Thursday, May 29, 2008

A succession of reports about Kim Jong Il

Guambat noticed the Tokyo market was soaring today, apparently for no reason at all. Then, came across the wire this report from Reuters:
TOKYO, May 29 (Reuters) - The Nikkei stock average rose 3 percent on Thursday, led by high-tech exporters as the yen softened and further boosted by an unsubstantiated report that North Korean leader Kim Jong-il may be dead.

Actually, earlier reports had it that the rumoured Dearly Departed Dear Leader had been assassinated. but that was not mentioned in this linked revised coverage.

But just hold on there, Pilgrim. The South Korean government, which has an interest is tracking and spinning these kinds of stories, denied the rumour, in reports such as this:
The South Korean government has denied a report by a little-known local internet news site that the North Korean leader Kim Jong Il has been assassinated.

"The alleged death has been confirmed as false," Unification Ministry spokesman Kim Ho-nyeon said on Thursday.

Reports of Kim's demise have surfaced before, sometimes appearing as rumours in financial markets.

Looking for the supposed fire when there is supposed smoke, Guambat dug this report, out a couple of days ago, from the BBC:
A recent report showed that more than half of the 22 Ph.D. researchers at the Korea Institute for Defense Analysis expect a form of group leadership will take place in North Korea after Kim Jong Il dies.

The majority of them said Kim’s second son Kim Jong Chul, 27, is the dictator’s favorite, but first son Kim Jong Nam, 37, and brother-in-law Chang Song Taek, 62, are thought to have a stronger power base for succession.

The U.S. government reportedly posted the report on North Korea’s succession on the Open Source Center, a government website to which only U.S. officials can have access on May 14.

The release of the report indicates that the U.S. government began to review North Korea’s succession issue amid recent improvements made in the U.S.-North Korea relationship along with the resolution of nuclear issues.

The report takes into consideration what are deemed the most important factors in the North Korean leadership succession -- whether Kim Jong Il is alive or not, the way he dies and Pyongyang’s power structure – to suggest six types of succession.

Guambat reckons those PhD smartey pants didn't count on the possibility of women scorned as one motivated factor in his conjectured demise:
North Korean Women Fight Back as Kim Orders Them Out of Markets By Bradley K. Martin and Hideko Takayama May 29 (Bloomberg)

There are, of course, opposing views of Kim Jong Il.

Here's one from the Songun Blog:

Here's another from the Idiosyncracies blog:

Spot the difference?


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