Friday, January 16, 2009

Dear Leader picks a Jong Un

This was what I meant to post, just before I went on holiday on 16 Jan, but I ran out of time to publish it.

Today's front page news in the Japan Times was the story the Kim Jong Il has named a successor: his son Kim Jong Un. I hope the newspapers in Switzerland can find some pictures of the young man from his days at the International School in Bern because no one else seems to know what the potential Darling Leader looks like.

My first and last blog post for January 2009 I'm afraid. I'm off on holiday for a couple of weeks. I hope to see some wild tigers in the national park of Kanha in northern India.

I came back to Tokyo this morning to find Dear Leader still in the Japan Times, but relegated to page 4 with news that NK are threatening to scrap all accords with South Korea. Huh? I didn't think they had any worth scrapping. The 'Committee for the Peaceful Reunification of Korea' said "...inter Korean relations have reached the brink of war". Err hold on, every single news item I read about NK, always ends with the reminder that actually the two countries are still technically at war? How much closer are you to war really? Anyway, it doesn't sound very peaceful to me.

I agree with Mr Rhoo from Hyundai Securities who was quoted as saying "Market participants are sick and tired of the North's rah rah.. investors remain pretty much unmoved now".

On page 13 The Korea Times's leading article from Jan 29th is also reproduced. It seems Mr Kim has been saying something different to the Chinese about his plans for peace. It also include "Pyongyang should put what it says into action while Seoul ought to show some magnanimity and tolerance toward what it thinks as its inferior rival in both political and economic terms." harsh but true words, but isn't that what South Korea are already doing?

It sounds like Mr Kim's health has improved significantly recently, so I expect to see a lot more NK stories in the future.

To make up for the lack of posts this month, next month will include a number of items on my recent holiday including : The Taj Mahal, and Bengal tigers.