Thursday, June 18, 2009

He doesn't look like Stalin but he thinks like Stalin

I was in France listening to BBC and CNN world news when I first learned of this misfortune.

How terrified these two young women must be. Laura Ling 32, and Euna Lee 36, have been in custody for many months since either inadvertently stepping across an ambiguous North Korean Border or deliberately transgressing. They went on trial on June 4th. They were charged with entering the country illegally and engaging in "hostile acts."

The DPRK stands for the Democratic People's Republic of Korea. Its capital and largest city is Pyongyang. Since the conclusion of the 1950-53 Korean War, the Korean Demilitarized Zone serves as the buffer area between North Korea and South Korea. North Korea and the U.S. fought on opposite sides in the Korean War. Decades later, the two Koreas technically remain at war. Washington and Pyongyang do not have diplomatic relations.

Last Monday Laura Ling and Euna Lee were sentenced in Pyongyang's top court to 12 years of hard labor. They have been cut off from the free world they know and have no hope that their sentences will be commuted or that their home country will rescue them.

North Korea’s founder was Kim Il-sung, the father of the current North Korean leader 67 year old Kim Jong-il who wants to name a successor by 2012 and this will no doubt be his youngest son, Kim Jong Un, 26 years of age. For years, Kim Jong Il's eldest son Jong Nam, 38, was considered the favorite to succeed his father until he was caught trying to enter Japan on a fake passport in 2001, reportedly to visit the Disney resort. Kim considers the middle son, Jong Chol, too effeminate, according to the 2003 memoir of the leader's former sushi chef, who goes by the pen name Kenji Fujimoto. And best of all, the youngest son’s appearance is identical to his dear old dad (dangerous little man.) I love the puppet.

Following the Korean War Kim Il-sung advanced Juche as a slogan in a December 28, 1955, speech titled "On Eliminating Dogmatism and Formalism and Establishing Juche in Ideological Work" in rejection of the policy of de-Stalinization (bureaucratic self-reform) in the Soviet Union. Kim Il-sung outlined the three fundamental principles of Juche in his April 14, 1965, speech “On Socialist Construction and the South Korean Revolution in the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea”. The principles are "independence in politics" (chaju), "self-sustenance in the economy" (charip) and "self-defense in national defense" (chawi). Nominally a socialist republic, the outside world considers North Korea to be a de facto authoritarian/totalitarian Stalinist dictatorship.

North Korea conducted a rocket launch in early April, and in an increasingly brazen show of defiance conducted a nuclear test on May 25. It then fired off a series of short-range missiles in the days before the journalists' trial. No one is going to tell this little twerp what to do, certainly not the United States and he will keep two of US's citizens as long as he chooses. These unfortunate women will have a long wait in hardship conditions within this totalitarian wasteland.

This man is scary crazy.
Frighteningly, in our recent history he has many models who might inspire him: Adolf Hitler, Joseph Stalin, Benito Mussolini, Mao Zedong, Fidel Castro, Marshall Joseph Tito, Slobodan Milosevic, General Augusto Pinochet, Idi Amin, Ho Chi Minh, Saddam Hussein, Muammar Qaddafi, Juan Peron, Ayatollah Khomeini, Ferdinand Marcos, General Suharto, Pol Pot, Fransisco Franco.

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