Sunday, May 22, 2005

Those Wacky North Koreans

Those poor Juche-idealistic souls. They just don't have any idea what's going on in the world around them. Well, that's pretty much a given. I was at the museum of natural science here in Houston today, and an exhibit there stated there at 1100 telephones in North Korea. There are 20+ MILLION people, but only 1100 phones. These people don't get any news the government doesn't want them to get.

So it shouldn't be surprising that these uninformed individuals are Confused By the U.S. I mean, after all, they don't have any information. The confusion of which I speak is their reaction to what they consider the United States' conflicting comments regarding the nation. They claim Bush is plotting to overthrow their nation, while the U.S. states they are only interested in reopening dialogue. I can see how this could be confusing. Because the U.S. hasn't said "We'll give you more food and gas if you come talk with us," the U.S. isn't giving them the answer they want, which can't help but confuse them, after all, we have a history of giving the North Koreans a lot of latitude.

We aren't going to invade. Why won't we invade? We don't want to upset China, who isn't too comfortable with a united Korea with all that firepower right on their border, and thus would intervene if we went North. It's the same reason (I suspect) that China doesn't do anything with Taiwan other than rhetoric.

That's what the primary difference is between the DPRK and Iraq. And it's the reason North Korea can rattle their sabres as loud as they want, because deep down, everyone knows we're not going to hit them.

Is there a reason to invade North Korea? Well, to hear the current administration, the war in Iraq is justified because we removed a dictator who killed tens of thousands of his own people, and one who is a threat to the United States. This justification is what keeps us going despite the fact that we went in because we "knew" they had nuclear weapons that they didn't have. Kim Chong Il inherited a nation of 22 million people from his father in 1994. He now presides over 20 million. That's a mighty big loss, and I can't believe it's just because everyone's moving to the suburbs. North Korea has no freedom; the people are not allowed to leave their own country for the most part. They don't have a choice in their vote. Their government is waving their nuclear experiments right in our face. I would say that these are reasons enough based on our actions before. Yet, we'll do nothing but ask for diplomacy with a country that's brushed it off for the last 50 years (Poplar tree, tunnels, Submarine incident, etc.). But, things won't change. Oh well.


heatherfeather said...

just because i'd like to hear the viewpoint of someone i DON'T go to school with yet, and understanding that you don't have the interest or experience that you do with korea:

do you think the US will invade iran? and when if you do?

just curious.

Michelle said...

Wow Steve, is that true, only 1100 phones?

Steve said...

Heather, you're right in that Iran is not my zone of experience, but I will hesitate a guess that we will not do anything in Iran in the next 4 years at a minimum. We don't have the resources available, I don't think, to start a fight with another country. Additionally, we lack the rationale that we (didn't) have when we invaded Iraq.
It appears more to me that we're talking big to keep them from wanting to test something, but I don't really think there's any imminent threat to American security from Iran at this time, and probably no real reason to invade, WMDs or not.

Michelle, that statistic comes from the Houston Museum of Natural Science's display on agricultural diversity in the various nations. I haven't googled to see if that number sounds accurate or not. I guess I'm in Newsweek mode.

Michelle said...

Hmm, well then i guess they'd be using primary data as their main source...fascinating :o)