If you believe the propaganda, then North Korea’s Supreme Leader is in great shape — ‘super supreme’ shape perhaps — so healthy, in fact, that America have convened crisis talks with South Korea to discuss bringing KJU to the negotiating table before he gets in even better shape.
Why not just let him go?
Maybe, better the devil you know?
The intelligence dossier on Jong-Un is incomplete but hardly sparse. The world knows him as the chubby kid who went to Bern, loved his basketball and cheese. Super Supreme Leader continues to love his cheese, and has developed a taste for expensive champagne, Russian vodka, cigarettes and the ladies.
Ongoing health scares aside, foreign affairs strategists are rattled by the prospect of a sudden power vacuum in this tiny nuclear nation, should Kim Jong-Un become too healthy. Were he to accept the mint, so to speak, his children by wife Ri sol-Ju are too young to succeed. Then what?
Many believe Jong-Un’s wafer-thin sister Kim Yo-Jong has been positioned to serve as regent or steward until formal succession takes place. But this arrangement didn’t work for Madame Mao, and there’s no reason to think it would for the Super Supreme Leader’s sister.
But let’s imagine it does.
As the de facto director of the Propaganda and Agitation Department, Yo-Jong’s remit are the “idolization projects” that maintain Kim Jong-un’s popularity. But she also controls media censorship and political purges.
For example, Yo-Jong helped sideline her eldest sibling, Kim Jong Chul, for having “the warm heart of a girl” and thus unsuited to rule. Whispers link her to the 2017 nerve agent assassination of Kim Jong-Nam, their half-brother and legitimate succession threat.
Many fear Kim Yo-Jong could prove the Hermit Kingdom’s most brutal dictator. The dossier on her is too thin, and she is too well-placed to wield the apparatus of state to her gain, especially against legitimate darkhorse claimants like her uncle Kim Pyong-Il.
Kim Yo-Jong’s profile has been curated carefully since 2020 to emphasise ‘masculine’ traits of aggression and decisiveness, and her threats against South Korea are escalating. Nobody doubts she’d uses flamethrowers, dogs and machine guns to execute her enemies, but what about nukes?
No wonder the Americans are nervous.
Even when pretending not to, Kim Jong-Un loves America. He loves his Air Jordans, basketball, french fries, Dennis Rodman, Donald Trump. No such love from his “cruel” sister.
Nota res mala, opima.
Let’s hope for once that The Simpsons was wrong.