The Value of Courage
North Korea has followed through with its threat and set off a third nuclear device. This one is particularly ominous because it hints that "Best Korea" (as they apparently call themselves) now have the ability to make enriched uranium warheads that are small and light enough to fit in one of their missiles. Of course, their track record with long-range ballistic missiles is anything but impressive, but the point is that they now apparently have the capability of building bona fide ICBMs.
Not surprisingly, the nuclear test was followed by an announcement in the North Korean news that was
"If we say we will do something, we will do it. Our nation has a thousand times the courage of the West."
That's good. No, really. It's a good thing that North Korea has that much courage, because other than weapons, they don't seem to have much else.
I've long had a very cosmopolitan outlook. Even before I came to Japan, I occasionally won myself enemies (or at least started some really pointless arguments) by insisting that there are human beings in every nation of the world, even in the most "evil" of empires. I have long held that, no matter how much we might dislike a country and/or disagree with its rulers, if most of its people support their leaders, we have no choice but to respect them. "Best Korea" is one very, very notable exception. To me, that country is a joke that just keeps getting worse. After all:
- They are a "classless society" which has a wealthy elite and a hereditary god-king.
- They are a "people's democracy" in which the people know almost nothing about their leaders and are held in so much thrall by their god-king that they greet his death with far more weeping and wailing than they would give their own parents.
- They constructed an entire city (Pyongyang) and various resort complexes designed to be as impressive as possible to prove to foreign visitors and their own tiny urban elite how superior "Best Korea" really is...but don't even think about going outside to see how the majority of the people live, lest you be shot by a brainwashed teenager (as at least one South Korean tourist discovered the hard way).
- They are so superior to the USA that they have to rip off American video games for their propaganda videos.
- They have the need to feed their people a steady diet of some of the most absurd bullshit imaginable (e.g. "Dear Leader Kong Jong-Il played golf for the first time and naturally scored 11 holes in one...") to keep them in line.
- They spend gobs of money keeping both their military and their god-king bloated while the majority of the population is half starved.
- Because of their dire situation, they beg (or extort) food aid from the world. Thus far the USA, Japan, and South Korea (among other nations) have provided such aid to the tune of thousands of tons. "Best Korea" showed its gratitude by telling their people it was all a "gift" from their god-king...and continued to bite the hand that fed them.
- Their number one goal is still the reunification of Korea, by force if necessary, and they still (at least claim to) believe that invading South Korea and bringing them into the same pit of brainwashed malnutrition as themselves is somehow doing them a favor.