GDI Risk Advisory Group

A Killing in North Korea: Father’s Legacy

In China, Intelligence, North Korea on December 27, 2013 at 3:45 am

Korea is Best KoreaWhile many stories are coming out of the Korea’s regarding the recent execution of Jang Song Thaek, the uncle of North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un, the real reason has yet to come to light.  With a stories that contain womanizing, greed and internal struggles, it is easy to overlook a significant point. Uncle Jang had power and was attempting to grow it.  Kim Jong Un was tired of having to deal with this threat that his father left him by keeping the uncle in this most powerful position.  So Kim had Jang removed.  With this in mind, the big issue  lies with the Chinese connection, and the strong relationship Uncle Jang had with Beijing.  By executing Jang and his closest associates, Kim Jong Un destroyed a critical conduit with Pyongyang’s closest ally.  So to take such a drastic measure as to remove the 2nd most powerful man in North Korea, Kim had to believe Uncle Jang was doing something worse than drinking and fooling around on his wife.  Indications are that Jang and his closest advisors were most likely conducting coup like activities…and that is most likely ‘why’ he was killed.  So what does this mean to regional and global security?  Does China still have the ability to control North Korea the next time they threaten the South or Japan with missiles?  Even more important, do we have a dictator going off the rails with little or no control?  If this was the coup it appears to have been, what opportunity was missed that might have changed the direction of North Korea’s leadership?  One can only speculate.

Here is some media looking at the incident from various angles to add color to the picture.

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