musings on travel, international living, development aid, politics, turkey (the country more than the meat) and anything else that comes to mind...

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Ding dong, Kim Jong Il is dead... now what?

At long last, our favorite megalomaniac (street justice got Gaddafi, all but Rick Perry's hair has faded from the spotlight and, despite my dislike of him in general, Erdogan isn't quite at Kim's level... yet) has passed on to another world. So, in pursuit of North Korea's Next Top Dictator (to be aired in early 2012 on Fox DPRK), Chris Blattman and Josh Keating have inspired me to read more about the Kim heir apparent: Kim Jong Un.
Lil' Kim remains an enigma to most (likely including our beloved western intelligence agencies), much as his father and father's father have been for decades. The most important information I was able to find about him is that he likes basketball, Jean-Claude Van Damme, and drawing cartoons. Oh, and he looks like his dad. I like him already.

So what's next for the budding dictator? In addition to consolidating his power, beefing up his military street cred and planning his next however-old-he-is birthday party, I hope Jr. Comrade Kim adds a little bit of this, a dash of them, and a generous helping of these to his reign at the helm of... well... quite a royal mess.

As an aside, it has always been a bit sad to me that DPRK and RK share so much in common yet have gone down such different paths. After starting on a level playing field less than a century ago, one is now a global ICT and economic powerhouse; the other perpetually on the verge of famine. Le sigh.

As an aside to the aside, I also like that the most 'credible' information we have about the Kim family (and potentially DPRK itself) is from Jong Il's former sushi chef. Awesome.