What now for the hereditary Hermit Kingdom which Kim Jong Un finds himself leading? I’d image a period of mourning, perhaps a year in keeping with tradition which generally involves an increase in the policing of its people with the intent to maintain the ‘universal’ show of sorrow. Also the country itself most likely will be placed out of bounds to foreigns (though I have received word that tourists are able to enter the country after Jan 10th). Again, I image there will be a battle behind the unified front between high ranking [military] officials vying for power – the debate will rage on outside the D.P.R.K. with the question will Kim Jong Un be overthrown or set off a nuclear bomb. Given the all encompassing governance of the country which since the countries forming has sort to systemically unify all walks of life to consider the Kim dynasty as the only way to not just prosper but, more bluntly and unfounded, provoke a general sense that this is ‘just how it is’. Recognizing what the D.P.R.K /north Korea is at this moment in time has the possibility to shed light on the best predictions of its future.
So What is north Korea / the Democratic Peoples Republic of Korea? For all its complexities my instinct is to simplify and say that at present, Iike it has been for over 60s, I perceive it to be an unresolved proxy war. And right now it is a convenient buffer-zone for both sides in the battle of power between the US and China on the global stage. I would extend my sentiments by saying that the D.P.R.K. is a complex seemingly sagnet dilopmatic battle ground between P.R.China & the US with the added problem of having a ruthless one track leadership system backed into a corner with pretty much all its cards spent acting like a headless chicken desperate to sustain its place in a world it doesn’t understand or to put it another way a reluctant un-wanting middle man.
It is my believe that with the rise of China’s influence and the corridor of time mostly with the death of a dictator or two and then the long road of balancing the military junta over considerable investment jointly by the international aid community and China, the people of the Democratic Peoples Republic of Korea with experience an increased awareness to the right to life that history is showing us is happening in China. With recognition of its dark days, and the hope to maturely deal with its faults and floors north Korea can be a country at peace with itself on its own terms but the foundations of the current mass murdering and famine must not be forgot or turned to political benefit to substain the current regime. And it must for the stability of a much larger picture remain as an independent country with the help but not the intervention of others.
In 2007 having spent some time living and working in the south I visited the north on a 8 day trip with the intention to ‘look in with a view to looking out’, in others words try to gain some understanding and perspective – you can view my photos from that trip here -> D.P.R.K. photos