Thursday, April 29, 2004

Ding Dong The Leader of North Korea Is Dead

As more details of the mysterious explosion in North Korea emerge it’s becoming more clear (to me at least) that this was an assassination attempt against the Dear Leader. In fact, I’m betting it was a successful attempt.

What do we know? Not much

We know that the Grand Wizard of Oz, the Embodiment of the Juche Ideal, the Mickey Mouse of North Korea’s Magic Kingdom, Kim Jong-il, was passing through the picturesque Ryongchon rail yard the same day as a massive explosion leveled the train station and much of the surrounding neighborhood.

We know he was on a train because the preferred method of travel among the politically insane is by armored railcar – or luxury submarine if available.

We know he was in Beijing the day before and was on his way home on the 12th Century Limited the day of the blast. Initial reports said that Kim passed though Ryongchon before dawn, eight hours before the explosion. He has not been seen or heard since.

According to The New York Times, children accounted for almost half the death toll.

About 500 of the 1,300 people wounded were blinded; scores of them were children, according to foreign aid workers who toured hospital wards in Sinuiju, the regional center.


Why would so many children be blinded by an explosion unless they were looking right at it? Perhaps because they were lined up along the track to wave little flags as The Dear Leader passed by.

And who would want to ice The Dear Leader?

Just about everyone it seems.

The United States – Accelerating Kim’s departure from the planet would surely serve American interests as North Korea has posed the most serious threat of the Evil Axis trio and is the most unlikely candidate for imminent regime change . . . at least as long as Kim Jung Il is still ambulatory. Without Kim an interesting and destabilizing power vacuum opens up which would be fun to watch.

China – Locking Kim in a crystal mausoleum as few years early wouldn’t be a bad thing for President Hu Jintao who is trying to establish a new look and feel to Chinese communism. Hu prefers a technocrat's suit and tie which frankly clashes with Kim’s Red Scare tunics by Blofeld. Kim family values are a pesky reminder of the bad old days in Peking.

North Korea – Recall the purpose of Kim’s “rare and secretive” visit to Beijing. Following tough talk from Dick Cheney, Chinese President Hu summonded Kim and the next thing you know North Korea has agreed to immediate multilateral talks about giving up its nuclear program – a rather stark reversal of policy that some of the more Armageddon-minded policy makers in Pyongyang may have found objectionable. Or perhaps Kim wasn't so agreeable. Then perhaps it was the dove-ish wing of the insane clown posse who felt the urgent need to off Kim.

Such foreign visits are rare and secretive for good reason . . . they give your opponents an opportunity to set massive explosive devices next to your armored train.

My guess is that that’s exactly what happened last week.

The New York Times > International > Asia Pacific > North Korea's Top Priority Remains Secrecy After Blast