2002 October 29 Tuesday
David Warren: Korean Greater Worry Than Iraq

North Korea is the greater worry.

We have, in other words, right on the table, exactly what the Bush administration says we will be facing in Iraq, if we don't soon change the regime of Saddam Hussein. I was quite struck, in consulting my usual suspects within the Bush administration, to realize they are now more worried about Korea than Iraq; and by the tone of "trying to remain calm" emanating from Seoul and Tokyo.

Add to this what has just happened in Bali; simultaneous Al Qaeda attacks in Kuwait, Yemen, Afghanistan, and possibly even the suburbs of Washington, D.C. We further know that Al Qaeda and affiliates are doing everything in their power to trigger war between Pakistan and India in Kashmir, and between Israel and its neighbours, from Syria and Lebanon. While the formal diplomatic world may have its eyes focused on the Security Council, that is not where an event of any significance is unfolding.

David Warren says the North Korean regime is mad:

Yet even such "containment", itself ambitious, is a half-measure. The regime is mad -- not merely the smiling unfathomable dumpling who is ruler, but the whole politburo, according to officials of more than one country who have dealt with them. With a common cultural and linguistic heritage, the South Koreans I interviewed while visiting Seoul two years ago seemed just as puzzled by their Northern counterparts' behaviour as any American or European.

"They speak what sounds like the same language, and there are syntactical similarities, but every word has a different meaning," said one learned official in the Blue House (South Korea's equivalent to the White House) who had just participated in talks. "They show no emotion at all when humanity requires at least some small gesture; and then suddenly all of them will be shouting angrily, or even weeping, like members of a chorus or choir. But we have to guess what it is about." (I am paraphrasing from memory and illegible old notes.)

As for North Korea's need for the US support and subsidy to build a nuclear power plant: Its important to consider the North Korean economy's level of economic development. This is easily illustrated by a nighttime satellite photo of Asia. If you go half way down and about 80% over this image you can see the Korean peninsula in more detail. Note how most of North Korea is missing at night. It was the height of folly for Jimmy Carter and Bill Clinton to negotiate the 1994 Framework Accord.

Share |      By Randall Parker at 2002 October 29 09:59 PM  Axis Of Evil


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