Go to contents

Is S.Korea safe from N.Korea’s terrorism madness?

Posted February. 16, 2017 07:05,   

Updated February. 16, 2017 07:11


According to the National Intelligence Service of South Korea, the assassination of Kim Jong Nam, older half-brother of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, is thought to be an execution of a “standing order” given to North Korean operatives since Kim Jong Un took the throne from his father. Despite of the elder brother's letter to the young leader pleading to spare his life in 2012 after an assassination attempt, the order was still enforced. The National Intelligence Service said the murder incident could be interpreted as a reflection of Kim Jong Un’s paranoiac character. Anyway, the killing of Kim Jong Nam is obviously a murderous terrorist attack happened overseas and closely related to a power struggle from third-generation succession in the secretive regime.

The terrorist attack on Kim Jong Nam made the international community realize once again how brutal and barbarous Kim Jong Un and his allies are. While North Korea’s deprived people are diving into dumpsters, only few ruling elites enjoy a rich life filled with extravaganza and they are not hesitant to order a public execution of a high ranking official for a bad posture. It well captures the inside of the isolated nation’s surreal society. After numerous reports about torturous killings of people by decapitation, burning and drowning, the North Korean leadership sent agents abroad this time to carry out a murder order, seemingly not much different from terrorist threats by the Islamic State. At least, the Islamic State openly claims any attacks or crimes it has incited.

North Korea is likely to remain silent over the killing of Kim Jong Nam or deny any accusations. Some foreign media outlets even reported that the two female suspects, captured on CCTV in Malaysian airport, might have been dead already. It could be very difficult to prove North Korea’s involvement in the murder incident. North Korea has even requested the Malaysian government for a transfer of the corpse of Kim Jong Nam, while Kim’s two wives live in Beijing and Macau. The South Korean government should mobilize its diplomatic efforts to prevent Kim’s corpse falling into the hands of North Korea.

Previously branded as “axis of evil” and “outposts of tyranny,” North Korea is not afraid of having a bad reputation. A new nickname “terrorism maniac” would be added this time. North Korea had been on the U.S. terrorism sponsor list for 20 years since its bombing of Korean Airlines flight and was removed from the list in 2008. However, it seems that the U.S. lawmakers will demand relisting of North Korea as a terror sponsor nation. In addition, China will find it difficult to protect North Korea unconditionally after a series of provocations committed by Pyongyang. China has been a guardian of Kim Jong Nam and his families. It remains to be seen how China, filled with a feeling of being betrayed, will deal with North Korea.

The poison attack on Kim Jong Nam is viewed as an open threat of terrorism not only to South Korean leaders and officials but also to North Korean defectors. The South Korean government must review and realign its anti-terrorist measures in order to nullify any standing orders such as assassination given to North Korean agents dispatched in South Korea. After the news reports regarding Kim Jong Nam’s death were delivered on Tuesday night, the South Korean government had decided to skip the National Security Council on the same night. Instead the meeting was convened the next day, raising some doubts about how serious the government is on this issue. Taking into consideration of the absence of the president in South Korea, it should be noted that any actions or behaviors making the public uneasy and insecure should be prohibited.