North Korea Mini-Blog (Jimmy Flood)

Just a mini-update for anybody prowling this blog right now. The condition of current North Korean leader Kim Jong Un is questionable, with a Japanese newspaper reporting that he is in a vegetative state and a Chinese News Executive claiming he is dead. Apparently China has sent a medical team to see to his well-being after undergoing heart surgery. This is a really big deal, and if he is in fact dead would signal a significant foreign policy change following the coronavirus pandemic. The person most likely to succeed Kim Jong Un would be his sister Kim Yo Jong, who took over for a short period in 2014 when he was dealing with a health issue in 2014. South Korean officials, it should be noted, have said that they have not seen any indication of unusual activity by the North Korean leader. Would Kim Yo Jong perpetuate the authoritarian structure of North Korea and pull back on the nuclear program that Kim Jong Un has been investing heavily in? Would this change of leadership make a unified Korea any more likely? In any case, the potential lasting impacts of the death of Kim Jong Un could be significant, though what they could be would only really be conjecture at this point.

Stay healthy folks.

  2 comments for “North Korea Mini-Blog (Jimmy Flood)

  1. ark5ae
    April 26, 2020 at 9:15 pm

    Most all of the news on this is speculation at this point, I’ve been getting most of my information about it through Twitter. It has been prominent in the trending tab for days anyways, and I’ve decided not to fight the algorithm.

    It has truly unsettling to see how many people are belittling the gravity of a Kim Yo Jong reign–calling her a “girl boss” and “queen”, turning focus to her appearance, and comparing her to popular cartoon characters. She has been complicit in harrowingly much mass torture, starvation, etc.

    How can we prevent the mythologizing and oversimplification of popular figures with unsettling amounts of influence that need a discerning, engaged audience? How could her gender be impacting this response? How could a Yo Jong rule impact perceptions of female leadership?

    Stay healthy to you too, Jimbo.

  2. Geoff Shellady
    April 27, 2020 at 4:06 pm

    Given that these speculations are all truly rumors, I find it somewhat troubling and in a way problematic for us Americans to be meddling in the next steps for North Korea. Obviously, the North Korean state is not one we should idolize. However, to an extent, our image and perception of North Korea is all through the lens of western media. There’s a reason that South Korea and other Asian countries are not reporting on his death- maybe we should step back and let them lead the way in this discussion.

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