24 May 2010

South Korea Cuts-Off Trade with Impoverished Norks

In announcing his measured yet firm reaction to North Korea's torpedoing of the South's naval vessel Cheonan -killing 46 sailors-, conservative South Korean President Lee Myung-bak is making clear he's not intimidated by Kim Jong Il's latest provacative, murderous stunt... and next time there'll be a military price to pay. This in today's Telegraph (UK):

 Lee Myung-bak ... raised the temperature of the military stand-off on the Korean Peninsular, vowing "immediate" retaliation if the North committed any further provocations.
"If our territorial waters, airspace or territory are violated, we will immediately exercise our right of self-defence." Mr Lee, who last week said the sinking was a breach of the 1953 armistice that ended the Korean War, confirmed that Seoul will refer the matter to United Nations.
North Korea has continued to deny responsibility for the attack, which killed 46 South Korean sailors, despite the wealth of evidence produced by a multi-national inquiry which recovered parts of the tail section of a North Korean-designed torpedo from the seabed where the Cheonan sank.
Last week Pyongyang employed its characteristically bellicose rhetoric to threaten "all-out war" if the South sought to extract punitive sanctions for the sinking...
Today's actions hit Pyongyang's creaking jalopy of an economy where it hurts... as due to UN sanctions and serial (mis) "guidance" from the isolated and incompetent Dear Leader, this penniless Stalinist hell seems on the brink of financial implosion already.

Trouble is that everyone - especially the South- fears such an economic collapse, and not only due to possible reaction of the North's million-man army, but for the simple fact that the South can't really afford to absorb the DPRK's dirt-poor hordes: North Korea is no East Germany... and despite all their success, South Korea is no West Germany, either. 

Besides the economic black hole that they'd inherit, Seoul is also more than aware of lingering cultural differences in eastern and western Germany that persist to this day, twenty years after unification and despite billions of Euros spent. And North Korea is a more radical situation... compared to a freshly-liberated East Berliner in 1989, the average Nork is a time-warp socialist automaton who would struggle mightily adjusting to life in an abundant, competitive, democratic, and free capitalist society... would likely would take generations. Can you imagine these poor souls on their first week of training at McDonald's, even...

And although things are on edge now on the peninsula, the South is wise to turn the other cheek no longer... it appears that and increasingly-desperate Kim Jong Il -no stranger to state-sponsored terrorism- may be planning Al Qaida-style terrorist attacks on Seoul's subway system -here-

BTW, if you're unaware... North Korean bloggers rock!
...or else...check 'em out -here-

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