Kim Jong-un can’t Feed his People but he can Spend $1 Billion to Test Launch a Nuclear Ballistic Missile

Posted by PITHOCRATES - April 15th, 2012

Week in Review

And our little dance with North Korea continues.  We offer them food aid.  And then they test launch a nuclear ballistic missile.  Usually they wait to get their food before they start the next dance.  But they didn’t this time.  Probably to show that their new leader, the twenty something Kim Jong-un, has a pair.  To show his people he’s not afraid of the big bad wolf.  Which would be the United States in this metaphor.  To show how tough he is.  And how willing he is to let his people starve to death.  Yeah, he’s that tough.  The message to his people being “now do something to deserve some punishment and see what a cruel bastard I can be” (see Rocket failure cost at least US$1 billion by AP posted 4/15/2012 on The Taipei Times).

North Korea’s much-touted satellite launch ended in a nearly US$1 billion failure, bringing humiliation to the country’s new young leader and condemnation from a host of nations. The UN Security Council deplored the launch, but stopped short of imposing new penalties in response.

The rocket’s disintegration on Friday over the Yellow Sea brought a rare public acknowledgment of failure from Pyongyang, which had hailed the launch as a show of strength amid North Korea’s persistent economic hardship…

The launch brought swift international condemnation, including the suspension of US food aid, and raised concerns that the North’s next move could be even more provocative — a nuclear test, the country’s third.

North Korea can’t afford to feed their own people but they can spend $1 billion to put a satellite into orbit that none of their people can benefit from.  If you look at a nighttime picture of North Korea you’ll see the country is mostly dark.  They don’t have the money or the infrastructure to use electricity to light up their cities at night let alone receive anything electronic from that satellite.  But to save face they may now do something nuclear.  Again, something they can afford.  Unlike feeding the good people of their country.

North Korea is proud of their ‘military first’ policy.  For that is what’s important to their leaders.  After all, why feed your people when they may just starve to death anyway in another month or two?  Yet the American Left is far more vocal in their condemnation of the U.S. military than anything the North Koreans do.  Say all you want about the centuries old argument between guns and butter but one thing you can’t say is that the North Korean poor have an obesity problem.  Like they do in the United States.

The international community needs a plan on how to reintegrate the two Koreas without overwhelming the South Koreans or the Chinese.  Their nearest neighbors who undoubtedly will carry the heaviest cost in any reunification.  Perhaps line up some corporations to invest heavily in North Korea.  To find some resources they can extract.  To do a little job creation in North Korea.  And generate some wealth they can use to slowly build their infrastructure.  And grow the food to feed their people.  If we could communicate a viable plan to the oppressed North Koreans we could end this nonsense.  And help these people find a way to a better life.  And ultimately, hopefully, to reunification.  Or at the least an open and free border between the Koreas.  To bring together separated families.  While they’re still alive to be reunited.

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North Korea uses its Nuclear Leverage to shake down the United States for some Food Aid

Posted by PITHOCRATES - March 4th, 2012

Week in Review

What’s the difference between North Korea and Iran?  The Iranian government is on a mission from God.  The Stalinist government of the North Koreans just wants to feed their people enough to keep them from rising up and challenging their autocratic power.  So they can continue to live in extreme comfort and plenty while the North Korean masses often mark time by the most recent famine (see U.S. announces diplomatic breakthrough with North Korea by Laura Rozen posted 2/29/2012 on Yahoo! News).

Under an agreement reached in direct talks in Beijing last week, North Korea has agreed to allow the return of nuclear inspectors from the International Atomic Energy Agency, and has agreed to implement a moratorium on long-range missile tests, nuclear tests, and nuclear activities  at Yongbyon, including uranium enrichment activities, the State Department said. In return, the United States will provide North Korea with a large food aid package…

Arms control experts welcomed the signs of progress in U.S. efforts to engage Pyongyang. But U.S. North Korea experts and foreign policy hands advised high caution in assessing Pyongyang’s intent, given its track record of abrupt reversals.

“These steps are modestly significant,” Richard Bush, director of Northeast Asian studies at the Brookings Institution, said in a statement Thursday. However, he noted, they “are only what negotiators call ‘confidence-building measures.’ They could indeed be an initial step on a path towards serious negotiations … Or they could simply be a ploy to get nutritional assistance and meddle in South Korean politics. North Korea’s record suggests the latter, but we shall see.”

This is the little dance we do with North Korea.  Their people starve.  They play with their nuclear toys.  And use their nuclear leverage.  We come in and offer them food aid if they put down their nuclear toys.  They do.  We give them food aid.  Then when the next famine rolls along they pick up their nuclear toys again.  And we resume our little dance.  It won’t be like this in Iran. 

The radical Islamists have a plan.  And it is a twofold plan.  First they want to incinerate Israel.  Then they want to reestablish their caliphate and rule the world.  And they will use a unique form of gunboat diplomacy.  Where they’ll back their diplomacy with the awesome destructive power of their nuclear weapons.

North Korea is dangerous.  But more in a scenario where the supreme ruler might go crazy.  Or get backed into a corner.  Where he has no options to keep himself in power.  And in a life of comfort and plenty.  Then like a child who can’t have his way he will launch his nuclear weapons so no one can have their way.  Of course the retaliation will be swift.  And there will be no more Stalinist government left in North Korea.  Hopefully without harming the good people of North Korea.  The suffering masses.  Whereas any retaliation against a strike from a nuclear Iran will be answered by an angry Islamist uprising in countries throughout the world. 

So is a nuclear North Korea dangerous?  Yes.  But manageable.  At least, so far.  Is a nuclear Iran dangerous?  Yes.  So dangerous that we really don’t want to get to the ‘North Korea’ stage in Iran.  Because radical Islamists don’t care about anything but their mission from God.

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