UPDATE : 2018.9.19 WED 18:18
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Is Chairman Kim Jong-Un riding on the back a tiger?

If he falls off, he might be eaten up by the tiger

Is Chairman Kim Jong-Un
riding on the back a tiger?

The Korean people have a time-honored wise-saying: “Riding on the back of a tiger.” This popular proverb seems to come pat to the on-going situation in North Korea. Chairman Kim Jong-Un of the Military Affairs Commission of the all-powerful Workers Party of (North) Korea is precariously riding a tiger, namely the powerful generals of the (North) Korean People’s Army (KPA), which includes all the different branches of the armed forces such as Army, Navy, Air Force and Marines.

Three North Korean military security officers approach Jang (bespectacled and starting to stand up) at a formal meeting.
If he rides the ‘tiger’ well, he will tame it and become its master. However, if he falls from it, the tiger will eat him up.

Reports from North Korea as well as from the Republic of Korea (south) and the outside world, indicate that Chairman Kim purged, in a cold blooded manner his own uncle, Vice Chairman Jang Sung-Thaek of the WPK Military Affairs Commission, the No. 2 Man of North Korea on Dec. 12, 2013. Unconfirmed reports say that a firing squad machinegunned Jang making the body like a honeycomb and then turned it to ashes with a flame-thrower.

Jang (bruised on the cheek bone and the jaw) is handcuffed and whisked away by miliary security officers of North Korea.

From common Korean ethics, this is impossible! And it is especially so in the case of Junior Kim.

Together with the late Chairman Kim Jong-Il, Jang had done all the work to groom Jong-Un as heir to take over the power of North Korea following the death of his father, Chairman Kim Jong-il, in December 2011.

This photo at the Sun Palace in Pyongyang shows Chairman Kim, his uncle Jang Sung-Thaek and aunt Kim Kyung-hi (fourth, first and eighth from right, front row). Could anyone have foreseen Jang's purge at this time?

When Junior Kim took over the power from his father in 2011, many people in South Korea wishfully expected that Junior Kim might be better than all his predecessors because he had been exposed to the western culture and a normal society to a great measure as he attended schools in Europe and got along well with his local students.

The late former President Kim Il-sung (center) is flanked by son Jong-il (left) and daughter Kyung-hi. whose husband, Jang, was purged.
From this, many people in South Korea even now doubt if the young man had really killed Jang, the husband of the younger sister of his own father and mother. They suspect that the Junior Kim might have done it against his own will and that he must be dangerously riding a tiger on its back.

From right, foreground, Chairman Kim Jong-Un, Gen. Choi Ryong-Hae (now No. 2 Man) and ill-fated Jang Sung-thaek who was machinegunned and burnt to ashes by a flame-thrower.

Kim Jong-il's aunt, Kim Kyung-hi (right), reportedly pleaded with his nephew to see Jang (left) before is execution. However this was not allowed and Jang died without being seen by his wife.

Two days later, the Junior Kim appeared in the public wearing a broad smile, from which many North Korea watchers in Seoul suspected that he was trying to show off he was in full control of the situation in North Korea.

On this situation, however, many people in South Korea feel that the young man was crazy to kill his own uncle in such a cold-blooded manner and suspect that he, too, might not last long.

The bloody purge of North Korea’s No. 2 man, Jang Sung-thaek, came in spite of the fact that it was shortly before the second anniversary of the death of Kim Jong-Un’s father, the late former Chairman Kim Jong-il, who died on Dec. 17, 2011.

Then on Dec. 14, 2013, Chairman Kim Jong-Un appeared at the newly constructed Masingnyong Ski Resort wearing a big smile as if nothing had happened in North Korea. One day earlier on Dec. 13, Kim had a big citation presentation party giving medals and awards to many people. No matter what Jang might have done, these events indicate that Kim is not acting like a normal man.

North Korean artillery at exercise. Reports say that North Korea has substantially increased its artillery units on the west coast and behind DMZ.
What makes the people in South Korea worried is the fact that such an unpredictable man has in his hands the dreadful nuclear bombs and missiles.

Secretary of State John Kerry of the United States visiting Vietnam was quoted as saying on Dec. 15, 2013 that the steps taken by Junior Kim gave a bad omen. Comparing Kim to the late Saddam Hussein, Kerry reportedly said that the Junior Kim should not be permitted to have nuclear weapons.

