Christmas Comes Early For Uncle Jang . . .
Kevin Kim calls attention to Joshua Stanton over at One Free Korea for his intriguing insight into the Child-King's possible faux pas in having his Uncle Jang so publicly executed for plotting a coup:
The very fact that North Korea concedes that a recently-esteemed and trusted leader secretly despised and plotted against Kim Jong Un is an acknowledgement of the unthinkable. It shatters one of the most sacred illusions of North Korean propaganda. Had someone tried to overthrow Kim Jong Il (and someone probably did) Kim Jong II would never have admitted it (and he didn't). Both Jang's execution and this announcement suggest that Kim Jong Un is a much more volatile man than his father, and much less schooled in the ideology that explains his father's longevity. For once, I'm astonished by North Korea's candor.Joshua's point is that the Kim-family's spell has been broken. Every North Korean now knows that the man closest to Kim Jong Un hated him. There may now be a lot of desperate officials who were indebted to Jang and don't want to suffer his fate, and if the Man-Child Leader is perceived as volatile, unpredictable, and brutal, then he is making a problem for himself, as I noted about a week ago:
If he's executing people on a whim, then nobody in the high elite can trust him. An intelligent dictator can be harsh, but if the rules are clear and applied consistently, people will generally obey them and thus know that they are secure. But if there are no rules and punishment is arbitrary, conditions are ripe for revolt.But we'll see. Meanwhile, let's appreciate the "Brilliant General" for this early Christmas present . . .