Saturday, September 4, 2010

Something big abrewing in Pyongyang

This could be huge. It could be the one we're waiting for. It could be a game-changer.

The BBC is reporting that the North Korean Workers Party is going to meet very soon (other reports say by September 17) and that they could end up choosing Kim Jong-il's successor (and be warned, the BBC always gets it right when it comes to North Korea):
At some point in the next few days the North Korean Workers Party will hold its first delegates conference in more than 44 years.

News reports suggest that traffic into and out of Pyongyang is already being restricted, a customary precaution ahead of important events.

And large numbers of soldiers, armoured vehicles and artillery have been spotted massing close to the capital, perhaps in readiness for a parade fit for such an occasion.

Clearly something is going on.

But could it, as some people suggest, be the "big one" - the moment when power in this rigid, totalitarian state begins to change hands for only the second time in its history?
Computer rendition of
Kim Jong-un's
present-day appearance
The orgy of media reports over the past year will have you believe that the Dear Leader's son, Brilliant Comrade, will be chosen as leader of the Workers' Paradise. Clearly he is the odds-on favorite, though I'm not convinced that the rank-and-file nor the apparatchiki will support (a) yet another dynastic transfer to someone of untested competence and/or (b) someone so young, inexperienced, and Confucianism-impaired.

And that leads us to Jang Songthaek, the Brilliant Comrade's uncle and confidant of the Dear Leader, whom many have assumed KJI has picked to play the role of regent, a modern-day taewongun.

I don't know his palace name, so I'm going to call him either Sagacious Counsel or Wizened Benefactor. Now wouldn't it be an exciting show-stopper if the uncle was chosen to lead the country, not the son? I'm putting the odds on that at 1-to-10, which may be a tad generous, but stranger things have happened.

But I hold out that there is yet another possibility. A real dark horse would be bypassing not just Brilliant Comrade Kim Jong-un, his gourmand bon-vivant brother in Macau, and his frou-frou frère in France, and going instead with his sister.

Yes, I realize I'm shamelessly
recycling
an old gag.
That's right, Radiant Piety (aka Kim Yojong) would leave the Machiavellians lurking in the shadows of Pyongyangs halls of power completely bushwhacked. No one would be expecting that (except me, of course). I give odds on Kim Yojong being chosen as The One at 1-to-35.

And for really, really, really long odds, might I suggest the possibility that North Korean scientists are busy developing embalming techniques and robot technologies and/or plotting how to kidnap Disneyland animotronics engineers, for a leadership scenario I'll just simply call "Weekend at Leader's."

Odds: 1000-to-1.

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