Tuesday, December 20, 2011
Some time ago I wrote about how to solve the Korea problem, following an article by the not then late Colonel Gadaffi. This was my plan
My opinion is that it depends on making sure nobody in power in the North has greatly fear union.It depended then and depends now on the NK leadership accepting it. However, in Kim III's seat it looks increasingly attractive. Despite having a nuclear bomb or 2 NK is going nowhere in a continent where everybody else's economy is growing at 10%
The South should offer to pay the salaries of every Northern government official for life, so long as they aren't earning more elsewhere. They also guarantee an amnesty for any NK official who may be chargeable with "war crimes". China would also guarantee this and to provide residence for any NK official who wanted to leave and who would still receive salary from the South. These guarantees have to be formidable and credible precisely because various western promises, from those to Pinochet to Karadzic have proven false. It may not be abstract justice that some leaders may get away with things we don't like. though abstract justice would certainly not be served by a "prosecution" influenced by NATO states whose own leaders are certainly guilty of war crimes, genocide and organlegging. However as an alternative to starvation for the northern people and possible nuclear war for everybody it seems preferable.
In return for paying salaries they get a gradual loosening of the Northern dictatorship. A veto on promotions and new appointments. Taxes could be drastically reduced since they were being already paid.. Road, rail and telecommunication links between the 2 (I suspect the South even more than the North would fear free movement of peoples since 10s of millions of refugees would be unwelcome). Trade between the 2 be made free. The right of Northerners to take up free market jobs and the right of such jobs to exist without government regulation. The desired end result would be a zero tax, minimal regulation zone governed, through leaders appointed by the South to which many southern and indeed international companies would outsource much of their production and which would grow faster than the South could. It would probably take decades for the North to reach Southern levels of affluence and political sophistication, after all it took the South decades in the first place, but it would be done without deaths, refugees and war.
The cost to the South would be less than they presently spend on defence. Paying the full salaries of everybody would cost no more than $9 billion assuming the NK currency is valued correctly.
It says a lot about the power of modern states that they have been able to hold the dam so long - that the people are not killing their masters. A recent news report said that the relatively few escapees overwhelmingly come from the border regions where they can see wealthier neighbours which suggests most of the population really don't know how the world has changed. Even the BBC don't aspire to that sort of control*. However communication devices are getting smaller and more pervasive and the dam is inevitably going to come under ever more pressure. Then there is Kim IIIrd himself - he was educated in Switzerland and personally knows how backward his country is.
Also, assuming his father's death was as reported and I think it was, he died of a heart attack at 69. That is not, even nowadays, an incredibly young age but I very much doubt if many leaders, or even middle ranking functionaries, of a wealthy country, able to fly across the world for the very best health care isn't going to live longer. Longevity is as ultimate a benefit of modern technology as there is.
So, even as absolute dictator of his own country, the life of a multimillionaire in Shanghai must look pretty attractive. The moreso the further down the ranks one goes. Give him, or them access to something like the Ibrahim Prize and there could be a deal.
Kim III has one advantage over his father - he hasn't been long in power and would not credibly by chargeable with crimes against humanity. I wouldn't take this very far since such charges bear little relation to the culpability of the chargee - Milosevic was so clearly innocent he had to be poisoned; Vojilsav Seselj", who was an opposition politician in Yugoslavia during the wars, rather than being in government, was indicted 2 weeks before he was plainly going to win a democratic election and whose trial was stopped purely because there was no evidence against him is, after 8 1/2 years, still imprisoned; whereas Snake Thaci (our Kosovo President and clearly guilty of genocide, ethnic cleansing, sex slavery and dissecting living human beings) hasn't been arrested; neither; neither has Bill Clinton (guilty of planning aggressive war and using his command authority to appoint Thaci as his policeman and send him to commit genocide); and almost all western politicians who supported that war and who are thus personally complicit in war crimes, genocide, ethnic cleansing, sex slavery and such cannibalism, albeit at a lower level).
As a matter of law there is no evidence whatsoever against Kim IIIrd of any crime 100oth as criminal as what Obama, Cameron, Miliband, Clegg and co are certainly guilty of. However International Law is not enforced and is instead used simply as an excuse for atrocities by the big countries.
Fortunately for Kim China is now one of the big countries. He would be unwise to and I am certain will not, under any circumstances relinquish power if there is any doubt of China's willingness and ability to permanently uphold promises of his security in face of NATO/"International Criminal Court" criminality.
One other point worth making is that though NK has a nuke there are new military technologies developing. Curently there is being developed a remotely pilioted military aircraft the size of a hummingbird. In fact it is, visulally, a hummingbird. It currently has a short range and no weapons but that is bound to change and I can think of no defence the NK government could produce that would stop such an assassination weapon being used, in a few years, against them.
* Perhaps I underestimated the degree of control the BBC operates. Checking out Seselj's case I find that, over nearly a decade the BBC have managed to censor any single mention of his arrest, "trial" , innocnece and continued imprisonment.
However following it brought me to a copy of his indictment - a document remarkable for its unspecifity - naming no actual alleged victim whatsoever. I will write on this again.