Defense Secretary Mattis Calls North Korea America’s Most Serious Threat

North Korea has jumped above Iran on America’s enemies list according to Secretary of Defense James Mattis:

Defense Secretary James Mattis, when he led the U.S. Central Command that oversees operations in the Middle East, repeatedly said that the three gravest threats to the United States were “Iran, Iran, Iran.”

But at a press conference in London on Friday, the retired Marine general suggested that North Korea, with its ballistic missile and nuclear programs, now holds the top spot.

Asked about his previous focus on Iran as the most serious threat, Mattis called Iran “the primary state sponsor of terrorism” but pivoted quickly to the secretive Stalinist regime in Pyongyang.

“In the larger scheme of things, obviously, in a global situation that’s dynamic, you’ve highlighted appropriately I think the North Korean threat,” Mattis said (the reporter had not mentioned North Korea).  [Yahoo News]

You can read more at the link.

Picture of the Day: Kim Jong-un Meets With Grandfather’s Comrade

N.K. leader visits revolution museum

This still photo broadcast by the North’s Korean Central TV on March 28, 2017, shows the country’s top leader Kim Jong-un affectionately greeting Hwang Sun-hui, an anti-Japanese revolutionary fighter, during his visit to the remodeled Korean Revolution Museum. Hwang, curator of the museum, was a comrade of Kim Il-sung, the grandfather of the current leader and the founder of North Korea. (For Use Only in the Republic of Korea. No Redistribution) (Yonhap)

Senator McCain Doubles Down On Calling Kim Jong-un Crazy and Fat

If this was just about anyone else people would be claiming Senator McCain is fat shaming.  I guess obese Asian dictators with bad haircuts are not eligible for special victim status:

“What, did they want me to call him a crazy skinny kid?” Sen. John McCain quipped via Twitter on Wednesday in response to a report by the Korean Central News Agencythat the dignity of North Korea’s supreme leadership was hurt by McCain’s recent description of Kim Jong Un as the “crazy fat kid that’s running North Korea.”  [Yahoo]

You can read more at the link, but I think Senator McCain is making a mistake by calling Kim Jong-un crazy.  What he has been doing is actually quite rationale from his perspective.

Is Kim Jong-un Crazy or A Rational Leader?

So many people think of Kim Jong-un as a crazy madman, however I consider him to be a rational, but ruthless leader.  The things he does may seem crazy, but they tend to always have the purpose of maintaining his regime’s survival.  Understanding that Kim Jong-un is a rational actor instead of a crazy madman is basically what this Joong Ang Ilbo op-ed is stating:

That the younger Kim is ruthless is unquestionable. But he is not necessarily crazy. If he had an uncontrollable violent temper, his father would not have groomed him to succeed him. His economic policy alone shows him to be practical to an extent. It may be naïve to blame an instable temperament for his acts of brutality and to assume that they underscore the vulnerability of the North Korean state. Such a simple interpretation could distort our North Korean policy.

Tyranny could be his choice. It is certainly his inheritance. Kim Jong-un may be naturally ruthless, or strategically so. It could be a means to maintain power. Soviet leader Joseph Stalin resorted to an infamous reign of terror. Under his command, 5 percent of the Soviet population was killed. He ordered the execution of 700,000 from 1937 to 1938. Such sheer brutality reveal him to be a hideous madman. But such terror was also necessary to build his authority and transform the Soviet Union into a global superpower. Studies of confidential documents by Stalin paint him as a reasonable dictator.  [Joong Ang Ilbo]

You can read much more at the link.

Kim does not want to be the next Saddam Hussein or Muammar Gaddafi, dictators that were eventually executed by their own people.  Kim’s inheritance is a mafia state which his father Kim Jong-il understood that only someone willing to be ruthless could run.  That is why his oldest son Kim Jong-nam was passed over because he was simply too nice to run a mafia state.  Kim Jong-un on the other hand was clearly the correct choice because he has shown he is willing to take whatever measures are necessary to ensure the regime’s survival.  So Kim Jong-un is not crazy, he just ruthless.

Kim Han-sol Believed to Have Arrived in Malaysia to Claim Father’s Body

The man in the video who arrived at the Kuala Lumpur International Airport does have a pretty good resemblance to Kim Jong-nam:

There is no sign of Kim Han-sol at Kuala Lumpur International Airport 2 (KLIA2) following speculation that he was on his way here.

As at 11pm Monday, reporters were seen leaving KLIA2 after failing to confirm the arrival of Han-sol, the son of the Kim Jong-nam who was killed last Monday.

However, there was a slight commotion when a man, whom media suspected of being Han-sol stepped out of the domestic arrival gate.

The man, who was wearing a cap, earphones and a black face mask, walked away before the gathered media were able to ask him any questions.

Earlier in the day, a message circulated among the media that the 22-year-old son of murdered Kim Jong-nam would be touching down at KLIA2 at around 7.30pm. [The Star]

You can read more at the link.

Picture of the Day: Kim Jong-un Commemorates Father’s 75th Birthday

Kim Jong-un at father's tomb

North Korean leader Kim Jong-un (C) bows before the tomb of his father Kim Jong-il at the Kumsusan Palace of the Sun, which holds the embalmed bodies of Kim Jong-il and grandfather Kim Il-sung, in Pyongyang on Feb. 16, 2017, to mark the 75th birthday of Kim Jong-il. (Yonhap)

Kim Jong-un’s Older Brother Kim Jong-nam Is Assassinated By Likely North Korean Agents In Malaysia; Is Kim Han-sol Next?

Kim Jong-un was finally able to kill his older brother and he had his agents resort to using poison needles again.  Long time readers may remember that the Kim regime tried to kill ROK Drop favorite Park Sang-hak with a poison needle as well:

Kim Jong-nam

Kim Jong-nam

North Korean leader Kim Jong-un’s half-brother has been killed in Malaysia, a government source said Tuesday.

Kim Jong-nam was assassinated on Monday in Malaysia, the source said without revealing details.

Cable TV broadcaster TV Chosun reported that Kim was killed at an airport in Malaysia after being attacked by two unidentified female agents with “poisoned needles.” The suspects fled the scene and Malaysian police suspected North Korea was behind the killing.

If confirmed, Kim’s case would mark the most high-profile death under the Kim Jong-un regime since the execution of Jang Song-thaek in December 2013, the once-powerful uncle of the current leader.

Kim Jong-nam is the eldest son of late former leader Kim Jong-il and is living in a foreign country without holding any official title. He was born from his father’s nonmarital relationship with Sung Hae-rim, a South Korean-born actress who died in Moscow.  [Yonhap]

For those that don’t know it has long been believed that Kim Jong-nam was China’s preferred back up plan if the North Korean regime was to collapse.  With Kim Jong-nam now dead the only Kim’s left to rule North Korea are Kim Jong-nam’s other brother Kim Jong-chul who is considered too lady like to rule the country and his sister Kim Yo-jong is female and thus not a threat either.  Plus both of them are part of his close inner circle where he can closely watch them.

That left Kim Jong-nam as a possible threat for someone looking to replace Kim Jong-un with another Kim and he is now gone.  The only other possible replacement to Kim Jong-un that is not under his control is Kim Jong-nam’s son, Kim Han-sol who has been living in Europe.  I would imagine he is some deep hiding right now after seeing his father executed because he could be next.

Kim Han sol

Kim Han-sol