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What should be done about North Korea?

cj iwakuracj iwakura The Rhythm RegentChantry of NightmaresRegistered User regular
edited July 2011 in Debate and/or Discourse
This topic and others like it spurned my interest in the issue:

From ABC.com.au
Footage shot inside North Korea and obtained by the ABC has revealed the extent of chronic food shortages and malnutrition inside the secretive state.

The video is some of the most revealing footage ever smuggled out of the impoverished North Korean state.

Shot over several months by an undercover North Korean journalist, the harrowing footage shows images of filthy, homeless and orphaned children begging for food and soldiers demanding bribes.

The footage also shows North Koreans labouring on a private railway track for the dictator's son and heir near the capital Pyongyang.

Strolling up to the site supervisor, the man with the hidden camera asks what is going on.

"This rail line is a present from Kim Jong-il to comrade Kim Jong-un," he is told.

The well-fed Kim Jong-un could soon be ruling over a nation of starving, impoverished serfs.

The video shows young children caked in filth begging in markets, pleading for scraps from compatriots who have nothing to give.

"I am eight," says one boy. "My father died and my mother left me. I sleep outdoors."

Many of the children are orphans; their parents victims of starvation or the gulag.

But markets do exist - private markets that stock bags of rice, pork, and corn. The state no longer has any rations to hand out.

But the state wants its share of this embryonic capitalism.

In the footage, a party official is demanding a stallholder make a donation of rice to the army.

"My business is not good," complains the stallholder.

"Shut up," replies the official. "Don't offer excuses."

It is clear that the all-powerful army - once quarantined from food shortages and famine - is starting to go hungry.

"Everybody is weak," says one young North Korean soldier. "Within my troop of 100 comrades, half of them are malnourished," he said.

Jiro Ishimaru is the man who trained the undercover reporter to use the hidden camera.

"This footage is important because it shows that Kim Jong-il's regime is growing weak," he said.

"It used to put the military first, but now it can't even supply food to its soldiers. Rice is being sold in markets but they are starving. This is the most significant thing in this video."

Kim Jong-il's grip on power depends on the military and if some of its soldiers have growling, empty bellies, it is bad news for the dictator and his hopes for a smooth transition to his son.

"The priority for Kim Jong-il is the succession," said Mr Ishimaru.

"But Kim Jong-un is still very young, just 27 or 28. He doesn't have any experience and hasn't achieved anything. So opposition to a third generation of the Kim family taking over is growing."

But this dynasty of dictators has proven that it is more than capable of keeping its wretched population in line through gulags, hunger and a total control over every aspect of life.

But as this footage shows, occasionally, a crack of light emerges from this dark, dark place.

r790494_6875246.jpg

I know I'm crazy for thinking this, but shouldn't human rights violations like this be a bigger issue than non-wars in the middle east over oil and shadow terrorism?

I'm ignorant when it comes to global policy, and I imagine there's no easy way to get involved without igniting all kinds of chaos, but can't something be done?

This all just seems wrong.


Is our best bet really just 'sit back and hope Kim-Jong Il dies one day'?

9LlOwgn.png
Well, good morning. Welcome to the new scenario. What should we do today?
cj iwakura on
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Posts

  • TL DRTL DR Not at all confident in his reflexive opinions of thingsRegistered User regular
    If Iran and Cuba have taught us anything, it's that poking a dictatorial bees' nest only serves to give the dictator an easy scapegoat. It's much easier to radicalize your citizenry if the American boogeyman is pounding at the door, and not without good reason.

  • bumpycatbumpycat Registered User
    There's not a lot we can do. If we try to intervene militarily, it will rally the North Koreans around the Kims and they'll kill hundreds of thousands of South Koreans in retaliation (including some of my relatives). If we keep up the same kind of pressure we have at the moment, hopefully China will get sick of supporting this lunatic basket case and the government will fall. Then South and North can re-unite, with China assisting. We can only hope this happens soon and peacefully.

  • mrt144mrt144 King of the Numbernames Registered User regular
    I propose kimchi bombing runs and using agent jii gae on all foliage.

  • emnmnmeemnmnme Heard about this on conservative radio:Registered User regular
    If the North Koreans didn't rebel after the Arduous March, a period of years where food was so scarce, civilians were boiling tree bark for food in extreme cases, they're not going to rebel. In that other video you lined to in [chat], they said some angry citizens were posting fliers, encouraging revolt. Fliers?! They're starving to death and they're only at the fliers stage? North Koreans don't know how to rebel.

  • KageraKagera Imitating the worst people. Since 2004Registered User regular
    Don't forget even if we could get it done with little casualties to our forces that bastard can still start deciding he'd rather kill his own people outright than let them be free.

