Monday, December 19, 2011

The philosophy of "juche" Takes Place in North Korea as Leader Dies

"The philosophy of 'juche,' or self-reliance, is the basis of North Korea's reclusive nature." (CNN: North Korea's Kim Jong Il dies; South goes on high alert) Today the people of North Korea are putting this principle into action as their leader, Kim Jong II dies at the age of 69.

Jong has been leading the socialist country since 1994, and has had an array of health problems. Officials state that Jong suffered "great mental and physical strain," suffering a heart attack on Saturday that could not be salvaged.

The people of North Korea appeared starry-eyed, as they learned the news about their "dear leader."

"My leader, what will we do? It's too much! It's too much!" one person sobbed on state television. "Leader, please come back. ... You cannot leave us. We will always wait for you, leader."

Set to take over is Kim's youngest son, Kim Jong Un, a four-star general that has received increasing responsbilities from his father.

But, North Korea isn't the only civil society under strain and devastated about the news of their leader's death.

As North Korea silences itself, struck with grief, South Korea is tightening security in preparating for an unpredictable North Korea. Officials are placing the region on emergency alert, prepping them for overtime shifts.

Obama stated that President Lee of South Korea and he have spoke about staying in touch as the situation develops. Lee has advised his people to "go on with their lives." I, for one, really hope that we do not send out troops to the region unless needed. I don't feel it is right to Americanize them. (Similar to this debate is the US's Role in Africa in African Security and the African Command.)

"For the sake of the future of the Republic of Korea, peace and stability on the Korean Peninsula is more important than anything else. It should not be threatened by what has happened," he said.

Former U.N. Ambassador, Bill Richardson of the United States stated that the humanitarian efforts should remain there for the people of Korea, but to keep a watchful-eye. I feel there must be a fragile balance between politics and humanitarian concerns. We, as the U.S. should aid them in food and security, but we should not control their political endeavors.

"People are starving there," stated Richardson.

Will North Korea embrace South Korea or push them into further war? Will North Korea talk about nuke control with the United States? Deep questions like these hope to be answered over time.

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