Reactions to the Death of Kim Jong-il

Above, video, from North Korean state media, of some of the country’s citizens decidedly distraught over their leader’s death. For the official (and slower) versions, go here and here. Big Lychee did say tears were on the way.

With the death of Kim Jong-il, one of the former Dear Leader’s dearest online memes has been passed on to his son and seeming heir to the throne, Kim Jong-un. The new boss’s ability to look at things seems on par with his father’s, but what about more important concerns as power transitions in one of the world’s most prickly regimes? Ask the Web, and it will answer:

The New Yorker | Mystery Has the Meaning: Evan Osnos says that the people’s reaction to Kim Jong-il’s death, not the government’s, will be what matters, but it is unknown for now.

The Diplomat | Not So Sad: In a Q. and A., Scott Snyder suggests that average North Koreans’ grief over Dear Leader’s death will lack the vigor demonstrated the last time the country’s leader passed.

The Atlantic | Precarious Shuffle: Max Fisher writes that the biggest worry is the country’s stability as a new power structure is established by Kim Jong-un, the military and powerful elites.

Shisaku | Dinnertime: Michael Cucek says Mr. Kim’s successor won’t last long, describing him as the “Young Leader” who is a “pup surrounded by wolves.”

Three Wise Monkeys | An Uncertain Same: John M. Rodgers and Peter Ward say Kim Jong-un will be sticking around for a while, though in what role remains to be seen.

ROK Drop | A Slow Goodbye: GI Korea writes that we should expect more of the same in North Korea following Kim Jong-il’s death, but Kim Jong-un’s power will be less than his father’s, as his was less than his own father’s. See the pattern? Look for the regime to slowly dissipate.

Seeing Red in China | Silence as a Mirror: Tom says that the dearth of reaction from the Chinese media beyond iterating official North Korean reports reflects not the skill of the country’s journalists, but their tendency to wait for official guidance on how to cover stories. That approach, he writes, shows the limits of China in examining its own problems and changes.

Time | Another Fracture: With Kim Jong-un expected to take power, efforts to denuclearize North Korea seem even less likely, writes Austin Ramzy.

Dear Readers, what do you think is in store for North Korea and the world following the death of Kim Jong-il?

Leave a Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.