May 25, 2009

The political power of North Korea’s threats

North Korea has once again defied the globe by making a nuclear test that has raised concerns of the intentions of the communist state to press the red button and launch a nuclear weapon. Scientists have confirmed that the test provoked an earthquake in the North of the country, so this time we are not talking about propaganda.

The North Korean regime uses its nuclear programme as its only mean of negotiation with the rest of the world and Kim Jong-il knows it. If North Korea had no nuclear programme, its negotiation power would be reduced to nothing and the regime would probably have collapsed long time ago. But the imminent threat of effectively developing and using a nuclear weapon makes its neighbors, the United States and the rest of the world take a different approach towards the problem.

Kim Jong-il knows that anything he does (in other words, anything he does and wants the world to be informed of) will be instantly in the headlines of the media of the whole world. The rumours of his health condition and the launch of a rocket which was supposed to carry a satellite but that can be used to transport a nuclear weapon are some examples of the huge media coverage that strengthens the regime. The UN Security Council condemned the launch of the rocket, and in response, North Korea pulled out of the Six Party Talks (involving North Korea, South Korea, the United States, China, Russia and Japan), which were aimed to make the regime stop its nuclear programme. While some objectives were apparently achieved in the Six Party Talks, it appears that in reality Kim Jong-il has no intention of ending its nuclear programme through diplomatic means.

Meanwhile, South Koreans are still in shock after the suicide of their former president, who was formally accused of bribery, and the fear of their neighbor’s intentions to press the red button has worsened the situation. Hopefully the nuclear test was just one more successful attempt of the regime to be in the headlines and strengthen its negotiation power, as it is very unlikely that they will ever launch a nuclear attack. Probably this show will be over the day Kim Jong-il dies and the North Korean people will finally get out of the dark, although his death won’t mean that unification will be easy.

The annual income of North Koreans is around 17 times lower than the one of their southern neighbors and the regime has one of the worst human rights records in the world.

Because life with humour is much better, here you can watch a video of "North Korea's new ambitions", hehe...

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