Filed under: International News, International Politics
The death of the North Korean dictator Kim Jong-Il at age 69 has made news all over the world. Apparently, he had a heart attack whilst on a train.
He will be remembered for his skillful use of nuclear brinkmanship to protect his tyrannical regime and how he starved and brutalised his people, whilst lavishing the country’s limited wealth on himself and the military.
Here are a few sites with collections of reputed crazy facts about his lunatic, eccentric and brutal rule:
His son Kim Jong-Un has taken over. No-one really knows what to expect – he is young and baby-faced, in his late 20’s. Some in the media hope that he may be more modern-minded as he was educated in Switzerland, and so he may liberalise North Korea. I don’t buy this type of wishful thinking.
I recall the case of another long-ruling dictator – Syria’s Hafez al-Assad. When he died in 2000, his son Bashar al-Assad took over. Prior to becoming leader, Bashar was an opthamologist who spent several years studying in the UK – a democratic society. People believed he would bring democratic ideals to Syria. They were proven wrong.
The fact is, Bashar had to maintain the loyalty of the old guard of military men and politicians, and act ruthlessly to prevent civilian unrest from toppling his regime, so he had to continue in his father’s tyrannical ways. It is only due to the momentum of the “Arab Spring” that began at the end of 2010 that Bashar’s rule is now at risk, with popular protests fueled by the Islamic movement.
The people of North Korea are far more isolated that the people of Syria and do not have a passionate political or religious movement to rally the population. Nonetheless, we will see what happens.