Thursday, January 24, 2008

The leader rises, but the country falls

Janes reports that North Korea is in a bad way -- in a really bad way -- bad even by its own abysmal standards. "Kim Jong-Il's regime could collapse within six months, bringing chaos to North Korea, observers and intelligence sources in Asia have told Jane's. ... The centrally controlled economy has also now ceased to function and the food distribution system is near breaking point. With loyalty to the regime at an all-time low, another sign of trouble is the regime's diminishing ability to prevent people from leaving the country." But the most alarming sign involves Kim Jong-Il himself.



"Tellingly, the 'Dear Leader' is in the process of moving financial resources to ensure that his assets are portable should he have to go into exile, according to some sources." Kim, who amended the North Korean constitution in 1996 to declare himself "president for eternity" is estimated by the CIA to have "$5 billion in Swiss bank accounts, six villas in Europe, one in Russia and one in China".

He should be near the top of the league of billionaire progressive socialist leaders, fearlessly leading their masses to the worker's parodies. By comparison, Robert Mugabe has an unspecified amount of money in "the British Virgin Islands and the Isle of Man. He also owns large properties in Britain" according to Robert Rotberg of the Harvard Kennedy School. Fidel Castro may in fact be bringing up the rear of this august group, with an estimated worth of $900 million, according to a Forbes magazine report, which only puts him on par with the Queen of England.

42 Comments:

Blogger NahnCee said...

Why don't they just sell their nukes to Iran and balance the country's books?

1/24/2008 09:38:00 PM  
Blogger E and J's Film Crew said...

How do you know they haven't?

1/24/2008 09:44:00 PM  
Blogger NahnCee said...

Well, if they *had* sold their stuff to Iran, wouldn't Iran be a little bit further along in their attempts and would North Korea be starving?

Although you're likely right. I think the Axis of Evil has been trading radioactive tidbits for years now, and that includes Pakistan at its center. It's either a comment on how inept they are or how very very difficult the process is that they haven't been more successful, the whole bleeding lot of them.

The starving to death part is a major indication of ineptitude.

1/24/2008 09:57:00 PM  
Blogger Alaska Paul said...

I was reading in East Asia Intel this evening that China would make the Norks a Chinese satellite rather than let it reunify under South Korea. Besides, the Chinese need Nork mines and the materials they produce.

1/24/2008 10:18:00 PM  
Blogger Wretchard said...

There is something sad and not a little pathetic in watching the Western admirers of people like Kim, Mugabe, Castro and Chavez describe these kleptocratic moguls as 'champions of the people' before retiring to their own modest little apartments, to cook a kipper and tomato over a gas ring, while the objects of their admiration commute between fabulous palaces. What possesses them to admire individuals with no redeeming social qualities; murderers in fact, and who, moreover, would never even glance down at their adoring dupes from their stratospheric heights? Is it some form of desire to worship celebrity? If so what in what kind of celebrity hell can you find specimens as hideous as Kim Jong-Il?

The people who buy gossip magazines at the supermarket checkout have better taste than the admirers of these "socialist" leaders. If as Alaska Paul says, China winds up annexing North Korea rather than allowing it to reunite with South Korea, what will that make of the Leftist trope that America has kept the two Koreas apart?

The irony in these cases is only exceeded by their tragedy. The problem with socialist thinking is that you never get what you want, only alas, what you deserve.

1/24/2008 10:25:00 PM  
Blogger John Lynch said...

North Korea looks like an African country going down the tubes. Eventually, they do collapse. It just takes much longer than anyone expects. But when they go, they go fast. Think Zaire.

I don't think China wants North Korea. I don't think South Korea wants them, either. I expect both borders to remain closed, and China to set up an interim administration. Down the road, the Koreas may unite. I suspect that the price China will demand for reunification is the Finlandization of the new Korean state. I don't see the ROK as a permanent US ally, especially since China is so much closer.

In any case, reuniting Korea is not worth a war with China. That was settled 55 years ago. I expect Korea to drift into a Chinese orbit, which is not the end of the world.

The big question is what happens when a nuclear power collapses utterly. That's never happened before.

1/24/2008 11:26:00 PM  
Blogger Alaska Paul said...

