Korea: Throw Food On The Fire

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April 23, 2007: A new head of the North Korean military was appointed, and several other senior military officials were replaced. Someone up north isn't happy with the way things are being run. Meanwhile, South Korea is establishing closer ties with the Chinese military, and upgrading its technology. North Korean armed forces have stagnated for over a decade.

April 21, 2007: South Korea agreed to send 400,000 tons of rice north, without conditions. South Korea tried to get the north to shut down its nuclear reactor, in exchange for the food, but the north refused. If the food isn't delivered, thousands of North Koreans will die of starvation. So the south relented. The first shipments will arrive by sea next month. South Korea apparently believes that, without the rice, the North Korean government might collapse, causing a catastrophic flood of refugees into South Korea and China, plus chaos in North Korea.

April 14, 2007: North Korea failed to shut down a nuclear reactor, as part of a deal that got it a million tons of fuel oil and $25 million unfrozen from some Chinese bank accounts. North Korea said nothing, which is consistent with past behavior.

April 12, 2007: The premier of North Korea, Pak Pong Ju, was removed from office. Pak was a an economic reformer, but it's not known if he got the boot because he backed economic reforms, or because he got caught up in a corruption scandal.

 

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