A new era has arrived for North Korea and nobody in the western world really knows exactly what is going to happen next. Kim Jong-Il is dead, and now control over the most bizarre country on earth has been handed over to 29-year-old Kim Jong-Un. Many believe that he is even younger than that. North Korea was already quite unstable while Kim Jong-Il was leading it, and now we have a young man that is going to be eager to "prove himself" to the North Korean hierarchy.
Unfortunately, a lot of young men under the age of 30 don't handle fame and fortune too well, and a lot of them tend to be hot-headed. Hopefully Kim Jong-Un will turn out to be a reformer that will open up the doors of North Korea, but he could also end up being worse than his father. We just do not know at this point. We know that Kim Jong-Un was educated in Switzerland as a boy, we know that he speaks French, English and German, and we know that he is reportedly a fan of the NBA. Other than that, we just don't know a whole lot about him. What we do know is that Kim Jong-Un is a product of a totalitarian society that is absolutely obsessed with destroying the United States, and that is a very frightening thing.
Today, North Korea has the fourth largest army in the entire world, and we know that Kim Jong-Un was named a four-star general in 2010. The United States has about 28,000 soldiers stationed in South Korea, but that number is absolutely dwarfed by the 1,000,000 soldiers in the North Korean army.
Most Americans do not realize this, but the Korean war never actually ended. A ceasefire brought the military conflict to a conclusion in 1953, but there was never a peace treaty. For nearly 60 years, the two sides have been staring each other down along the 38th parallel.
All during that time, North Korea has been arming itself to the teeth. North Korea is a nation that is absolutely obsessed with the military and that is absolutely obsessed with destroying the United States.
Most Americans don't spend much time thinking about North Korea, but most North Koreans are focused on the United States every single day. We are constantly held up as the great enemy, and North Koreans are taught that one day they will defeat us.
Today, North Korea has thousands of missile batteries and the largest artillery force in the world. If war with North Korea erupts, Seoul would be flattened within minutes.
Right now, there are approximately 24.5 million people living either in or around Seoul, and that makes it the second largest metropolitan area in the entire world. Even if North Korea did not nuke Seoul, the devastation caused by thousands of rockets and the largest artillery force on the planet would be unimaginable.
North Korea also has a navy with more than 700 vessels, the largest submarine fleet on the entire globe and a fleet of about 1,650 aircraft.
But most importantly, North Korea has nukes.
Everyone agrees that North Korea has conducted nuclear tests and that they have an arsenal of nuclear weapons, but nobody really knows how big that arsenal is.
It is believed that the latest long-range missiles that North Korea has developed have the ability to reach the west coast of the United States, which is a very frightening thought.
But North Korea is never satisfied with where they are at. They are always developing new weapons.
For example, there have been reports that North Korea has tested a "super EMP weapon" which would be capable of taking out most of the U.S. power grid in a single shot.
North Korea is no joke. North Korea has the ability to take out Seoul or Tokyo at any time. A military conflict with North Korea could plunge the world into a devastating economic collapse in just a matter of days.
Meanwhile, the United States continues to disarm. Thanks to recent treaties that the Obama administration has signed with Russia, the size of our strategic nuclear arsenal has been reduced by over 90 percent.
That doesn't make a whole lot of sense, but then again not much that the Obama administration does makes sense.
North Korea is a very powerful enemy and they should not be underestimated. Unfortunately, most of our politicians seem to be clueless when it comes to foreign policy these days.
And North Korea is constantly testing us.
There were reports that North Korea test-fired two short-range missiles off its east coast on Monday.
Was this Kim Jong-Un flexing his muscles?
Was it a tribute to Kim Jong-Il?
Was it just a test-firing that was regularly scheduled?
With North Korea you just never know.
At this point, the South Korean military has been put on a state of high alert. South Korea is hoping that the transition of power in North Korea will go smoothly, and they are certainly watching things very closely.
The North Korean media is most definitely backing Kim Jong-Un, but that doesn't mean that Kim Jong-Un is out of the woods yet.
Mike Chinoy, a senior fellow at the U.S. China Institute, says that there may be significant challenges to the authority of Kim Jong-Un in the months ahead....
"How does somebody who's not yet 30 win the loyalty and respect and command authority over the entrenched party apparatus, the entrenched military bureaucracy, and the senior party officials who may have been in their positions for a long time?"
That is a very good question. Could someone in the North Korean military rise up to challenge Kim Jong-Un? It seems unlikely, but you never know.
Meanwhile, most of the focus in North Korea is still on the death of the "dear leader". The passing of Kim Jong-Il has once again demonstrated why North Korea is widely considered to be the most bizarre country on earth.
The following comes from an article in the Telegraph....
State television, which delivered the shock news in a tearful announcement, aired footage from Pyongyang of hysterical North Koreans, young and old, pounding the ground in a display of abject grief.
People on the streets of the North Korean capital wailed, some kneeling on the ground or bowing repeatedly as they learned the news that their 'Dear Leader' had died of heart failure while carrying out official duties on a train trip.