Wrechard---The tragedy of all this is the suffering of the North Korean people. Two and a half generations brought up in pure hell. And our State Department, rather than take the moral high road, plays the same old Lucy and the Football with Charlie Brown game. Burned repeatedly, State keeps running for the kick on a promise repeatedly broken. If China shut down Kimmie, and saved the people (and took all the resources, quietly), they would be heroes that "Saved the People." The whole thing thoroughly disgusts me. And the greatest anger and contempt I reserve for our leaders, who should know better.

1/24/2008 11:32:00 PM  
Blogger whiskey_199 said...

Wretchard --

Why it is the simplest thing in the world. Some people desire a King. If one is not found, or found wanting, they will seek another. Even in Kim Jong-Il. Or Fidel. Or Mugabe.

The tabloid trash nobility at least harms no one really but themselves.

Communism is merely the King Business in another name.

1/25/2008 12:35:00 AM  
Blogger PeterBoston said...

While people starve to death in the socialist utopia of North Korea, even as Dear Leader flies in champagne and truffles, Hugo Chavez, a dear leader in his own right, sends his goons to confiscate 100s of tons of private food stocks. A Venezuelan blogger notes that he cannot find enough rice, milk and sugar, at any price, to make one bowl of arroz con leche.

The Kennedy Clan gushes over Hugo's generosity as they personally pump Citgo heating oil into the tanks of American home owners while they hum the tune of Beautiful Anwar.

Hilary Clinton loudly announces to the cheers of her supporters that she will fix the "balance" between government and private enterprise and intervene at will in the economy.

Bill Gates apologizes for capitalism at the toady paradise of Davos.

A Dark Age is upon us. It slipped in between "they don't really mean that" and "who could believe such a foolish thing."

1/25/2008 01:18:00 AM  
Blogger Karridine said...

IF the collapse comes within the next 4-6 months, there will STILL BE a large number of (albeit aging) Koreans who want to re-unite with their families... re-unite the peninsula as a non-corrosive, pro-western nation, when once the last Stalinist, xenophobic vampire government has left, to spend the blood its sucked from the people of North Korea...

Yes, its a big price, but DOING IT would be a shining beacon for billions around the world...

I DREAMED of this day, freezing my buns atop those mountains on the DMZ (snow on the Fourth of July!) and listening to the NorKs complain about their miserable conditions when they thought no one was listening!

1/25/2008 03:29:00 AM  
Blogger amr said...

W Germany could barely afford E Germany and I doubt that SoKo could afford NoKo. I would think that China would “take over” NoKo to lessen the country’s people’s hardships to prevent a massive movement to the China. I imagine that the West would help save the people too and everyone would be relieved that the regime was gone. At one time NoKo was the power house of the two Koreas; my how times have changed.

China uses NoKo to assemble products as well as a source of raw material, so if that goes, China may have to raise prices of goods to the US. Sadly we have ignored and benefited from the slave labor of NoKo but the self-righteous NGOs go after US companies paying decent local wages, but cheap labor never-the-less, in mostly Asia countries. They seemly ignore NoKo and usually Myanmar. Selective anguish as usual.

1/25/2008 04:20:00 AM  
Blogger What is "Occupation" said...

Let these criminals escape into exile...

then let's kidnap them and bury them in a hole in the ground for several months, then send them back to be hung...

Why do we screw around with mass murdering dictators?

Why not put a secular fatwa on their slimy asses?

and yet today in Lebanon, Iran/Syria showed their love for the legal system by redecorating the local landscaping by creating a nice hole in the street...

time to return to BLACK OPS...

time to do the world a favor...

single bullet therapy

1/25/2008 04:41:00 AM  
Blogger RWE said...

“What possesses them to admire individuals with no redeeming social qualities; murderers in fact ….”

What indeed? This brings to mind something I saw on one of the major networks not long before Desert Storm started in 1991. A TV anchor described encountering a bum, an apparently homeless black man, who said “Now you are going to get what is coming to you! Saddam Hussein will teach you a lesson, you and all your weapons.”

The News anchor was quite distressed by this, a statement made by someone who by all rights, by his own standards, should have been exhaulted as among the most worthy and admirable of our society, but who was wishing for victory by an incredibly oppressive dictator. And, perhaps worst of all, the statement was irrational; the bum had nothing to gain at best and much to lose at worst.

It is clear that some people choose any opportunity to explain their own failures as due to the actions of others. This is understandable. But these same people often admire the utterly reprehensible; there is no answer to What Possesses Them.

