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Khoram
12-18-2011, 09:38 PM
Kim Jong Il has died (http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-asia-16239693).

North Korean leader Kim Jong-il has died at the age of 69, state-run television has announced.

Mr Kim, who has led the communist nation since the death of his father in 1994, died on a train while visiting an area outside the capital, the announcement said.

He suffered a stroke in 2008 and was absent from public view for months.

His designated successor is believed to be his third son, Kim Jong-un, who is thought to be in his late 20s.

The BBC's Lucy Williamson in Seoul says Mr Kim's death will cause huge shock waves across North Korea.

The announcement came in an emotional statement read out on national television.

The announcer, wearing black, said he had died of physical and mental over-work.

South Korea says its military has been put on alert following the announcement and its National Security Council is convening for an emergency meeting, Yonhap news agency reports.

Here's the obituary (http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-asia-pacific-10745725), in case you're interested.

Isabel
12-18-2011, 10:12 PM
It will be interesting to see if Kim Jong-un will really gain power now, or if it will be someone else.

Ivhon
12-18-2011, 10:28 PM
Excellent!

Now if several other truly evil people - including Dick Cheney - around the world would keel over, the world would be a better place until their replacements grow confident in their power.

Sinistrum
12-18-2011, 10:51 PM
Here's a better eulogy of him. :p

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jdug6yHJB40

Tomp
12-19-2011, 05:11 AM
Why does everyone write RIP. I thought he wasn't that well liked outside North Korea.
It is almost like writing RIP Stalin or something.

No I say, Kim Jong Il is dead (good riddance). Hopefully there may be a change for the better for those poor North Koreans who has been brain washed into thinking that he is the son of a living god (who's dead as well). May this be a moment when sane, moderate voices will prevail and the North Koreans can join the rest of the world community.

Khoram
12-19-2011, 08:35 AM
No I say, Kim Jong Il is dead (good riddance). Hopefully there may be a change for the better for those poor North Koreans who has been brain washed into thinking that he is the son of a living god (who's dead as well). May this be a moment when sane, moderate voices will prevail and the North Koreans can join the rest of the world community.

If Kim Jong-un takes over, then there's no knowing what might happen. Kim Jong-Il may very well have brainwashed his sons, too, and prepared them to continue his "dynasty" of terror and tyranny.

Hopefully this won't happen, but seeing as Kim Jong-un is his supposed chosen successor, there's not much running for the opposite.

Isabel
12-19-2011, 09:48 AM
Why does everyone write RIP. I thought he wasn't that well liked outside North Korea.
It is almost like writing RIP Stalin or something.

No I say, Kim Jong Il is dead (good riddance). Hopefully there may be a change for the better for those poor North Koreans who has been brain washed into thinking that he is the son of a living god (who's dead as well). May this be a moment when sane, moderate voices will prevail and the North Koreans can join the rest of the world community.

No one at TL wrote RIP for him...

yks 6nnetu hing
12-19-2011, 09:51 AM
No one at TL wrote RIP for him...

...awkward...

Davian93
12-19-2011, 12:09 PM
Here's a better eulogy of him. :p

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jdug6yHJB40

You're busting my balls, Hanz Blix!

fdsaf3
12-19-2011, 10:32 PM
Ok, so I have a lot to say about this topic. I'm actually writing an op ed to my local paper to see about getting them published. I'll try and be concise.

1. I've been saying that the United States should pursue an agenda of regime change in North Korea for a while, and this doesn't change anything. North Korea's history of erratic and rash decisions, particularly their history of paranoia and attacks against South Korea, are worrying. The sense that I get from reading various news reports and other intelligence is that Kim Jong Un needs to solidify his place atop the North Korean power structure. Kim Jong Il took power in 1994, but he had (I think) around 20 years of grooming before he became Supreme Leader.

In my opinion, US policy towards North Korea is fucked. North Korea has been in the grips of a food shortage stemming from famines and natural disasters stretching back into the 1990s. Currently, the US is not supplying formal food aid to North Korea while millions of civilians are dying. It's preposterous. The number of deaths in North Korea qualify the situation as an ongoing humanitarian crisis, no question. Were this any other country, the US would be there front and center with aid. Instead, we are playing politics with North Korea; we want them to abandon their nuclear weapons program, and in return we'll reinstate our food aid program.

Anyway, I'm getting off subject. My point here is that there is a strong sentiment among North and South Koreans that reunification is an both achievable and desirable. I think the US should use this opportunity to push that reunification process.

