China to Kim Jong-il: Boom

By now you have heard about the giant explosion near the North Korea/China border that may have killed upwards of 3,000 people and created a catastrophe in and around Ryongchon, North Korea.

Well now, let’s revisit my prediction from earlier this week: The Imminent Assassination of Kim Jong-il [Stephen VanDyke]

Doesn’t sound so far-fetched now does it?

Was this explosion a message to Jong-il, or was it merely coincidence? It’s unclear:

Almost immediately following the crash of the two trains, one carrying oil and the other liquefied petroleum, rumors spread that it could have been a deliberate attempt on Kim’s life.

But senior U.S. Defense Department officials told Fox News there wasn’t any information to substantiate such theories and the collision was more likely a tragic accident.

[…]

Analysts differed on whether the incident was planned.

“If it was an assassination attempt, it was a poor one,” John Wolfsthal of the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace (search) told Fox News. He said it was doubtful because of the nine-hour difference between when Kim passed through and when the collision and explosion occurred.

Mass Casualties Feared in N. Korea Train Blast [FoxNews]

Basically, the media doesn’t know jack squat. North Korea is keeping hush and has even gone so far as to cut phone lines out of Ryongchon. This may indeed have been a botched attempt on Jong-il’s life, or it could have been successful and no one knows it yet (there have been no public appearances since the explosion).

So far, the only word from North Korea has been a plea for aid and what could be a downplaying of the death toll:

Britain’s Foreign Office quoted North Korean officials putting the death toll at several hundred in the blast that razed part of the town of Ryongchon, near the Chinese border.

“North Korean officials are saying there are several hundred dead and several thousand injured,” the Foreign Office spokeswoman told Reuters in London.

N.Korea Says Hundreds Killed in Blast, Wants Help [Reuters]

If this turns out to be an actual assassination attempt, it came from China with a nod from the U.S.

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