1/25/2008 06:00:00 AM  
Blogger LarryD said...

Wrechard: There is something sad and not a little pathetic in watching the Western admirers of people like Kim, Mugabe, Castro and Chavez describe these kleptocratic moguls as 'champions of the people' before retiring to their own modest little apartments, to cook a kipper and tomato over a gas ring, while the objects of their admiration commute between fabulous palaces. What possesses them to admire individuals with no redeeming social qualities; murderers in fact, and who, moreover, would never even glance down at their adoring dupes from their stratospheric heights?

Whiskey_199: Why it is the simplest thing in the world. Some people desire a King. ... Communism is merely the King Business in another name.

Whiskey is close, from Narcisstic traits: (emphasis mine)
Narcissists are totally and inflexibly authoritarian. In other words, they are suck-ups. They want to be authority figures and, short of that, they want to be associated with authority figures. In their hearts, they know they can't think well, have no judgment about what matters, are not connected with the world they inhabit, so they cling fanatically to the opinions of people they regard as authority figures -- such as their parents, teachers, doctors, ministers. Where relevant, this may include scientists or professors or artists, but narcissists stick to people they know personally, since they aren't engaged enough with the world to get their authoritative opinions from TV, movies, books or dead geniuses/saints/heroes. If they get in trouble over some or another opinion they've put forth, they'll blame the source -- "It was okay with Dr. Somebody," "My father taught me that," etc. If you're still thinking of the narcissist as odd-but-normal, this shirking of responsibility will seem dishonest and craven -- well, it is but it's really an admission of weakness: they really mean it: they said what they said because someone they admire or fear said it and they're trying to borrow that person's strength.

They fawn and drool over Marxist dictators because that is what they want to be. Dictators with no constraints but their own desires, unhindered by morality, tradition, or law. Not just a King, but an absolute monarch.

Nahncee: It's either a comment on how inept they are or how very very difficult the process is that ...

It's both. Getting Nuclear weapons tech right is hard, and neither regime cultivates excellence.

1/25/2008 06:38:00 AM  
Blogger exhelodrvr1 said...

"What possesses them to admire individuals with no redeeming social qualities; murderers in fact, and who, moreover, would never even glance down at their adoring dupes from their stratospheric heights? "

Self-hatred.

1/25/2008 08:05:00 AM  
Blogger druu222 said...

The "How is this possible" question of Westerners supporting monomaniacal dictators has haunted me for years.

But as I read these thoughts, something clarifys that has not really been mentioned..

It's about Hate. Pure and simple. Hate is actually fun. Quite enjoyable, satisfying, elevating (of oneself over the hated certainly), and highly gratifying. That is why so many humans and their leaders have indulged it for millenia.

The people in question need to Hate, on a grand scale, and they have chosen to despise the civilization they live in. In doing so they are IMMDEDIATELY better than all of us who choose not to. It is not possible to Hate without feeling superior in a very genuine sense, be it moral or whatever.

So they Hate Western Civilization with relish, and Hate you and I for supporting, or even just participating in the perpetuation of same.

Like minded crew together naturally. Kim and Castro and Mugabe share their Hatred.... and are very SUCCESSFUL at it, having not only palaces and gold, but weapons with which to confront that which is Hated, and the ability to force the Hated leaders to turn this way in that in reaction to them. By every measure, these are in fact the Tiger Woods and Tom Brady's of the Hate Brigades.

So the master Haters can stand on six million, twelve million, fifty million human corpses to proclaim their Hate, and their fellow travellers will not care. The feelings these Titans inspire in such people could almost be described as sexual. That is the essence of Hate.

In the end, as with so much of today's politics, it is all about what makes them feel good. On such "feelings" and related unthinking nonsense lies the fate of whole peoples and civilizations.

1/25/2008 08:08:00 AM  
Blogger eggplant said...

John Lynch said:

"I don't think China wants North Korea. I don't think South Korea wants them, either.... I suspect that the price China will demand for reunification is the Finlandization of the new Korean state."

I agree with John Lynch. China's main fear is Japan. Demilitarizing the Korean peninsula and turning it into a big buffer zone would best serve China's strategic interests (doing so probably serves our and Japan's interests as well). South Korea no long holds significant strategic value for us. The younger generation of South Koreans have been completely propagandized by decades of effective NorK agit-prop. South Korea's economic significance will go to zero after they absorb their necrotic northern cousins.

