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Thursday, April 22, 2004

Close, but no exploding cigar

The explosion at a train station in North Korea hours after Kim Jong Il departed there following a secret mission to visit our friends in China has got amateur spooks wondering if maybe it was an attempt on Dear Leader’s life. While it would be welcome news if it were true that someone, somewhere actually has the cajones to eliminate the North Korean threat in the most graceful way possible – assassinating Kim – this would hardly be the kind of surgical targeting that assassins tend to use. ( I’ve always been a fan of the Mossad’s exploding cell phone trick, personally.) If it were a CIA maneuver, incurring mass casualties – there are expected to be as many as 3,000 hurt or killed – would probably risk evoking too much handwringing from Americans themselves and the world at large about the hit (even if the number pales in comparison to the number of North Koreans that perish annually from starvation brought about by Kim’s Stalinist collectivized farming experiments). Even the possibility of a coup seems remote given the lag between Dear Leader’s train leaving and the explosion. Then again, centrally-planned Soviet bloc countries were notorious for having unreliable train schedules, with trains being hours or even days late. Maybe some saboteur figured a nine-hour delay would be timing things just about right.

Posted by Kevin Libin on April 22, 2004 | Permalink

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