Christopher Lee

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North Korea: US Runs Scared And Aunty Calls The Shots

7th April 2013

As the US cringes before the brain-challenged image of Kim Jong-un and postpones this week’s American ballistic missile test, guys traveling down here from Pyongyan tell me two things: the US missile postponement is nothing to do with diplomacy and,  we really should get to know Kim’s auntie.  Let me explain.

The US has announced that it will not be test firing a missile from its west coast because it may be seen as a provocative act by the North Koreans and that will only get them spiking the military rhetoric.  Washington is being pretty cool and responsible? That’s not the way the North Koreans see it.

The reason the Americans are not firing up the ballistic missile is that it was not a test for that piece of hardware.  What was supposed to have happened is this: the ballistic missile is fired. Then a second missile, called an anti-ballistic missile, is fired at the first one to knock it out.  But similar tests have not been too good. Most of the anti missile rockets have thus far missed!  Get the problem for the US?

If this week’s test had been a failure for the anti-missile weapon as earlier ones were, you would have heard hours and hours of Kim Jong-un that North Korea rules OK and that they would be firing a missile at Guam because the American technology was far behind North Korea’s and that the announcement last week the US was deploying anti missile defences to Guam was a joke – all in one breath.

Just to prove the point, Kim would have been shown on NK TV pressing the red button to fire one of his missiles over Japan into the ocean and then asking where was the mighty western superpower with all its hardware?

So imagine what American allies in the China Seas littoral states would think: America could not defend them, so why sign up for this confrontation?

That’s the straightforward read-out of the US diplomatic move to calm the situation this week: not diplomacy, just a safe bet that its military might display would have been a failure. This is not the week to show the world that a lot of the US military machine is like a 1950s automobile – plenty chrome but no starter motor.

Now we come to the best part of the travelers tales from north of the DMZ.

If you really want to know who pulls the strings in North Korea, forget the chubby kid with the crazy hair.  The place is being run by Rosa Klebb, the nastiest bit of work ever seen in a Bond movie. Dear old Rosa was a fiction of course.  The real Rosa Klebb is Kim Jong-un’s little ol’ aunty who goes by the handle, Kim Kyong-hui.  She is the power behind the reinforced concrete throne of the boy leader in Pyongyang.

Her day job is director of North Korea’s Department of Organization and Guidance.  If the Department says it, you do it.  If the department says don’t do it, guess what? You don’t do it.  If of course you think you’re smart and disobey Kim Kyong-Klebb’s department, then it’s not even a trip to the salt mines.  Dead simple, go against the system and you’re toast. She’s that powerful.

Ms Kim was the sister of the last beloved leader, Kim Jong-il.  When even he realized his days were coming to an unbelievable end, he anointed his son Kim Jong-un as successor and put his sister in charge of teaching the young man to walk and chew rhetoric at the same time.  It was she who orchestrated the latest tirade but it was not to test America.  

She had two reasons: this was a test on the resolve and reaction of the just elected leader of South Korea President Park.  Ms Park also comes from a distinguished political dynasty.  Kim Kyong-Klebb needed to know how tough she was.  She’s found out that Ms Park is tough indeed.

The second purpose of what has become an international incident was to show that she’d brought on the boy as a good enough leader to rule over any officials and in particular any military clique who thought he was soft in the head and that the time was approaching for the generals to take over.

With a lot of help from the American, Aunty Kim has had a good couple of weeks.

So watch out for the token missile firing (the North Korean one that is) and US-China backstairs diplomacy to get on not quite new best friend terms with Kim Jong-un.  If it works, then it’ll be because Aunty says so.

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