The whole Korean thing will end with a whimper.

1/25/2008 08:27:00 AM  
Blogger Elijah said...

Kaplan's perspective...

The threat from north of the DMZ is formidable. North Korea boasts 100,000 well-trained special-operations forces and one of the world’s largest biological and chemical arsenals. It has stockpiles of anthrax, cholera, and plague, as well as eight industrial facilities for producing chemical agents—any of which could be launched at Seoul by the army’s conventional artillery. If the governing infrastructure in Pyongyang were to unravel, the result could be widespread lawlessness (compounded by the guerrilla mentality of the Kim Family Regime’s armed forces), as well as mass migration out of and within North Korea. In short, North Korea’s potential for anarchy is equal to that of Iraq, and the potential for the deployment of weapons of mass destruction—either during or after pre-collapse fighting—is far greater...

When North Korea Falls

More recently & related -
China planning to secure North Korea's nuclear arsenal: report

1/25/2008 08:29:00 AM  
Blogger David M said...

The Thunder Run has linked to this post in the - Web Reconnaissance for 01/25/2008 A short recon of what’s out there that might draw your attention, updated throughout the day...so check back often.

1/25/2008 08:36:00 AM  
Blogger The Anti-Jihadist said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

1/25/2008 08:51:00 AM  
Blogger Mad Fiddler said...

South Korean Leaders probably were deeply impressed with the example provided by the reunification of East & West Germany.

As I recall, West Germany before reunification had one of the richest economies in the world by any standard you might care to apply. The Deutschemark was for many years the most stable currency of Europe (and therefor, of the world.) Before unification and the introduction of the Euro.

After German re-unification (for those of you who may not be aware, Germany was divided into East and West Germany at the end of World War II... Oh, go look it up, fer Pete's sake!)

Anyhow, the true devastation of East Germany's economy from four decades of Communist plundering only became apparent to the celebrating West Germans AFTER reunification.

Then they discovered the wastelands of industrial pollution, apartments, schools and hospitals nearing collapse, and a seriously overvalued currency. West Germany "bit the bullet" and allowed very generous exchange rates for Ostmarks of the defunct communist regime. This was a primary reason the German economy has suffered since.

The other reason for the rough patches in German economic performance is not discussed in Western Mass Media, because it would require acknowledging the problem of ethnic immigrants who have not been assimilated into the "host" culture.

In the years of booming economic growth before unification --- when unification seemed as remote as a visit to Mars --- West Germany encouraged the immigration of many tens of thousands of laborers, many from Turkey, to work in construction and other low-skilled jobs.

Reunification with the former East Germany made many millions of new GERMAN laborers available for low-skilled jobs. I don't know how the transition was handled, but there is now a vast surplus of unskilled immigrant families, many of them Muslim, made redundant by reunification. German law does not offer much hope of naturalization to immigrants of any nationality, so it is likely that this is a problem seething and simmering out of view of the cameras.

Still, the emotional bonds of sundered families, reinforced by centuries of Korean tradition, may trump the flinty-eyed skepticism of business. Maybe the South Koreans still feel themselves to be one people with the North Koreans, despite the decades of distrust and official enmity. There have certainly been some gestures by South Koreans indicating their eagerness for reconciliation, and the Tyrants of North Korea have once or twice shown signs of responding in kind.

Does China fear a united Korea, or do they fear a chaotic North Korea?

1/25/2008 08:57:00 AM  
Blogger The Anti-Jihadist said...

Late last year I wrote an article that talks about South Korea's likely fate as an evolving Sino client state:

Why Korea kowtows to China

1/25/2008 09:02:00 AM  
Blogger eggplant said...

Mad Fiddler said:

"...the true devastation of East Germany's economy from four decades of Communist plundering only became apparent to the celebrating West Germans AFTER reunification."

Years ago, before the fall of the Iron curtain, I lived in Goettingen, West Germany. Goettingen was only 20 km from the East/West border. Back then, one could legally buy Soviet Block currency from a West German bank and then illegally (under Communist law) take this money back to its country of origin for a very inexpensive holiday. I travelled all over the Soviet Block doing this.

