December 13th, 2013

North Korea execution

The number two man in North Korea, leader Kim Jong Un’s uncle Jang Song Thaek, has been executed, presumably on orders of his ungrateful nephew.

North Korea is a cesspool and somewhat of an information black hole. The charges against Jang were various, and ranged from serious to trivial (or at least what we would think of as trivial; no offense is trivial in North Korea). But the charges are not all that meaningful, although the act is. There’s more:

Jang’s conviction was preceded by the reported executions last month of his two closest confidants. KCNA confirmed one ally’s purge Wednesday, calling Ri Ryong Ha a “flatterer” and stooge who with Jang was building an anti-Kim faction within the party.

The purge of Jang’s accused comrades will continue, state media said.

You bet they will.

Stalin used to do this sort of thing periodically, or perhaps even continually. Out with the old, in with the new—for a while, until it’s their turn to go. It also reminds me of many much earlier rulers such as Henry VIII, whose executions of two of his six wives have fascinated the general public so much (to this very day) that they have somewhat obscured the fact that he also executed quite a few of his advisors, for example Thomas Cromwell and Thomas More.

Not that I’m saying that Jang has much in common with those two, except that his fall illustrates the fact that getting too close to a mega-powerful ruler can ultimately be fatal.

13 Responses to “North Korea execution”

  1. Gringo Says:

    I suspect that Kim Jong Un is reverting to high level executions more than his esteemed [ :) ] father and grandfather did. Why? Because his hold on power is much more tenuous. These executions may consolidate his hold on power, or underlings may decide that since their lives are in danger, they may as well to try to kill the king before he kills them.

    Someone who executes his uncle and his girlfriend is not very secure.

  2. Steve Says:

    Maybe his cruelty should not be a surprise. Perpetrators of violent crime are often young. Kim Jong Un looks young and immature.

  3. Capn Rusty Says:

    The Telegraph reports that Kim’s girlfriend, along with 12 of her friends, were executed by machine gun on August 20.

    Paul Simon never mentioned that as one of the 50 ways . . .

  4. Geoffrey Britain Says:

    His paranoia is deepening his megalomania. Just what the world needs, an increasingly unhinged maniac with nukes.

  5. Ray Says:

    It’s like Stalin and the old Bolsheviks. Got to eliminate potential competition quickly.

  6. kaba Says:

    That’s some retirement plan they have there, huh?

    I wonder if the Chinese are nervous having a nuclear armed Kim next door?

  7. Gringo Says:

    Ray
    It’s like Stalin and the old Bolsheviks. Got to eliminate potential competition quickly.

    Except that Stalin took his time. He took power in 1924, and didn’t have the show trials until the late 1930s, by which time his power had been consolidated. Had he tried to kill off the old Bolsheviks in 1925, he would have probably been deposed- and quite possibly killed. Which is why Stalin didn’t try to kill off the old Bolsheviks right away- he was no dummy.

    A further reason for waiting was that by the late 1930s, there was a new generation of apparatchiks who hadn’t been through the Revolution. This was of double advantage for Stalin.

    By waiting until the 1930s, there was a new generation of apparatchiks ready to replace the old Bolsheviks. By killing off the old Bolsheviks, he eliminated any witnesses who could counter the Stalinist myth that Stalin was Lenin’s right hand man during the Revolution. Because the new appartchiks hadn’t been through the Revolution, they couldn’t counter the Stalin myth about Stalin being Lenin’s right hand man.

    Double win for Stalin.

  8. chuck Says:

    Winter is coming!

  9. Bob From Virginia Says:

    Neo wrote “getting too close to a mega-powerful ruler can ultimately be fatal.”

    Then what is future for Obama’s staff? Will Holder and Sibelius suddenly be declared enemies of the people, responsible for sabotaging glorious leader’s pet projects and face show trials?

    One good thing about Obama, he keeps people involved. BTW has anyone noticed O’s popularity is rebounding. For a minute there it almost seemed like the majority of the public had the learning capacity at least as high as an amoeba. My bad.

  10. Charles Says:

    As others have stated here in so many words; we do need to worry about this.

    Are there any sane people in charge of North Korea that if given the order to shoot nukes southwards or toward Japan they would stand up to that order? Or would they be so afraid that they would go ahead with it?

    What if, nukes aside for a minute, conventional forces were sent just over the border to the south to divert attention from the new failing leader? I mean, afterall, it isn’t like history isn’t filled with crazies that have started wars for such reasons before.

    It is one thing to be the “charming” frat boy doing selfies at funeral services; But, Lord, it is in times like these that the world, not just the US, needs a “cowboy” like Reagan or Bush in the Oval Office.

  11. Ymarsakar Says:

    Too bad the US is run by an equally insane leader. We don’t have too stable a platform unto which to criticism NK, for once.

  12. Mike Says:

    Do not be surprised if you see “State” executions of political opponents coming to a country near you soon!

    It’s in the totalitarian DNA.

    We have a totalitarian.

    If anyone thinks it is “out of the question” in America, you are living in a dream world.

  13. NeoConScum Says:

    All the delicate Kim family tyrants have been Stalinists. Butchers and absolute stone solid Communists. In that utterly closed slave camp of a country they can kill on sheer whimsy. Endlessly.

    Stalin Mao, Pol Pot and the Kims are perfect icons of that ultimate left goal of “EQUALITY”.

    100+plus million corpses for FAIRNESS and Level Playing Fields, anyone?!

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Previously a lifelong Democrat, born in New York and living in New England, surrounded by liberals on all sides, I've found myself slowly but surely leaving the fold and becoming that dread thing: a neocon.
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