 14, 1999
    Metronatural
    I'm sure they said the same thing about Kaiser Wilhelm.

    I'd be happy with that situation, too. It could very well happen, but it won't happen on its own. As Iraq has taught us, wishful thinking and starry-eyed dreams are no substitute at all for wise leadership, sound decision-making and skillful diplomacy.
     
  20. DJPoopypants

    DJPoopypants New Member

    Hopefully the "brains" who will be involved in any unification strategies actually try to understand the perspective of the other side.

    Remember that North Koreans (or E Germans) were basically raised in a culture that was almost religious in its opposition to capitalism, and certainly has put out a lot of scare tactics about capitalism.

    Its almost like religion in many ways. People like sex, right? But american religious culture tells them that sex is bad and that if done wrong, they'll rot in hell forever, or society will completely go to hell.

    So imagine what a N. Korean would feel like. Sure they would want freedom, and jobs, and money. But opening a Hyundai factory down the block, with profits going to heartless rich executives, and inequal distribution of wealth - well, it would be kinda like trying to open a Hustler superstore in a Baptist community.

    Unfortunately, what evidence I've seen on american neo-cons is that they cannot understand this - that because they love opportunity/freedom/wealth/democracy/the american dream so much, they think everyone else in the world does too. Heck, even if the Koreans have been "brainwashed", well, they don't just get reprogrammed overnight.

    I'm scared that the same people who predicted easy success in Iraq will also claim that North Koreans will be so happy to be liberated that they would welcome us with flowers. That bothers me.
     
  21. 96Squig

    96Squig Member

    Feb 4, 2004
    Hanover
    Club:
    Hannover 96
    Nat'l Team:
    Netherlands
    Hey, that looking down part is overexurated imo. I, having been 3 when the Berlin wall came down, don't think that the east germans are that much different than us westerners. Ok, the situation is worse over there, but than in some places in the west like Bremerhaven for example it does not look better. Somehow we'll manage it.

    And Religion was, even though not liked by the officials, well in place in the GDR. It played (ironically) a really big role in the revolution, as it was in churches where the ppl started to express their own wishes and it was in churches where political opposition was first possible. The most free-thinkers came from the church...
     
  22. BenReilly

    BenReilly New Member

    Apr 8, 2002
    Worrying about Korean unification is like worrying about how to spend your lottery winnings. If we could even get close to that point, the world would be so much better off.
     
  23. DJPoopypants

    DJPoopypants New Member

    er, 2 out of 3 unification scenarios are an immediate concern.

    1) NK invading SK.
    2) Invasion/militant destabilization of NK
    3) peaceful unification

    I don't see (1) being very likely, but unfortunately I see more chance for short/medium - term (2) than I think the current crop of leaders know what to do with.
     
  24. argentine soccer fan

    Staff Member

    Jan 18, 2001
    San Francisco Bay Area
    Club:
    CA Boca Juniors
    Nat'l Team:
    Argentina
    I work with a factory near the China/NK border, and most of the managers are North Koreans who moved to China. I correspond with them by e-mail, and they told me something similar to what you heard. They say that something is going on but nobody is clear yet what it is. It is possible that Kim is being pushed aside by the hyerarchy, but of course, even to speculate about that would be dangerous in NK. I am told that the Chinese media is not saying anything, but people are talking about it.

    I have met a number of North Koreans who are hiding illegally in China, and I don't think they are brainwashed. When it comes to their leaders, they really hate their guts, and they enjoy talking about how horrible it is in NK. (Of course, those are the guys who escaped. Probably the people who escaped from East Germany are not the same ones who are now saying that they long for the good old days.)

    They claim, for example, that due to malnutrition, North Korean women reach puberty on average two and half years after South Korean women. And they told me that their leader and his friends are the best customers in the world for the most expensive luxury items from France. (like $1000 bottles of cognac, etc.). The people I spoke with claim that most North Koreans know these things. It is hard to brainwash those who are starving, when you are spending so much money on palaces, a great masuleum for Kim's father, and on military expenses.

    On the other hand, I have been to some North Korean restaurants in China The food is great, and the waitresses are usually gorgeous girls who will sit down to talk with the customers and they will tell you how great NK is and how great their Dear Leader is. They all wear a pin with his picture. Of course, they are not allowed to leave the restaurant under any circumstances.
     
  25. Anthony

    Anthony Member+

    Chelsea
    United States
    Aug 20, 1999
    Chicago
    Club:
    DC United
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    Actually, I view Kim as inherently unstable, or maybe just crazy like a fox. But I do worry about number 1. Though I think South Korea could handle it without our help (or at least a minimum of help). And if a prosperous, democratic country of 50 million cannot defend itself from a starving Stalinist wet dream of 17 million, South Korea is not worth defending.
     

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