About Me

Dec 29, 2011

I Know What Will Change North Korea

I know it’s too late for this time to write an article on North Korea. Better late than never!  I was preoccupied with midterm exams. But I was also following the news.
Will Kim Jung En be able to consolidate power? Who is really in charge of? A number of media outlets questioned those “less important” issues.  I don’t think conflicts over leadership will lead the collapse of North Korea. Supposed that it does, China would come in and prop up the ones she thinks it’s in her best interests in the case of disorderly breakup. North Korea is still North Korea.
Most of us agree the spring is highly unlikely. Still, I think there is at least a way to get North Korea changed. Bring Capitalism to North Korea! There are encouraging signs Capitalism is creeping into North Korea. Kaesong complex and a major resort owned by Hyundai are good examples.
Don’t take it for granted.  Some North Koreans are getting the sense of capitalism. The best case scenario for North Korea is another China, state capitalism. When people are better informed, they become more demanding. The more Korea Koreans are informed, the closer its leader face the Do or Die dilemma. If you are still unsettled, take a closer look on China.
Sure enough, they won’t change easily. We have to force them to change. There should have been a discussion over the reopening of that resort during Hyundai chairwomen visit to North Korea, as media speculated. That could be very encouraging.
The poor pay the ultimate price for economic sanctions for the West. This is not to say I support sanctions lifting. The dark side of the sanctions is that it makes the people poor. What is happening when they are poor? They become less demanding. They are less interested in what their leaders are doing.
As Nicholas Kristof put in the New York Times: “American officials blame China for coddling North Korea, but at least Beijing has a strategy. It is to encourage the Kim regime to replicate the opening and reform policies that transformed China itself. These days, Chinese traders, cellphones, DVDs and CDs are already common in border areas of North Korea, doing more to undermine Kim rule than any policy of the United States.”
I didn’t agree with him on the last sentence. It’s dangerous if US keeps doing business while not making sure the surpluses enjoyed by Pyongyang are not being used to develop nuclear capacities. I’m glad US started to offer humanitarian aid again. And I just learnt Russian is interested developing pipelines through North Korea to supply the gas to South Korea. Hey, it’s a good move. 
I think you learnt from the news a number of North Koreans cry over Kim’s death. Are they completely brainwashed? May be not! A friend of mind working with refugees from North Korea told me a very interesting fact.
He said they are not completely brainwashed. Pirated DVDs from China info them about outside world (especially for people living in the City). They are better informed, he went on. What is problematic is that there is no civil society so that they can demand for changes.
When China, South Korea, US, Russia and Japan start to do their parts, I think we can bring about changes. Stating to do business with North Korea means we are weakening the regime for betterment, but only after making sure gain in business doesn’t go to the nuclear programs. How? I’m searching for the answers.