Why Kim Jong Un scares even Fidel Castro

This undated picture released from North Korea's official Korean Central news Agency on November 27, 2012 shows North Korean leader Kim Jong Un (right) during a photo session with participants in the national meeting of chiefs of branch social security stations at an undisclosed location in North Korea. KCNA VIA KNS/AFP/Getty Images

(CBS News) You know things have taken a dangerous turn when Fidel Castro joins the United States in calling on North Korea to tone down its rhetoric about the threat of nuclear war.

But that's what Castro did.

At such times you have to wonder if there isn't someone within the North Korean government who is trusted enough to warn the impetuous young leader Kim Jong Un that he may be on the wrong path.

Well, a story making the rounds in intelligence circles helps us understand why, if there is such a person, he or she might be reluctant to offer Kim advice on anything.

According to this report, there were seven military generals who served as honorary pallbearers at the funeral of Kim's father.

Four have disappeared without explanation, vanished. No one knows where they are.

The fifth apparently offended Kim in some way, and was marched before a group of contemporaries, strapped into a suicide vest packed with explosives, and simply blown up before their eyes.

That kind of thing is the part that worries U.S. officials -- and, apparently, Fidel Castro as well.

Is it safe to back North Korea into a corner?
Kim Jong Un compelled to prove he's tough: U.S. intelligence
Fidel Castro to N. Korea: Don't do anything rash
Special CBSNews.com coverage: North Korea tensions

  • Bob Schieffer On Twitter»

    Bob Schieffer is CBS News' chief Washington correspondent and anchor of Face the Nation.


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