Is Kim in Control of North Korea’s military?


By Jim Emerson,  staff writer

North Korea’s dictator, Kim Jung Un is playing a mean game of chicken with South Korea and the United States.  This is how chubby little dictators behave to gain the attention of world leaders and garner support—grudging or otherwise– of their own populace. Most likely he is in a power play with older military leaders in a political battle royal to keep himself in power.


This week the tyrant-in-training authorized the North Korean military to use untested nukes against American bases in South Korea. In poker this is called a bluff. It is also a ploy mainly for domestic consumption, not for external interests. Kim is untested and basically an unknown entity whose erratic behavior is a sign of immaturity which may lead to an inadvertent war. In fact, the only adults keeping Kim in check in the rouge nation are members of Korea’s military leadership. (1) During the current Kim power play, western think tanks and military officials have been unsure whether Kim is actually in charge of his own military.  And that is obviously dangerous.


The current Chinese leadership under Xi Jinping has shown signs of losing patience with the nuclear ambitions of Kim Jung Un. In fact, China agreed with United Nations sanctions against North Korea after its most recent nuclear test. (2) The mobilization of China’s military along the North Korean border is likely an effort to control the flow of refugees and defecting North Korean troops should Lil’ Kim do something particularly stupid in the near future. (3)

Just as Kim is looking for credibility, John Kerry is desperately seeking some measure of relevance as Secretary of State. Incredibly, the former presidential candidate–who rumor has it also served in Vietnam—actually hoped to display his own gravitas by announcing in response to Kim’s threats that the United States would deploy assets to defend herself and her allies. (4)  This nerd of nuance should have been advised that such thoroughly unnecessary rhetoric only serves to elevate Kim on the home front.

The best suggestion to topple the North Korean regime was offered by Chinese editor Deng Yuwen. He proposed that China encourage North Korea to adopt economic reforms, for once a little economic development takes hold, a government such as Kim’s must adjust or be overthrown by its own people.



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