Kim Jong-Un is “struggling” to maintain control of North Korea’s military forces. According to a former North Korean spy and terrorist who took orders directly from his father, the bombastic young dictator that everyone loves to hate is still fighting to consolidate power with a show of force.
That’s the read from convicted terrorist Kim Hyun-He, who placed a bomb on a South Korean airliner in 1987. The bomb exploded, killing 115 people. She was captured and sentenced to death but ultimately pardoned because it was established that she herself was a victim of brainwashing. She now lives in hiding in Seoul, South Korea, and she gave her thoughts last night on the situation to Australia’s ABC TV from a secret location.
Poor Kim Jong-Un. A stone-hearted strongman waving nuclear threats just can’t get any respect these days.
When he announced that doomsday might be coming as soon as Wednesday or Thursday of last week, a cheeky British tabloid published probably false photos of the alleged young Kim Jong-Un playing a role as a leather-jacket wearing hoodlum in the musical Grease.
Even former vice-president Dick Cheney, who’s always up for a good war, conceded only that we might be “in the deep doo-doo” with the young and impetuous dictator. Doo-doo? You run a whole country, and you can’t even get an upgrade to s**t?
Despite breathless reports that the missile is now upright, it didn’t go off at the appointed time. An internet wit spread the word that the test was delayed because of North Korea’s reliance on Windows 8 software, and that North Korea has now declared war on Microsoft.
Yeppers, there’s no doubt that Kim Jong-Un is struggling to get the respect of the west. But his own military? That’s another question.
Some observers have cautioned that Ms. Kim Hyun-He’s take could be way out of date. She knew the father, not the son, and it isn’t known if she still has current contacts feeding her information from North Korea.
Far from struggling, those analysts point out that Kim Jong-Un appears to have a firm grip on the North Korean armed forces — so firm that he has successfully removed senior generals. That includes four officials that actually carried the casket of his father at the state funeral.
“He is proving he is the leader, the decider…a leader in power, a leader from the get-go,” said Joseph DeTrani, a former North Korean ambassador.
While the world waits to see when, or if, the next much-ballyhooed missile test will launch, the jokes will probably continue. At the end of the day, almost everyone seems to agree that it isn’t about starting a nuclear war. It’s about blackmail.
“He’s also using the nuclear program as a bargaining chip for aid, to keep the public behind him,” said Kim Hyun-He.
Whether you think he’s a pathetic blackmailer, a serious danger, or just a joke, Kim Jong-Un’s struggle for respect is far from over.