    So yeah things are horrible now and there is no good solution to change it. And it sucks. But doing anything would backfire on everybody even those suffering.

    My neck, my back, my FUPA and my crack.
  • kildykildy Registered User regular
    NK is an odd case because we can't directly intervene, and whenever people start funneling them stuff via pretty great trade type deals just as a transparent way to give them food, their leader goes and does stupid shit. Like, probably sinking a south korean ship.

    There are very few ways I can see to actually help NK, barring the military (if they really are starting to starve) turning on their leadership.

  • Magus`Magus` Registered User regular
    I gotta wonder if someone just assassinated the Kims how that would affect a lot of the people of NK who see them as living gods.

  • emnmnmeemnmnme Heard about this on conservative radio:Registered User regular
    edited July 2011


    EDIT: This one's better.

    emnmnme on
  • SynthesisSynthesis Honda Today! Registered User regular
    Kim-Jong Il dying won't really "fix" the situation in a way the United States would prefer, in large part because of the preparations the North has done for it, both that we know of and, in all likelihood, that we don't know of.

    The comparison between Cuba and the DPRK isn't really fitting either--despite the embargo, Cuba isn't isolated from the rest of the world. You can drive a few hours to Canada or Mexico and buy Cuban imported sugar, alcohol, or other stuff (and, if you have money, you can buy stuff from Mexico in Cuba). The embargo sucks, to be sure, but the United States isn't the whole of North America, much less the whole world. North Korea, on the other hand, is very nearly isolated--it has war-ceasefire relations with the South, a very limited, strictly defined client state relationship with China, very limited relations with Russia and a few other nations (though illicit relations with further others), and the similar isolation from the US. As a result, there's not much more you can deny the DPRK, if that's the route you want to pursue--China is no more obligated to follow our party line than we are to follow theirs, and is far more invested, strategically, politically, etc., in the fate of their neighbor, besides probably understanding their leadership significantly better than we do. They can make the reasonable claim that using such tactics is just worsening the humanitarian crisis that already exists.

    The alternatives are hardly better. The North is aware that one of their few bits of leverage is the ability to project force onto the South (further justified by the South's ability to project force onto the North, even if they are much more discreet about it), and the South doesn't want to reunite with another bombed-to-oblivion Vietnam, albeit with much colder winters. So, continued stalemate.

    Orca wrote: »
    Synthesis wrote:
    Isn't "Your sarcasm makes me wet," the highest compliment an Abh can pay a human?

    Only if said Abh is a member of the nobility.
  • SheepSheep Registered User, __BANNED USERS regular
    Nothing.

    They'll implode on their own.

    QlBGc.jpg
  • ElJeffeElJeffe Moderator, ClubPA mod
    If we continue to lampoon Kim-Jong Il with Team America and Daily Show spoofs, he'll eventually whither away with shame.

    It is truly the best way.

    Maddie: "I named my feet. The left one is flip and the right one is flop. Oh, and also I named my flip-flops."

    I make tweet.
  • SynthesisSynthesis Honda Today! Registered User regular
    Bah, they said the same thing about the release of Starcraft II.

    Capitalism can only do so much.

    Orca wrote: »
    Synthesis wrote:
    Isn't "Your sarcasm makes me wet," the highest compliment an Abh can pay a human?

    Only if said Abh is a member of the nobility.
  • Mikey CTSMikey CTS Registered User regular
    Has being the world's police every really worked out well for us? Korea... Vietnam... Iran Contra... Afghanistan... Iraq... Attempting to "right the world's wrongs" never seems to work out in our favor (typically when we do this, we have our own interests, as well). The Kim's will eventually implode on their own. NK is an unsustainable state as they are currently operating. China will eventually get tired of their bullshit and cutoff their aid.

    // PSN: wyrd_warrior // MHW Name: Josei //
  • SynthesisSynthesis Honda Today! Registered User regular
    edited July 2011
    Mikey CTS wrote:
    Has being the world's police every really worked out well for us? Korea... Vietnam... Iran Contra... Afghanistan... Iraq... Attempting to "right the world's wrongs" never seems to work out in our favor (typically when we do this, we have our own interests, as well). The Kim's will eventually implode on their own. NK is an unsustainable state as they are currently operating. China will eventually get tired of their bullshit and cutoff their aid.

    Iran-Contra was not the United States being the world's policeman.

    It was more like the United States being the world's arms dealer & drug dealer advocate. Put another way, the United States being the world's dashing rogue, Han Solo.

    Vietnam also doesn't really fall into this category, really. Since the conflict legalistic arose from the rejection of elections for a new nationwide government, accepted by France and North Vietnam, but rejected by South Vietnam, and the US supported the side not willing to follow the "law", so much as there was a law.

