Tuesday, November 30, 2004

Has North Korea Reached the Tipping Point?

Here's a link to a thoughtful piece from the CSM on the current situation in North Korea - including further confirmations of the disappearing Kim Jong Il posters.

And here are two key graphs that make me think that North Korea has reached the tipping point:

"Refugees also indicate that opposition has become more open and daring. More and more pamphlets and banners are appearing calling for Kim's overthrow. Almost all refugees report seeing slogans such as "Down with Kim Jong Il" painted on walls, pylons, and railway carriages throughout the country. Statues and murals of the Kims have been defaced, and the halls erected for worship of the Kim family have been burnt down. Some officials have been found killed in their homes. Although the food crisis is easing, with the World Food Program reporting a good harvest for this year, the country remains on the brink of starvation."

If Kim can no longer payoff his Army or his cronies well enough to buy their loyalty and their willingness to punish dissenting Koreans - who are so bad off themselves that they no longer fear any further depredations if they get caught dissenting (IOW: courage is just another word for nothing left to lose) - then Kim has lost his carrot and his cudgel, and will soon topple. Good riddance.

(Other TAB posts on North Korea
here and here.)

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