02/27/2017, 16.23
Send to a friend

China’s responsibilities in Kim Jong-nam’s murder

by Wei Jingsheng

Why was Kim Jong-nam killed now? Chinese bodyguards were support to protect him. The Communist regime made the operation possible. Diplomatic strategies are changing in East Asia. The threat of North Korean nuclear weapons is pushing the United States and China to reconsider their approach to North Korea. China ‘s great dissident and "father of democracy" speaks from his place of exile in the United States.

Washington (AsiaNews) – The netizens in China have dubbed North Korea's third-generation dictator, Kim Jong-Un, as "the Third Fat Kim".  This is indeed a little wrong, because his grandfather and his father were not that fat.  But his eldest brother, Kim Jong-Nam, was almost as fat as him.  According to the news on the 13th of this month, Kim Jong-Nam was assassinated at Kuala Lumpur airport in Malaysia.

News spread quickly.  There is already a large amount of discussion in the media.  Basically no one denies that the younger brother killed his elder brother -- the dictator Kim Jong-un killed his throne competitor.  But the media even did not focus as much on Kim Jong-Un killing his own brother, but more about the details of this murder, and the relish of it.  This is a bit misleading of public opinion, which hides the taste of the dessert.  Of course, perhaps most people follow suit, and enjoy some low-level fun.

According to past reports, this elder brother Kim Jong-Nam was quite critical of his younger brother turned dictator, including criticism of his ability to manage country.  Also based on past reports, Kim Jung-Un killed his uncle Jang Song-Thaek in a brutal way because Jang regretted supporting Kim Jung-Un after he came to power -- Jang secretly colluded with the Chinese Communist Party in an effort to support Kim Jong-Nam to replace Kim Jong-Un.  So Kim Jong-Un wanted to kill his own brother to keep his own power, which has been common since ancient times.  Unfortunately, his brother did not live in North Korea, and was beyond his reach.

People who notice details will immediately think: why wasn't Kim Jong-Nam assassinated long ago, yet was killed now?  Also according to past reports the Chinese government sent a lot of bodyguards to protect this competitor of the throne, which made it difficult to reach him by the usual people.  Even the professional killers would have difficulty succeeding.  Modern security technology is not at the level we see in the novels and the movies.  The profession of killers is indeed facing the risk of unemployment.

The issue immediately arises: from the several versions of details which were hotly speculated, this assassination seems to have been very traditional, and even a little clumsy.  It did not look like an action with high technical content and tight organization.  It seems to be on the ancient level described in the novels by Jin Yong.  Why?

To the least, this assassination should have some technical sophistication as in a big action movie from Hollywood.  Yet, it was carried out so easily and simply.  Maybe there were some secret enemies within.  Then who would be these secret enemies within?  Also as reported above, the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) had dispatched a large number of bodyguards to this competitor of the throne in North Korea in order to maintain its ability to control North Korea's political situation.  If these bodyguards did not want it, would this traditional clumsy assassination ever succeed?

So without the approval and cooperation of the Communist regime in China, Kim Jong-Un could not eliminate his competitor for the throne even if he was burning with inveterate hatred.  But that now he could assassinate his brother so easily is exactly due to internal cooperation from the Chinese regime, which is a result of the policy change from China as well as a forewarning of the new changes in East Asia.  As to why the CCP made such a decision, we will have to look at it from a different angle.

From the beginning of the Korean War, the founding emperor of the North Korea Kim Il-Sung played a game of balance between the two big countries China and the former USSR, and thus gained a lot of advantages.  Chinese Communist leader Mao Zedong and his men hated his conduct yet were helpless.  Since the disintegration of the Soviet Union, North Korea has lost its balance, having the CCP to be the only patron to his successor and son, Kim Jong-Il.  Conveniently, the CCP turned North Korea into its own little brother and made it provoke the security situation in Asia now and then so the CCP could profit from it.

This time in turn it was Kim Jong-Il who felt helpless.  In an effort to maintain his dynasty, he did not want to "reform and open up" like China.  He also had more foundation of mass to maintain the dynasty system in North Korea, but the issue is that he was inseparable from his patron.  But his son is not quite the same, and now the North Korean people are not quite the same either.  Further, being a puppet to China does not make this third generation of the Kim dynasty who returned from studying in the West feel easy.  This is the cause of the instability in the Sino-DPRK relations in recent years, as well as the CCP leader Xi Jinping's desire to abandon this little brother.  And, this little brother has the desire of betrayal -- he consistently offers an olive branch to the United States, trying to ask for direct negotiations with the USA.

In the past, the Chinese Communist regime could buy American politics through capitalists -- the United States resolutely has not accepted the olive branch from the North Korea, and instead nailed it on the war chariot of China.  This would be one of the conditions of the big American businesses with the Chinese Communist regime.  But now the President of the United States has changed the strategy.  Even during his campaign, President Trump said that he could negotiate with North Korea alone.

This made Xi Jinping panic.  He must try to restore the diplomatic failure on behalf of that country.  Thus he picked up the biggest gift that Kim Jong-Un was most concerned of.  What is a dictator most concerned about?  The first concern is the stability of the throne, with the people's livelihood a distant second.  So his elder brother was a gift to the younger brother.  Of course, it should be Kim Jong-Un himself who should bear this notoriety, in order to quell the opposing voices within Communist China and North Korea.

Can the Chinese Communist tricks succeed?  Not necessarily.  I think that Kim Jong-Un wants to learn the way of his grandfather by setting feet on both boats.  This is due to his firm belief, but also the traditional survival way of a small country.  This will inevitably get the support of the majority of his party and his government.  So far, this first step has been successful.  The more important would be the second and the third.

It will also be the need of struggle between big countries for the USA to provoke the Sino-DPRK relations.  As described in "Art of War": "the top method is through strategy, the second method is through diplomacy."  Provoking the enemy's alliances has always been the top priority of diplomacy.  There is no reason why the United States should not accept Kim Jong-Un's olive branch, which is more realistic and more effective than provoking Sino-Russian relations.  This will directly ease the tension in Northeast Asia and cut off one arm of the Chinese Communist regime.

But Xi Jinping certainly will not give up.  There are still a lot of uncertain factors here, such as South Korea; the dictatorial system being influenced by the Western thought; the choice of stepping on both boats or unilaterally relying on only one of them; and so on.  It is not as fun to play this game as it is to imagine.

Among all, the biggest uncertainty is whether Kim Jong-Un is willing to give up the lifeline guarantee he thinks he has: the nuclear weapons.  He and his men think that with nuclear weapons, the others would not dare to mess with them, thus they could shut the door to misbehave.  I'm afraid they are wrong.

Not only the United States, but also China has also recognized the threat against them due to the nuclear weapons of North Korea.  Not to mention that the possession of nuclear weapons will make North Korea to be even more reluctant to be a small brother to China.  This does not meet China's goals.  How the future relationship between these three countries will change will likely make people dazzled.

Send to a friend
Printable version
See also
Report finds Fr Stan was jailed and died because of documents planted on his computer
14/12/2022 20:31
India "rents" first nuclear submarine from Russia
North Korea will give up its nuclear programme
Moscow and Tehran sign nuclear deal
Kim Jong-un halts military plans against the South
24/06/2020 09:38


Subscribe to Asia News updates or change your preferences

Subscribe now
“L’Asia: ecco il nostro comune compito per il terzo millennio!” - Giovanni Paolo II, da “Alzatevi, andiamo”