AMPONTAN

Japan from the inside out

The “Dead Kim” story

Posted by ampontan on Wednesday, August 27, 2008

WASEDA UNIVERSITY Professor Shigemura Toshimitsu has written a book claiming that North Korea’s Dear Leader Kim Jong-il died in 2003, and that his role has been assumed by a double since then. The professor’s book was the subject of an article in the weekly magazine Shukan Gendai last week.

I glanced at the magazine when the issue was published and thought briefly about summarizing the article here, but decided it was too tabloid for my taste and passed. Japan Today has a summary, which you can read here.

But one part of that article did make me sit up and take notice–the ending. Here it is:

Shukan Gendai asks a government official who helped plan Koizumi’s Pyongyang visits what he thinks of all this. His reply:
“Rumors of a dummy Kim began circulating after the summit. Some of us said we should have Kim’s voice prints analyzed. But if we did that and proved the prime minister had been conferring with a double, it could have destroyed the Koizumi administration. So we didn’t proceed.”

Baloney. If the Japanese government thought it was possible they had dealt with a Kim double, of course they analyzed the voice prints–and conducted every other test they could think of to boot. It’s inconceivable that they wouldn’t have tried to ferret out the facts.

The story about destroying the Koizumi administration doesn’t hold water, either. Remember that when the five abductees refused to return to North Korea, their seven children (and Charles Jenkins, Soga Hitomi’s husband) were still in Pyeongyang with no guarantee that they would be allowed to leave. Assume for the sake of discussion that the man Mr. Koizumi met wasn’t Kim Jong-il, and the Japanese revealed that information. The ensuing international turmoil (and North Korean anger) would have likely prevented the families from ever reuniting.

To continue the discussion, let’s put aside the fate of the abductees’ families for a second. The revelation that Kim Jong-il was dead might indeed have placed a government in jeopardy, but it wouldn’t have been the Koizumi administration–it would have been whatever clique is running North Korea. The mythomania surrounding the Kim family cult would have evaporated, along with the government’s legitimacy. No regime can prevent the circulation of that sort of information.

And while we’re speculating, here’s one more to chew on: Was the Japanese government eventually able to pry loose the abductees’ children and Mr. Jenkins by threatening to disclose the North Korean secret?

That comment from a Japanese government official is an awfully strange way to deflect a reporter’s question. Assuming the quote is true, it makes me wonder what’s really going on in Pyeongyang more than the original magazine article did.

4 Responses to “The “Dead Kim” story”

  1. Tky said

    Nothing unusual. This whole Cloak-N-Dagger stuff is the very thing at which we humans excel. And that goes on both sides of every fence.
    Think about how well this works in creating more paranoia about how misled we, in the West, are, when it comes to getting any of this sort of information in the first place. We’re all just pawns.

  2. ampontan said

    Tky: You bring up an interesting point.

    The Silent Coup, a book by Colodny and Gettlin, claimed that the Watergate break-in was conducted to get information not on the DNC, but to find out what they knew about a call-girl ring that John Dean’s wife might have been associated with. A recent book confirms this with more evidence.

    The opening pages talk about an aide to Admiral Rembrandt Robinson, named Chuck Radford. They ran the liaison between the Joint Chiefs and the National Security Council, and saw all the classified information that passed between the two groups. Here’s a direct quote from Radford:

    “I even stopped reading newspapers–that’s how exciting it was–because the stuff in the newspapers was boring. They didn’t know what they were talking about.”

    Last year I accidentally ran across some information on people continuing to investigate the JFK assassination. I was interested in that story years ago, but had forgotten about it. I spent a couple of days looking at the new research, and I doubt anyone coming to the story new could possibly think of the Warren Commission report as even remotely true and LHO as the lone assassin, if he was the assassin at all.

  3. tomojiro said

    Whatever the offical of the Japanese government might have said, Shigemura is not reliable.

    He predicted so many things about North Korea, and I can’t remember even one speculation which turned out to be right.

    He said that the North Korean government would never tests nuke, because the US would instantly attack them. How wrong.

  4. keiko said

    Tomojiro, it’s not Shigemura’s fault. The fault lies with the US.

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