December 14, 2013

Is North Korea on the Brink of Chaos?

Nicholas Eberstadt, Washington Post

The Associated Press

A striking feature of North Korean communism has been the remarkable measure of physical security enjoyed by the uppermost reaches of this brutal and repressive regime. Elsewhere in the communist world, the highest tiers always enjoyed physical comforts. But the tumultuous, cut-throat nature of communist politics meant that their physical fate, up to and including cause of death, remained perilously contingent. (As the Bo Xilai affair in China underscores, this is still the case under “reform socialism.”) By contrast, North Korea’s “Great Leader” Kim Il Sung laid down a system of dynastic succession that protected not only the revolutionary royals but also those aristocrats closest to them.

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TAGGED: Korea, North Korea

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