Kim Jong il, the crazy dictator from North Korea is dead. He was 69 years old. I’m not gonna say much about him. He falls in the category of “better off dead.”
This is one of those unexpected events that comes up from time to time. He’s dead, but it is unclear who will be his successor. He anointed his third son, Kim Jong-un, to replace him but some people may have other ideas. Anything is possible:
South Korea’s military is on “emergency alert” just in case the North does something rash. That could happen inadvertently, if the chain of command starts to break down under the weight of power struggles and NK units go rogue, or intentionally if the NorK leadership fears mass military desertions or a popular uprising inspired by the death of the camp-commandant-in-chief. Frankly, I wonder if North Koreans are physiologically capable of that; as in any cult worth its salt, they’ve been brainwashed and malnourished to the point where resistance may now be literally unthinkable. But never underestimate the paranoia of a totalitarian regime: Kim Jong-un, or whoever’s running North Korea, may conclude that the only way to keep the people timid, distracted, and united is by picking a fight with the enemy. That won’t end well for them if it escalates to actual war, but a limited provocation — like a new nuclear test, for starters — might be enough of a show of force to keep everyone at home in line.
This could end up being a major foreign policy crisis or even a shooting war. If it does, it could end up giving Obama a chance to finally demonstrate leadership. Or it could be just another chance for him to demonstrate epic fail.
On the other hand this could end up just being a new phase of a long-simmering problem.
IOW – stay tuned.