Korea: November 17, 2004


With unusual fanfare, North Korean media covered a visit by dictator leader Kim Jong-Il to a military unit. This is apparently in response to foreign reaction to the recent  removal of some portraits of  Kim Jong-Il in the capital. So secretive is North Korea, that removing official portraits gets pundits world wide speculating on what it really means. These things usually mean nothing, but pundits don't get paid if they can't come up with an opinion. So meaningless gestures in North Korea generate meaningless speculation world wide. This does have an impact, as North Korean media manipulators try to demonstrate that it's all much ado about nothing.

There is good reason to wonder what's going on in North Korea. The incompetent communist government up there has screwed things up so badly that over a million North Koreans have starved to death, or died from disease or exposure. The place is one of the most repressive police states on the planet. So far, there has been no rebellion, or sign of an internal coup. This is an odd situation, and worthy of study.




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