Visa, MC, Amex, Discover, Diner’s Club and the foreign aid coffers of countries terrified of a regime meltdown, as well they should be.
Seriously when I first starting seeing pictures of this critter after Pop’s demise, I thought it was a joke. He should stay in his room and play with his x-box. He probably is.
North Korea is not a systemic threat as is militant Islam, but it’s a worry nonetheless. Those who fear a missile launching gotterdammerung, however, in my view are mistaken.
The Kim regime(all of them) are, within the scope of their own aspirations, have been and will be completely rational. They have everything they could want: power, luxury, women. (See Bradley Martin’s “Under the Loving Care of the Fatherly Leader” for a detailed account of how these monsters live.) History is full of stories of kings and emperors who ruled only for their own advantage and pleasures, and these accounts are often cast as comforting morality tales with the Caligula getting his comeuppance.
But it doesn’t always work out that way. One recalls Idi Amin spending his declining years in Saudi Arabia, comfortable and unrepentant The North Korean leaders and favored followers will find a similar refuge. Their country is unimaginably poor; they are rich, and there are still wild enough places in the world to give them refuge for the proper price. I’m betting on an Islamist regime myself, or perhaps even China
Te regime will fall. It could be made to fall at any time, but the incalculable cost of succoring a people brutalized to the point of dehumanization, and then establishing a decent government, let along reunification, is beyond the means of a world struggling with its overdrawn finances. The disparity between the North and the
south is a quantum measure beyond what separated West and East Germany. East Germans had cars and TVs, albeit crappy ones they had to wait years for, but they lived in a way that at least tried to imitate life in the West.
The cultural obstacles are such that bringing North Korea to a state anything like what the world at large recognizes as normal would be impossible in the near or medium term. It is too late for gradual reform. Deng Hsiao Ping invited back Shanghai Industrialists in the 70’s; the Hungarian regime brought back some of the country’s prewar capitalists.in the 80s. When the wall fell, the eastern satellites still had a pool of people not yet past their productive years who remembered a different reality The USSR did not have a pre-revolution generation, and this may well account for its lagging its former satellites., Still the communist countries were never as isolated as North Korea.(There was Albania, but with a tiny population and no military power) Benny Goodman toured the USSR; Cubans receive remittances and family visits. There remained, and remains, something to build on.
Steven Green, aka Vodka Pundit over at PJmedia posits an occupation by Chinese paratroopers to keep order to keep order in a collapsing state. First, paratroopers?Mr. Green needs to pour another Absolut and read up on military history. Paratroopers: the Phyrric German victory at Crete and so on.
In any case why would the Chinese intervene? Tto stabilize the country and keep the millions of refugees from pouring across the boarder? Even merely maintaining order at the point of a gun without any humanitarian aid would be immensely expensive.
The Chinese have secure borders. They will use them. When the leaders have left and the border guards themselves attempt to flee bodies will pile up on the Chinese razor wire and the hordes will turn south.
What will South Korea do? What will the world do? I have no idea, and no suggestions. In the interim such minimal aid as outside powers hope will keep all this from happening will continue to flow, until it does.