Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Nuclear Notes

I don’t have another long post about the Korean situation in me today. I am kind of tired about thinking about the whole mess however I have found a couple of items worth sharing.

1. This article by Selig S. Harrison has some interesting things in it, including validation on my thoughts on the current political dynamic in Pyongyang. It is nice to be right.

2. This article which is the first in-depth look I have seen dealing with the effect the test has had on North-South relations on the peninsula and how it affects people. I will be quoting from this in tomorrow’s piece where I discuss my visit to the War Memorial of Korea and my hopes for Korea and her people.

3. More jackassery from North Korea. These guys really f-ing piss me off. Despite my gloomy outlook on things in yesterdays post I am wondering what these people are thinking. Do they really think they could win a war?

4. Speaking of yesterday’s post I meant to briefly discuss how the North Korean regime would be able to unify their population for short-term military adventurism however it slipped my mind. During my first visit to Korea I was inspired by the South Korean’s quiet confidence that one day Korea would be reunified and I came away with the same quiet confidence. Once I was home I began reading about Korea, wanting to learn more, and I began to understand the depth of the division which has been created between the two Koreas. The central pillar of the North Korean cult of personality is the concept of juche (or here), which can be roughly translated as self-reliance. (I find it interesting in juxtaposition to the unofficial motto of the USFK (United States Forces Korea)/CFC (Combined Forces Command) which is “We go together” or “Katchi Kapshida!”) Considering Korea’s history with its neighbors, particularly the Japanese occupation of the peninsula from 1910 through the end of World War II, the ideal of self-reliance would be very attractive to Koreans. When you couple this with the almost complete control the regime in Pyongyang has over the media consumption of its population and the fact that, with the regime having been in control since 1948, you have a few generations who have grown up under this complete control, you have a recipe for a populace which would be amenable to this sort of action, at least for a short time.

Tomorrow more on the situation in Korea combined with a bit of my travelogue.

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