Back then, crossing the border was a big deal. The train would be stuck at the border for about an hour while the Volkspolizei did their fun-and-games. After going through that process, one made the mental adjustment so what one saw on the other side was no big surprise.

Anyway, the wall fell down, all of that border crossing stuff went away but something really weird replaced it. If one was driving from a former West German city like Braunschweig to the East, one would initially see well tended fields and buildings, clean air and well maintained roads (the birds were singing, the sky was blue and the children smiling). Then at the former border, one would drive through this invisible curtain without fanfare and arrive in Dantes Inferno. The roads were full of pot holes, the buildings were falling down, the air was polluted and everything was a mess. The Communists quite literally ran East Germany into the ground.

Unification was probably the worst thing that ever happened to the former West Germany. Also, anyone who thinks socialism is a good thing is a blithering idiot.

1/25/2008 09:45:00 AM  
Blogger ZZMike said...

whiskey_199: "Some people desire a King. If one is not found, or found wanting, they will seek another."

It doesn't work that way. People like Kim and his "glorious" father, and Mugabe, and Chavez, beat their way in and tell the people how it's going to be.

Other than that, everybody here seems to understand the situation better than people in Washington.

Eggplant: I remember being in Berlin and looking over the wall. On this side, a regular European city (though with a few bombed-out remains left intact (untact?) as a reminder of past times); on that side, grey and grim.

"... anyone who thinks socialism is a good thing is a blithering idiot." Consider Hillary's college thesis, praising Alinksky; consider her appointment of Ron Dellums, "... and the first openly socialist Congressman since World War II" [wikipedia] ...

1/25/2008 10:52:00 AM  
Blogger eggplant said...

ZZMike said:

"Consider Hillary's college thesis, praising Alinksky; consider her appointment of Ron Dellums"

There were "socialist" (actually Democrat) congressmen before Ron Dellums.

Hillary is scary but Obama is scarier.

Hillary won't suicide through studipity (she's too smart for that) but Obama might. If the economy was sound then McCain could easily brush Hillary aside in the general election. Unfortunately the economy IS in trouble, so guess who our next President will be?

1/25/2008 12:27:00 PM  
Blogger putnam said...

Madfiddler, Eggplant,

Both of you fail to mention what in my opinion was the biggest problem in the former east Germany: The west never made the stasi and the communists acknowledge, let alone be punished, for that what they had done. The identity of the Stasi agents were hidden from their victims, and the old government (that had told so many lies about the west) was never forced to come clean. The old communists were allowed to form political parties and continued to tell lies about about the west, when they really should have been in prison, or some of them perhaps shot.

You can be certain that China would never allow their communist cronies in N. Korea to suffer the consequences of their despicable acts, because to do so would be to acknowledge their own culpability towards both N. Korea but also the Chinese and the Tibetans.

This is also one of the reasons Putin was able to regain power in Russia: Yeltsin should have prosecuted, locked up, and had shot all of the KGB. Now these murderers have been able to re-conquer most of the causus and the 'stans.

All of eastern Europe is still suffering from failure to prosecute and disenfranchise the old communists, and I wonder how quickly they could come back to the surface and sieze power if there was ever extreme or prolonged economic problems in eastern europe.

1/25/2008 01:16:00 PM  
Blogger Zenster said...

John Lynch: I don't think China wants North Korea. I don't think South Korea wants them, either. I expect both borders to remain closed, and China to set up an interim administration. Down the road, the Koreas may unite. I suspect that the price China will demand for reunification is the Finlandization of the new Korean state. I don't see the ROK as a permanent US ally, especially since China is so much closer.

Korean reunification—convenient as it might appear—is probably a non-starter. As others have observed, reunited German has taken such an economic hit that there's little chance South Korea's oligarchs have much enthusiasm for such an expensive adventure.

China probably takes an equally dim view of having a democracy crouching at their doorstep without any intervening buffer zone. It is difficult to imagine that Beijing will not prop up a post-Kim government, if only to maintain it as their traditional counterweight to American hegemony in the East Asian quadrant. This will be done if only to keep the borders closed to—what is already—a steady and troubling stream of North Korean refugees. It is bleak testimony regarding conditions in the hermit kingdom that people would escape to communist China in search of a better life.

