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November 22, 2004

Japanese Politician Breaks Taboo By Suggesting Regime Change May Come to North Korea

Wishful thinking, stirring the pot, or does he actually know something?:

TOKYO, Nov. 21 - After weeks of reports from North Korea of defecting generals, antigovernment posters and the disappearance of portraits of the country's ruler, the leader of Japan's governing party warned Sunday of the prospects of "regime change" in North Korea.

"As long as Chairman Kim Jong Il controls the government, we have to negotiate with him, but it is becoming more doubtful whether we will be able to achieve anything with this government," said Shinzo Abe, acting secretary general of the Liberal Democratic Party, on Fuji TV, referring to talks on North Korea's abductions of Japanese in the 1970's. "I think we should consider the possibility that a regime change will occur, and we need to start simulations of what we should do at that time."

By breaking an unspoken taboo on talking publicly about "regime change" in North Korea, the powerful Japanese politician underlined a feeling spreading in the region that cracks are starting to show in the Kim family's control over North Korea after nearly 60 years.

...

There are indications that news is leaking out of North Korea by cellphone and that criticisms of the government are being posted in public places. Those developments and the angry response to recent legislation in the United States intended to flood the country with radios that can pick up foreign broadcasts suggest that the leadership realizes its one great achievement - near total information control - is threatened.

With the reports of Mr. Kim's portraits being removed from some public buildings and news of military defections, outside analysts are speculating that the personality cult around "Dear Leader" is being curbed, either to advance painful economic reforms or to head off a military coup fomented by China.

Persistent reports that anti-Kim leaflets and posters have recently appeared gained more credibility with the publication last Thursday in Sankei Shimbun, a conservative Tokyo newspaper, of what was described as a photograph of a hand-printed flyer smuggled out of North Korea.

A Quiet Understanding?: What's the internet for if not premature speculation? Such Little Things think that there's a coup on, instigated by China, at the US's behest.

Via The Shape of Days.


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posted by Ace at 03:01 PM

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