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)
Jang Song-thaek, the 67-year-old uncle of the child dictator KimJong-un, has been removed from power, and that two of his closestassociates were executed in public last month, as we reported last week. It wasunconfirmed at that time, but now Jang’s humiliation has been publiclytelevised, showing two green-uniformed guards grabbing him by thearmpits and pulling him away from a Workers’ Party meeting. He wasdenounced for faction-building, womanizing, gambling and other acts asdozens of former comrades watched.
South Korea’s president Park Geun-hye said that Jang’s highlydramatic purge signals a “reign of terror”:
“I think we are at a very important point inhistory. Situations on the Korean Peninsula and in Northeast Asiaare changing rapidly, and we are in a situation where we can’tlower our guard against North Korean threats and changes in itssituation.
North Korea is currently engaged in a reign of terror whilecarrying out massive purges in order to consolidate Kim Jong-un’spower. The South-North relations could become more unstable in thefuture.”
Jang commanded about 200,000 North Korean troops who reported to theWorkers’ Party Administration Department, which he headed. Hisconnections extended into the army-controlled trading companies thatprocure most of North Korea’s hard currency by trading across theborder with China and elsewhere. Jang’s purge is raising alarms inBeijing, where Jang maintained strong relations with political andtrade officials. The loss of Jang means that China has lost apowerful contact within the North Korean leadership, and also a sourceof 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 paperswith the United Nations Commission on the Limits of the ContinentalShelf claiming regions of the seabed and the undersea bed that includethe North Pole. Russia’s president Vladimir Putin responded byordering Russia’s military to step up its presence in the Arctic, andto deploy military bases and military units in the Arctic. Whoeverhas control of the North Pole also has control of the abundant oil andnatural deposits in the region. Canadian Broadcasting and AFP