"How could the heavens be so cruel? Please come back, general. We cannot believe you're gone," Hong Son Ok cried in an interview with the country's official broadcaster, her body shaking.
Video footage of North Koreans mourning the "dear leader" is posted below....
Of course it must be remembered that if you do not mourn the "dear leader" properly, you and your entire family could get shipped off to a prison camp.
In North Korea, if authorities even suspect that you are not thinking the right thing, you and your entire extended family could be sent to a gulag for the rest of your life.
It is that kind of fear and repression that enabled Kim Jong-Il to maintain such tight-fisted control.
Without a doubt, Kim Jong-Il was truly bizarre. Kim John-Il enjoyed endless luxuries while his people deeply suffered. It has been reported that he had a collection of more than 20,000 movies, and it is said that he composed six operas. It is also claimed that he shot 38 under par (including 11 holes-in-one) the first time he ever played golf.
But all of this leader worship started with his father, Kim Il-Sung. It is said that hanging up pictures of Kim Il-Sung is compulsory for every household in North Korea, and many Koreans apparently believe that Kim Il-Sung actually created the world.
So yes, North Korea is very, very weird.
And North Korea is also very, very evil.
In a previous article, I discussed how Christians are treated in North Korea. Sadly, Christians in North Korea are murdered in some of the most brutal ways imaginable. The following is just one example....
"While Interviewee 17 was in the North Korean Army, his unit was dispatched to widen the highway between Pyongyang and the nearby port city of Nampo. They were demolishing a vacated house in Yongkang county, Yongkang district town, when in a basement between two bricks they found a Bible and a small notebook that contained 25 names, one identified as pastor, two as chon-do-sa (assistant pastors), two as elders, and 20 other names, apparently parishioners, identified by their occupations. The soldiers turned the Bible and notebook over to the local branch of Department 15 of the Korean Workers Party (KWP), but the Party officials said it was up to the military police unit, Bowisaryungbu gigwanwon, to investigate. Tracked down at their place of work through the listing of occupation in the notebook, the 25 persons were picked up without formal arrest by the military bowibu. The interviewee was not aware of any judicial procedures for those seized. In November 1996, the 25 were brought to the road construction site. Four concentric rectangular rows of spectators were assembled to watch the execution. Interviewee 17 was in the first row. The five leaders to be executed - the pastor, two assistant pastors, and two elders - were bound hand and foot and made to lie down in front of a steamroller. This steamroller was a large construction vehicle imported from Japan with a heavy, huge, and wide steel roller mounted on the front to crush and level the roadway prior to pouring concrete. The other twenty persons were held just to the side. The condemned were accused of being Kiddokyo (Protestant Christian) spies and conspiring to engage in subversive activities. Nevertheless, they were told, “If you abandon religion and serve only Kim Il Sung and Kim Jong Il, you will not be killed.” None of the five said a word. Some of the fellow parishioners assembled to watch the execution cried, screamed out, or fainted when the skulls made a popping sound as they were crushed beneath the steamroller. Interviewee 17 thought, at the time, that these church people were crazy. He thought then that religion was an “opiate,” and it was stupid for them to give up their lives for religion. He heard from the soldiers who took away the other twenty prisoners that they were being sent to a prison camp."
Could you imagine watching your loved ones die like that?
Famine has also been a huge ongoing problem in North Korea.
There have actually been reports of cannibalism in North Korea during times of extreme famine. A number of years ago, the Washington Post shared what one 29-year-old female defector told them about the cannibalism that she witnessed....
"When one is very hungry, one can go crazy. One woman in my town killed her 7-month-old baby, and ate the baby with another woman."
The amazing thing is that the 29-year-old female defector did not even consider the cannibalism to be wrong....
"I can't condemn cannibalism. Not that I wanted to eat human meat, but we were so hungry. It was common that people went to a fresh grave and dug up a body to eat meat. I witnessed a woman being questioned for cannibalism. She said it tasted good."
So is there anyone out there that still wants to move to North Korea?
National Geographic once did an amazing documentary on what life is like inside North Korea, and if you have not seen it yet, you can view it on YouTube right here. It is absolutely incredible that there are people on earth that are living like that.
Hopefully the rest of us can learn a lesson from them. A totalitarian police state may make you feel a little bit "safer", but no rational person should ever want to live in one.
The funny thing is that the North Korean people supposedly have rights. If you can believe it, the North Korean constitution actually guarantees freedom of speech and freedom of the press.
The American people need to understand that just because the U.S. Constitution says that we have rights does not mean that we will always have them. In fact, today our First Amendment rights are being brutally assaulted.
As I wrote about recently, the United States is becoming a little more like North Korea every single day. If we do not stand up for our rights, eventually they will all be gone.
It has been said that the price of freedom is eternal vigilance. Throughout history, most societies have not enjoyed the same freedoms that we enjoy today. There always seems to be a tendency for governments to become repressive and to go down the road that North Korea has gone.
Please do not let that happen to America.
For similar articles, see The Economic Collapse Blog.