November 23rd, 2010

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North Korea Goes Bonkers

Has North Korea lost its mind? Not really, if you follow the logic behind the insanity. Over the years North Korea has become a Real Life Troll, trying to scare the rest of the world with the danger of nuclear threat. Why? One, because they can. And two, because they want something, and that something is usually money, aid, and resources. After all North Korea has very limited ways to produce wealth enough to support not only the Nation but also the rulers of the country. While Kim Jong-il is the leader of North Korea, the real power behind him is the military. Keep the military happy and he wont have to deal with a bullet in his head. So the best way to keep his generals happy is handing out tons of cash so the generals can distribute the money not just among themselves but also those beneath them (their supporters and their troops) and that is a lot of people they have to share the wealth with, fail to do so and impeachment would be a wonderful dream by comparison to what will follow next, because the usual way to depose someone in power that ignores the needs and wants of his cronies usually involves a lot of bloodshed.

One of the usual ways for Kim Jong-il to attain a quick amount of cash to keep his regime working is to blackmail the rest of the world with fear. And the best way to do so is to scare the rest of us under the threat of nuclear Armageddon. Does North Korea want to start a nuclear war with the rest of us? Kim Jong-il is nuts, but not that crazy. But he does know how to manipulate fear to get what he wants and he is happy to take our money under the promise that he will stop developing nuclear bombs... and yet every time he needs money he will break his promise and the world will repeat the same song and dance over again until we negotiate with them new treaties in exchange of new goodies.

Now you would think giving that lunatic millions of dollars would be enough to keep him and his regime happy but you have to remember that Kim Jong-il has a lot of influential dependents under his care, some of them with expensive tastes (and they control the army).  He needs to pay off a lot of people just to make sure he can keep living as ruler of the country. When you have a lot of cronies to pay off, that is a lot of money to bribe and a lot of armed  and powerful people to keep happy. But because Kim Jong-il has developed a reputation as someone who cannot to be trusted, he has not gotten as much of the 'goodies' that he needs to keep the regime going. In a way the regime is like a criminal enterprise and they are running a protection racket, but unless the pay off is good enough to keep everyone happy, they will be forced to seek other alternatives to continue their lifestyle. That alternative would be the selling of missiles to less friendly nations, this could just be another bluff to scare us or an attempt to seek other markets but the issue is always the same. A regime only functions as long there is enough money to keep almost everyone happy.

But the recent events seems to be indicating that something has changed within North Korea. Some say that Kim Jon-il is losing control over his generals because there is not enough money or resources being distributed to keep his regime happy. If the troubles are caused because of financial reasons, it is possible that the military is taking matters on their own hands to scare the world so they can be taken seriously when they get the chance to negotiate with us to benefit their own interests.

There is a possibility that the shortage of resources is causing trouble within the regime, maybe some sort of rift. In 2009 North Korea tried to combat the inflation problem (caused by a shortage of goods) with currency devaluation, it was also a policy formed to combat the increase corruption caused by the shortage of goods. Over the years there was a limited economic growth, a small economic prosperity among the few, caused by the black market, money traders, and other illegal markets. The regime took policies to destroy these illegal fortunes that they saw as a threat to their own power. The policy didnt just destroyed those illegal fortunes, it also destroyed the savings of many North Koreans that didnt take the changes well. The currency reform that took place was an attempt to reassert state control over the economy to solve the corruption problem and the inflation problem. One could also assume that it was also an attempt for the State to seize the illegal fortunes for themselves to solve their own financial troubles to keep the machinery of the regime working. But the botched currency devaluation backfired so badly to the point that there was unrest within the population, a rare sight.

Other indicators believe that the generals dont believe his son, Kim Jong-un, is fit to be a leader, or that maybe something is happening during this delicate transition of power that requires to scare the world to remind us that they are still a threat to the world.  Kim Jong-il is getting too old to be a ruler of the country and that there could be a problem during the transition of power when the time comes in the future. This transition of power is very delicate and most of the times alot of things can go wrong. Very wrong. Some say that Kim Jong-il made a mistake by waiting too long to appoint and prepare his son, giving him little time to form a trusted powerbase when the transition takes place. The process is been rushed, probably because Kim Jong-il expected to rule longer than he anticipated but something changed his plans (this has lead to the speculation that he may not live long). On the past, Kim Jong-il's father, Kim Il-sung, took his time to prepare his son when the dreaded day came. By comparison Kim Jong-un is not ready. He was made a four-star general just recently and he has no military experience! Kim Jong-un's future regime may not be taken seriously not just by the world but by the citizens of North Korea (and the military), as he is seen as a nobody who just inherit daddy's regime.


This is still a work in progress, as I am still looking for more sources to figure out what could be happening behind the scenes. I still believe this is just North Korea throwing a tantrum, a very dangerous one...
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  • htpcl

No more world cop?

Greetings, my prrrrecious minions dear e-friends! First of all, just a short procedure announcement. Collapse )

Now, that said. Here's what I'm gonna talk about this time. The latest NATO summit.

Well, at least there were no Chinese there. I bet Obama was relieved to go to Lisbon for the NATO meeting last week, after a loooong series of forums in Asia where he was constantly haunted by the new US rival. In comparison, the NATO meeting in Portugal was more like a soiree between old pals. But only at first sight.

Europe, Canada and USA had several major issues to discuss, and they weren't of the most pleasant issues. Some were related to this famed new "global strategy" of the alliance which was eventually adopted at the end of the forum (it's probably NATO's 3rd consecutive strategy for the last two decades). For Obama, who canceled his last EU meeting in Madrid (much to the ranty-ranty displeasure of those perfumed poodles up there in Brussels), sitting at a table with 28 loud poodles leaders, all of different opinions, was a necessary pain that had to be endured on the way to bringing a reasonable deadline for the end of the Afghanistan mission. So 2014 was the date, and it was confirmed by the special US envoy to Pakistan, Richard Holbrooke. The US is in a hurry to convince everybody that there won't be another 1989 as memories are still fresh of the tired Soviet soldiers who were leaving the poppy fields with sad faces while the Taliban were taking the vacated space. The Afghani forces and government are supposed to have gained sufficient control and to have enough trained troops to conduct major operations on their own territory by that time.

From today's standpoint that objective looks pretty absurd. But the date has another meaning. 2014 was supposed to "save" the meeting from being completely hijacked by the Afghanistan issue, because there were other pressing issues to be addressed, and there's no time. Besides, setting a clear deadline is expected to help the European leaders ease the public pressure a bit, because questions about when (and how) they're going to bring the troops home are getting very persistent.

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