By Michael Soter
Kim Jong-Il’s death leaves an unstable state without a clear leader. Though his son has been named successor, nobody really knows anything about the elusively enigmatic Kim Jong-Un. He now has a huge weapon’s arsenal at his disposal and a nation of people that do not have adequate access to goods that are essential in the modern world—like food.
His death leaves the rest of the world in a state of hopeful fear. When a dictator falls, one of two paths may be forged—progressive reform or repressive disaster.
In the first model (progressive reform), you have a country filled with citizens that are fed up with the government. You have a leader that is either open to change or does not have the necessary clout to enforce his dictatorial policies. The citizens that are hungry for change must be relatively organized, and if they are able to seize a modicum of power, they must not be carried away by the manic hunger that often arrives shortly after the first taste of power.
In the second model (repressive disaster), the new leader is intent upon enforcing stricter laws than the last ruler. This dictator’s main drive is power, not providing for his people. He is able to wield the nation’s weapons and assert his strength in a way the last leader was not. He is ruthless and inexperienced—a combination that can only yield disaster.
Of course, there are many other possible outcomes—military coup and foreign intervention at the top of the list. But, really, nobody knows exactly what is going to happen.
You may notice that this article is quite nebulous. It is because this story seems to beg more questions than answers. What is our responsibility in this matter? Do we sit back and watch, hoping for the best? Or do we intercede and implement our ideals of democracy and freedom on yet another state of demagoguery? What do you think?
- Kim Jong Il dead: Kim Jong Un weeps as he welcomes South Korean delegates (dailymail.co.uk)
- NKorea: Economic agreements discussed with South (seattletimes.nwsource.com)
- Kim Jong-il’s Eldest Son ‘Under Chinese Protection’ (maboulette.wordpress.com)