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Clueless analysis and crude propaganda: Made in the west

December 30, 2009

Yes China can be quite clumsy at times. So is the DPRK. Who would have thought that the glorious west, known for its supposedly thoroughness and precision, its unwavering obsession to critical thinking and logic is not immune to this kind of unfledged, clumsy analysis, hastily put-together and downright crude propaganda? Alright kids! Those of you in Beijing, Shanghai and perhaps some in Pyongyang, Kaesong and Humhung who dream of the true paradise (aka “the free world”), take notice! They can be just as bad!

I must have hit the jackpot today, two in a row came my way!

“Let the Kim Regime Collapse” which appeared on the Wall Street Journals has more holes than the fishnet pantyhose your favorite stripper wears. Where do I start? 

Kim appears to have finally crossed a line with his own people when he let his son and chosen successor, Kim Jong Un, announce a currency revaluation last month.

One may argue that one of the goals of the DPRK’s recent currency reform is to steer the North Korean economy back toward planned economy and to pave ways for the Dear Leader’s third son, Kim Jong-un to take over.  However there is no evidence whatsoever that Kim Jong-un himself announced the currency reform.

The regime was so concerned that it sent its security minister to China to ensure that Beijing prohibit a mass exodus of North Koreans across its border.

Unless Daniel Blumenthal and Leslie Forgach have contacts with connections to both Beijing’s and Pyongyang ‘s powerful ruling circles that we are not aware of, this is nothing but pure speculation. Gen. Ju Sang-song’s visit to Beijing was widely believed to have gone over issues ranging from border cooperation, cracking down on the illegal drug trades and planning for a potential visit by the Dear Leader to China in 2010.

With protests that forced a policy change, a sanctions regime that has so far deprived Kim of at least $18 million, and uncertainty about the Dear Leader’s succession plan, it may well be that this time around Kim is truly running out of money and possibly control.

Can you be more clueless than this? Serious DPRK-watchers would laugh it off. The Dear Leader, the KWP and the KPA and the North Korean ruling apparatus are much hardier than you might think. People have been predicting the collapse of the DPRK for years, if not decades. There is no compelling reason to believe that the alleged anger and unrests triggered by the currency reform is going to be the last straw that breaks the camel’s back. If anything the situation in the DPRK seems to have stabilized quite a bit compared to early December, to the dismay of many activists.

The Chinese have let leak that they would send in the People’s Liberation Army to “stabilize” North Korea.

This is probably another one of those wild imaginations coming out of the Pentagon or Chongwadae. No, the Chinese have not indicated whatsoever that they would send in the PLA to the DPRK should anything happen there.

Rather than count on Beijing to behave as a “responsible stakeholder,” the U.S. should elevate to the top of its China “to do” list the sharing of its contingency plans and its knowledge of pretenders to the North Korean throne. If the U.S. does not succeed in this endeavor, it must make clear to Beijing allied objectives for stabilizing North Korea. Beijing’s choice should be made stark: Cooperate or sit aside as the allies plan for unification on their own terms. If the Obama team’s recent outreach to China is to have any serious payoffs, then these talks with Beijing need to start now.

This again shows how the two authors are completely clueless. China simply will not share its contingency plans with the US and South Korea just as the Americans and the South Koreans will not let the Chinese know what they are going to do in the event of an emergency. And China will not let itself be sidelined by the US and South Kore and do nothing. What is so ironic is that the authors of the article cited China as a key destabilizing factor while not realizing what they are proposing, i.e. “let the Kim regime collapse” without carefully planning and managing the subsequent consequences will be the most destabilizing and dangerous thing of all. 

And along came this piece of eye-opening joke from the ORNK. It could be quite old as Yang Bin was arrested in 2002. What is so amazing about this piece is that it is full of one-liner slogans that you would typically associate with something like the crazy times of the Cultural Revolution:

– China is against North Korean economic development greater than that of the three Northeast Provinces in China
– China is afraid of any separatist movement by the Chinese-Koreans        
– Arrest of former Shin-ui-ju Minister of Administration shows those fears

Without substantiating anything. Nothing. What is particularly funny is the accusation that

…the Chinese government’s study showed that North Korea will be economically better off than  Northeast China if North Korea opens up its market with the help of South Korea, Japan, or the U.S.  China is in turn afraid of the possibility that the three provinces in Northeast China may want independence.  

Yes folks! You heard it right! China is officially worried that Heilongjiang, Jilin and Liaoning with over 108 million people (2.3 million of whom are ethnic Koreans known as Chaoxianzu) and a combined GDP of US$407 billion might one day seek independence from China and join the DPRK, a country of 24 million people and a GDP of US$26.2 billion. This is what keeps President Hu and Premier Wen awake at night folks! Guess what you pesky people of Heilongjiang, Jilin and Liaoning, stay where you are, the DPRK might not want you!! You are not Juche enough for us!!


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