Cultural experiences and funny musings by two twenty-somethings living abroad

North Korea – what’s the deal?

So, North Korea hasn’t been a very happy bunny as of late. Upset that Psy has put South Korea on the map with Gangnam Style and his latest track Gentleman, oh so divine Kim Jong-Un threatens to wipe South Korea off the map with his latest nuclear toys.

After meeting Dennis Rodman, his “friend for life”, the glorious leader Kim Jong-Un has tried to big himself up (and I don’t mean his weight) and make him look like the superhero he supposedly is, as portrayed to millions of North Koreans in regular sessions of propaganda, by being Asia’s official pain in the backside.

Can we take Kim Jong-Un seriously though? I mean come on, this is a guy who is so afraid of barbers, he cuts his own hair, which perhaps explains the catastrophe that sits on his head. Didn’t stop him from being chosen by spoof magazine The Onion as the sexiest man alive though, something that was then published in a 55-page report in China’s People’s Daily.

In fairness, there is something worrying about this particular North Korean affair. North Korea has got all noisy and belligerent before and played the brinksmanship game well, but Kim Jong-Un, who is 7 years older and 7 tons heavier than me, doesn’t have this experience. He has certainly gone further than Kim Jong-il before him by developing a nuclear warhead that could be placed on a recently developed long-range missile, scrapping the armistice with South Korea, cutting emergency hotlines, closing the Kaesong industrial zone and moving long-range missiles to its eastern coast, which could be launched on Monday.

But does Kim Jong-Un really hold all of the power in North Korea? I’m tempted to hedge a bet that he doesn’t. He is a 30-year-old dictator of the world’s most paranoid, militarised, secretive, poorest, starved and troubled countries in the world. The problems that North Korea faces embarrass some of the first-world problems we have here in the West, such as Justin Bieber. Whilst Kim Jong-Un may be the most powerful North Korean in name, he may look for advice from his auntie and uncle (both massively important and experience figures in the North Korean government) who may hold all of the cards in practice, as they advise Kim Jong-Un to bring Korea closer to the brink of war. In some ways, I don’t know whether to feel sorry for him: sorry that he’s inherited hell on earth, but not sorry that he’s playing the role of the devil.

Time is running out though. North Korea doesn’t listen to anyone, even China, and the longer this issue is left unresolved, the worse it will get. This is one of the few times when invading might actually be the right thing to do: as soon as Kim Jong-Un is removed, the nuclear threat will be gone and the Chinese, Americans and South Koreans can flood food into the country and lift 20 million North Koreans out of poverty, as well as liberating North Koreans from the terrors they have been suffering for more than a century, starting from when the Japanese occupied the whole of Korea in 1910. Everything about North Korea may be ridiculous and bizarre, but it’s also a country that should be taken seriously as no one knows what they may do.


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This entry was posted on April 13, 2013 by in Current Affairs and tagged , , , .
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