    Synthesis on
    Orca wrote: »
    Synthesis wrote:
    Isn't "Your sarcasm makes me wet," the highest compliment an Abh can pay a human?

    Only if said Abh is a member of the nobility.
  • KageraKagera Imitating the worst people. Since 2004Registered User regular
    Somalia does though.

    My neck, my back, my FUPA and my crack.
  • SynthesisSynthesis Honda Today! Registered User regular
    edited July 2011
    And the Korean War was literally defined as a "pollice action" by Truman, under the auspices of the United Nations.

    EDIT: I'm not being sarcastic. I'm agreeing. That can hard to convey on this board sometimes.

    Synthesis on
    Orca wrote: »
    Synthesis wrote:
    Isn't "Your sarcasm makes me wet," the highest compliment an Abh can pay a human?

    Only if said Abh is a member of the nobility.
  • Mikey CTSMikey CTS Registered User regular
    edited July 2011
    Synthesis wrote:
    Mikey CTS wrote:
    Has being the world's police every really worked out well for us? Korea... Vietnam... Iran Contra... Afghanistan... Iraq... Attempting to "right the world's wrongs" never seems to work out in our favor (typically when we do this, we have our own interests, as well). The Kim's will eventually implode on their own. NK is an unsustainable state as they are currently operating. China will eventually get tired of their bullshit and cutoff their aid.

    Iran-Contra was not the United States being the world's policeman.

    It was more like the United States being the world's arms dealer & drug dealer advocate. Put another way, the United States being the world's dashing rogue, Han Solo.

    Vietnam also doesn't really fall into this category, really. Since the conflict legalistic arose from the rejection of elections for a new nationwide government, accepted by France and North Vietnam, but rejected by South Vietnam, and the US supported the side not willing to follow the "law", so much as there was a law.

    That is why I qualified with the "we typically have our our interests". My point was these sorts of military actions haven't worked for us in half a century, Considering that track record, maybe we should only look at military action as our absolute last option. Maybe we should consider adopting that as real policy. For realz, even.

    Mikey CTS on
    // PSN: wyrd_warrior // MHW Name: Josei //
  • JustinSane07JustinSane07 __BANNED USERS regular
    Our embargo on Cuba is pretty dumb in 2011.

    With NK, just...fuck 'em. Honestly. The only thing that's going to get NK into a reform is if the military turns on the theocracy. No outside force is going to make a difference.

  • CouscousCouscous Registered User regular
    Our embargo on Cuba is pretty dumb in 2011.

    With NK, just...fuck 'em. Honestly. The only thing that's going to get NK into a reform is if the military turns on the theocracy. No outside force is going to make a difference.
    It already has a cult of personality that includes semi-worship of Kim.

  • IncaInca Registered User regular
    Synthesis wrote:
    And the Korean War was literally defined as a "pollice action" by Truman, under the auspices of the United Nations.

    EDIT: I'm not being sarcastic. I'm agreeing. That can hard to convey on this board sometimes.

    welllll

    It was actually defined as a 'police action' by a reporter trying to get Truman to define exactly what was going on. Truman just agreed with the reporter's formulation, and the definition stuck. He was mostly just trying to keep the public perceptions of the conflict as low key as possible, which didn't work out so hot since it came right after the whole WWII total war thing.

    /pedant

    Also, it's unlikely that the PRC will cut off ties to the DPRK anytime soon. Regime collapse would see a bunch of refugees coming into northeast China, and the likely presence of US troops even closer to the Yalu. Not exactly top of the CCP's wishlist for the next... ever.

  • SynthesisSynthesis Honda Today! Registered User regular
    Inca wrote:
    Synthesis wrote:
    And the Korean War was literally defined as a "pollice action" by Truman, under the auspices of the United Nations.

    EDIT: I'm not being sarcastic. I'm agreeing. That can hard to convey on this board sometimes.

    welllll

    It was actually defined as a 'police action' by a reporter trying to get Truman to define exactly what was going on. Truman just agreed with the reporter's formulation, and the definition stuck. He was mostly just trying to keep the public perceptions of the conflict as low key as possible, which didn't work out so hot since it came right after the whole WWII total war thing.

    This is true--insomuch as a war can be a police action (what we call "The Invasion of Georgia", the Russians called "Defense of Peacekeepers/Honoring pledges to respect Ossetian sovereignty"), it's a very tricky area.
    Mikey CTS wrote:
    Synthesis wrote:
    Mikey CTS wrote:
    Has being the world's police every really worked out well for us? Korea... Vietnam... Iran Contra... Afghanistan... Iraq... Attempting to "right the world's wrongs" never seems to work out in our favor (typically when we do this, we have our own interests, as well). The Kim's will eventually implode on their own. NK is an unsustainable state as they are currently operating. China will eventually get tired of their bullshit and cutoff their aid.

