What would Kim Jong-un's dad think about North Korea today?

What would his dad think about Kim Jong Un’s North Korea today?

Later this week, it’ll be 10 years since Kim Jong Un inherited the reins of North Korea upon the death of his father, Kim Jong Il.

But what would the elder Kim think about his son's decade in power, and about the Hermit Kingdom’s state of affairs today? Here’s a letter to the North Korean supreme leader from the ghost of his late dad.

Dear son…

You’ve exceeded my expectations in many ways, especially on consolidating power. I’m very proud of how you quite literally eliminated dissent within the family: first by having your treacherous uncle executed by firing squad, and then your exiled brother poisoned with toxic gas.

No one thinks you’re too young and inexperienced anymore, and your feisty sister has your back.

Internationally, you’ve also accomplished much more than I did. You met that orange man from Washington — the one you once called a dotardthree times and had a brief bromance.

You failed to get him to lift US sanctions in exchange for practically nothing on our nukes, as you had hoped, but you put North Korea on the world stage. And our atomic program, my legacy to you, is stronger than ever.

Yet, right now the economy is (almost) in worse shape than when I took over 23 years ago. Sorry, but that’s mostly your fault.

You tried focusing on economic growth and nukes at the same time. That brought some short-lived prosperity, but then the pandemic struck. You closed the border for too long, even for food, and now face looming famine as a result.

Since then, you’ve told our beloved countrymen it's time for some belt-tightening, and shed a lot of pounds yourself. Meanwhile, trade with China, the only country that does any business with us, is still down more than 80 percent from two years ago.

In fact, your biggest problem nowadays is that China has left you out in the cold by keeping its side of the border shut. China's big boss is ghosting you because he's preoccupied with America and the virus. Doesn’t he know there’s no COVID here?

But dealing with the Chinese is tricky. On the one hand, don't push them too hard because they are the most powerful of our few friends. On the other, the last thing China wants is to share a border with a US ally, not to mention the refugee apocalypse that would likely follow our collapse.

What’s changed from my days is that China doesn’t take you seriously anymore. Your atomic bluster may trigger the Americans and the South Koreans, but the Chinese know what you really need is basic supplies from them.

Also, you're no longer top of mind for the new man in the White House. He's too worried about China, and not as eager to cut a deal if you don’t end your nuclear program (which you should never, ever do). You even developed a hypersonic missile to get his attention, but he’s still dodging your calls.

The pesky South Koreans, for their part, seem desperate to officially end the Korean War — which we're technically still fighting because no peace deal was signed in 1953 — before their president steps down in March.

But what would we get out of that? Not much, so continue stringing them along (as usual) by sending mixed signals on warming ties. And you’re right to not let our youth listen to “toxic” BTS.

Dear son, you're in a tough spot. North Korea's economy is now a shambles, even by our very low standards, and you can’t rely on China anymore. Whatever you have in mind, you better do something to fix it — fast.
People working at computers in a room labeled Malware Lab

Microsoft observed destructive malware in systems belonging to several Ukrainian government agencies and organizations that work closely with the Ukrainian government. The Microsoft Threat Intelligence Center (MSTIC) published a technical blog post detailing Microsoft’s ongoing investigation and how the security community can detect and defend against this malware. Microsoft shared this information over the weekend to help others in the cybersecurity community look out for and defend against these attacks. To read more visit Microsoft On the Issues.

President Vladimir Putin

No one knows whether Russian President Vladimir Putin plans on invading Ukraine. But the president of the United States sure seems to think this is a real possibility, saying Wednesday that Putin will likely "move in" in the near term. Biden, prone to political gaffes, was then forced to awkwardly walk back comments that Russia would face milder consequences from the West in the event of a "minor incursion."

The timing of this blunder is... not great. It comes just as US Secretary of State Antony Blinken prepares to meet his Russian counterpart on Friday in hopes of lowering the temperature after recent diplomatic efforts in Geneva were deemed a failure by Moscow.

Indeed, with the Kremlin having amassed at least 100,000 troops surrounding Ukraine on three sides, the growing threat is impossible to ignore. So what would a Russian military offensive into Ukraine actually look like, and how might the West respond?

More Show less

Omicron has arrived. It's more contagious, but less severe. Some parts of the world are even looking forward to the pandemic becoming endemic.

Not China. Xi Jinping's zero-COVID strategy has worked wonders until now, but it's unlikely to survive omicron, explains Ian Bremmer on GZERO World.

More Show less

Chilling at the beach, retired German Chancellor Angela Merkel is so over politics. Or is she?


Subscribe to GZERO Media's YouTube channel to get notifications when new videos are published.

Ian Bremmer's Quick Take: Hi everybody. Happy Tuesday after the long weekend for those of us that had a long weekend. I thought I would kick us off with the first major foreign policy crisis of the Biden administration. And that is of course, Russia-Ukraine. Afghanistan, of course, was a debacle, but not exactly a global crisis. This of course has the potential to really change the way we think about European security and about US relations with the other major nuclear power in the world. So, I would say that the level of concern is even higher and there are a lot of things we can say.
More Show less
What We’re Watching: Xinjiang at the Beijing Olympics, Boris in deep(er) trouble, Indonesia’s new capital

Selling Xinjiang. Xi Jinping — a man well known for both his grand vision of China’s future, and for his willingness to get large numbers of people to do things they might not otherwise do — said in 2018 that he wanted 300 million Chinese people to participate in winter sports. The Chinese government announced this week that this goal has been met in honor of the Beijing Winter Olympic Games, which open in China’s capital on February 4. Multinational companies are consistently impressed by the commercial opportunities created when 300 million people decide to try new things. But it’s an inconvenient truth that most of China’s most abundant snow and best ski slopes are found in the northwestern region of Xinjiang, a place where Western governments and human rights organizations have accused Beijing of imprisoning more than one million minority Uyghurs in re-education camps. In these prisons, critics say inmates have experienced “torture, and inhumane and degrading treatment.” As China’s government opens new profit opportunities in Xinjiang, multinational corporations will face pressure from multiple directions not to invest there.

More Show less
Hard Numbers: Tongan emergency fundraising, EU docks Poland pay, new Colombian presidential hopeful, Turkey gets UAE lifeline

345,000: As of Wednesday afternoon ET, Tonga's Olympic flag-bearer has raised more than $345,000 online to help the victims of Saturday's volcanic eruption and tsunami. Pita Taufatofua, a taekwondo fighter and cross-country skier, has not yet heard from his father, governor of the main Tongan island of Haapai.

More Show less

Ian Bremmer shares his insights on global politics this week, discussing Boris Johnson's tenuous status as UK PM, US Secretary of State Blinken's visit to Ukraine, and the volcano eruption in Tonga:

Will Boris Johnson resign?

It certainly looks that way. He's hanging on by his fingernails. He's losing members of Parliament. He's giving shambolic media interviews. In fact, I think the only people that don't want him to resign at this point is the Labour Party leadership, because they think the longer he holds on, the better it is for the UK opposition. But no, he certainly looks like he's going. The only question is how quickly. Is it within a matter of weeks or is it after local elections in May? But feel pretty confident that the days of Boris Johnson are numbered.

More Show less

Subscribe to GZERO Media's newsletter, Signal


Subscribe to GZERO Media's newsletter: Signal

China vs COVID in 2022

GZERO World Clips

COVID at the Beijing Winter Olympics

GZERO World Clips


Subscribe to GZERO Media's newsletter: Signal