Sunday, December 15, 2013

A Wild but Intriguing Theory on North Korea's Next Moves

Dictator Kim Jung Un. Is he following Iran's example? 

The public humiliation and execution of North Korea's No. 2, Jang Song-thaek, who was dictator Kim Jung Un's mentor and uncle by marriage, is likely to be followed by fresh provocations by the North, including new nuclear and missile tests and possibly, even, attacks on South Korean targets.

So say Foreign Confidential analysts and analysts and intelligence experts in South Korea, who monitor developments in the South's neighbor, a nuclear-armed, country-sized concentration camp that regularly threatens to annihilate its adversaries.

But there is a different view among some North Korea experts--namely, that the purge of Jang and his "followers," as the North's state-owned media put it, could pave the way for diplomacy aimed at striking a Grand Bargain with Washington such as that which the Obama administration is seeking with North Korea's Islamist ally and partner in proliferation, Iran. Jang was China's main man in impoverished, dysfunctional North Korea, which depends on China for most of its fuel and food supplies. Rubbing him out could set the stage for a new relationship with the United States.

No foreigner knows what's really happening in North Korea. So the notion that the Kimist regime could be following Iran's lead, diplomatically, is at least worthy of consideration. A parallel diplomatic process between Pyongyang and Washington would support Iran's charm offensive. Headline-making talks about normalizing relations would help to swell the ranks of Useful Idiots eager to embrace the world's most menacing and brutal regimes--regardless of their intentions--under the banners of peaceful coexistence and "dialogue."