Leadership: The Golden Rule in North Korea

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January21, 2007: North Korea, in response to being blocked from using the international finance system, is now paying for illegal goods using precious metals. North Korea, like most police states, has to basically bribe its senior officials in order to assure their loyalty. Yes, terror and the threat of death (or worse) also works. But you must use the carrot, as well as the stick. It's been discovered that, last year, North Korea exported 38 million dollars worth of gold and silver to Thailand, to pay for luxuries (to keep the senior North Korean officials content) and weapons (and components for factories to build weapons, including nuclear and chemical ones.)

North Korea has lots of gold and silver, but most of it is still in the ground. It will cost a lot of money to get it out. The available reserves are worth more than $40 billion. Labor isn't a problem. Prisoners have long been used, and often lost to frequent accidents, in North Koreas antiquated mines. Thus the next phase in the war against North Koreas weapons and luxuries trade is to lean on those receiving, and laundering, the precious metals. This will push North Korean deeper into the criminal underground, where they will have to pay larger fees to get their gold laundered, and the cash spent on forbidden goods. For decades, North Korea has been using criminal activities (counterfeiting, drugs, illegal weapons exports) to keep its police state going. The United States has been fighting back more effectively in the last few years. This could be seen by the rumblings being detected within the North Korean leadership, and the North Koreans putting access to the international banking system at the top of its list of things to be traded for a halt in North Korean nuclear weapons and ballistic missile programs.


 


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