The seemingly sudden execution of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un’s own uncle and administrative lieutenant earlier this month sparked quite a bit of speculation among foreign-policy analysts about what might really going on behind the mysteriously opaque curtain of that starving gulag state. Was there some sort of coup or power struggle between Kim and the elder politician? Was the younger Dear Leader taking an opportunity to demonstrate dominance in the midst a precariously unstable regime? Was it the result of some sort of weird love triangle or bad family blood? Was it about money?
Or was it more of an impulse than a thought-out tactical maneuver, executed in a hurry because Kim was just… schnockered? Via Fox News:
North Korea’s Kim Jong Un was reportedly “very drunk” when he ordered the recent execution of two aides close to his uncle Jang Song-thaek.
The pair, according to a report in The Independent citing Japanese newspaper Yomiuri Shimbun, questioned an order from the North Korean leader to transfer control of a business to the military. Kim was reportedly angered when they said they needed to check with “Director Jang” first before finalizing the switch. …
The two executions led South Korean government officials to believe Jang’s eventual death was “inevitable,” the newspaper reports.
At least eight people from Jang’s inner circle were killed in the power purge, including the director himself.
The vagaries of authoritarian petulance are stranger than fiction.