Is Kim Jong Il About to Die?

The NYT reports that the Great Leader

“is seriously ill and might have suffered a stroke weeks ago, an American intelligence official in Washington said Tuesday, after Mr. Kim failed to attend an unexpectedly small-scale celebration of his country’s 60th anniversary. “

The trouble with having a crazy, isolated dictator and the lack of an independent press is that no one really knows what condition Kim Jong Il is in.

If you thought the possibility that Sarah Palin might succeed as the POTUS is scary, think about how incredibly scarier an tuncertain succession scenario for one of the world’s most deranged, lunatic dictator is.

Here’s a fantasy scenario a friend and I hashed on Google Talk at work: Kim Jong Il bites the dust, the South Koreans, with the (implicit or otherwise) support of the US, pushes for Korean re-unification. China, on the other hand, seeks to keep the two countries divided, fearing that an united Korea might challenge future Chinese hegemony in the region. Eventually, tension boils over into conflict, the US is involved: all the ingredients of the next World War.

But no one is taking bets on that one.

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