Rogue Regime: Kim Jong Il and the Looming Threat of North Korea

Rogue Regime: Kim Jong Il and the Looming Threat of North Korea

Rogue Regime: Kim Jong Il and the Looming Threat of North Korea

Rogue Regime: Kim Jong Il and the Looming Threat of North Korea

Synopsis

What happens when a dictator wins absolute power and isolates a nation from the outside world? In a nightmare of political theory stretched to madness, North Korea's Kim Jong Il made himself into a living god, surrounded by lies and flattery and beyond criticism. As over two million of his subjects starved to death, Kim Jong Il roamed between palaces staffed by the most beautiful girls in the country and stocked with the most expensive delicacies from around the world. Outside, the steel mills shut down, the trains stopped running, the power went out, and the hospitals ran out of medicine. When the population threatened to revolt, Kim imposed a reign of terror across the country, deceived the United Nations, and plundered the country's dwindling resources to become a nuclear power. Now tiny bankrupt North Korea is using her nuclear capability to blackmail the United States. Veteran correspondent Jasper Becker takes us inside one of the most secretive countries in the world, exposing the internal chaos, blind faith, rampant corruption, and terrifying cruelty of its rulers. Becker details the vain efforts to change North Korea by actors inside and outside the country and the dangers this highly volatile country continues to pose. Small, podgy and easily overlooked, Kim Jong Il has emerged from the shadow of his father to lead the most successful and dangerous rogue state of our times. This unique land, ruled by one family's megalomania and paranoia, seems destined to survive and linger on for some time, a menace to its own people and to the rest of the world. But should the nations of the world allow this regime to survive? That's the question with which this book concludes.

Excerpt

North Korea is the quintessential rogue regime, and its end may only come after a terrifying war. The term “rogue state” is reserved only for the most incorrigible in the international system. Rogue states engage in rash behavior, subjugate their populations, are hostile to the ideologies and interests of the free world, and, most troublingly, breach established international rules in many areas: diplomacy, trade, terrorism, human rights, dangerous weapons, narcotics, and so on. In particular these states’ active pursuit of weapons of mass destruction qualifies them for the label “rogue,” a certificate of dangerous insanity in the diplomatic world. If, like North Korea, there is also a record of sponsoring terrorism around the world, they are bound to attract concern.

North Korea answers to this description but it is also a failed state: the ruling family, founded by Kim Il Sung, has brutalized its own population for half a century, murdering or starving to death some four million people. The Kims have squandered precious resources on a religious cult devoted to their own worship while they have built palaces, swilled imported French cognac, and gifted their concubines with Swiss watches. Any such regime must be rated as highly unstable and combustible.

In recent years, foreign troops have arrived on humanitarian peacekeeping missions in Haiti, Cambodia, Rwanda, Somalia, Sierra Leone, Liberia, Bosnia, Kosovo, Macedonia, and Congo, all states which tend to be described as failed rather than rogue states. It is conceivable that North Korea may . . .

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