Tuesday, February 21, 2006

North Korean Academic Writing at its Best

The Nautilus Institue has put up a highly entertaining essay by Kim Myong Chol. This dude is the Director for the Center for Korean-American Peace and noted as an 'unofficial spokesman' for the North. As usual the North has demonstrated their unique ability to make little or no sense and to leave the reader very confused as to what their point was.

The title, "Sanctions on Pyongyang will Backfire" would indicate that the topic was going to touch on US sanctions against North Korea and why they are doomed to backfire. And that would be sorta, kinda right in a murky difficult-to-grasp-the-point way.

For starters, we learn that US sanctions have been imposed on the basis of alleged charges of money-laundering, drug-trafficking and counterfeiting of US dollars" But no evidenc eis given to support their innocence.

The article indicates that while counterfeiting, drug trafficking etc are the public reasons, "the hidden real objective of the sanctions is to keep the North Korean threat alive and continue to justify US arms buildup, including missile defense". Or, is there more to it than that?.

I would summarise the argument of the article as follows: If the sanctions are justification for US arms build-up they won't backfire, they will work. If they are to curb counterfeiting and drug-trafficking they won't work because North Korea doesn't do those things anyway. If the sanctions are to stop nuclear proliferation they will backfire because sanctions for that reason only serves to make the North Koreans angry and more determined than ever to be completely obliterated by the superior US nuclear force.

The whole article is a quick, if nonsensical read but my favourite bit is this:
This is a hackneyed witchhunt employed since ancient times. The feudal lord frames a village woman as a witch, deflecting local criticisms for him toward her, and subsequently keeping control of the village.

The North Korean defense industry is guided by the juche principle, which calls for domestic funding, brains and self-reliance in materials. The principle of juche conflicts with counterfeiting of foreign currency and drug-trafficking to buy foreign materials and equipment needed for the production of nuclear weapons.

The Bush administration's imposition of a financial crackdown on the Far Eastern country is untenable because it is tantamount to denying that juche is the leading idea of the Kim Jong-il government.

Currently reading:

"Hell" by Yasutaka Tsutsui