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Nork Going to Last?

February 1, 2011

An optimistic forecast reported in the Chosun Ilbo –

Is The N. Korean Regime Unraveling?

Chun Young-woo, the presidential secretary for foreign affairs and national security, reflected government views when he said Friday that North Korean regime would face “a short cut to its demise,” experts believe.

Under the Lee Myung-bak administration the North has received no aid from the South in the past three years, in contrast to 2.7 million tons of grains and 2.56 million tons of fertilizers a year under the previous administrations. The aid was worth $3.2 billion.

Pyongyang used to earn some $300 million a year through trade with Seoul, mainly from fishery products and sand, but trade was stopped after the North sank the Navy corvette Cheonan in  March last year. The only hard currency the North earns now from the South is $50 million a year in wages for the joint Kaesong Industrial Complex.

As the North resumed nuclear armament and military provocations, aid from the international community also dried up. Radio Free Asia, quoting an official of the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, reported in December that international aid to the North in 2010 was about $20.6 million, a mere 35 percent of the $58.75 million that flowed there in 2009.

North Korea’s domestic economy is a mess. Grain production this year is estimated to reach 3.8-3.9 million tons, which is 200,000-300,000 tons less than last year, the Institute for National Security and Strategy under the National Intelligence Service said. The food situation in the North is directly linked to public support for the regime.

Well, it’s like I always say, “If you’ve got money for a uranium enrichment plant you sure don’t need any more handouts from people you profess to despise.” It’s good to see the Nork strategy of biting the hand that fucking feeds them is no longer paying off and may, quite rightly, be hastening the demise of the foul totalitarian system there. The South Korean government ought to close the Kaesong Industrial Complex as it simply makes no sense to hand $50 million per year to people who repay you by sinking naval vessels and dropping artillery shells on civilians.

In addition, the North Korean regime is strained by leader Kim Jong-il’s ill health and the spread of waves of capitalism through South Korean drama. “Even if it won’t collapse right away, the North may face a situation where it may have to agree to the South’s demands in inter-Korean dialogue,” said a government source.

Soap-opera will set you free! It’s also some comfort that, should this projection of swift demise prove overly optimistic, the Norks could at least be forced to finally abide by agreements and obligations set forth in talks instead of their usual tactic of simply ignoring them or obstinately refusing to reciprocate.

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