Sunday, March 27, 2011

North Korea's take-away message

A lot of people have asked me if I think the Jasmine Revolution will affect North Korea. Tentatively, I would say no, not really. Just as Beijing has such a tight control over information flow within its own borders, most North Koreans are hermetically sealed from the day-to-day news events happening in the rest of the world.

On the other hand, if two characters in a South Korea drama love story talk about Egypt's successful uprising while they're dining at some posh café in Kangnam, the North Korean peasantry might eventually hear about it when the DVDs are smuggled into Shinŭiju in early 2012.

In the meantime, the Pyongyang regime is taking a look at what's going on and they are coming to two conclusions. First, don't let the people know anything. Second, once they give up their nukes (or the threat of nukes) then the Americans can invade.

From the New York Times:
A North Korean statement that Libya’s dismantling of its nuclear weapons program had made it vulnerable to military intervention by the West is being seen by analysts as an ominous reinforcement of the North’s refusal to end its own nuclear program.

North Korea’s official news agency carried comments this week from a Foreign Ministry official criticizing the air assault on Libyan government forces and suggesting that Libya had been duped in 2003 when it abandoned its nuclear program in exchange for promises of aid and improved relations with the West.

Calling the West’s bargain with Libya “an invasion tactic to disarm the country,” the official said it amounted to a bait and switch approach. “The Libyan crisis is teaching the international community a grave lesson,” the official was quoted as saying Tuesday, proclaiming that North Korea’s “songun” ideology of a powerful military was “proper in a thousand ways” and the only guarantor of peace on the Korean Peninsula.
You'll have to take that nuclear trigger out of the Dear Leader's cold, dead hands.

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