Fall of Chang Song-thaek

The political fall and brutal execution of Chang Song-thaek, and its remarkably public character, is imagined by Lubos to be something uniquely characteristic of leftist governments. Of course that's just his poverty of historical knowledge and thinking showing. It's the long term historical pattern of dynastic and other tyranny everywhere and always. Even a slight knowledge of Roman or English history, or an acquaintance with Shakespeare's plays, for example, would have shown lots of similar examples. Of course Henry VIII didn't have machine guns, so more primitive instruments of violence were used.

So what are the implications of this ancient style murder for the modern age? It does show something scary about the character and propensities of this little man who rules North Korea and packs at least a few nuclear weapons, and probably the capability to deliver them.

It's not clear whether the events are the result of a purely internal power struggle in North Korea or have implications for North Korean policy. Like other Communist states, North Korea is a massive economic failure. One theory has it that the late Mr. Chong favored a Chinese style opening to the world. Others are skeptical.

The only thing that seems certain is that North Korea will continue to be a major menace to its neighbors - and of course its own people.


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