Donald Trump has sent the leadership of North Korea quite the clear message: Our cruise missiles and MOABs (Massive Ordnance Air Blast) work just fine. If you don’t believe us, ask the Syrians and jihadis in Afghanistan.
In what may be a coincidence of astronomic proportions, on the heels of President Trump meeting with Chinese dictator Xi Jinping, the Chinese just so happened to deploy 150,000 additional troops on the North Korean border reportedly to “prepare for unforeseen circumstances.”
But in the meantime it should be noted that Bruce W. Bennett, Senior International/Defense Researcher for the RAND Corporation, publish in 2014 his report, Preparing for the Possibility of a North Korean Collapse.
Bennett cited what many in the intelligence field have been warning for years. Namely, that if the Kim family’s grip on absolute power were ever threatened, there would be an immediate order to execute the estimated 200,000 imprisoned;
When any extreme dictatorship fails, the potential for human rights consequences is extremely high. This can come in the form of revenge, with the formerly oppressed people attacking the former security personnel who killed or otherwise abused their neighbors. Security personnel may act to kill people they have abused before the victims can testify against the security personnel.
In the latter category, “[i]nternational organizations estimate that North Korea holds about 200,000 political prisoners.” The prison guards at these facilities are security personnel, members of the Ministry of State Security.
The guards in these camps practice such extreme brutality against the prisoners that they would be subject to criminal prosecution in most countries in the world. One author speaks of the view of a one former inmate, Shin Dong-Hyuk:
If North Korea does collapse, Shin may be correct in predicting that its leaders, fearing war crimes trials, will demolish the camps before investigators can get to them. As Kim Jong Il explained, “We must envelope our environment in a dense fog to prevent our enemies from learning anything about us.”
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Further in his research, Bennett notes;
The ROK and U.S. forces must also pay particular attention to the North Korean prisons, especially the political prisons. Potentially hundreds of thousands of North Koreans are incarcerated in these facilities. While some prisoners may be guilty of crimes and justly imprisoned, many are imprisoned because of political offenses. As ROK and U.S. forces advance into North Korea, the prison camp commanders and guards may try to execute many of the prisoners to prevent their eventual testimony against the prison staffs. ROK and U.S. forces will need to reach these prisons quickly to stop such executions and save many lives.
The Ministry of State Security personnel, in particular, are responsible for running the North Korean political prisons. The guards and others at the political prisons and detention facilities could attempt to exterminate the prisoners, in addition to the abuses they have already committed.
Besides citing the very real possibility of the fate of the almost quarter of a million North Koreans should the government face defeat, Bennett also cites what already has happened at the hands of the Pyongyang government.
North Korea has been very careful to obscure the famine’s toll on human life in the mid- to late-1990s. Independent estimates of those who died during the famine run from many hundred thousands up to 3 million or so, amounting to perhaps 2.5 to 15 percent of the North Korean population.
Only one year prior to the RAND report, The Washington Post published an article with a title more deserving a horror movie – The Cannibals of North Korea.
“Don’t buy any meat if you don’t know where it comes from,” one Chongjin woman whispered to a friend, who later defected and recounted the conversation to the reporter Barbara Demick for her book, “Nothing to Envy: Ordinary Lives in North Korea.” Fear of cannibalism, like the famine supposedly driving it, spread. People avoided the meat in streetside soup vendors and warned children not to be alone at night. At least one person in Chongjin was arrested and executed for eating human flesh.
Not from The Onion, but from the official Twitter news feed of the Democratic Peoples Republic of Korea.
Return of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad to Iranian politics is seen as welcome development for world stability. pic.twitter.com/MDq9U217hp
— DPRK News Service (@DPRK_News) April 12, 2017
The Force is NOT with him. Yoda sanctioned for violating “Juche” (self-reliance), the de facto state religion of the Kim Dynasty.
Creature known as “Yoda” is denounced for philosophical and moral deviations from Juche teachings of Great Leader Kim Il-Sung. pic.twitter.com/VOx4OpiHS6
— DPRK News Service (@DPRK_News) April 12, 2017