The North Koreans have tested their nuclear warheads underground, on ChuSeok weekend (Korean Harvest Festival/Thanksgiving). The South Korean students I have talked with have been absolutely unperturbed. They feel that war is far away, and perhaps they are right. It’s hard to reduce the information to any inevitabilities just yet. Let’s think aloud, shall we?
First, why the tests. Easy: marketing. North Korea, politically speaking is a swamp. Everything is foetid and still. The balance is very precarious, and a better man than myself has asked the question we’ve been waiting years and years, with all our ears for. When comes the Ceaucesu moment?
NoKo is so precarious, they can’t even allow Chinese non military personnel into the place for fear of destabilization. If fat, happy, mercantile Chinese come in to give you free food, then maybe their ideas will carry more currency. This isn’t too much of a problem at present because the Chinese, as a people, regard North Korea in much the same way that the Fascist Germany regarded Italy: politically reliable boobs. This has changed with the refusal to stand down on the nuclear testing, and with the discovery that the NoKos have been counterfitting Yuan notes, but they haven’t been demoted much: from reliable to useful.
Anyway, moving along those lines, if the Chinese are a risk, and generally unwilling to help the North, what are the other options? Well fed and civil Japanese? Americans? Indians? All well fed, well educated, and showing up to just give you food? The worst would be South Koreans, all of them 4 cm taller on average, well fed, with cell phones, and millions of tons of rice to hand out. My guess is that the confiscation of the international food aid is being spun inside North Korea as a global famine that the North is weathering, but that the neighboring countries are being made to pay tribute to the DPRK military. They would put it in papers, but really they’re too polite. That would also explain the relatively bombast free way in which they sent food progam folks home. “We don’t need your food, keep some for yourself, it’s a brave front you’re putting up, but the DPRK will be kind.”
Anyway, how then do they trade? By channelling foreign currency by way of drug sales, human traficking (Chinese farmers buy wives from Korea for about $3,000. Chinese immigration is alleged to be cracking down and deporting the Korean wives and the half Korean children. This doesn’t include international sales straight into prostitution/sex slavery).
http://www.parapundit.com/archives/002121.html – 38k
What happens to the returmnees and their kids is not pleasant, according to rumor.
So they market humans, meth, and counterfeit bills.
They also try to market rocket technology and rocket bodies.
So what happens to you market for missiles when your biggest product blows up 43 second after launch? You move to item two. Nuclear warheads. It did work. They didn’t release news of their test until after the South Korean government announced a hot on their seismic sensors.
America and the surrounding countries that don’t like drugs, conterfeit bills and rocket technology flowing freely have been cracking down. Even China has gotten in on this. That shuts down the tap on hard currency going into the country. They therefore can’t pay for anything that makes life comfortable. They can’t buy parts for their military vehicles, can’t purchase oil or natural gas (and China has punitavely reduced the shipments of late), can’t purchase luxury items or prestige items. No foreign currency means no guns and no butter.
So what have they got left to sell? Nukes. Nukes to whoever wants them. That’s why Chris Hill said that the DPRK can either have nukes or a future. The conversation between the DPRK and the US is about the flow of foreign hard capital. North Korea has said that if they will not be allowed to sell drugs, people and countefeit bills, then they will sell their world famous, fully functional nuclear technology and intact nuclear weapons. Hill said, if you do that you’ll go away.
Now, this doesn’t mean war, neccessarily. Not immediately.
I think that the U.S. government has just become very interested in toppling the North Korean government.
Now here are the options that I see. We topple them before they can sell weapons to someone who we really don’t want to have them. What now? Here are some options:
- Annexation by China
- Reclaimation by ROK
- North Korea being monitored by UN
- North Korea being monitored by SEATO
So let’s think aloud. I’ll post some more later. Still playing with the spell check.