What Drives US North Korea Policy? Realism on North Korea by Yoon Young-kwan. Exit from comment view mode.
Click to hide this space BERLIN – The world’s task in addressing North Korea’s saber rattling is made no easier by the fact that it confronts an impoverished and effectively defeated country. On the contrary, it is in such circumstances that calm foresight is most necessary. The genius of the Habsburg Empire’s Prince Klemens von Metternich in framing a new international order after the Napoleonic Wars was that he did not push a defeated France into a corner. Although Metternich sought to deter any possible French resurgence, he restored France’s prewar frontiers. By contrast, as Henry Kissinger has argued, the victors in World War I could neither deter a defeated Germany nor provide it with incentives to accept the Versailles Treaty. John F.
Sadly, North Korea has not received such far-sighted statesmanship. Of course, North Korea is not early-nineteenth century France or the USSR of 1962. Another opportunity was missed later in the decade. The Kim dynasty's satellite of love. Bangkok, Thailand - A sensational cliffhanger has been set up ever since that fateful March 16 when the Korean Committee for Space Technology announced that the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) would send Kwangmyongsong-3 ("Guiding light", or "Polar Star") - a polar-orbiting satellite - into space, atop the Unha-3 launch vehicle.
Unha means "Milky Way". But according to North Korean mythmaking, it also designates the current Supreme Leader, 20-something Kim Jong-eun, "a heaven-sent statesman set to lead the ancestral Land of Morning Calm to millennium prosperity". Not even Hollywood on a wild ride can beat a script like this. Literally, the whole planet was waiting for this rocket launch out of Sohae ("West Sea") in Cholsan County - during a window between April 12 and 16. According to an official statement, "a safe flight orbit has been chosen so that carrier rocket debris to be generated during the flight would not have any impact on neighbouring countries. " So what? North Korea: "Sanity" at the Brink. So it comes as no surprise that the rulers of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK or North Korea) have been routinely described as mentally unbalanced by our policymakers and pundits.
Senior Defense Department officials refer to the DPRK as a country “not of this planet,” led by “dysfunctional” autocrats. One government official, quoted in the New York Times, wondered aloud “if they are really totally crazy.” The New Yorker magazine called them “balmy,” and late-night TV host David Letterman got into the act by labeling Kim Jong-il a “madman maniac.” To be sure, there are things about the DPRK that one might wonder about, including its dynastic leadership system, its highly dictatorial one-party rule, and the chaos that seems implanted in the heart of its “planned” economy.
But in its much advertised effort to become a nuclear power, North Korea is actually displaying more sanity than first meets the eye. Let us provide a little background. Tariq Ali · Diary: In Pyongyang · LRB 26 January 2012. In this podcast, Tariq Ali reads extracts from his Diary about North Korea.
The full article is below. Forty-two years ago, I was mysteriously invited to visit North Korea. Pakistan’s military dictatorship had been toppled after a three-month struggle and in March 1970 the country was in the throes of its first ever general election campaign. I was travelling to every major town and many smaller ones, interviewing opposition politicians and those who’d taken part in the uprising for a book.
I was still there in May, my work unfinished, when the invitation arrived. The letter came via a local Communist known as Rahim ‘Koreawallah’, secretary of the Pak-Korea Friendship Society. I was on my way to what was then East Pakistan. I had other reasons not to go. When I returned to Dhaka after two gruelling weeks in the countryside, a problem had arisen. My suitcase and I were too much for the emaciated driver. Just before the train began to move, two PLA officers also entered the compartment. Pyongyang unwrapped.
By Index on Censorship / 19 December, 2011 Technology has revolutionised reporting on North Korea.
David McNeill reveals how a clandestine network is getting the word out despite restrictions North Korea remains one of the world’s black holes: a vast sealed experiment in information control. According to Reporters Without Borders, just four per cent of the population has access to the country”s heavily censored internet, which is entirely under state control, along with all newspapers, radio and television. Visitors must surrender cell phones and mobile transmitters at the border. On a visit last September with a group of undercover journalists, we could only send short emails from the five-star Yanggakdo hotel by giving the recipient’s address to a clerk, who typed it into a computer (and charged a euro per line of message). Naturally, that makes verifying the scant information that trickles out a vexing matter. Why Chinese phones? Money is a headache for all these outlets. Daily NK. North Korean Economy Watch.
North Korea: Another Country. This extremely useful book provides us with evidence that undermines the stereotypes that pass for knowledge of the DPRK.
Cumings is a professor of history at the University of Chicago, and is the foremost historian of the USA’s long war against Korea.He cites a CIA study that “acknowledged various achievements of this regime: compassionate care for children in general and war orphans in particular, ‘radical change’ in the position of women; genuinely free housing, free health care and preventive medicine; and infant mortality and life expectancy rates comparable to the most advanced countries until the recent famine.” The government also gave land to the peasants, and provided free education.Cumings shows that the war in Korea was part of a long civil war and that the invasion in June 1950 did not start the conflict, so it did not define the conflict. The UN fell for the US and British governments’ lie that it was an invasion. But how could Koreans ‘invade’ their own country?