CanKor Brain Trust member Charles Burton’s views on the changing situtation in North Korea were reported in Erica Bajers’ report “Dictator’s death met with concern in Niagara” published in the Niagara Falls Review on December 19, 2011. Article below:
Dictator’s death met with concern in Niagara
By Erica Bajer, QMI, 19 December 2011
The death of North Korean dictator Kim Jong-il is worrying local residents with ties to the country.
Unlike the deaths of other high-profile dictators, including most recently Libya’s Moammar Gadhafi, Kim Jong-il’s death is not being met with relief and joy.
Instead, his death has caused fear and uncertainty, said Brock University political science professor Charles Burton, who worked on North Korean relations in the Canadian Embassy in Beijing from 1998 to 2000.
“Any change there is destabilizing and anything destabilizing causes worry about what’s going to come next,” he said.
“It’s not a cause for celebration … we don’t know what will happen.”
He said despite the fact the dictator chose his 28-year-old son Kim Jong-un as his successor, it’s unclear if the regime will continue.
Burton said North Koreans equate age and experience with wisdom and may not be willing to accept such a young, inexperienced leader.
“The real concern is the transition,” he said.
Burton said there’s a strong possibility a power struggle between different factions of the Kim family and the military will break out. Read the rest of this entry »