[neonnettle] North Korea Revolution: The People Rise Up Against Kim Jong Un:
North Korea could be facing a revolt as the elite begin to rise up and question their leader, Kim Jong Un, as information from outside of the elusive nation begins to trickle in following recent defections from high-ranking officials.
According to the former North Korean Ambassador to London, Thae Yong Ho, who recently defected to South Korea, the people of his native country are becoming increasingly discontented by the oppression inflicted on them by their young leader and his government.
Thae Yong Ho said that, for the first time, the North Korean elite are outwardly expressing their frustration with Kim Jong Un’s leadership, and that the “supreme leader” himself fears a revolution, should more information of the outside world make it into his isolated nation.
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The Express reports: Mr. Yong Ho said during his first news conference with foreign media: “When Kim Jong Un first came to power, I was hopeful that he would make reasonable and rational decisions to save North Korea from poverty, but I soon fell into despair watching him purging officials for no proper reasons.
“Low-level dissent or criticism of the regime, until recently unthinkable, is becoming more frequent.”
The North, which is subject to UN sanctions over its nuclear and missile programs, regularly threatens to destroy the South and its main ally, the United States.
Mr. Yong Ho is the most senior official to have fled North Korea and entered public life in the South since the 1997 defection of Hwang Jang Yop, the brains behind the North’s governing ideology, “Juche”, which combines Marxism and extreme nationalism.
Today’s North Korean system had “nothing to do with true communism”, he said, adding that the elite, like himself, had watched with unease as countries like Cambodia, Vietnam and the former Soviet Union embraced economic and social reforms.
Mr. Yong Ho has said that more North Korean diplomats are waiting in Europe to defect to South Korea.
North Korea still outwardly professes to maintain a Soviet-style command economy, but for years a thriving network of informal markets and person-to-person trading has become the main source of food and money for ordinary people.
Fully embracing these reforms would end Kim Jong Un’s rule, Mr. Yong Ho said.
Asked if Kim Jong Un’s brother, Kim Jong Chol, could run the country instead, he remained skeptical.
Mr. Yong Ho said: “Kim Jong Chol has no interest in politics. He is only interested in music.
“He’s only interested in Eric Clapton. If he was a normal man, I’m sure he’d be a very good professional guitarist”