2. Everyone wants to talk about North Korea's nuclear weapons. Ok, let's put the cards on the table. The general consensus is that North Korea's nuclear weapon capability is a handful of warheads (I've read reports putting the number at 5-7). They do not possess missile technology to hit the American mainland, but targets such as Tokyo or Seoul are theoretically vulnerable to a missile attack. North Korea's limited nuclear arsenal is widely considered to be bargaining chips for economic aid. They know that if they launch a nuclear attack, no country on earth will back them up. China, North Korea's closest ally, has had a frosty up-and-down type relationship with North Korea over the years. China's primary concern isn't the stability of the North Korean government, it is limiting the influence of America on the Korean peninsula. Think about Obama's pledge to increase our interests and presence in the Pacific. China really doesn't want that.

The biggest concern of North Korea's nuclear weapons is the proliferation aspect. There's a minuscule (but I guess nonzero) chance that they'll actually use one of their weapons. If they do, they will be annihilated. But NK hasn't been signed to the NPT (nonproliferation treaty) since I believe 2003, and never met the standards of the treaty even while they were signed to it. There's some concern that a nonstate actor would get their hands on nuclear material and use it, but that isn't likely to happen either.

I think North Korea has been a poorly handled mess on the part of the US for years. While I don't see the death of Kim Jong Il as an immediate remedy or opportunity to fix things, I do see the possibility of initiating some long term reforms to our international policy that are desperately needed.

Sorry if this is a bit all over the map. I'm trying to work out what I'm going to write for my op ed, and my roommate is blasting the TV in my ear at damn near max volume. I'd appreciate any comments, though.

Rand al'Fain
12-20-2011, 12:26 AM
First up-Batshit crazy guy is finally dead, and the only half decent thing I'll remember from him, is the Team America song, "I'm Ronery Tonight."

Secondly-From what I've been reading about Jr. here, he's basically a younger version of his father, if not quite as batshit crazy.

Lastly-I remember reading and hearing about some articles years ago about how a large breed of rabbit was sent over to NK to try and help the whole famine thing there, but Mr. Batshit Crazy over there, decided he would have them all himself. Plus, Western people aren't exactly liked, from what I here.

Sinistrum
12-20-2011, 12:37 AM
Hopefully none of the other remaining batshit crazy guys will get a hankering to play with their Dongs any time soon.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Taepodong-2

Davian93
12-20-2011, 08:54 AM
Ok, so I have a lot to say about this topic. I'm actually writing an op ed to my local paper to see about getting them published. I'll try and be concise.

1. I've been saying that the United States should pursue an agenda of regime change in North Korea for a while, and this doesn't change anything. North Korea's history of erratic and rash decisions, particularly their history of paranoia and attacks against South Korea, are worrying. The sense that I get from reading various news reports and other intelligence is that Kim Jong Un needs to solidify his place atop the North Korean power structure. Kim Jong Il took power in 1994, but he had (I think) around 20 years of grooming before he became Supreme Leader.

In my opinion, US policy towards North Korea is fucked. North Korea has been in the grips of a food shortage stemming from famines and natural disasters stretching back into the 1990s. Currently, the US is not supplying formal food aid to North Korea while millions of civilians are dying. It's preposterous. The number of deaths in North Korea qualify the situation as an ongoing humanitarian crisis, no question. Were this any other country, the US would be there front and center with aid. Instead, we are playing politics with North Korea; we want them to abandon their nuclear weapons program, and in return we'll reinstate our food aid program.

Anyway, I'm getting off subject. My point here is that there is a strong sentiment among North and South Koreans that reunification is an both achievable and desirable. I think the US should use this opportunity to push that reunification process.

2. Everyone wants to talk about North Korea's nuclear weapons. Ok, let's put the cards on the table. The general consensus is that North Korea's nuclear weapon capability is a handful of warheads (I've read reports putting the number at 5-7). They do not possess missile technology to hit the American mainland, but targets such as Tokyo or Seoul are theoretically vulnerable to a missile attack. North Korea's limited nuclear arsenal is widely considered to be bargaining chips for economic aid. They know that if they launch a nuclear attack, no country on earth will back them up. China, North Korea's closest ally, has had a frosty up-and-down type relationship with North Korea over the years. China's primary concern isn't the stability of the North Korean government, it is limiting the influence of America on the Korean peninsula. Think about Obama's pledge to increase our interests and presence in the Pacific. China really doesn't want that.

The biggest concern of North Korea's nuclear weapons is the proliferation aspect. There's a minuscule (but I guess nonzero) chance that they'll actually use one of their weapons. If they do, they will be annihilated. But NK hasn't been signed to the NPT (nonproliferation treaty) since I believe 2003, and never met the standards of the treaty even while they were signed to it. There's some concern that a nonstate actor would get their hands on nuclear material and use it, but that isn't likely to happen either.

