America’s favorite gadfly, North Korea, was back in the news in March and April 2013, sending political shockwaves through northeast Asia and the world with jingoistic rhetoric and provocative militaristic feints from Kim Jong-un, latest mentally-challenged scion of the family that has dominated North Korea since his grandfather established the communist dictatorship in 1948. The world’s youngest head of state chose to flex his military/political muscle, founded on the rogue nation’s possession of nuclear weaponry.
North Korea, a country devastated by severe economic isolation and deprivation, has a long history of a cycle of bombast, threaten, and retreat after placation by the West, essentially extorting economic support or concessions in exchange for cooling down the rhetoric. While there was little reason to believe that Kim was any more serious about his utterances than his predecessors, he set regional teeth on edge by laying out the full panoply of his provocation repertoire at once, rather than the calculated ebb and flow practiced by his father and grandfather, rather more adept at pacing themselves.
On March 7, North Korea threatened the US with a “pre-emptive nuclear attack,” and began deploying missiles with a supposedly 2500-mile range, though whether those missiles were capable of accommodating a nuclear warhead is unknown. On March 11, Pyongyang officials issued bulletins from the capitol to nullify nonaggression pacts and the armistice with South Korea, in effect since its 1953 implementation which formally ended the ”police action” known in the US as the Korean War. These actions followed upon the heels of a February 12 nuclear weapons test by North Korea and coincided with annual joint military exercises between the US and South Korea.
At just 29, Kim Jong-un is likely to be a major factor in the region for a very long while, but he seems to be wasting no time in establishing his diplomatic style since his accession to power following the death of his father, Kim Jong-il, less than 18 months ago. North Korea is known as an opaque society, with little or no access for outsiders to actual conditions on the ground. This state of affairs is captured beautifully in metaphor by a nighttime satellite image of the Korean peninsula—the economically vital south is a blaze of electric light, the energy-deprived north is completely dark. This difficulty in penetrating North Korea’s obfuscated reality is reflected also in Kim Jong-un’s birth data until recently. Although the date of January 8 was known, not even the year of his birth was certain, with 1983 and 1984 both contenders.
Then British astrologer Paul Saunders came across a BBC interview with Jong-un’s mother, Ko Young-hee, where she described him as “the Morning Star King,” apparently referring to Venus’ morning visibility at his birth. There was no such celestial appearance on January 8, 1983, but on that date in 1984 both Venus and Mercury were visible in the predawn sky, making 1984 the most likely year of birth.
Jong-un is the third and youngest son of Kim Jong-il; his elder brother Kim Jong-nam was expected to succeed their father, but fell into disgrace in 2001 after attempting to enter Japan with a fake passport to visit Tokyo Disneyland. The second son, Kim Jong-chul, was considered to be too feminine and weak to rule, whereas Jong-un seemed to be made of sterner stuff, the living image of his father.
Educated in the West in Switzerland, little is known of Kim Jong-un beyond a liking for Yves Saint Laurent cigarettes, Johnnie Walker whisky, and Mercedes-Benz cars. He is also an avid basketball fan, and invited former Chicago Bulls star Dennis Rodman for a visit in February 2013, when he expressed the wish that President Obama “call him.”
When Kim Jong-il died on 17 December 2011, Jong-un’s status was not immediately apparent. A week later he was recognized as head of the Army, a position confirmed by the Central Committee of the Workers Party on December 30. Already acting chairman of the Central Military Commission, on April 11, 2012 Kim’s grip on power was assured when he was elected First Secretary of the Workers’ Party of Korea, which office was granted to him “eternally,” although North Korean state media did not begin to refer to him as the “Supreme Leader” until August. On 31 March 2013, at the height of his orgy of provocation, Kim Jong-un announced that he was focusing his country on a simultaneous program of accelerated economic construction and nuclear arms development.
Kim Jong-un’s natal chart gives some cause for concern, with a massing of energy within less than a quarter of the zodiac, all major planets falling between late Libra and mid-Capricorn, with the exception of the Moon in Pisces (its exact degree is unknown without a confirmed birth time). This creates a very focused, driven individual, but one without a lot of balance, and not enough challenge to overcome in developing true wisdom or self-control (challenges coming from major aspects between planets, something not geometrically possible given this distribution). With four planets in Sagittarius, the impetuosity of Fire predominates, making Kim idealistic but also ideological, more concerned with image and effect than practicality.
There is a core of realism to Kim, however, with the Sun and Mercury in Capricorn, a grounding, stabilizing force that also unfortunately inclines to the conservative or reactionary, a tendency which in this instance may reinforce the spirited excesses of Sagittarius rather than dampening them. Transit Saturn, planet of structure and maturity and the ruler of Kim ‘s Sun, stationed at 11 Scorpio in February, just shy of its first return to its natal degree of 14 Scorpio, a period of maturation and coming to terms with adulthood which often presages major responsibilities and achievements. Due to the retrograde, Kim’s Saturn Return will not occur until November, making the intervening six months of vital importance, a period when there is a greater danger of youthful over-reach untempered by the life lessons the Return brings.
