Thursday, March 26, 2009

On the Eve of the Long Collapse?

Is North Korea nearing their long collapse? If North Korea's security forces cease being a bulwark of the state, it could be that the end is nigh:

Throughout history the initial signs of collapse of despotic regimes can usually be traced back to some apocryphal moment in which the armed forces, secret police or others charged with maintaining "public order" demonstrate that they no longer unquestioningly follow the orders of the dictator. The famous stories of the 1917 Russian Revolution when one of the dreaded crowd-suppressing Cossacks winked at those demonstrating against Tsar Nicholas II rather than giving the standard order to move down scores unarmed civilians. Another of the Tsar's Cossacks used his curved, razor-sharp cavalry sword to cut open sacks of state-owned grain for starving workers and peasants instead ordering a charge to cut them down Bloody Sunday-style. These and other similar moments are considered the beginning of the end for the Romanov dynasty.

Several recent analytical reports, including a study from the U.S. government's National Intelligence Council (NIC), are causing those watching the situation in North Korea to ask if we are not seeing a similar deterioration in the control over the military by the Kim Family Regime (KFR), as it is referred to by the US military command in South Korea. Like the starving mobs in St. Petersburg who were demanding to be fed, the on-going food crisis in North Korea is having a crippling effect on the military establishment's loyalty to the Great Leader, and is permanently weakening the grip that the KRF has on the country.

The North Koreans already downgraded the military in a regime survival strategy of spooks and nukes, to keep the population and military under control and foreign enemies at bay with spies and nuclear weapons, respectively. But the spooks don't seem up to the task without having army special forces attached to them.

The article mentions that South Korea and China prefer the North Koreans to suffer under the Kim regime than risk paying the cost of a regime collapse. This is true. But doesn't this just mean that Seoul and Peking would prefer an intact North Korea with nuclear missiles capable of threatening us? So they don't have to spend the money to rescue North Koreans?

I don't know why that motivation to prop up the corpse of a regime in Pyongyang has to trump our foreign policy goal of eliminating a direct nuclear threat to our people and a nuclear proliferator.