There is no need to worry about the collapse of the Kim Jong Il regime

[imText1]In this society, a number of people who are not pro-North Korea, but consider the continuation of the Kim Jong Il regime as a positive. This is derived from the concern that the collapse of the regime would create chaos. Recently, president Roh also mentioned that collapse of the Kim Jong Il regime would be a disaster. The concerns which derived regarding regime change can be divided into four aspects.

First, if Kim’s regime faces the danger of collapse, there exists the possibility for Kim to choose to initiate war with the Republic of Korea, which is the extreme scenario. However, in history, most dictators have shown this to be the best effort to prevent the destruction of their own regime. In this effort, brutal oppression and reluctant concession are included in the effort.

Starting a war with the ROK is to set his final days ahead of time. In other words, it is a suicidal act and Kim Jong il is well aware of this fact. Thus, it is safe to say the potential for Kim to choose to initiate war is less likely although war has benefits in that it would temporarily silence unsatisfactory voices or crisis. Like other dictators, Kim’s final day would come as he continuously struggles with the ‘confidence’ that he could overcome the crisis. It implies that he will not give up the appeal of having unlimited power.

Second, North Korea without Kim Jong Il, a political vacuum would result. Then it would most likely create conflicts and fights between the major powers which would consequently lead to civil war. This scenario has high potential. In fact, there is no second power in North Korea because of Kim Jong Il’s absolute power system. For there is no power distribution; the absence of Kim Jong Il would bring chaos. More than two million armed forces could fraction into multiple groups and civil conflict could result.

Furthermore, because a trend exist in North Korean society where human life is not valued, when civil war breaks out among them, a massive massacre could potentially occur just like in Afghanistan after the Soviets withdrew from Angola and in Rwanda, Africa. Also, because the “Almighty Dollar principle” is now widespread in contemporary North Korea, some pursuing power may mobilize the army with money in order to develop their positions.

To cope with the possibilities of civil war in North Korea, foreign troops must first intervene and disarm the armies. The best solution is to form a multinational force center around the ROK army through UN resolutions. However, considering North Koreans’ strong anti-American sentiments, it is a better idea for American soldiers not to participate. If UN resolutions takes a longer time, perhaps ROK army should just start the work.

Third, even a larger number of defectors will be created with the fall of North Korea and ROK will suffer from chaos if South and North Korea unify in the same way that East and West Germany did.

The integration of North and South is the major aspect that the ROK fears following the collapse of Kim Jong Il’s regime. But this fear is derived from misunderstanding and ignorance. It is because people believe the integration model that Germany chose is the only option. If South and North integrate when North Koreans’ average earnings are 1/20~1/50 of South Koreans who receive public aid, North Koreans would depend solely on the ROK’s social welfare system. Then the ROK government would quickly go bankrupt, and in order to prevent bankruptcy, the government would reduce the social welfare fund. Subsequently, terrible social unrest and political disturbances could follow. The society would be full of swindlers who take advantage of North Koreans who are not able to adjust to the new regime. Regionalism would also be developed to an extreme form. Many North Korean women migrating to the South with no other recourse, would engage themselves in prostitution.

Such phenomena are preferable to neither state. Although there may be a regime change in DPRK, there should be restrictions on migration between North and South for a long period, as well as visiting and communication between people in the South and North. This policy should be continued until the DPRK meets the standards of the ROK. Surely, support should be continued to reconstruct the North. In the process, China’s integration of Hong Kong may be a preferential model.

Fourth, recently concerns that China may take over North Korea following the collapse of the Kim regime is rising. This issue will be discussed as a separate topic later on.

Through outside forces, it is possible to extend power to a certain point, but it is impossible to completely halt the collapse. It is particularly true about the ‘always unstable regime’ like Kim Jong Il’s. Neglecting twenty million North Koreans and supporting the Kim Jong Il regime for fear of the ROK’s losses is a selfish act that cannot be ethically tolerated as well as it being a foolish policy in reality.

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