Kim Watch: Army men

North Korean soldiers wave during a military parade
North Korean soldiers in period uniforms wave to crowds in Pyongyang during a military parade commemorating the end of the Korean War (source: dpa)

South Korean President Park Geun-hye was impeached by parliament on December 9 for allowing a close confidante to meddle in affairs of state. The Constitutional Court in Seoul now has six months to decide whether to remove her from office. One of the benefits of living in a democratic country is that the people have the right to throw out the president for abuse of power.

North Koreans simply cannot understand this. After seven decades of brainwashing by three generations of their ruling dynasty, people regard the president or party chairman as an emperor. By definition, supreme rulers do not lose their jobs.

A central article of North Korean faith is that “a country cannot run for even a single day without an emperor.” Now that South Korea’s “empress” is being deposed, Kim Jong-un is convinced this is a perfect opportunity to overthrow the government in Seoul and reunite the whole Korean peninsula.

Just two days after Ms. Park’s impeachment, North Korea’s state news agency released photos of special forces attacking and destroying a replica of the South Korean president’s official residence – a military exercise code-named “Decapitation of the Blue House.”

As the Blue House went up in flames, President Kim could not hide his excitement

Commandos borne by helicopters and paragliders swept down on the wood-and-cardboard mock-up, which was carried in a swift assault and set ablaze. The stupefied defenders – simulated “South Korean puppets” – could not grasp what was happening and failed to react.

Watching through field glasses, President Kim was overjoyed and could not hide his excitement. When the “Blue House” went up in flames, he let out a shout of “Well done, well done!”

At the end of the exercise, Mr. Kim praised his unbeatable servicemen and their unwavering loyalty. Officers and soldiers alike were so touched by their great leader’s kindness that they burst into tears, and the whole happy crew lined up for a group photo of the unforgettable event.

No ticket

Military service in North Korea is universal and compulsory – 10 years for men and seven for women. Some of my own relatives finished their decade-long hitch with skeleton-thin bodies and empty pockets. All they had were the ragged clothes on their backs and no money for the bus ride home.

One of my relatives and his buddies argued with a ticket collector for five hours. They kept shouting: “Are you out of your mind? We’ve been in the army for 10 years, how can you possibly expect us to afford the fare?”

Mr. Kim’s fantasy is to turn South Korea’s capital into a sea of fire and corpses

These veterans may be broke, but they can still burn down a fake Blue House if it makes their leader happy.

Kim Jong-un’s fantasy is to turn South Korea’s capital into a sea of fire and corpses. He must be thinking that his best opportunity to reunite the peninsula is to drop a few nuclear bombs while South Korea is leaderless. Nobody gets out of Seoul alive.

The chief difficulty is deterring massive retaliation from the United States, which is only possible if Pyongyang succeeds in developing intercontinental ballistic missiles.

Mr. Kim's dreams will not take flight until his ICBMs do.

In Kim Watch, GIS Expert Kati Kang shares her insights into the policies of Kim Jong-un. For more, click here.

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