Monday, July 13, 2009

Feeling Il

More on the purported pancreatic cancer of PRNK's Kim Jong Il in today's Christian Science Monitor. They provide a good, easily readable summary, along with a number of interesting links, of what's known and not known, but most importantly, a first-stab analysis of the consequences of a struggle for succession following Kim's death. Of particular interest is a link to a June 18th analysis by The International Crisis Group on the importance of getting back to negotiations. Along with the analysis and recommendations, a couple of points stand out ominously:
A likely succession in North Korea could unleash instability, or it could result in a much more belligerent or isolated military regime. The transfer of power after Kim Jong-il is far less clear than when his father died in 1994.

An isolated North Korea under sanctions will be more, not less, likely to sell weapons or technology for hard currency. Given that its clients have been in the Middle East and South Asia, this is likely to create further problems in highly insecure areas.
I have felt for some time that the existence of a nuclear-armed Pakistan was the single most dangerous fact in today's world. I'm on the verge of deciding that a possible victim of cancer is an even more dangerous fact.

No comments: