Sunday, June 08, 2003
If you missed it: Last Thursday's Wall Street Journal had an excellent article on the situation in North Korea by a former rocket scientist for that Stalinist country.
I come from a country whose rulers are indifferent to the mass starvation of their own people--one whose citizens are on average more than seven inches shorter than their Southern brothers and sisters, and one that requires its citizens to rise early in the morning to join screeching public-address systems in singing absurd songs of praise to a deranged leader. But--and this is now increasingly true and true to a degree that would have seemed impossible 10 years ago--my fellow countrymen know and openly acknowledge that Kim Jong Il is both evil and lunatic and doomed. More and more, midlevel officials like me in the North Korean military and WMD industry see the regime's blustering threats against other countries as evidence of its isolation, desperation and declining hold on power.
The time has come for South Korea and the U.S. to encourage the defection of thousands like me who are prepared to tell the world what they know and whose departure will deprive the regime of skills it needs to survive. Such mass defections will occur if the defectors are given a reasonable prospect for safe harbor outside of North Korea. At the same time, Seoul should end its barbarous "sunshine policy," which sentences fellow Koreans to slavery because giving them freedom would cost too much money.
I had long wondered at what exactly was the logic behind the "sunshine policy" -- and this defector's analysis seems to be the best that I have yet heard. While I'm seldom in favor of offering nations huge sums of cash to do what we want them to do, I think promising funds in the event of North Korea's collapse to deal with the huge humanitarian crisis that would be revealed would likely be a very good idea and money well spent.
Today, Reuters reports that North Korea wants the atom bomb so that it will not have to spend as much money on its conventional forces.
This is worrisome news for the people of North Korea, because the only ones who get anything to eat are those in the military. Smaller millitary -- more people starving.