Wednesday, October 25, 2006


It's Wednesday, and the U.S. hasn't agreed to direct talks with North Korea, and the U.N. hasn't backed off from recently-strengthened sanctions, so what's Pyongyang supposed to do? Why, take a predictable page out of the DPRK playbook and issue another war warning. In its most recent missive, Kim Jong-il's regime warned South Korea against joining the U.S.-led sanctions program, saying such action would be a "serious provocation" that could lead to war.

For those keeping score at home, this isn't the first time we've heard such bluster from Pyongyang. A similar warning was issued earlier this month, just prior to North Korea's (mostly) failed nuclear test. With the sanctions effort gathering some momentum, North Korea is resorting to familiar divide-and-conquer tactics, pressuring South Korea to continue its food shipments to Pyongyang, and pressure the U.S. to negotiate directly with the North Koreans. Seoul may continue the food deliveries (President Roh remains committed to his failed "Sunshine Policy), but the odds of short-term bilateral talks between North Korea and the United States are exactly zero.

Fact is, we shouldn't read too much into North Korea's latest threat. This time of year, most of the DPRK military is still engaged in agricultural activities (read: bringing in the harvest), and they won't start their Winter Training Cycle (WTC) until next month. Beyond missile launches, another nuclear test, a skirmish along the Northern Limit Line, or a pot-shot at a U.S. reconnaissance aircraft, North Korea isn't in much of a position for military adverturism right now. That may change in a couple of months, particularly if this year's WTC proves more active than in the recent past. But over the coming weeks, gathering this year's meager harvest will remain the military's #1 mission.

On a slightly more ominous note, China is now erecting a massive fence along its border with North Korea, designed to keep refugees from entering Chinese territory. The project appears to be moving along rapidly, suggesting that Beijing sees no short-term improvements in the DPRK. Indeed, if harvest projections are accurate--and humanitarian aid is curtailed--the number of North Koreans attempting to flee will far surpass previous totals. And that is something that Beijing appears determined to prevent.

1 comment:

augurwell said...


RE: Nord Korea Threatens War If South Joins Sanctions

Thanks for the link to the story and further links from there to a slide show from behind the wire into People's Non-Democratic Republic of Nord Korea, a spoke on the axis of evil. (If it is democratic, than the majority is wrong in NK.)

There is much in the 25 photo's that I saw in this essay that verifies the picture that I have in my mind of what's going on over there. There are no smiles on the faces of anyone. There is kow-taowing (stooping) and arrogance.

There is plenty of photographic evidence of the horrors of dictatorship. The areas that I saw were too clean, as if they had been groomed by people under the threat of being sent to a gulag or something? There is also much I saw that reminded me of Hitler and Stalin and the story of '1984'. Contradiction - cell
phones and GPS communication devices being manufactured in NK for export but banned inside the country.

This place looks like it needs a mission from Carl Jung, the Emperor Constantine and Africanus combined with the resolve of the Spartans.
We need to remember about Abram Lincoln and Sir Frances Drake, not forgetting the spirit of Gondi, nor Moses, and good Samurai and Shauw Lin every where, to mention just a few at the top of my mind.

It is comforting to know that we have many good minds combined and working on these troubles of the world, we even have individuals who are free to point out the cluster of group-think that plagues rife crops from time to time. There is something about the media of today that is disconcerting.

Afterburner Thought: With this photo essay there is some advertising from a company that provides information, they show categories of searches etc. one of these categories is "Find a candidate." and the little magnifying glass searches over three people and stops on a character that looks like Bill Clinton with out a face. Steady. Steady. We need to keep it together and not be divided and conquered.

PS There seems to be a lot of grey in these command and control economy countries and that the only sharp colours I saw were on the older buildings of a
temple. This suggests to me that communisms can be insidious and cheap, so bleary. The colours seem to be washed out with the hue of greyness. This same phenomena was also prevalent behind the Iron Curtain?It's like these types of governments don't even know how to make paint.

I find it interesting to learn that China is building a wire fence to keep any refugees from fleeing into China.