Kim Jong Il's North KoreaAlison Behnke
Lerner Publishing Group, Inc.
Part 2: 68
“North Korea’s system initially spurred economic growth and other improvements. But the nation’s rapid progress soon faltered.”
This quotation seems to tie in well with the beginning of the second part of this book. How many people actually have a legacy like Kim Il Sung has, especially in places like North Korea? When looking at the ratio of people compared to leaders worldwide, not many leave a legacy like Kim Il Sung leaves. The country still follows his tradition of family being of great importance and including absolute royalty. The country is at economic growth and has other accomplishments as Kim Il Sung is still the leader, but they soon face many problems (as the quotation expresses), and these problems occur in a wide variety, very quickly. I find an interesting fact to be that North Korea’s government had a tendency to blame other countries for anything that went wrong in their country. I truly feel this is a major reason that the country’s conditions are worsening in the aspects of food, their economy, and much more.
As time goes by in North Korea, they continue to be isolated and are a country of communism. As a country of communism, they do have some ties with China and the Soviet Union, but cannot have many. If they are having issues, they should change from having a communist country to a country that has more interacting than just trade with China and the Soviet Union. By the 1980s, Kim Il Sung is in his 70s and looking for someone to take over North Korea. Someone who will next effect North Korea in many aspects is his son, Kim Jong Il, which relates back to the quotation: Will the nation’s progress stay steady instead of falter like the progress did at times of Kim Il Sung’s rule? The different economic issues in the country are calling for a new leader, and throughout the second half of the book I hope that Kim Jong Il is more steady. As leader of North Korea, Kim Jong Il is an opponent to many people. Some North Koreans feel he does not have enough military experience, where others feel he is simply not talented enough and doesn’t possess enough skills of his father. These issues tie into the quotation as well because North Korea does not appear to be spurring in any type of growth, as “bad talk” goes around about the new leader.
At the beginning of his time as leader, Kim Jong Il is making treaties with other regions, including nuclear treaties with the Soviet Union. After this, the Soviet Union ends up going down collapsing which I feel is not only bad because they are the closest allies to North Korea, but also they are the biggest Communist nation! I feel this may scare North Korea in both of the aspects, but Kim Jong Il later has success. On top of this, Kim Il Sung passes away, but Kim Jong Il has the opportunity to be a dictator. As time goes on, the country suffers more deeply. Food shortage is present, many kids are dying, and floods and other catastrophes are occurring throughout the country. These signs are agreeing with the quotation I used, saying that the country seems to be continuing to get worse in many aspects. However, with all these unfortunate events, Kim and his government are known for revealing false information that keeps enemy countries on their toes. This is one great factor for Kim, but many issues are still present.
These many issues that are present tie well with the way North Korea was for the last 60 years, and my quotation remains true about the nation’s growth faltering, and staying down. With years passing as Kim Jong Il being leader, problems grow, and people have more need for safety and stability; the problem is that Kim Jong Il’s dictatorship is not working. The next step is very understandable and makes much sense to me. Many feel the next step is to get rid of Kim’s dictatorship, and if I were in the shoes of North Koreans who are struggling so badly, I would revolt and feel the same way, saying freedom is not present if nothing is changed from past years.