Since the beginning of the year, the fate of North Korean dictator Kim Jong-un has been shrouded in mystery. Fresh reports have come in quoting a former aide of South Korea’s late president Kim Dae-jung stating that the North Korean leader is reportedly in a state of coma and his sister Kim Yo-jong is exercising de facto control over national and international matters.
New reports had flashed earlier in the year when it was claimed that Kim Jong-un was dead. However, certain photos were released by the North Korean media of the dictator attending the opening of a factory. However, Chang Song-min, who served Kim Dae-jung as a political affairs secretary and as head of the state affairs monitoring office claimed that all photographs of Kim released by North Korea in recent months were fake.
Amidst all the drama of Kim’s apparent death and coma speculations, another interesting sub-plot is emerging in the North Korean waters which gives weight to the theory that Kim’s sister has indeed taken up the mantle from him.
On August 11, a North Korean patrol boat opened fire on a Chinese boat that was fishing illegally in North Korean waters and three Chinese fishermen were killed in the incident.
This is not the first time that a Chinese boat has trudged in the waters of North Korea but it always used to be handled by giving away a warning and accepting some bribe. But the aggressive posturing from North Korea this time around has left many befuddled.
“Up until last year, North Korean patrol boats had never gone beyond making threats so they could receive bribes,” the source said. “In the past, they would fire warning shots which, of course, could hit the other boats. This time, however, they fired directly at the fishermen and killed them.”
The reason for this change in strategy could be directed to the change in political power in North Korea which has fallen into the hands of Kim Yo-Kong, who is described by North Korean media is much more ruthless but smart and astute in choosing her political foes and friends.
China and North Korea have been thick as thieves under Kim Jong-un, however, with China getting cornered by the world powers in the aftermath of Coronavirus, North Korea has seen it as a signal to dump its partner.
The dictatorial country already has heavy sanctions against it and if it continues to side with the Politburo of Beijing then it’s survival would be at stake. Countries like the USA, India, Japan, Australia, UK, etc are coming down heavily on Beijing and inadvertently will be looking to corner the dragon’s allies in the near future. North Korea cannot afford to face the fury of the new world order countries.
Therefore Kim Yo-Kong has sniffed an opportunity to woo the international audience by taking on China. If Korea goes with the general consensus of the world in countering China, then it might land itself more allies and possibly free itself from the clutches of international sanctions.
Signals are there that North Korea is willing to join the mainstream but it would take more than drowning a Chinese fishing boat to convince the world-community of its new stance.