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