Tuesday, December 20, 2011

北朝鮮 North Korea

Well, General Secretary of the North Korean Workers Party, Kim Jong Il, has died. So, with North Korea, now what?

金 正日氏、朝鮮労働党総書記は亡くなりました。それでは、北朝鮮はこれからどう成るでしょうか?

Well the easy answer is chaos. First of all, let's look back a little bit. From my studies, Kim Il Sung, the founder of North Korea, was a man of ability, and he was genuinely respected and loved by North Koreans. After all, he led North Korea through the war years, and managed to keep a middle of the road position between China and the Soviet Union. He even managed to produce a standard of living comparable to South Korea in the 1960's.

簡単な返事は、混乱に成ります。まず、ちょっと歴史を考えましょう。金 日成氏、北朝鮮の建国者は能力が有った人で、本当に北朝鮮の人々から尊敬と愛されました。朝鮮戦争時代のりーダーでしたし、その戦後でお互いライバルの国旧ソ連と中国の間中の道を通りました。1960年代で、北朝鮮の生活のレベルは、韓国とあまり変わりませんでした。

I don't think his son, Kim Jong Il, was as genuinely loved. At least by the elite. But other powerful North Koreans, in the Communist party and the Army, realized that if Kim Jong Il did not rule, the result would be chaos. There is a famous anecdote, when the Communist Romanian leader Nicolae Ceaușescu and his wife were executed by firing squad in 1989, Kim Jong Il showed a video of the incident to his top leaders. The message was, "We all work together or we die together." I know of at least one alleged assassination attempt some 5 years ago, but in general the leadership tolerated him.

私の気持ちで、息子の金 正日氏は、お父さんと同じ様な尊敬と愛は有りませんでした。まあ北朝鮮のエリートはそう考えたでしょう。しかし、多数の有力な北朝鮮人は金 正日氏が支配しないと、混乱な結果に成ると理解しました。有名な逸話で、1989年で、共産主義ルーマニアのニコラエ・チャウシェスク大統領と奥さんが銃殺隊で死刑された時に、金 正日氏は北朝鮮のトップリーダー達にその死刑ビデオを見せました。メッセージは、”われわれは一緒に協力するか、一緒に死ぬか!”でした。5年前位、一回位の暗殺の試みを分かるけれど、基本的に北朝鮮のエリートは金 正日氏に委ねられていました。

North Koreans, particularly the elite, do have an idea of the position of their country. There is an extensive black market of South Korean films in the North. North and South Korea have a joint venture industrial park in the city of Kaesong, just north of the DMZ. Well, South Korean workers brought their own food, including the popular South Korean sweet "Choco Pie". Well there is now huge secret trade of Choco Pie in North Korea. Despite the nastiness of the dictatorial regime, they could not stamp it out.


Personally, I think Kim Jong Il made some mistakes. His efforts a few years to stamp out private markets by revaluing the currency were a disaster.

正直に言うと、金 正日氏は間違いをしたでしょう。数年前の通貨再評価で、個人市場をなくす試みは大失敗でした。


Private markets had arisen all over the nation, and these were the only way for many North Koreans to survive. With the currency revaluation, they were stamped out instantly. Obviously this created a lot of resentment.


Also, the lifestyle of Kim Jong Il, with all the sex, alcohol, and expensive foods must have raised eyebrows among North Korea's elite. Traditionally, while prostitution has always existed in Korea, over indulgence in sex and alcohol is frowned upon. Korea has always been a very conservative land.

それと、金 正日氏の生活スタイル、セックス、お酒、高級料理で、北朝鮮のエリートは驚いたでしょう。昔から、朝鮮と言う所で売春は有りましたが、お酒とセックスをし過ぎの事があまりよく見えませんでした。朝鮮と言う国は、昔から保守的な国でした。

So Kim Jong Un inherits a pot ready to boil, and he is not even 30 years old. Can he hold it together? Kim Jong Il has charged his brother in law, Chang Sung Taek, with watching over the boy, but I personally doubt it will work. I have read that Kim Jong Un has been named a four star general, but for one so young, that is a little farcical.

金 正恩氏はまもなく爆発に成る国を引き継ぎ、まだ30歳にも成っていません。彼がその国の存在を守る事を出来ますか?数年前に、金 正日氏は義理の兄弟、張 成沢氏に、金 正恩氏を大人に成るまでに守る事を任せました。私は自分でこれはだめだと思います。金 正恩氏は陸軍大将に成ったと読んだ事が有りますが、何か全部し過ぎな気がします。茶番劇でしょう。

The next few months, couple of years will be very nervous. Will there be a war? I don't think so. As I have written before, a war would be a disaster for North Korea.



The Northern leadership understands this. As far as Japan, they could shoot off some missiles, but this would bring war.



I think there is a strong possibility of internal fighting inside North Korea. From defectors accounts, I have read some years ago of rogue North Korean army units in the mountain regions robbing travelers.


So what should Japan do? Well, I think we should take a back seat to South Korea and China. They are most directly involved. In fact, North Korea in chaos could devastate South Korea. Imagine if suddenly millions of starving North Korean refugees started crossing the DMZ?


Well, the South Korean government does have plans for this. Those plans call for South Korean Army units to go north and block road intersections in an effort to keep people in the North. Also, schools near the DMZ are designated refugee centers. But it would be a tremendous humanitarian disaster.


The South Korean economy is already in trouble, Japan may have to back up the South. And for this reason South Korean President Lee Myung Bak should stop bringing up such old issues as the "Comfort Women" issue. It was settled long ago. South Korea is going to truly need Japanese friendship, it is not time to insult us.

韓国の経済はもう困っていますし、日本は韓国をバックする必要に成るかも知れません。この理由で、韓国の李 明博大統領がその慰安婦問題の話を辞めた方が良いです。昔に解決しました。韓国はこれから日本の友好は必要に成りますし、日本に失礼な話を辞めた方がいいです。

America should restrain itself. I have read statements by Americans in case of a North Korean collapse, that America should send troops into North Korea and turn it into a Democracy.


This would be disaster. First of all troops, even if they are American, are trained to fight and kill. They are not suitable for bringing Democracy. North Koreans have very strong memories of the Korean war, and will fight if Americans enter the North.


Chinese troops could probably delivery humanitarian aid, and possibly South Korean troops. But no Americans. In America, it is an election year, and the American political Right is going to accuse President Obama of weakness if he does not intervene.


But sending American troops into North Korea would mean another long war with no purpose, and no end.


In any case, North Korea is a basket case. Road and rail transport barely exist. There is almost no electricity. The people have been starved for years, and are extremely malnourished. While literate, their education is primarily on Kim Il Sung's Juche theory.

とにかく、北朝鮮は本当に衰弱な国です。道路、鉄道の交通機関はほとんど有りません。電気もほとんど有りません。国民は何年間の飢餓で栄養不良です。読み書きを出来るけれど、教育はだいだい金 日成氏のチュチェ思想です。

Also, even though the elite have some idea of the outside world, actual contact with outsiders is going to bring extreme shock. The entire world they have known and believed in for 70 years is about to be proven totally false, a cruel deception, the psychiatric problems will be immense.


Taking care of North Korea could devastate the South Korean nation, and be a burden to China.


What is certain is that the coming North Korean collapse will be difficult for everyone.


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