Wednesday, September 10, 2008

KIM Jong-Ill ?

KIM Jong-il has never been so close to his own people : The Dear Leader is said to be in very poor condition, if not dead.

A stroke allegedly diminished him a few weeks ago, which explains his embarrassing absence for the 60th Anniversary of the nation.

True or false, this doesn't really come as a surprise, and raises once more the issue of succession. Obviously, the dynasty is over : the regime is smart enough to have seen that one coming, but didn't prepare the people the same way as it did in the early 90s (the World's first successful human cloning). There is probably a stock of images ready to roll featuring the Dear Movie Fan as a phantom Movie Star. One of his kids could wave at the camera from time to time, but other people would actually run the show.

An impersonal military college could run the country for a while, but not maintain the regime for the decades to come. Doomsday scenarists see them go with a bang, optimists envision a peaceful transition towards democracy, utopists dream of a Barack Obama coming out of the Choson blue, and the vast majority expect troubled times ahead.

My base case scenarios ? Either a "Albanian style collapse" (to the nth power) or a "Georgia style Anschluss" by China.

I guess North Korean leaders will prefer the latter. Needless to say
Beijing is ready.

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