Korea: Cocaine Use Justified

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May 15, 2007: North Korea has adopted a Chinese style economic reform program. However, it is hampered by growing corruption, and the capricious actions of leader Kim Jong Il. Deals are being made, but they can quickly be unmade if Kim decides to interfere. This has led to demotions and promotions in the senior leadership, as arguments continue over how far to go with the economic reforms. There are still many older, nationalistic officials who believe adoption of the economic reforms will lead to rebellion. Meanwhile, the reforms have led to more corruption. There's at least one illegal gambling casino operating in the north, along with a growing trade in drugs like cocaine, heroin and the like.

May 14, 2007: North Korea appears to preparing to test a new missile, based on a 1960s Russian design (the SSN-6). North Korea bought the plans for this missile. With a range of 5,000 kilometers, it could hit American bases on Guam. The SSN-6 project has been reported before, but at the end of April, North Korea showed off their version of the missile in a parade. The North Koreans have become quite adept at making 30 and 40 year old missile technology come to life.

May 11, 2007: A recent international survey rated North Korea the worst on the planet when it comes to political rights and civil liberties for its citizens. Other nations rated as in the same league were; Burma, Cuba, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan. These outcast nations tend to stick together, but in North Koreas case, this is complicated by debts piled up in the 1990s. Iran, for example, would like to improve relations with North Korea, but Iran is still owned a lot of money by North Korea, and the northerners don't have the cash to settle these debts. When the Russian subsidies disappeared, along with the Soviet Union, in 1991, North Korea tried to get by for a while by borrowing heavily, and then refusing to pay back the debts.May 10, 2007: Japan has lost patience with North Korea, and has threatened to cut off nearly all economic ties if North Koreans nuclear reactor is not shut down.

May 7, 2007: South Korea wants more cooperation from Japan on missile defense against North Korea. But the Japanese prefer to keep to themselves on this matter. At the moment, Japan is ahead of South Korea when it comes to anti-missile systems and research.

 

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