I think North Korea has been a poorly handled mess on the part of the US for years. While I don't see the death of Kim Jong Il as an immediate remedy or opportunity to fix things, I do see the possibility of initiating some long term reforms to our international policy that are desperately needed.

Sorry if this is a bit all over the map. I'm trying to work out what I'm going to write for my op ed, and my roommate is blasting the TV in my ear at damn near max volume. I'd appreciate any comments, though.

A couple of counter-points:

1. S. Korea does not want us to push for regime change with the North...they prefer their current peaceful steps towards it. They also dont want it because they, and the US also, dont want to be on the hook to feed 30 million starving people.

2. We stopped providing them food because they were giving it all to the army and the civilians were still starving.

3. Applying logic to N. Korea when it comes to nuclear policy is a dicey game at best. They've shown several times that logic does not apply to them...at least not logic as you would see it. When it comes to meglomaniacs, logic dost not apply.

fdsaf3
12-20-2011, 01:16 PM
A couple of counter-points:

I don't think counterpoints because we don't disagree all that much, but I sincerely appreciate your response.



1. S. Korea does not want us to push for regime change with the North...they prefer their current peaceful steps towards it. They also dont want it because they, and the US also, dont want to be on the hook to feed 30 million starving people.


The interesting thing is that the North Korean government wants reunification, the South Korean government wants it, and people on both sides of the 38th Parallel want it. When Germany reunified, the West German economy was much weaker relative to how strong the South Korean economy is now, so from what I've read on the subject the economic issue isn't a factor. What is a factor is timing. The younger generation of South Koreans don't favor reunification nearly as much as the older generations, and whatever momentum and support exist now are liable to wane over time. I'm not saying that this needs to happen next week, or even next year, but I do believe that the process for reunification needs to happen relatively soon for it to have enough traction to succeed. Of course, here too we must consider China's stance. A unified Korea means less Chinese influence, ergo the perception of more American influence. China does not want that. I'm not saying China would oppose or block reunification (I think everyone wants a stable North Korea, and this is one way to do that), but it's something to think about.



2. We stopped providing them food because they were giving it all to the army and the civilians were still starving.



See, here's where we might differ in opinions - which is totally fine. USAID has been saying all year that the US needs to reassess the situation in North Korea before food aid resumes. It's bullshit. NGOs within the US like MercyCorps have been working with the North Korean government to deliver food to hungry citizens, so it's not impossible to make sure your concern doesn't take place. Rather than step up to the plate and make an offer like "the US government will resume food aid so long as it is disbursed by an agreed-upon third party directly to hungry citizens", I'd be mollified. Instead they are playing politics; US-North Korean relations are all about nuclear weapons. Every interaction is political wrangling, and while that is taking place millions of people are living in squalor and dying. It's time for the US to step up, put the political maneuverings on hold for a minute, and help prevent more civilians from a horrible life of malnutrition (at a minimum).


3. Applying logic to N. Korea when it comes to nuclear policy is a dicey game at best. They've shown several times that logic does not apply to them...at least not logic as you would see it. When it comes to meglomaniacs, logic dost not apply.

North Korea has been erratic and irrational over the 60ish years it's been around, that much is true. But I think that despite the history of overreaction and bluster, North Korea's leadership realizes that A) it loses any hope of partnership with any other country if it launches a nuke or is complicit in the proliferation of nuclear material, and B) it faces certain destruction if either of those events occur as well. Erratic and irrational don't equate to stupidity. I understand what you're saying and I agree with you to a point; I simply think that if North Korea was going to use a nuclear weapon they would have done so by now. At this point, I'm very confident that the threat has passed. But since it is still a possibility, it must be taken seriously given the dire consequences if they do use one.

Also, didn't get published in today's paper. I'm guessing I have a lot of competition to talk about his death, and I definitely have a bit of a contrary view to people in my area. I'm still hoping I get published, but if it doesn't happen soon it probably won't.

Terez
12-20-2011, 01:35 PM
I don't think we're allowed to send op-eds to my local paper. Just letters to the editor.

Res_Ipsa
12-20-2011, 07:57 PM
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pSWN6Qj98Iw&feature=g-logo&context=G2151f44FOAAAAAAABAA

Damn.

Sei'taer
12-20-2011, 08:55 PM
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pSWN6Qj98Iw&feature=g-logo&context=G2151f44FOAAAAAAABAA

Damn.

Comrades, you will go to the square and you will cry. If you don't we will do bad things to you. Now, cry until the camera is off. CRY!

Davian93
12-20-2011, 09:13 PM
http://www.davidbarrkirtley.com/images/commodusgladiator.jpg

Thank you for the loyal subjects...I trust they were not too expensive?