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Lil’ Kim whacks the chief of operations of the North Korean military

Well, that’s one approach to civilian control of the military: Kim Jong Un is reported to have executed the head of operations for the North Korean Army. This sure makes our civil-military relations look tame. For what it is worth, I suspect this is not a sign of Kim’s strength but of his weakness. As ...

TO GO WITH Oly-2012-PRK,FEATURE(FILES)
TO GO WITH Oly-2012-PRK,FEATURE (FILES) This file photo taken on April 15, 2012 shows North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un saluting as he watches a military parade to mark 100 years since the birth of the country's founder and his grandfather, Kim Il-Sung, in Pyongyang. He lacks the toned physique of an Olympian but "dear respected" leader Kim Jong-Un will be the inspiration when North Korea's athletes go for gold at the London Olympics. North Korea are aiming for a record number of medals in London in what would be a timely boost for Kim, the new face of the country's ruling dynasty and its all-pervasive personality cult. AFP PHOTO / FILES / Ed Jones (Photo credit should read Ed Jones/AFP/GettyImages)

Well, that’s one approach to civilian control of the military: Kim Jong Un is reported to have executed the head of operations for the North Korean Army.

This sure makes our civil-military relations look tame.

For what it is worth, I suspect this is not a sign of Kim’s strength but of his weakness. As friend points out, when the stick is used, it is a sign that carrots are no longer enough to keep the regime’s lackeys in line.

Ed Jones/AFP/Getty Images

Thomas E. Ricks covered the U.S. military from 1991 to 2008 for the Wall Street Journal and then the Washington Post. He can be reached at ricksblogcomment@gmail.com.

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