Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Writing on Wall for Future of Fearpolitik (north Korea)

Key Excerpt:

If we assess the durability of the North Korean regime through its various stages, we find that there was a 90% likelihood of success under Kim Il Sung’s “total Chollima line;” just 40% under Kim Jong Il’s “military-first line;” and perhaps just 20% under the rule of Kim Jong Eun. There is not a glimmer of hope to be found anywhere. If it were to happen quickly, the Kim regime could be cornered, mired in crisis and rife with internal bickering starting by 2014. This situation could then continue until 2018.
The 2015-2018 period will see the disintegration of Kim Jong Eun’s reign. The Byungjin Line of simultaneous nuclear and economic development will fail, and there will be a life-or-death struggle for power and the very existence of military and Party. As a result, various unforeseen incidents and mishaps could occur, indicative of the terminal symptoms of a totalitarian dictatorship. These will include political calamity for Kim Jong Eun, characterized by inconsistent decision-making. Decisions made in the morning could be reversed or overturned by evening. 

Let's think about the active preparations for this possibility.
V/R
Dave

Writing on Wall for Future of Fearpolitik

[Sohn Gwang Joo Column ③]
Sohn Gwang Joo, Director, Daily NK Reunification Strategy Research Institute
2014-01-01 22:50 




The collapse of the Soviet Union occurred in three stages: the first was the death of Stalin, which was followed by the weakening of class and Suryeongist dictatorship and the failure of socialist/communist economic construction in the 1960s; the second was the Helsinki Accords and the human rights investigations of the 1970s; and the last was the President Reagan-led American 1980s strategy of inciting Soviet collapse through economic warfare projects like the Strategic Defense Initiative (aka “Star Wars”).

At the core of all three stages was the fundamental failure of Socialist economics. The result was the collapse of the USSR in the early 1990s.

North Korea’s Chollima Movement of the Kim Il Sung era was also initially successful (in the late 1950s1960s).  Then, from the mid-1960s, the Byungjin Line of simultaneously focusing on national defense and the economy took over.  Kim Il Sung managed to attain only one of these goals, succeeding in the defense sector but failing in economic construction. Thus, the proper foundation for future economic development was never set. Kim Jong Il succeeded in developing nuclear weapons and managed to prop up the regime via his military-first survival strategy between 1998 and 2011, but it brought about economic devastation.

Kim Jong Eun has opted for a second Byungjin Line (2013-?), this time featuring the simultaneous development of nuclear weapons and the economy. Will he succeed? All the available indicators point to failure.

In the Kim Il Sung era, the East Asian security environment was one of “security amidst the Cold War,” a function of being wedged between the diplomatic blocs of East and West. The charisma of the Suryeong, Kim Il Sung was absolute. In the Kim Jong Il era, Eastern Europe collapsed and North Korea suffered food shortages on a massive scale, but the regime was preserved by nuclear development and aid from China and South Korea. 

In the Kim Jong Eun era, however, the international community is demanding human rights improvements, while South Korea, the United States, Japan and China are now ranged in opposition to Pyongyang’s nuclear weapons programs. Marketization has progressed apace, and information from the outside has mushroomed. Horizontal exchanges of information have become possible thanks to 2.5 million mobile phones, meaning that the people of Chongjin know immediately if something occurs in Pyongyang.  The Stone Age, that time when North Korea relied solely on a single state source for all its information, is long gone.

Kim Il Sung and Kim Jong Il built up their “Suryeongist charisma over multiple decades. Kim Jong Eun has no hope of achieving the same in just a few short years.

If we assess the durability of the North Korean regime through its various stages, we find that there was a 90% likelihood of success under Kim Il Sung’s “total Chollima line;” just 40% under Kim Jong Il’s “military-first line;” and perhaps just 20% under the rule of Kim Jong Eun. There is not a glimmer of hope to be found anywhere. If it were to happen quickly, the Kim regime could be cornered, mired in crisis and rife with internal bickering starting by 2014. This situation could then continue until 2018.

Accordingly, here are the things to look out for as North Korean goes into 2014, any or all of which could have a decisive impact on the future of the regime: 1) A fourth nuclear test or long-range missile launch and subsequent pushback from South Korea, the United States, Japan and China, or a military provocation against the South and subsequent pushback from South Korea; 2) A backlash from the persistence of “Fearpolitik” across society; 3) Rising levels of doubt due to Kim Jong Eun’s constant political reshuffling, leading to unexpected elements within the Party and military; 4) The fate of North Korea's existing special economic zones and 13 other areas slated for economic development; and/or 5) Most vitally, the success or failure of South Korean government policy toward the North.

The 2015-2018 period will see the disintegration of Kim Jong Eun’s reign. The Byungjin Line of simultaneous nuclear and economic development will fail, and there will be a life-or-death struggle for power and the very existence of military and Party. As a result, various unforeseen incidents and mishaps could occur, indicative of the terminal symptoms of a totalitarian dictatorship. These will include political calamity for Kim Jong Eun, characterized by inconsistent decision-making. Decisions made in the morning could be reversed or overturned by evening. 

South Korea’s fate for the next 50-100 years will be determined by this three-year period.
And what may occur if the people of South Korea fail to deal appropriately with this issue, thus allowing the Kim Jong Eun regime to muddle through until 2020? What if China provided economic and diplomatic assistance to the Kim Jong Eun regime as part of its America policy, with North Korea playing the “bad guy” role instead of China in the Northeast Asian security sphere, all in the midst of a “new East Asian Cold War” featuring the U.S., Japan, and China?
Should this transpire then the Kim Jong Eun regime could indeed survive as a “nuclear power state.” Needless to say, this would endanger the sustainable development of South Korea. In fact, it may well present a serious challenge to South Korean liberal democracy itself.

In a given historical period, the total strength of a community of nations is the aggregate strength of each individual within each nation.  It is the role of politics to generate this strength. The fate of a nation may be radically different depending on the manner in which this combined “people power” is exhibited during crucial periods of opportunity and crisis.

What can the current generations of South Koreans do to secure the wellbeing and happiness of their children and their children’s children? The answer is the swift overturn of North Korea’s totalitarian Suryeongist dictatorship.  This would be a step in the right direction, portending a new dawn of prosperity for the 75 million people on the Korean Peninsula.
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