China wants North Korea's Kim Jong-Il to become the latest tyrant-turned-"reformer" -- in the same mold as Libya's Saif Gaddafi, Syria's Bashar al-Assad and, of course, Cuba's Raul Castro.
And just like his tyrannical brethren, Kim is not motivated by a voluntary zeal to provide greater freedoms, rights and opportunities to his people.
To the contrary -- what he seeks are distractions to navigate through North Korea's current economic crisis, so that he (and his family) can maintain their (brutal) dictatorial grip on power.
Just last year, South Korean newspapers wrote:
There has been a lot of activity in the border area between North Korea and China in early December that experts attribute to changes in China's Northeast Development Strategy and North Korea's economic reform. Furthermore, they suggest there have been signals that there will be an economic reform in North Korea that will be launched in earnest starting next year.
One expert in China who has had exchanges with high ranking North Korean officials for the past several years told a Hankyoreh reporter recently, "I have heard that North Korea will announce its plans for economic reform through the 2010 New Year's Joint Editorial." He added, "I have also heard that North Korea's leadership has decided to move up the schedule for economic reform after Chinese Prime Minister Wen Jiabao's visit last October."
He continued to say, "The price of goods doubled following the currency reform that happened Nov. 30, but North Korea's government is prepared to release stocked goods when it announces its economic reform." He added, "The economic reform will be North Korean in style, in that it will attempt to maintain an ability to control and lead the market economy."
Doesn't the last sentence sound familiar?
And yesterday, Reuters reported:
China seen nudging North Korea's Kim on economic reform
North Korea's secretive leader Kim Jong-il finished his latest visit to the Chinese capital on Thursday, embarking on the next and possibly last leg of a train journey that Beijing has used as a rolling tutorial in the virtues of economic reform.
Kim's visit to China in August left the "impression that the Chinese were trying to push harder on the North Koreans to move in the direction of undertaking certain kinds of economic reforms," said Scott Snyder, an Washington D.C.-based expert on North Korea at the Asia Foundation [...]
As Pyongyang's ties with South Korea and much of the outside world have soured, Kim has leaned more on ally Beijing for support, which has cost China both in economic aid and in strains with South Korea and other nations alarmed by North Korea's nuclear weapons development and military brinkmanship.
"The main factor is that North Korea, especially the leadership, is hungry for cash and China is the only viable source of cash," said Snyder.
Surely Kim will turn to Raul for advice on his public relations campaign.
- ► 2013 (453)
- ► 2012 (1158)
05/22 - 05/29
- What is Courageous?
- The Latest Tyrant-Turned-"Reformer"
- New Bill to Deter Cuba Oil Drilling
- Incessant Activism (and Repression)
- Must-Read of the Week
- Wrong Time, Wrong Itinerary
- Imprisoned for Hip-Hop
- Morality Guides the Embargo
- More Beaten Women and Dead Prisoners
- Foreign Oil Companies Sanctioned
- Another Dictator Stands Trial
- The Crooks Stealing From Thieves
- Just Do It!
- Castro's "Earned Media" Outlet
- Solidarity Among Repressed People
- ▼ 05/22 - 05/29 (15)
- ► 2010 (1043)
- ► 2009 (933)