Korea: The Starving are Sustained With Spin

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January12, 2007: North Korea has crippled many foreign investor projects by demanding too large a cut of the revenue, or additional up front payments. So far, most foreign investment projects have lost money, or made small profits (not high enough to justify the risks for new investors.) The North Korean leadership has isolated itself so much from the rest of the world, that they have a hard time comprehending how the real world, and real economics, works. Meanwhile, North Korean media specialists have become very good at spinning reality into something that helps keep the North Korean population under control. While more information about the real world seeps into North Korea, the government has successfully spun this to make the communist dictatorship look heroic, maintaining North Korea as "true (suffering and self-sufficient) Koreans." The recent nuclear tests, and previous missile tests, were important for maintaining internal control. Developing these weapons convinces many North Koreans that, while they may be poor and starving, they are still dangerous, and generally bad-ass. This appeals to Koreans, who have long been considered some of the toughest, and oddest, characters in the region. But all the clever spin won't change the fact that North Korea is slowly slipping into a state of perpetual starvation and economic collapse. Efforts to reverse this trend have proved futile so far.

January 10, 2007: The U.S. is sending about a dozen F-117 stealth bombers to South Korea. This is considered a regular training mission, but it annoys, and frightens, the North Koreans.

January 6, 2007: North Korea moved around vehicles and personnel around areas where nuclear tests can be held. As expected, the U.S. and other countries warned the north that another nuclear test would increase the isolation of North Korea. No one is quite sure what the northerners are up to.

January 5, 2007: Additional sanctions were placed on North Korean arms manufacturing and exporting firms, for dealing with Iran and Syria.


 

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