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Tag: Kim Jong Un


China should rein in North Korean lunacy

This editorial will appear in Tuesday’s print edition.

As the craziness emanating out of North Korea keeps ratcheting up, one almost longs for the good old days of the Cold War. At least then we knew our adversary and had a certain level of confidence that the Soviet Union had no interest in self-destruction – the inevitable result if it launched its ICBMs at us.

We can’t be so sure that’s the case with the hermit kingdom of Kim Jong Un, which in recent days has done some unusually bizarre things.

A month after North Korea’s third nuclear test, it said it would “exercise the right to a preemptive nuclear attack” on South Korea and the United States. Last week it posted a strange, militaristic video on its YouTube channel, titled Read more »


Kim Jong Il, Vaclav Havel: A study in contrasts

This editorial will appear in tomorrow’s print edition.

Joint Base Lewis-McChord is where the phone rings if the American troops deployed in South Korea call 911. Big troubles in North Korea always threaten to strike close to home here.

Is trouble brewing there with the sudden death of dictator Kim Jong Il? One of the many scary things about Kim-ruled North Korea is that no one ever quite knows what’s going on inside its halls of power.

Kim’s son and announced successor, Kim Jong Un, is only in his 20s and was only anointed heir to the dictatorship about a year ago. Who is he? Will his succession stick? Will one of his father’s military barons muscle him off the throne? Will there be political turmoil and chest-beating that could trigger military attacks on South Korea?

We not only know nothing about what’s happening with the world’s most secretive regime, we have no idea who we ought to be rooting for.

In the absence of knowledge, we can hope for the best. If this were a game of chance, the odds would overwhelmingly favor the rise of a better North Korean ruler – just because it would be so hard to find a worse one than Kim Jong Il.
Read more »