Kim needs to be tried for crimes against humanity. Starvation is so endemic that cannibalism has become rife. Imagine a government that has to post "rice police" to prevent illegal private harvesting of crops intended for the state's military food supply. Rest assured that the rice police are bribed with some of that illegal harvest. The utter insanity of all this is highlighted by how Kim is the world's only dynastic communist leader.

I still have grave doubts regarding North Korea's ability to launch their legendary massive artillery barrage into the South. Aging gun barrels, lack of practice, stale ammunition, neglected installations and a host of other degrading factors make the success of such a grand ploy less than likely.

1/25/2008 01:43:00 PM  
Blogger NahnCee said...

I'm reading these comparisons between German reunification and Korean reunification, and I think I'm just gonna have to disagree.

I think there's a huge societal difference between Germany and Korea that will over-ride fiscal considerations. There's that whole "veneration of the elders" thing going on in Korea that you simply don't have in Germany.

Koreans seem to have a much stronger connection to their relatives and the family tree than Germans did.

Plus, two other things are that (1) the populations of both North and South Korea are so ill-informed that I wonder how much they know about what happened in Germany, AND (2) wouldn't this be a wonderful opportunity to kick the United States in the teeth?

The people I know from South Korea comment on how their relatives back home are clueless about what's going on the world. They also seem benevolent, if not eager, about bringing in from the cold their relatives from the North. And I think they like to show off how rich they are and simply can't believe that it will cost them that much to take over North Korea.

As we saw with East Germany, however, there was a societal difference in attitude between the East and the West, so that people born and raised in East Germany have just never, ever, been able to function comparably in a Western economy. South Koreans will undoubtely face the same thing and should know ahead of time that whoever they allow in from North Korea will be for-ever unemployed, but again, I think there's a veneration in Korea for relatives that will enable South Koreans to carry their North Korean relatives financially until they age and die off.

I just hope they don't expect Uncle Sam to pitch in and donate to help them with the financial burden since we're overwhelmed with our own tsunami of uneducated poor people from a different country.

1/25/2008 02:37:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

Ms Albright assures us all is well in Norko.
---
Just as do McCain and Bush on the border:
---
John McCain's Brain Trust On Immigration?

Michelle Malkin is all over the background of
senior McCain advisor Juan Hernandez in posts here
and here.

We must not only have a free flow of goods and services, but also start working for a free flow of people .”
Last month, I received an e-mail from a concerned reader.
She wrote:
“Hispanic Republicans here in Nevada had a chance to speak by conference to Sen. John McCain and many of us were appalled to learn that his National Director of Hispanic Outreach is none other that Dr. Juan Hernandez, notorious for his open borders stance. How can McCain reconcile the fact that he says he “learnt his lesson w/the American people” with choosing as his Hispanic Ntl. Dir. someone whose views and interests are so clearly anti-security and not in the interest of the American people or for that matter us legal Hispanic immigrants.

1/25/2008 02:40:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

We must re-unify Aztlán, Nahncee!

1/25/2008 02:41:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

"McCain Aide Touts 'Mexico first' Policy"

1/25/2008 02:43:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

Via Discover the Networks, you’ll see that
Soros’s OSI is a key open borders funder–
providing support to the Mexican American Legal Defense and Education Fund;
the Immigrant Legal Resource Center;
the National Immigration Law Center;
the National Immigration Forum;
the National Council of La Raza; and t
he American Immigration Law Foundation.
Remind me again which party’s presidential nomination John McCain is running for?
***
Fellow shamnesty peddler Mel Martinez officially joins la familia McCain.

1/25/2008 03:07:00 PM  
Blogger Mad Fiddler said...

Putnam,

mea maxima culpa.

I didn't even think about the miserable murdering bastards. But amnesty for even the most horrifying crimes does seem to be a frequent concession upon which belligerents condition their participation in any "reconciliation" process.

1/25/2008 04:03:00 PM  
Blogger Grimmy said...

There's quite a bit of confusion over who's butt boy North Korea actually was.

North Korea belonged to the Sovs. Not the PDRChinese. The Chinese did send forces during the Korean War, of course, but the Sovs were there from the beginning and had played a major hand in the early successes of the NorKos initial attacks.

After the Kor War, NorKo did a decent job of playing one against the other but as the Sov - Chinese split developed, the NorKos stuck more and more solidly with the Sovs.

There is very little love between the NorKos and the Chinese. The PDRChinese have started getting re-involved in that sewer, but only out of need.