Other factors impinge upon the Sun, whose only planetary aspect is a weak sextile to Saturn. At 16 Capricorn, the Sun is exactly conjoined a Black Hole, a deep space anomaly whose gravitational force is so great, not even light can escape it (hence the name). Black Hole Sun natives can be major transformative figures, able to draw others into their orbits almost effortlessly, for good or ill, seeking power and control above all else. There is a chameleon-like quality of changeability which is the ability to adapt themselves to their audience and the situation, presenting whatever face or form best suits their ultimate agenda, which may be cloaked or hidden in many layers of intrigue or obfuscation. These individuals can act as points of energy attraction or energy drain, and in its predominant action, the Black Hole represents the volte-face, the sudden, swift and dramatic change of events or circumstances in the twinkling of an eye. Capricious and unpredictable, there is an element of volatility to these individuals which can destabilize the world about them, as they struggle to bring their private vision of an alternate reality into form in this one which we all share.
With the Sun are several asteroids which modify Kim’s nature at its core. These comprise Sphinx, Arachne and Tantalus, at 14, 17 and 20 Capricorn respectively. Sphinx indicates a certain degree of inscrutability, a difficulty in penetrating the native’s true intent or focus, and a level of mystery commensurate with the secrecy which shrouds the entire nation. Arachne suggests elaborate plans and preparations, delicate machinations to attain a goal or ensnare an opponent, which sometimes backfires on the native and leaves him defenseless or trapped within the web of his own deceptions. Tantalus is a point noted for the commission of heinous crimes, but also suggests the frustration of unfulfilled desires, goals which are always seemingly just out of reach, engendering out-scale reactions and reprisals, a sense of injury which encourages acting out in nonproductive or negative ways.
Also affecting the Sun are asteroids Narcissus at 28 Leo in sesquiquadrate, and TNO Varuna at 17 Gemini in inconjunct. Narcissus with the Sun shows a potential for self-focus so extreme as to be pathological, an inability to empathize with others or understand how one’s actions and decisions may affect them adversely. Varuna suggests an inordinate focus on one’s legacy, a need to continue impacting the world one leaves behind, and the self-accruing of semi-divine powers which are considered beyond question.
Mercury at 1 Capricorn is similarly afflicted, with an exact conjunction to asteroid Icarus and an exact square to the supermassive Black Hole center of Galaxy M-87 at 1 Libra, the largest anomaly of its type of which we are aware. Mercury with Icarus describes the rash, reckless rhetoric, heedless of the consequences, that already seems a hallmark of Kim’s regime and may provoke a headlong rush to disaster. The square to the Black Hole indicates major powers of verbal deception and manipulation, rhetorical gifts which include persuasion and coercion, and a difficulty accepting or even understanding reality as the rest of us see it. Given the cult of personality which is so entrenched in North Korea’s leadership over generations, this is an extremely dangerous combination which could allow Kim to galvanize his nation into whatever actions he endorses.
A pairing of Mars and Pluto at 28 Libra and 1 Scorpio is no less daunting, particularly given Mars’ placement exactly atop yet another Black Hole at 28 Libra. There is a great deal of anger and aggression in this combination, as well as the desire and ability to manipulate and control others. Kim’s may be a singularly transformative influence on North Korea’s military, which at almost ten million strong is the largest in the world, constituting some 40% of the country’s total population. The conjunction of militaristic Mars with Pluto, which rules nuclear weaponry, is a clear indication of the direction Kim will lead his nation, and the Black Hole’s influence here will be to dramatically increase focus and expenditure in these matters, in an effort to amass as much power as possible.
Further complicating this pattern is asteroid Nemesis at 27 Libra, a point named for the Greek goddess of vengeance and retribution. Kim could act the role of local, perhaps global, nemesis, with his country’s military as his weapon of choice, or could find that the vengeance he seeks is visited upon his own head by others. In either case, the implications for North Korea’s populace are dire.
The four Sagittarian planets are divided into two unaspected pairs, with Venus and Uranus conjoined at 8 and 11 Sagittarius, and Jupiter conjunct Neptune at 27 and 29 Sagittarius. Venus/Uranus could signal a major, even revolutionary, cultural shift, specifically geared toward increased technological infrastructure and scientific development. Uranus is exactly conjunct another Black Hole, implying that the changes wrought may be swift and complete, a sudden reversal of the current deprivation and technological disadvantage.
Jupiter with Neptune combines the political with the divine, and well describes the existing culture of personality which may only increase during Kim’s ascendancy. These are conjunct the Galactic Center, natally at 26 Sagittarius but just recently transited to 27, which grants the potential for global attention or notoriety and impact. The political agenda may become confused or disoriented, and may morph into a movement reflecting the nature of a divine mission or jihad, a nationalism which rivals religious zealotry in its intensity and fervor.
The saber-rattling seems to have subsided for the moment, but with a personality as constricted and potentially volatile as Kim Jong-un’s, it’s likely only a matter of time before further outbreaks of provocation ensue. The world may have a very long-lived headache on its hands.