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Peter Zeihan

Geopolitical Strategist

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No one knows why Travis King defected to North Korea

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Peter Zeihan

Geopolitical Strategist

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Theories abound as to why a 23-year-old U.S. soldier crossed the border from South Korea while on a guided tour. Prior to his defection in July, Travis King had spent two months in detention in South Korea on assault charges. He was supposed to fly back to the U.S. to face disciplinary proceedings but managed to evade airport security and find his way into North Korea.

While Straight Arrow News contributor Peter Zeihan isn’t offering theories just yet, he does analyze past generations of North Korean leaders and is certain of one thing: the young private has entered a nation where conventional rules do not apply.

Excerpted from Peter’s Aug. 8 “Zeihan on Geopolitics” newsletter:

Before we dive into today’s video, let me start by saying that if you want to defect somewhere…maybe don’t choose the same place as Travis King. Now let’s look at where things are with North Korea.

The history of North Korea is nothing short of a fever dream, and anyone who tells you they know what’s going on inside the country is most definitely lying.

Fast forward to today, and we still have very little insight into the inner workings of North Korea. Although, it appears that Kim Jung Un is “finding his own way” as the generations before him mysteriously die off or retire.

What does this mean for Travis King? We’ll just have to wait and see what this wildcard of a country decides to do.

Hey everybody, Peter Zeleny here coming to you from the lower saddle of square top peak in the pike National Forest in Colorado.
Today we’re talking about North Korea.
There has been an interesting incident in that an RV guy by the name of Travis King has defected North Korea, as rule people who defects in North Korea get tortured horribly. So why he did it, no one really knows. I don’t have any theories on that. What I can do is kind of give you an overall update on where things are with North Korea. Anyone who tells you that they’re 100% sure what’s going on in the country is lying to you because everybody’s spies have been killed, including the Chinese. And probably the single biggest misconception in the United States is that this is a client state of China. And it is not, it’s probably safe to say that the North Koreans actually hate the Chinese more than anyone else. They see them as overbearing and dictatorial. And Chairman, GE is particularly loathed by the upper leadership within North Korea. Now, of course, that is the Kim dynasty now. Starting from the beginning, the understanding of the intelligence community and this isn’t just the United States, this is Russia, China, France, Britain, Japan, everybody. South Korea as well,
is that the original leader of North Korea, Kim Nelson, the guy who fought the Japanese in World War Two
is that he was killed by his own people back in 1993. Because a few days after he was killed, he was supposed to show up in Seoul to talk about the practical details of reunification. Remember that in 1993, Tiananmen Square was in the past, and the Americans and the Chinese had decided to move on together. The Soviet system had just collapsed and Kim Wilson knew that a statist communist dictatorial system was not long for this world. So he was looking for something new. And his army folks who you know, would have lost all their position, had him killed.
Kim Jong Il is the second leader that was the son of Kimmel song, he was the crazy guy with the glasses.
He was raised in North Korea, he was raised drinking the Kool Aid keep dude was batshit crazy. And when he took over the first generation Army leaders that had killed his father, like, Whoa, this is not what we meant. And his whole generation was like that they were all raised on the ideology and not educated in any meaningful way. And so Kim Wilson, when he took over the agricultural system, you know, killed 2 million people with famine in a country that only had like 20 25 million people, kind of a big deal.
So the first generation, it takes the third generation, Kim Jong Un and that’s the chubby guy who rules rules in place now, and sends them abroad to learn how the world really works. And Kim Jong Un specifically was sent to Switzerland. Now, the plan was that the first generation would rule until they died. And then the third generation would come back and take the country into a new age. So that way, the first generation would get the gravitas and history and yet they would maintain their wealth and the position for a lot longer. The problem is that Kim Jong Il generation number two died early and so Kim Jong in in his mid 20s, was brought back to take over. And for a good decade, Kim Jong Un had probably had the worst job in the world, because the first generation wanted him to remake the country, but not touch their positions, and they killed his grandfather. So they’d certainly have no problem often his fat ass. Then you had the second generation Kimmel, Jones brothers and sisters and cousins, who were nuts, and idiotic but violent, and were totally willing to kill you today. So he was threading the needle between these two powerful groups who were not afraid of violence at all. And so what he did
was place at the first generation with really really bellicose rhetoric that was just sounded crazy, but didn’t back it up with actually any changes in policy.
And for the second generation, every time he had the opportunity, he assassinated one of them. So one of them got killed with chemical weapons when he was traveling abroad. One was accidentally hit with an air anti aircraft gun during a parade, that sort of thing. Well, 10 years later, most of the first generation is retiring and dying off. So problem taken care of and most of the second generation is now dead. But during this process, we had a change in administration in the United States, with Donald Trump coming in, and that first step of Kim Jong Un’s strategy, the bellicose rhetoric. Trump, of course, thought it was all about him. So when.
So when Kim Jong Un was like, Oh, I’ve got a button under nuclear weapon and Trump is like, sees us on Twitter and it goes back he’s like, Well, I’ve got a bigger button. And Kim Jong Un a little panicky because he was like, whoa, this was totally not about

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