Friday, August 10, 2007

North Korea: Something is about to happen

North Korean tactics have not changed much over the last half century. There is lots of drama, lots of delays, and maximum effort to extort as much as they can in the negotiations. Then the cycle is repeated, endlessly.

What has changed is the lack of predictable subsidies from Russia and China. Until the Cold War ended, these subsidies kept North Korea comfortably afloat. But in the early 1990s, those subsidies ended, and starvation and economic collapse ensued. Now the economy has been loosened up, and some people are making money.

But many North Koreans are starving, and the government fears collapse, or a revolution.

The hard liners still have a police state operating, while the reformers have South Korean firms coming in and opening factories, and there are now free markets, with uncontrolled prices, throughout the country. Corruption is way up, and discipline is falling.

Something is about to happen, but no one is quite sure what.

[Free Republic]

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