December 16, 2005

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Has Kim Jong-il lost power?

...Or has he just lost his freaking mind?

Asiapundit has stumbled on a rather startling piece of news; North Korean soldiers cross border and fire on Chinese soldiers:

It has been belatedly learned (thanks to KBS) that five North Koreans armed with rifles crossed the Tumen River into China's Yonbyon region in the early morning hours of Oct. 16 and attempted to burglarize a mountainside resort villa. The manager of the resort quietly notified the authorities, who responded by sending six of the PLA's finest to the scene. As the Chinese soldiers approached the resort, the North Koreans opened fire, killing a 19-year-old soldier by the name of Li Ryang. According to witnesses, the North Koreans were wearing KPA uniforms, and are believed to have been soldiers.

The last time I checked China was North Korea's sole remaining ally. Either Kim Jong-il has lost his mind or his troops are so desperate for food and other commodities for survival that they're now willing to bite the hand that feeds them.

posted by Gordon on 12.16.05 at 02:46 PM in the China category.


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That is truly perverse. You would have thought if they were over the border they'd be begging for asylum, not shooting at the PLA.

posted by: Simon on 12.16.05 at 08:38 PM [permalink]

It is perverse - but it does indicate that NK troops are in pretty dire straits. Given that the NK were - if military - probably border guards, they likely already received a few of their fellow citizens who were 'repatriated' by the Chinese side. That and the fact that the PLA wouldn't look too kindly on foreigners robbing a resort probably made them disregard the amnesty option.
Unfortunately, a TypePad outage has shut the AP (and Marmot's where I nicked the link). I noticed a similar item at One Free Korea ( if further reading is needed though.

posted by: myrick on 12.16.05 at 10:18 PM [permalink]

Reminds me of the old feminist joke:

Q: Why did the man cross road?
A: I don't know. Who knows why they do anything?

That pretty much sums up my view of NK.

posted by: Derek Scruggs on 12.16.05 at 11:58 PM [permalink]

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