The way Kim Jong-Un has been acting lately in complete disregard of international convention as well as common sense of the Korean people, nobody knows what he will do next, especially with his dangerous nuclear weapons and missiles.

North Korean long-range rocket just launched. The North Korean regime claimed it was a satellite but the South Korean, US and other western authorities disclosed that it was a long-range missile, not a satellite.

The immediate target of the bad things that the Junior Kim might attempt to do is South Korea. It is important to stop Junior Kim from developing or making any more nuclear bombs but also properly deal with the mass destruction weapons he already has.

One way to do it would be to increase international sanctions against North Korea to eliminate such dangerous weapons from the hands of Junior Kim.

North Korea watchers in Seoul are worried that Chairman Kim might try to make military provocations against South Korea to turn the attention of the troubled North Korean people to somewhere else.

Yeonpyeong-do Island of South Korea shelled by North Korean costal artillery during the Administration of former President Lee Myung-bak. Many North Korea watchers in Seoul say that if it happened today South Korean would silence the enemy with an advanced artillery counter-attack and air strikes.

Minister of National Defense Kim Kwan-Jin warned at a recent meeting of commanders of the Armed Forces that there are possibilities of North Korea’s making military provocations against the Republic of Korea in various forms from January to March in the New Year (2014).

The North Korean regime mobilize its armed forces personnel to demonstrate the government causes. Here the extra-large placard says ?e whole-heartedly congratulate the successful third underground nuclear testing. The North Korean nuclear bombs are in the way when the regime tries to attain economic development because the nuclear bombs have brought about international sanctions against the North Korean regime.

Minister Kim said that Chairman Kim may attempt to start provocations to turn the eyes of the North Korean people away from the internal situation of North Korea. He also warned that some of the followers of his uncle, Jang, could also make such provocations to show their loyalty to Chairman Kim and not to Jang who had been more or less a moderate man.

From left, foreground, Jang Sung-Thaek, Ri Sul-ju (wife of Chairman Kim Jong-Un) and Chairman Kim Jong-Un when their relations were good.

Some lawmakers of both ruling and opposition parties also warned that there are signs of North Korea’s preparing for a fourth nuclear test and a long-range missile launching test. Such signs were showing in and around the Punggye-ri Village of the Kilju County in the east-coast Province of Hamkyongbuk-do of North Korea.

They suspected that the North Korean military provocations can be bigger in scale than before.
In a related development, North Korea recently scattered thousands of psychological warfare leaflets of intimidation on Baengnyeong-do Island of the Republic of Korea close to the North Korean west coast. The leaflets, with the picture of a large skeleton, read: “We will turn the Baengnyeong Island into a huge grave yard. If you want to live, leave the Island at once!”

Here Chairman Kim Jong-Un looks disappointed at something. Kim recently machinegunned and burnt away his own uncle, Vice Chairman Jang Sung-Thaek, for various 'criminal acts which Jang has admitted to have done.'

The leaflets fell also on the fishing boats of China catching fish near the Baengnyeong-do Island waters. The Chinese seamen reading the leaflets hastily started leaving the area.

At the second anniversary memorial rite of the late Chairman Kim Jong-il on Dec. 17, 2013, Widow Kim Kyung-Hi (wife of the late Jang Sung-thaek and aunt of Kim Jong-Un) was conspicuously absent although Kim’s wife Ri Sul-ju was present.

The late former Chairman Kim Jong-il (second from right) poses with his younger sister, Kyung-Hi, at far left, with unidentified persons.

Throughout the memorial service, Chairman Kim Jong-Un appeared very strange. He showed absent-mindedness and blank eyes. Some North Korea watchers in Seoul suspected that after all what the Junior Kim had been doing was not from his own will but on the dictates of some KPA generals.

In contrast, however, there also are people in Seoul, who wishfully think that if Chairman Kim Jong-Un succeeds in consolidating his power gaining full control of the KPA generals he could start paying more attention to the betterment of economic situation of North Korea as long as he does not see immediate threat of invasion from the Republic of Korea or the United States. k

이경식 기자  edt@koreapost.com

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