The Chinese do not like the Koreans as a general rule, politics aside. The feeling is much the same from the Koreans to the Chinese.

China has been doing everything it can, short of mobilizing full divisions of troops along the border, to keep NorKos out of China.

My guess is that China will try to find something to salvage out of a NorKo collapse. Probably in the area of chem/bio weapons research, which the NorKos have been pumping lots of time and effort into over the decades.

But, the NorKos were, very much, a Soviet invention, a Soviet client state and acted as cadres for the Soviets in many areas of support and assistance for middle eastern/muslim terrorist outfits since the late '60s.

The NorKo Special Purpose Regiment stationed in Madagascar was expressly for that purpose until the "fall of the wall".

1/25/2008 04:23:00 PM  
Blogger Marzouq the Redneck Muslim said...

This Nork thing is so sad. It was inevitable. Reminds me ot the chapter in Atlas Shrugged, The sign of the Dollar.

Salaam Y'all!

1/25/2008 06:24:00 PM  
Blogger Marzouq the Redneck Muslim said...

Oh yeah, they will probably escape to China like the Palis into Egypt. Bad leadership is such a painful thing.

1/25/2008 06:26:00 PM  
Blogger Mad Fiddler said...

Nahncee,

Thanks for your perspective on the Koreans.

About immigration from Mexico and the so-called movement to reclaim Aztlán...

It's important to re-acquaint ourselves with the history of our relations with Mexico AND with the unfolding of events throughout the regions conquered (as opposed to "settled") by the Conquistadores. (I am NOT any authority; just done general reading, so I invite corrections.)

It is important to note that only a tiny fraction of Hispanics overall --- and an even smaller portion of Chicano inmigrantes to Los Estados Unidos --- are actually undiluted "pure-blooded" direct descendants of the aboriginal natives living here when the Spanish Conquerors arrived.

The European Aristocracy that built the european-style cities, estancias, tiendas, mercados, cathedrals, convents and monasteries (hey I got tired of running to the dictionary) are the folks that first crushed the natives they'd found, then plundered the country's gold, melting down irretrievable works of art for bullion and coins to send back to the Spanish Crown. They were the folks that interbred with the prostrate natives to create over several centuries a vast workforce of serfs; "mezclados" --- the mixed-blood "mestizos" that now comprise most of the middle class throughout the hemisphere from the Rio Grand southward. They were the folks who claimed territories extending into what is currently Arizona, California, Texas, and New Mexico... *** IN THE NAME OF THE SPANISH CROWN!!!!!****

When Texas became an INDEPENDENT NATION, it was fighting autocratic EUROPEAN rulers of what had been for three centuries a Spanish Colonial state. A few years later when the United States fought and defeated Mexico it was fighting with one of a series of short-lived dictatorships inheriting the colonial power. When the dictatorship of Santa Anna lost, it ceded territories which it possessed only because they had been claimed in the name of the SPANISH THRONE.

The deep irony of the irredentist hispanic movement, agitating and fulminating about "reclaiming" ancestral lands, is that they are only ancestral to very specific groups, none of which spoke any form of Spanish. The native american tribes of the United States and Canada have negotiated treaties with those governments which at least grant them autonomy sufficient to maintain their own identities, and define who is and who is not entitled to claim inheritance rights to ancestral lands or culture. If anyone has a claim on the lands of California, it's not any immigrant originating from ANYWHERE in Mexico. It would be a member of any of the native American tribes that made their homes in the hills and marshes of California. (Do a search on "California Indian tribes." In many cases, their descendants are in fact still living in California, and many of them are currently negotiating legislative packages concerning gaming, entertainment, and liquor licenses, banking, investment, educational funding. It's not at all clear that they would feel obliged to the Movimiento Estudiantil Chicano de Aztlán or the Nation of Aztlán.

I have a lot of European ancestors, but my mother was named Juanita Rose, raised up in the Texas / Oklahoma panhandle, and all my cousins have explained to me that she was ashamed to speak of the Indian branch of our family tree, cause that was an embarrassment and impediment to respectability in those days. On that basis, vague though it is, I claim as much right to this country as anyone. My family is mongrel, descendants of dirt farmers, laborers, artisans, petty merchants, horse thieves maybe, unlicensed distillers, poachers, stock breeders, goat & sheep herders, weavers, smithies, and picpockets, all of whom made an honorable living by their wits and sweat.

