Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Kim Jong may be ill

I'm much more inclined to believe the South Korean intelligence services on conditions in North Korea, since they have an obvious direct interest and are pretty competent, especially when it comes to assessing their neighbor to the north. So it seems likely to me that North Korean dictator had a mild stroke in mid-August -- enough to keep him away from the 60th anniversary celebration, but apparently not life-threatening. In this Register editorial, we argue from circumstance rather than principle or deep preference, that we actually hope the SOB stays alive (much as kharma might suggest death immediately or sooner) a bit longer -- at least long enough to arrange a transition, if he's so inclined. Without a designated successor things are likely to be more chaotic than with one. Of course the military is likely to be the real ruler in a successor regime, but there are apparently factions within the military that could be sorted out with less danger of violence before Kin dies rather than afterward.

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