12 October 2008

Some North Korean stuff

Two updates:
  • The US has taken North Korea off of its list of state sponsors of terrorism. North Korea is welcoming the decision, and is pledging to resume its de-nuclearization. China and South Korea are also welcoming the decision, though Japan is critical. I am pretty sure that the Korean-Americans won't like this either.
  • Kim Jong-il missed another critical appearance earlier this month, being a no-show at the 63rd anniversary of the founding of the Korean Workers' Party.
I just spent the past hour watching a KBS1 special on North Korean leadership, and possible scenarios for a post-Kim world. The possibilities include transfer of power to one of Kim's three sons, or rule by committee, or a hybrid of both. But nobody will have absolute control the way Kim Jong-il, and his late father Kim Il-sung, have done. The analyses were provided by people who know the North Korean politics well - including high-profile North Korean professors and politicians who have defected south in the past several years. They all urge South Korea to maintain relations with North Korea and continue sending aid north, so that it will have an influence over the future of not only North Korea, but the entire region.

This is something Lee Myung-bak must remember, instead of pouring his money into reactionary US politics. At least I feel hopeful that Barack Obama will make a positive difference in the future of the Korean peninsula.