Kim Jong Il on Strategy


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Welcome to the second installment of my new War Is Boring column, published under duress by David Axe. In the interests of improving mutual understanding between myself and, well, the rest of the world, I am using War Is Boring to explain why I do what I do. I will continue to do so until I run out of subjects or Mr. Axe decides he never wants to see his Korean family again.


In this second post of my guest column, we’ll discuss strategy. We’ll discuss what my ultimate strategic goal is, and I’ll talk about how I’m trying to get there.

Webster’s Dictionary defines strategy as:

the science and art of employing the political, economic, psychological, and military forces of a nation or group of nations to afford the maximum support to adopted policies in peace or war.

That’s pretty close to how I view strategy. Let’s look at that again:

the science and art of employing the political, economic, psychological, and military forces of a nation or group of nations to afford the maximum support to adopted policies Kim Jong Il in peace or war.

There, that actually makes sense.

My strategic goal is simple: survival. My strategy is this: to use all the resources of North Korea, as well as what aid I can get from South Korea, China, and the West, to keep me alive so that I can die in my bed, on my own terms. Not rotting in a jail cell in The Hague like some kind of freak, or cowering in a bunker with concrete dust falling on my head. Most importantly, not used for target practice by my own people like my friend, Nicolai Ceausescu.

I’m not stupid, those are the ways despots like me wind up.

You were expecting my goal to be world conquest? Storming across the DMZ to liberate the Korean peninsula from the United States and its lackeys in Seoul? Crossing the Tsushima Strait in a 500,000-man swimming contest and subjecting Japan to epic wilding? Gee I’d love to do those things, but in the process of molding my country to serve me exclusively, I kind of broke it.

Dad and I used to have conquest as a strategic goal, back when our army had food, and our air force had gas. The end of the Cold War changed everything. The Soviet Union did a lot for us — I mean, North Korea. All of the free, and heavily subsidized stuff that Dad and I depended on to keep a ridiculously large, disproportionate army stopped coming. The Soviet Union acted out of a sense of shared ideology. Its replacement, Russia, doesn’t, and it doesn’t like being repaid in counterfeit $100 bills or my new flatfish-and-yam dish.

My economy has been slowly going down the toilet for the last 30 years. The window for me coming across the border probably closed in the early 1990s. Since then, it’s been pretty clear the best I can do is survive. I built nukes because I realized I could no longer defeat South Korea, and they were a cheaper and more in line with my strategy of self-preservation than maintaining my ridiculously large army.

Hasn’t it been obvious? Why do I prevent my people from getting even the tiniest glimpse of the outside world? To prevent them from becoming properly angry at the extent to which they’ve been conned. Wheres my perestroika? Ask Nicolai how that turns out. Why I do build nukes? To keep the U.S. and the West at bay. Why am I cranking out the Special Forces and teaching them to use IEDs? In case the U.S. and the West come into North Korea anyway.

Some have been so fixated on me coming over the border they haven’t realized that I’ve long since circled the wagons. From my point of view I’m alone, encircled by more powerful countries, and there is no cavalry coming. Under the circumstances, the sanest thing to do is to act crazy.



2 Responses to “Kim Jong Il on Strategy”

  1. [...] Kim Jong Il on Strategy War Is Boring’s Newest Contributor: Kim Jong Il 0 Comments No Comments so far Leave a [...]

  2. casual observer says:

    “Why I do build nukes?
    To keep the U.S. [...] at bay.”


    It has been made very clear that if you don’t actually do nukes, then they say you do, and you end up hung. This made building nukes an obligatory choice for anyone in my position.

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