North Korea after Kim Jong-il

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North Korea after Kim Jong-il

North Korea after Kim Jong-il
North Korea after Kim Jong-il | Source

North Korea after Kim Jong-il


Kim Jong-il passes away

North Korean dictator Kim Jong-il has passed away at the age of 69 after ruling the country for seventeen long years. It was announced that Kim suffered from an acute myocardial infarction complicated with a serious heart shock. But it could well have happened that Kim was killed in a power struggle in Pyongyang. Doubts arise because of the succession to the throne by Kim’s youngest son born to his third wife Kim Jong-un. The new successor was born in 1983 and is 28 years old. But one cannot say that the succession has passed on smoothly, because Kim Jong-il’s elder sons will be plotting against their brother to occupy the throne. The ensuing power struggle could weaken North Korea.

China worried

This could worry North Korea’s master China. China has been North Korea’s only friend in the world. In 1953, US President Dwight Eisenhower, himself a soldier during the Second World War, sent American troops into Korea at the height of the Korean War. Chinese leader Mao Tse Tung sent Chinese troops to fight the American troops. The Chinese troops drove the American troops back and a ceasefire was agreed at the 38th parallel that divides North and South Korea. From then on, North Korea had been living only with the Chinese support.

China made North Korea a nuclear power

It was China that assisted North Korea to become a nuclear power. North Korea has been using this nuclear weaponry to threaten countries like South Korea, Japan and Vietnam among others. USA wants to curb the might of North Korea but is unable to do anything in the midst of a strong Chinese support to North Korea. China wants North Korea to use its nuclear weapons against Japan, its arch enemy.

The new ruler could be friendly with USA

In the new situation, China is keeping its fingers crossed. Kim Jong-un has been educated in Switzerland. He is reported to be a fan of Eric Clapton and Michael Jordan. China is worried that the Western influence in Kim Jong-un could bring about new changes in North Korea’s society and government. The country could open up to democracy albeit in a limited way. It could ease tensions with the Western nations and pave way for rapprochement with nations like USA, Britain and Japan. The Western nations could pour money into North Korea to build infrastructure and modern amenities. North Korean people could be allowed to mingle freely with the South Koreans.

Kim Jong-un could be assassinated

All these are bad news for China. North Korea could slowly slip out of its tight grip. It could become a country like Pakistan. Pakistan is friendly with China, but dances to the tune of USA. If North Korea becomes another Pakistan, all the efforts of China to build it from 1953 could go in vain. Therefore China will be interested in ‘removing’ the new ruler and installing a puppet ruler who could toe the Chinese line. If this thinking materialises, very soon the young Kim Jong-un could be assassinated.

Kim Jong-un could seek American protection

For USA and Japan, the possibility of a rapprochement with North Korea brings exciting thoughts. USA could leverage its strength against China and dominate the regional military balance. Japan could breathe freely and remove from its minds fears about Chinese nuclear weapons installed in North Korea. In deed if Kim Jong-un senses that China is plotting against him, he could seek the assistance of USA and Japan for protection. That will bring great opportunities to America and Japan hitherto undreamt of. It could be the beginning of the end of China.

North Korea after Kim Jong-il

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