Kim Jong Il is dead
Huge news. i pray and hope for a better leader for n. korea.
Gotta Have Music
ITA! Not shedding any tears over the loss of another dictator.
This is a moment fraught with good possibilities and bad ones. Ironic that it's dictators who pass power on to their sons (as in Syria, and as was hoped for by the Libyan and Iraqi rulers)--that's what will happen here. There's a 29-year-old waiting in the wings, and behind him is doubtless a cadre of faceless military strongmen. I hope something has filtered through to people, but the media control is such that the people lack any awareness of what the outside world is really like. They think they're starving because America is still at war with them. If any of you believe in prayer, this is the time for it.
Wouldn't it be wonderful if at this pivotal time, when so many others around the world have found their voices, North Koreans are able to speak for themselves as well.
This weekend another leader also died, Vaclav Havel of Czechoslovakia and later the Czech Republic. That man was a voice for the silenced for years, a giant spirit whose influence changed his country and the world. I hope there's a Havel somewhere in North Korea who can take up the cause.
I too wish this would prove a positive turn for N Korean people.
I think N Korean people have pretty good idea on what outside worlds such as S Korea, US, Japan, China are like, and where they stand in terms of living standards. For some time now N Korean people have engaged in some free market trades domestically and internationally (mainly with China). Black market exchanges of illegally copied CDs and DVDs – mostly of S Korean soap operas, pop music and other entertainment programs – are widespread among N Korean population, urban or rural. Reports say N Korean public have become increasingly unhappy after decades of starvation, the ever-worsening economy and the chaos caused by the ill-implemented currency redenomination.
Whoever comes into power next would realize they need to improve living standards, to stay in the power. Irony is, Kim Jong-Il himself knew this and also wanted to open up its economy and improve its relations with the US. One misconception is that he wanted to isolate his country and close its economy to insulate his power and its regime. On countless instances throughout his rule he made it clear that he wanted to open up its economy and increase trades. Unfortunately, the turn of US policies after Sep 11 and the US invasion of Iraq did it for him and he chose, scared, walking a fine line with a nuclear program in his hand. I hope its next leader have better luck and succeed in improving the terms with the US. IMO, the US holds the key.