I suspect North Korea, Pyongyang in particular, will overtake Macau here very soon as the gambling center of asia…. heck, of earth. I also suspect North Korea will become the US' top arms competitor.
It makes alot of sense.
He's been stuck on the bottom, weak and completely powerless, at the mercy of his father's whims and didn't even think he had a solid shot until recently of getting control, and now he has control- he's gotta be similar to his brothers in wanting to just lead a good life, and doesn't see why he's gotta be a total prick to everyone in order to have it. He'll still be a prick in the time being, but not as much of one, as suspect within 20 years the prison camps will be open up to tourism as well.
Easiest way to get a hereditary military caste off your back is to make them rich and distracted with toys, while maintaining their high status and esteem and tough guy look. This can be done so easily by letting the caste run amok with the gambling capacity Pyongyang has. It has a basic tourism industry that heavily favors the absudities of the tourist over the locals in all things save driving (those sexy traffic guards will nail anyone), a awesome design for a hotel taken seemingly from Las Vegas…. though it's amenities certainly needs upgraded from what I've seen on youtube…. but gambling funds will allow that to flow fast.
The other way is to put emphasis on the weapons industry…. which is all North Korea is competent in. Than and digging complex tunnel systems, which is hard to export. They have basic electronics, but outside of military radios that can currently be bought legally (and who would want to), no one wants their electronics. Thier ships float, as well as their mobile drydocks, but it's easier to buy parts for such things from other countries. Thier chain and small tool industry was innovative, and certainly Germany profited from it when they did it, as well as China…. as well as africa is now…. basically, we got a global market glut there. But everyone likes the boomsticks, and once North Korea can sell it's rifles, tanks, hovercrafts and artillery and anti-aircraft systems, it's all going to flow in for them. Many countries need top of the line weaponry designed to slow down NATO style weaponry, and they have it.
Easiest way for him to do this is to systemmatically get rid of the old guard that keeps the embargo inplace. We saw what he originall wanted… the embargo lifted, but politically was stuck following the militaries desires. Their corrupt but unified in their corruption. They don't feel secure enough to change the system yet. They think they need to starve everyone and imprison everyone, because that's how it was done in the past, and if it's not broke, don't fix it.
Only way out is to follow international pressure just enough for international sales to be lifted, to individually win over top commanders and the middle ranks with financial opprotunities, while feeding his people a little more, a little more, a little more…. making them see things are getting better and that they are entering into the good times…. and in return, he'll get grants, girfts, and loan after loan after loan, pent up for over 60 years of economic repression flowing into North Korea.
This alone is going to glue the people to him, they will become more fanatical than ever before once they see things are getting better, that he's triumphing over capitalism by tricking them into wasting their money gambling, benifiting them, enlarging selection in the stores, employing people on ever more varied scales.
I see alot of Perceiver in these little acts. The caution and slow experimentation, seeing what works and doesn't, and slowly moving towards the ends of least resistence. I can see him sitting in his office spinning a globe, tracing the line of flight and sail between the cities of the world.
What I don't see is huge south korean tour buses heading north over the DMV unless their on their own convoy and are largely secluded, or flown in with limitations on movement. He knows what happened to the soviet union, and the shock China's in right now, and knows his population is much smaller, and already is fully repressed. Any growth in opposition will be remarkably hard to check as…. well, they're doing the best they can at it currently, and if a opposition does take root, it's gonna be pretty hardy.
Can't wait for his international whistlestop tour. He can visit Fidel, Hugo if he's still alive, and…. Mugabe…. and…. yeah. The list isn't all that impressive. He's definately looking at that globe trying to figure this one out. If we know anything about the current Kims, it's that they want to leave. No point being in charge if you yourself are a prisoner. Not so much lose power as rather to get away and live like a normal rich family does.