300,000 North Koreans have fled to China risking their lives to flee the mass starvation and brutal oppression of the Stalinist North Korea Kim Jong regime.
Tuesday, November 16, 2010
Slim chances of real change in North Korea
In recent days, the North has been flooding the state media airwaves with video clips and reports lionizingKim Jong Un, vice chairman of theCentral Military Commissionof the ruling Workers' Party.
ForSouth Korea, the best-case scenario would be a transition to enlightened leadership that would re-engage in talks for denuclearization and improving human rights, experts say. Kim Tae Young, South Korea's defense minister, says a "group leadership" could emerge composed of senior military leaders andKim Jong Il's familymembers who will groom the younger Kim and serve as his regents.
Andrei Lankov, a Korea expert at Kookmin University, Seoul, says a succession to the son will change little. "Kim Jong Un will have no choice but to be a rubber-stamping dictator," Lankov says. "He will approve papers drafted by the same people who draft papers for his father right now."
Victor Cha, professor at Georgetown University's School of Foreign Service and Korea Chair at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, also isn't optimistic aboutNorth Korea's stepping away from its roguish stance under a new regime.
It "is not a system that produces good leaders," Cha says. "There are lots of vested interest among the ruling elite and anyone trying to change that would be inbig trouble."