Tuesday, January 19, 2010
AN UPDATE ON NORTH KOREA
Okay, it is Wednesday, January 20 in Seoul, and my computer shows this date, but the Google blog site insists it is still Tuesday. Oh well.
My blog of 11February09 covers North Korea. In short, the North is somewhat larger than the South, with slightly less than half the population and about one-fifteenth the GDP/capita.
You can click on a 27May09 blog, which well reviews that period when test missiles were being fired, reinforced by their July shots, and watch a more recent Council on Foreign Relations crisis guide. A key part of the problem is Glorious Leader Kim Jong Il, seen here with his father, Kim Il-sung, the Great Leader, who ruled for 22 years until 1994, when the not so great one took over.
Kim Jong Il, the equivalent of an ailing trapped mouse in critical transition, could well take irrational action, not unlike a junkie mugger in need of a fix or those 9/11 terrorists driven by religious fanaticism. They are are all metastable, hardly crazy and dangerous. If there is an afterlife, though, those purposeful martyrs are going to be disappointed with a few white raisins. Soon to come from my serialization of SIMPLE SOLUTIONS for Humanity will be more details of this potential surprise.
Anyway, it is clear that South Korea does not today want to take on the financial burden of the North, unlike what West Germany seemed to have embraced with East Germany. The South will continue to tolerate regular, and mostly, empty, threats, with prudence and patience, plus as much complementary aid and involvement from other countries, too. A sensible plan awaiting the inevitable.
The Dow Jones shot up 116 to 10,725, as did most world markets.
That tropical storm brought some rain to Saigon today, a change of pace during this dry season.