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North Korea

April 06, 1993

North Korean chieftain Kim Il Sung has been juggling the people almost half a century. He outlived all the notorious dictators in the world after World War II. However, this time he seems to be playing a losing game, less adroit than before. He has declared that North Korea was withdrawing from the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty.

As a retired longtime professor at the universities in Seoul, I have some observations about the situation. The demand for on-the-spot investigation of the Yongbyon nuclear plant in North Korea by the International Atomic Energy Agency and the joint (U.S. and South Korean) military exercise in South Korea are the reasons why the North Koreans lost their temper.

The world is worrying about the frantic behavior of Kim Il Sung and his heir apparent, Kim Jong Il. But the question is if they are really determined to fight against the whole world. As far as I can imagine they are not that lunatic. They are playing a political game for internal use, not for international use.

North Korea is suffering a great deal from the shortage of foodstuff and oil. Their foreign exchange virtually dried up years ago. In a crunch, hungry masses will rise up in rebellion and could topple the regime. What Kim is afraid of is exactly that. He is hyping the people that the communist nation is under siege as he tries to yoke innocent sons and daughters to his leadership.

I would think his insolent declaration is a swan song of a bigoted dictator at his deathbed. KEUN HO RHEE

Northridge

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