Monday, December 9, 2013

Public Ouster in North Korea Unsettles China

Damn right China is unsettled.  What this means is that there is no hope of Chinese style reforms in north Korea.  China's influence is waning now.  If anyone still has hopes of Kim Jong-un being a reformer they should reconsider now.  Kim Jong-un is not only fallowing in his father's and grandfather's footsteps he is taking the the mafia like crime/cult family to the next level.  These very well could be very dangerous times if he is not able to suppress the dissent that Jang may have caused.  And of course his harsh actions are designed to do exactly that. But the difference between Kim Jong-il and Kim Il-sung and Kim Jung-un is that Kim Jong-un does not have the experience and maturity of his father and grandfather and combined with his arrogance this could lead to very bad decision making.

Public Ouster in North Korea Unsettles China

Jang Song-thaek, uncle to North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, was forcibly removed from a meeting of the Political Bureau by uniformed personnel in a photograph released Monday by Yonhap news agency.
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Published: December 9, 2013 34 Comments
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BEIJING — North Koreans had long known Jang Song-thaek as the No. 2 figure in their country, the revered uncle and mentor of Kim Jong-un, the paramount leader. Then on Monday state-run television showed two green-uniformed guards clutching a glum-looking Mr. Jang by the armpits and pulling him from a meeting of the ruling party after he was denounced for faction-building, womanizing, gambling and other acts as dozens of former comrades watched.

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The spectacle of Mr. Jang’s humiliating dismissal and arrest was a highly unusual glimpse of a power struggle unfolding inside the nuclear-armed country. But the major impact may be outside, and nowhere is the downfall more unnerving than in China.
North Korea’s longtime protector and economic lifeline, China has considered strategically close relations with North Korea a pillar of foreign policy and a bulwark against the United States military presence in South Korea. Despite Chinese irritation with North Korea’s nuclear tests and other bellicose behavior, China had built a good relationship with Mr. Jang as the trusted adult who would monitor Mr. Kim, who is less than half his age.
Any shift by China concerning North Korea has the potential to significantly alter the political equilibrium in Asia, where the divided Korean Peninsula has been a fact of life for more than 60 years. While there is no indication that the Chinese intend to change their view, it seemed clear that even Beijing’s top leaders were surprised by Mr. Jang’s abrupt downfall on Sunday, and even more on Monday by the North Korean state television broadcast.
“Jang was a very iconic figure in North Korea, particularly with economic reform and innovation,” said Zhu Feng, professor of international relations at Peking University, and a specialist in North Korea. “He is the man China counted on to move the economy in North Korea. This is a very ominous signal.”
Mr. Jang’s dismissal was a shock not only because he had long been considered a core member of the country’s ruling elite and a regent and confidant of Mr. Kim, who assumed power only two years ago upon the death of his father, Kim Jong-il. The way that Mr. Jang was dismissed also was considered extraordinary, as the North Korea government has almost always maintained secrecy over its inner workings, power struggles and skulduggery during the more than six decades of rule by the Kim family.
“Kim Jong-un was declaring at home and abroad that he is now the truly one and only leader in the North, that he will not tolerate a No. 2,” said Yang Moo-jin, an analyst at the University of North Korean Studies in Seoul, South Korea.
Mr. Jang had visited China on a number of occasions and had been considered the most important advocate of the Chinese style of economic overhaul that the government in Beijing has been urging North Korea to embrace.
At 67, Mr. Jang is of the same generation as China’s leaders. Unlike the 30-year-old Mr. Kim — who has not been to China and who remains a mystery despite the lineage to his grandfather Kim Il-sung, North Korea’s revolutionary founder — Mr. Jang was seen by Beijing as a steady hand and a trusted conduit into North Korea’s top leadership. He was one of China’s few high-level North Korean interlocutors.
(Continued at the link below)

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