1/25/2008 07:00:00 PM  
Blogger Mad Fiddler said...

"When the dictatorship of Santa Anna lost, it ceded territories which it possessed only because they had been claimed in the name of the SPANISH THRONE. "

should read: "When the dictatorship of Santa Anna lost, it ceded territories which it possessed only in the sense that they had been claimed in the name of the SPANISH THRONE.

1/25/2008 10:02:00 PM  
Blogger Don Miguel said...

"When Texas became an INDEPENDENT NATION, it was fighting autocratic EUROPEAN rulers of what had been for three centuries a Spanish Colonial state. A few years later when the United States fought and defeated Mexico it was fighting with one of a series of short-lived dictatorships inheriting the colonial power."

The "autocratic EUROPEAN rulers" were long gone when Texas fought for independence and both wars (Texas and the Mexican-American) were fought against Santa Anna. He lost both wars and at a later date sold off more territory (the Gadsden Purchase). Other than small incidents (e.g. the Pastry War) and France's attempt to install an emperor in the 1860's, Europe (i.e. Spain) lost their rule when Mexico gained independence (1810 - 1821).

1/25/2008 11:50:00 PM  
Blogger Neil said...

No way. Kim has bled the country of dissent and turned the people into mindless, whipped zombies. You can see it in their eyes -- no one's challenging anything. That whole country is a cult. If that bastard Kim wanted to do a Jones Town Massacre, 90% of the people would drink the Kool Aid.
Sure, things are worse today than 30 years ago, but not as bad as the famine period in the 1990s, so things are looking up! In addition, China continues to support the regime so things won't get really bad until they pull the plug.
On the bright side, the woman who arranged my trip told me that the government is trying to increase tourism and have been asking her for tips on how to attract more people and make it a better experience once they get there. Of course, this is ONLY about increasing their hard currency reserves, but in the process, perhaps more foreigners will be able to interact with more North Koreans (not possible when i went last October) and spread the seed of discontent. Recently, however, a foreign tourist asked why the Kims were so large in all their portraits and statues and yet all the other North Koreans were so skinny. Apparently she was not allowed to leave the country for two months, until her government stepped in to intervene (Canadian, perhaps?).
I wasn't able to confirm this entirely, but if it is not true, it speaks to the paranoia that tourists feel while there. One guy on our tour snuck a gift to a child and her mother walking by. Our guides tried to hide their reaction, but it was pretty obvious what was going on. They quickly shuffled us onto our van and drove off, leaving one of the guides behind. I kept my eye on him as we pulled away and just as we were about out of eye-sight, he took off running after the woman and her child.
Fun times!
For more details, check out my travelogue of the journey:
http://www.gadling.com/infiltrating_north_korea_by_neil_woodburn/

1/26/2008 11:39:00 AM  
Blogger Ari Tai said...

The South Koreans are now richer, relatively, than the West Germans in 1989, and they don't have the western "sensibilities" that would cause them to throw good money after bad (in either welfare or immigration relaxation). So the SK could certainly manage the re-unification with ease. I was their last summer and they have the equivalent of 3 or 4 big-digs ongoing, cleaving mountains, building new towns, etc. as they complete the move of the rural population into the cities. The relocation of the U.S. military bases south is another civil engineering project bigger than most in the world - endless barges of (Chinese) fill to raise a square mile and more of swampland some 10s of feet.

I've had some dealings with NK issues. Required reading are the biographies of a few that fled the country, some are truly horrific. A fast and terrible read is The Aquariums of Pyongyang which leaves the reader understanding that true evil does exist in this world.

1/26/2008 05:03:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

Who gets stuck with North Korea?

The day Kim Jong-Il's regime collapses will be a great day for human rights. But it will also be the start of a costly and very risky period as someone from the international community gets stuck cleaning up the mess left behind. China, South Korea, and the U.S. each have an incentive to leave the burden with someone else.Yet there are strategic reasons why each of these powers will very likely get drawn into North Korea after the fall of the Kim regime. As my latest post at TCS Daily explains, this could set the stage for a new period of conflict in northeast Asia.

(Hat-tip to the Belmont Club for recently discussing this subject.)

2/06/2008 04:47:00 AM  

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