Defectors Prefer a Preemptive Strike to Remove Kim Jong Un but Speaking Softly and Carrying a Big Stick is the Wiser Strategy

One of the options for dealing with North Korea’s military provocations is a preemptive strike, on military targets and/or on Kim Jong Un himself. Given what could go wrong, this is a scary idea, especially for those of us living close by in South Korea.  It also appears somehow undemocratic or certainly unpeaceful for a democracy to even consider it. Furthermore, why advocate war in a situation where war has been avoided for 70 years?

Are North Koreans Becoming Aware of the Concept of Human Rights?

Growing up in North Korea, I was not familiar with “human rights.” It wasn’t that I was just unaware of what it meant. I didn’t even know the concept existed. I hadn’t heard the phrase. This was not just ignorance on my part or among my friends and family members. I’ve found since escaping North Korea that, with the exception of a few elite defectors, none of us knew. We all lived without knowing what human rights were.

Enforced Silence

“We stay silent not because our life is good enough, but to survive.”  This was my response to a question from a member of the audience during my lecture on North Korea, who asked, “Aren’t the people of North Korea not protesting and staying silent because their life is good enough?”

To survive in North Korea, rules 1, 2, and 3 are “Watch your mouth.”

Speculation About Kim Ju Ae’s Succession in North Korea Is Premature and Unsubstantiated

Recently, Kim Jong Un’s daughter, Kim Ju Ae, has received a lot of international media attention, and on January 4, 2024, South Korea’s National Intelligence Service (NIS) determined that she is Kim Jong Un’s “most likely successor.”  

Speculation about the third succession within North Korea’s ruling family – fueled by hype and arbitrary interpretations – has been treated as if it were an established fact by both South Korean and international media.

However, North Koreans interviewed for this article are skeptical.