Friday, December 13, 2013

In North Korea, no one is safe: Kim Jong-un executes his uncle (alternate title: Winter is coming)

Kim Jong-un's former right-hand man and regent Jang Songthaek
reportedly shortly before he was executed.

After reading of his ouster, many expected this outcome: If Kim Jong-un's uncle and acting regent Jang Songtaek were in control of a faction that the young Kim Jong-un himself had started wiping out in order to consolidate power, it isn't that much of a surprise that the uncle would also be executed, following the fate of several of his cronies recently.

But still, that's his uncle.

In North Korea, no one is safe. And that point has to got to be echoing in the minds of the elite from the top brass down to the provincial rank-and-file.

This is the third wake-up call, with the other two happening two and four years ago, respectively, at the dawn of winter. In 2009, it was the currency obliteration, which effectively wiped out popular belief that despite hardships the government was there to take care of them. In 2011, it was the death of Kim Jong-il that left the ruling elite staring at an untried and youthful new leader being thrust upon them. Now that he's shown his true colors, that anyone can be wiped out for perceived disloyalty, it may be time to go big or go home.

More thoughts later, but for now re-read those last two links for an idea what I'm talking about.

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