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Sabin Muntean

Karlsruhe Institute of Technology

TEDCRED 50+

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Winds of change in North Korea?

Do you believe that in light of recent events (the passing away of Kim Jong-il) change is possible in North Korea?
Will Kim Jong-un pursue the same course of isolation and authoritarian rule that his father and grandfather established or does he have the potential to be open to new ideas?

I am looking forward to an interesting debate, especially since the outcome is very difficult to predict. Jong-un is after all still in his twenties and has apparently only recently been induced into the higher circles of power. Does he even have something to say at the moment or is he only a puppet ruler guided by other high officials?

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    Dec 28 2011: 'Young 'un', as satirists will no doubt start calling him, as opposed to the (evidently) 'ill un', never appointed anyone. All the old guard were acolytes of his father. They hold power thanks to 'ill 'un's' patronage and mutual support from each other - the blood of their people is on all their hands. 'Young 'un' will be fed donuts and babes to keep him happy, while the generals slog it out amongst themselves. They'll wheel 'Young 'un' out whenever a face is needed, but rest assured the future of North Korea has nothing to do with a spoilt kid whose dad just died.
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    Dec 23 2011: I think the United States could be more cooperative with North Korea. The United States wanted North Korea to dismantle it's nuclear weapon and then start negotiating and start building a relationship. What Korea wanted was to build a strong relationship and then dismantle. Given what the United States has done to other countries I am not fully opposed to North Korea (Iraq is one of many examples). The Nuclear weapons main function is after all to deter attack rather than provoke it. The United States has broken numerable agreements that were more than reasonable.
  • Dec 21 2011: He received a good western education.This matters a lot.The world now is in a mess particukarly in terms of economy.The Korea itself must jugde from the new trend.Maybe the new power man will make decisions to adapt to the world rather than keep isolating from other countries.Maybe it is a good new for USA as the 2012 comes.
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    Dec 20 2011: This question is a great debate question because everyone knows a possible result, but no one knows the exact result. This is because of the anonymity of Kim Jong-Un. He has barely stepped onto a platform of leadership, and no one knows what his thought, intentions, or motivations are. He may follow his father out of pressure from surrounding leaders, or he may well have gotten sick of his father's authority and he may spread love and peace (and freedom) to other North Koreans. It is totally unpredictable.
  • Dec 19 2011: I will continue to live in accordance with my philosophy and religion: When in doubt, assume positive.
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    Dec 19 2011: do we know how north korea works? why the military leaders obeyed kim jongil? was he a genius manipulator? what gave that evil system the power over millions who oppose it? if we answer these questions, the question is will his son have this power too? will he be able to control the legion of bureaucrats and leaders? if not, we will quickly see a coup d'état followed by anything from civil war to modernization. if he will be able to control, then everything is on him. will he continue in his father's footsteps, or chooses to get in the history books as the "liberator" of north korea? too many open questions.
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    Dec 19 2011: It is inevitable...

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZvxbZTP6-ak