The Intellectual Standard


News stations across the world reported on December 17, 2011 about the death of a man referred to as Guiding Sun Ray, Glorious General Who Descended from Heaven, Highest Incarnation of the Revolutionary Comradely Love, and Savior. Better known as Kim Jong-II, he had been recognized as Supreme Leader by North Korea's constitution since July 1994. Headlines internationally speculated that his death may cause a dra­matic shift in the policies and nature of the North Korean government (Fox News, 2011). Following the state funeral for Kim Jong-II on December 29, the deceased's youngest son, Kim Jong-Un, became Supreme Leader. The United States Assistant Secretary of State, Kurt Campbell, greeted the news with willing­ness to discuss giving aid to North Korea in exchange for their disarming nuclear weapons-a discussion deserted by North Korea in 2009 under its former leadership. As the top U.S. diplomat to East Asia, he declared readi­ness to begin a new chapter in relations between the two countries, but said "it is too early to discern the intent of the country's new leadership" (Fox News, 2012). Analyzing both past and present actions of the North Korean government will illustrate that three generations of dictators have established intoler­able practices and that American attempts at cooperation are likely to be as futile as ever.