When North Korea Falls – Robert D. Kaplan

 Images Issues 200610 Koreansoldiers420X226 From The Atalantic Online:

The furor over Kim Jong Il‘s missile tests and nuclear brinksmanship obscures the real threat: the prospect of ’s catastrophic collapse. How the regime ends could determine the balance of power in Asia for decades. The likely winner? China

The abbreviation for North Korea used by American military officers says it all: KFR, the Kim Family Regime. It is a regime whose demonization by the American media and policy makers has obscured some vital facts. North Korea’s founder, Kim Il Sung, was not merely a dreary Stalinist tyrant. As defectors from his country will tell you, he was also a popular anti-Japanese guerrilla leader in the mold of Enver Hoxha, the Stalinist tyrant of Albania who led his countrymen in a successful insurgency against the Nazis. Nor is his son Kim Jong Il anything like the childish psychopath parodied in the film Team America: World Police. It’s true that Kim Jong Il was once a playboy. But he has evolved into a canny operator. Andrei Lankov, a professor of history at South Korea’s Kookmin University, in Seoul, says that under different circumstances Kim might have actually become the successful Hollywood film producer that regime propaganda claims he already is. [Full Text] (Atlantic subscriber only)

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