North Korea After Kim
|Jeff Kamen||December 23rd 2011|
World Jewish Daily
While it's too early to tell what changes Kim Jong-un has in store for the reclusive nation of 24 million people, Israeli officials aren't particularly optimistic they will be for the good.
"Nothing from the outside penetrates them," said Foreign Ministry spokesman Yigal Palmor, noting that Jong-il's death still leaves the country "distant and dangerous" for Israel.
North Korea has never been a friend of Israel, choosing to support its communist allies and others whose political interests usually run counter to Western values.In Israel, Kim Jong-il was largely known as the man who helped Syria launch a covert nuclear weapons program that the IAF allegedly took down in 2007. He also played a key role in arming Libya, Egypt and Syria with missile technology while helping Iran to expand its atomic weapons program.
According to an article in the Jerusalem Post, however, North Korea's role in arming Hezbollah has inflicted the most damage upon Israel.
Before the Second Lebanon War, North Korea sent missile components to Iran, where they were assembled and then shipped to Hezbollah’s leaders in southern Lebanon, specifically for use against Israeli civilian targets.
Kim Jong-il’s regime also helped the Lebanese terror group build an extensive network of underground military installations, bunkers, tunnels and storage facilities in south Lebanon, under the auspices of a front company, the Korea Mining Development Corporation. It also gave Hezbollah leaders weapons and intelligence training to improve attacks against Israel.
By most accurate accounts, which are few and far between, Kim Jong-un is unprepared to assume control of the outcast country and its military as successfully as his father did in 1994.
While the consequences of the latest transition of power will have a more immediate impact on Northeast Asia, Israel can't expect to be left any better off in the near future. Conversely, it will continue dealing with the greater mess in the region that has become Jong-il's unfortunate legacy.
This article was reprinted from WorldJewishDaily.com