Burton: China should support a military coup in North Korea

Interesting read about the Jekyll/Hyde Koreas.  There were a couple of things which stand out.  First, the Kim dynasty could continue if China does nothing.  Kim Jong-il is getting his son groomed to take over for him were he to become fertilizer.  That is the worst possible of all outcomes.  We know from sad experience that corrupt and murderous dictators seldom give up power voluntarily.  It almost always comes in the form of a military coup.   

No matter how important we think South Korea is to moderating North Korea's reckless behaviour, no one is more important than China.  Charles Burton of Canada's Globe and Mail, calls for China to support a military coup in North Korea. Via Globe and Mail

Kim Jong-il is in poor health and wants to see his 28-year-old son installed as his successor at a party congress in a few weeks. But the young man – referred to in the North Korean press as Beloved Comrade Kim Jong-un – has no military or party credentials. Becoming supreme leader is evidently to be his first real job. “This kid may have his finger on the button before we know it,” said one U.S. diplomat. The sinking of a South Korean warship in March could well be the consequence of Beloved Comrade’s trying out his newly acquired authority.

Kim Jong-il, the Dear Leader, is regarded as a pale reflection of his father, Kim Il-sung, the Great Leader. In fact, it has been widely reported that China’s leader at the time, Deng Xiaoping, was appalled when Kim Il-sung told him that Kim Jong-il would be his successor.

In the case of Kim Jong-un, then, the Chinese response must have been even more disparaging. It also will be a very hard sell in North Korea. Indeed, when Kim Jong-un went with his ailing father to meet China’s President, his name was left off the list of Korean officials reported in the Dear Leader’s entourage by the Chinese media.

Beijing would do well to take action to stop this Kim family dynastic succession in the interests of North Korea’s political stability.

Even though South Korea, with a per capita income 37 times that of its northern neighbour, recently proposed a “unification tax” to cover the anticipated cost of eventual reunification, the key player in resolving the Korean crisis has to be China.

The Korean nation has been separated for 65 years already, and only China has the ability to inspire a military coup in Pyongyang and install a pro-China regime that will implement a Chinese-style program of “opening and economic reform.” Only China has the resources to make the high levels of investment necessary to reconstruct North Korea’s economic infrastructure.

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