Saturday, April 6, 2013

Is North Korean Leader Kim Jong Un's Young Age A Factor In Today's Korean Peninsula Tensions?

North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un (2nd L) and an unidentified woman visit the Rungna People's Pleasure Ground, which is nearing completion, in Pyongyang in this undated picture released by the North's KCNA on July 25, 2012. According to North Korean state run media, the couple is now married. (Reuters - Courtesy)

How Worried Should We Be About Kim Jong Un's Youth? -- Alicia P.Q. Wittmeyer, The Cable, Foreign Policy

We may not know much about the man currently plowing full speed ahead toward international nuclear crisis, but one thing we do know for sure is that he is young -- 29 or 30. And this, most news outlets seem to agree, is an important factor in understanding how we wound up where we are today -- and where we may be headed. CNN calls Kim Jong Un "a rash young leader." "Young, reckless, without great political savvy," writes the Christian Science Monitor. The Daily Mail calls the North Korean supreme leader a "boy despot."

It's conventional wisdom that age and experience are calming forces in international relations -- that with a few gray hairs comes the moderation and wisdom to avoid, say, calling other, much larger states, "boiled pumpkin[s]." But one academic study on the question finds the connections between age and political crises to be a little more nuanced. For every brash, brassy Louis XIV -- who, at 29, invaded the Spanish Netherlands in 1667 and was forced to give almost all of it back a year later -- there is a Nikita Khrushchev placing missiles on Cuba in his late 60s.

Read more ....

My Comment: There is something to say about experience and wisdom .... but I count on him being a new father as a more stabilizing influence .... at least I hope so.

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