Monday, December 19, 2011

Kim Jong Il: The Passing Of A Tyrant And The Ensuing Power Struggle

Kim Jong Il, who died Saturday at the age of 69, was the last leader of a Stalinist state held together by a Stalin-like cult of personality, brutal repression and disposition of rents to supporters. Like Stalin, Kim Jong Il rid the North Korean leadership of any possible independent-thinking rivals. There are no Gorbachevs or Dengs in the wings. But the grooming of his chosen successor, third son Kim Jong Un, remains incomplete, and this throws something of a monkey wrench in succession plans.

Kim Jong Il leaves behind a failed economy and a starving people. He built a regime that could survive the grossest of economic failures by means of a blustering and threatening foreign policy, an oversized military that sucked up huge resources, strategic payments to key supporters in the party and military from arms and drug sales, and absolute repression of his people.

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  1. Corruption by any motivation or name is corruption, and sometime it is deadly, by self-serving legitimization of the dictators' horrible records. Example:
    The WHO embraces the North Korean's healthcare system as great, & possibly to be emulated!

    "In April 2010 the World Health Organisation (WHO) director-general Margaret Chan visited the nation, and claimed that its health system was the “envy of the developing world,” and that there were sufficient numbers of doctors and nurses[3]. However critics argue that UN agencies such as the WHO are disinclined to criticize North Korea in case their future work there is put at risk[4]. A report from Amnesty International reached a very different conclusion to that of Chan. The report is based on interviews with North Korean citizens who have left the country, and foreign health care workers who have worked in the country. Amongst its findings were that the North Korean health system is vastly under funded by the government; that many health facilities are dilapidated, and without a reliable supply of running water and electricity; and that doctors lack the medical supplies they require, meaning for example that many operations have to take place without anesthesia[5]."


  2. North Korea in case their future work there is put at risk