|Photo courtesy of Globaljuggler|
The world, and especially South Korea and Japan, today seem to be playing a waiting game to see if North Korea will provoke a war on the Korean peninsula. Tensions in that area are as high, probably as they ever even been since the cease fire which unofficially ended the Korean War. Kim Jong-un, the portly new leader of the Communist state is the grandson of Kim Il-sung, the founder of the Kim family dynasty.
Kim Il-sung came to power after the death of his father Kim Jong-il and at first offered hope that tensions would be reduced. However, he has been ratcheting up the bellicose rhetoric and threatening to destroy the United States and South Korea. Kim Jong-un's father and grandfather often raised the tensions in the area making threats, but suddenly cooled down and even entered into talks with
South Korea, the US, China, Japan and Russia to dismantle North Korea's nuclear program in exchange for food aid and economic assistance. According to experts on North Korea, the new leader is trying to prove himself to his people and to reassure his and the military's strangle hold on the North Korean people and force the US into talks that would result in more aid. To the rest of the world this seems odd, as normal governments warm up to those they seek to assist them, not threaten them.
North Korea is one of the poorest nations on earth and definitely the most secretive and technologically backward countries of the world. And the government wants to keep it that way. While the communist regime develops nuclear weapons and strengthens the military the citizens of North Korea are constantly starving as a result of famine. South Korea and even the US has given food aid to alleviate the extreme hunger, but the aid seems to go directly to the army and party officials. It is widely known that the Kim family, the generals and high members of the communist party live a lavish lifestyle, while ordinary citizens have been forced to eat dirt. There have even been reports that some families have resorted to eating their children in order to survive.Everyday devices such as computers, wide screen TVs, cars, cell phones ipods etc. are unknown in North Korea. There are only 2 stations on the few TVs , which broadcast a constant barrage of propaganda and military music. There is no Internet, where they can come in contact with the rest of the world, but an "intranet" which can only be used inside the country and is strictly controlled by the government.
North Koreans are so brainwashed that they actually believe people in the US and South Korea are starving in the streets, while North Korea is a utopia. No one knows how many people are being held in the vast prison system, as political prisoners, for crimes such as possessing a cell phone, listening to foreign radio stations or viewing
western videos. One thing that is unique about the treatment of political prisoners in North Korea is that not just the person accused of the crime is imprisoned, but that persons children, parents and oft times grandparents are also imprisoned.
For most people the actions and behavior of North Korea is not only intolerable, but also inhumane. How did North Korea come to this point where they not only were admitted to the United Nations, but now thumbs their nose at the UN and threatens the nuclear destruction of its neighbors and the US and her allies? How can a country that values the continuance of family dictatorship over the lives of it's citizens be allowed to do so and also to threaten the lives of millions of people? I believe those questions should be asked of China. Equipping a million man army and developing a nuclear weapons program costs millions of dollars. So how does a country whose citizenry are starving afford to do this? The answer is China.
At the beginning of the Korean War, China entered the war to battle the United Nations forces, even though China was a member of the United Nations. Ever since that time China has vetoed every resolution that may have condemned or even reprimanded North Korea. China has politically and economically supported North Korea, in spite of its brutality towards its own people. Because of China's behavior North Korea has continued its reign of terror and uncivilized behavior toward the rest of the world and ignored the UN. In 1945 China created a monster, much like Dr. Frankenstein did. Now that monster, North Korea, is threatening the stability in that area of the world, as well as threatening the lives of its neighbors. Now China is in a bind, as it finally has become a major player on the world stage.
China is worried about the collapse of the North Korean regime for two reasons. If the regime collapses thousands of starving refugees will flood across the Chinese border seeking food and asylum. This would put a serious damper on the booming economy of China. Secondly if the North Korean regime collapses the two Koreas would unite and China would have a democratic neighbor which would most likely have American bases. Both of these scenarios are unacceptable to China. China's support for North Korea in the past, in my opinion, is criminal, with their support for the brutal and murderous regimes of the Kim family. Will China finally abandon its support of North Korea and join the world of civilized, responsible nations in thoroughly condemning North Korea? Or will it choose to continue to support a fellow communist nation only because it is communist, despite the possibility of millions of lives being lost, just to make sure a free and democratic nation is not a neighbor?
We will have to wait and see how this situation develops and how the world can deal with North Korea. It is time for ideologies to take a back seat to saving and improving the lives of millions of North Koreans who have been kept in a prison of darkness and brutality.