Tuesday, May 14, 2013

North Korea Defense Minister Kim Kyok Sik Replaced With Jang Jong Nam

I will deal with this article in more detail later, but for now I wanted to point out the news that the hard-line defense minister has been replaced by someone who is younger and essentially unknown.

Well, unknown to us, at least. I'm sure the North Koreans know who he is. The question is, as usual, what does it all mean? And trust me, a lack of solid information will not stop anybody from speculating up the wazoo. In journalism, I guess it's very uncool – and maybe even a little scary – to admit that you don't know something, so it's better to pretend that you're a pundit on North Korea.

Oh, heck, I will do the same now: this new defense minister represents Kim Jong-un's attempts to move away from the hard-line rhetoric that is preventing North Korea from having friendlier relations with its neighbors.

He has decided that his legacy is to become the Gorbachev or Deng Xiaoping of North Korea and go down in the history books as not being a big di¢k like his father and his grandfather. The problem is biding his time while he slowly gets rid of the dinosaurs that are preventing change.


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