World View: Purge of Kim Jong-Il's Uncle Signals N. Korean 'Reign of Terror'

This morning's key headlines from GenerationalDynamics.com

  • Purge of Kim Jong-il's uncle signals N. Korean 'reign of terror'
  • Canada and Russia to compete for control of the North Pole

Purge of Kim Jong-il's uncle signals N. Korean 'reign of terror'

Image from North Korean television showing Jang Song-thaek being forcibly dragged from a session of the ruling Workers' Party (Yonhap/AFP)
Image from North Korean television showing Jang Song-thaek being forcibly dragged from a session of the ruling Workers' Party (Yonhap/AFP)

Jang Song-thaek, the 67-year-old uncle of the child dictator Kim Jong-un, has been removed from power, and that two of his closest associates were executed in public last month, as we reported last week. It was unconfirmed at that time, but now Jang's humiliation has been publicly televised, showing two green-uniformed guards grabbing him by the armpits and pulling him away from a Workers' Party meeting. He was denounced for faction-building, womanizing, gambling and other acts as dozens of former comrades watched.

South Korea's president Park Geun-hye said that Jang's highly dramatic purge signals a "reign of terror":

"I think we are at a very important point in history. Situations on the Korean Peninsula and in Northeast Asia are changing rapidly, and we are in a situation where we can't lower our guard against North Korean threats and changes in its situation.

North Korea is currently engaged in a reign of terror while carrying out massive purges in order to consolidate Kim Jong-un's power. The South-North relations could become more unstable in the future."

Jang commanded about 200,000 North Korean troops who reported to the Workers' Party Administration Department, which he headed. His connections extended into the army-controlled trading companies that procure most of North Korea's hard currency by trading across the border with China and elsewhere. Jang's purge is raising alarms in Beijing, where Jang maintained strong relations with political and trade officials. The loss of Jang means that China has lost a powerful contact within the North Korean leadership, and also a source of many North Korean resources, including metal and coal. Yonhap (Seoul) and Malaysia Sun and LA Times

Canada and Russia to compete for control of the North Pole

Canada claims that it's just defending Santa Claus by filing papers with the United Nations Commission on the Limits of the Continental Shelf claiming regions of the seabed and the undersea bed that include the North Pole. Russia's president Vladimir Putin responded by ordering Russia's military to step up its presence in the Arctic, and to deploy military bases and military units in the Arctic. Whoever has control of the North Pole also has control of the abundant oil and natural deposits in the region. Canadian Broadcasting and AFP


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