The real reason for his death is still unclear. Most reports seem to point to “exhaustion”. Obviously he was very busy looking at stuff on his latest orientation tour. Note to world leaders – don’t look at too much stuff or you may die of exhaustion.
While it may seem mean to mock the dead, it’s hard not to think this guy got what he deserved. After all, here’s a guy that continued in the footsteps of his father, ramming a once industrious and powerful country into the ground with famine, obsessively paranoid politics, poor planning and ongoing poverty.
After sparking numerous conflict, his legacy is leaving North Korea armed with nuclear weapons and in an incredibly isolated position. His nation is such a gong-show that the country’s own big brother on the block (China) seems frequently embarrassed and frustrated by its neighbor’s outright aggressiveness.
Enter his son Kim Jong-un (cause appointing your son leader of the country is a totally people-oriented “democratic” thing to do ), who is now not only North Korea’s “Respected General” but also its “Great Successor”. The guys in his 20s with barely an undergrad under his belt. I don’t know about you, but I was definitely ready to run a nuclear armed nation in my mid-twenties. I mean how different is running a country and running the local Subway? Not much, right? He’ll be fine!
Not only is the guy super young, but he’s also got no political, military, economic or leadership experience to speak of. On top of that, his people barely know him. It’s like a blind date, but instead of a casual Friday night, you’re stuck with this guy for the rest of his natural life. Score one for the North Korean workers.
The good news is that he’ll have to make a lot of pretty awful and frequent mistakes to screw up the country as badly as his dad did. The bad news is that he’s already gotten off to a running start. Word on the Pyongyang street is he’s the little architect behind the unprovoked and deadly attack against a small South Korean island earlier this year. The attack, which killed several South Koreans and injured over a dozen others. It was ordered undoubtedly for a number of nebulous and evil reasons. However, some Korea watchers have speculated one such motivation was to give the young “General” some work experience.
The result of all of this makes me sad. Sad for the poor North Koreans who are going to have deal with another few decades of horrible misrule and sad for Korea’s Asian neighbours who’re going to have to continue to “manage” (like sober bar patrons trying to talk down a loud, mean and aggressive drunk) their crazy nuclear weapon-armed neighbour. While I can’t say I’m not a little smug our own cartoon villain has (finally) bit the dust, I won’t be too optimistic.
It’s likely the Korean peninsula will continue to be under a dark cloud long into the future, at least if Kim Jong-un has anything to say about it.