    Iran-Contra was not the United States being the world's policeman.

    It was more like the United States being the world's arms dealer & drug dealer advocate. Put another way, the United States being the world's dashing rogue, Han Solo.

    Vietnam also doesn't really fall into this category, really. Since the conflict legalistic arose from the rejection of elections for a new nationwide government, accepted by France and North Vietnam, but rejected by South Vietnam, and the US supported the side not willing to follow the "law", so much as there was a law.

    That is why I qualified with the "we typically have our our interests". My point was these sorts of military actions haven't worked for us in half a century, Considering that track record, maybe we should only look at military action as our absolute last option. Maybe we should consider adopting that as real policy. For realz, even.

    I don't disagree, it's just in the case of Iran Contra is literally the opposite of anything vaguely resembling international policing. Like...international crime. Iran Contra wasn't even a military matter is most respects, aside from the actual military hardware that was sold illegally. When the United States engages as "world policeman", it at least has something to do, ostensibly, with respect for laws and international agreement, whereas Iran Contra was literally the exact opposite of that ("Nyah nyah, I'm selling these weapons and funneling the proceeds to a third party, both in direct violation of United States law and international compacts! Nyah nyah!") I felt it was worth pointing that out.

    Orca wrote: »
    Synthesis wrote:
    Isn't "Your sarcasm makes me wet," the highest compliment an Abh can pay a human?

    Only if said Abh is a member of the nobility.
  • tbloxhamtbloxham Registered User regular
    The only way it will resolve itself without massive bloodshed is if China tells them to resign and sets up a 'mini-china' there. I guess the US could also just offer Kim a MASSIVE bribe to just piss off and create a transitional government with representatives from the local people and nations in the area (China, Japan, South Korea)

    Eventually we'd also need South Korea and North Korea to reunite.

    "That is cool" - Abraham Lincoln
  • SynthesisSynthesis Honda Today! Registered User regular
    edited July 2011
    I don't think bribery will work on the incoming Kim the way you've described.

    1) He will already possess a great deal of personal wealth.
    2) He will have little reason to think the US would honor the deal ("Yes, we promise not to kill you after you buy you huge castle in Germany or wherever.") in the long term.
    3) The United States might not have enough money to do it--not mathematically, but politically, given how unpopular it would be.

    Synthesis on
    Orca wrote: »
    Synthesis wrote:
    Isn't "Your sarcasm makes me wet," the highest compliment an Abh can pay a human?

    Only if said Abh is a member of the nobility.
  • tbloxhamtbloxham Registered User regular
    Synthesis wrote:
    I don't think bribery will work on the incoming Kim the way you've described.

    1) He will already possess a great deal of personal wealth.
    2) He will have literally reason to think the US would honor the deal ("Yes, we promise not to kill you after you buy you huge castle in Germany or wherever.") in the long term.
    3) The United States might not have enough money to do it--not mathematically, but politically, given how unpopular it would be.

    It would need to be a 'Isn't Uncle Joe Stalin Wonderful' kind of bribe. Where, we give him a ton of stuff and at the same time reveal how 'he was working with us all along to help people' and present him with a castle in Germany as a reward for all his good works.

    So, lots of cash plus lots of lying.

    "That is cool" - Abraham Lincoln
  • BagginsesBagginses __BANNED USERS regular
    I'm getting the picture that North Korea is like a real-world Themescara, except with men. Is that about right?

  • SynthesisSynthesis Honda Today! Registered User regular
    edited July 2011
    tbloxham wrote:
    Synthesis wrote:
    I don't think bribery will work on the incoming Kim the way you've described.

    1) He will already possess a great deal of personal wealth.
    2) He will have little reason to think the US would honor the deal ("Yes, we promise not to kill you after you buy you huge castle in Germany or wherever.") in the long term.
    3) The United States might not have enough money to do it--not mathematically, but politically, given how unpopular it would be.

    It would need to be a 'Isn't Uncle Joe Stalin Wonderful' kind of bribe. Where, we give him a ton of stuff and at the same time reveal how 'he was working with us all along to help people' and present him with a castle in Germany as a reward for all his good works.

    So, lots of cash plus lots of lying.

    That only worked because the Germans were busy exterminating tens of millions of people who happened to make up "Uncle Joe's" national workforce, armed forces, and bureaucracy. Does North Korea have it bad right now? Yes, yes they do, especially compared to their situation in the 60s and 70s. Are they facing genocidal extermination at the hands of Western Invasion #3 in the last forty years? No, not really.

    You'd need the backdrop of events to set that up. Something tantamount to a no-holds-bar war between North and South or something. China's not going to bother, they could twist the country around their fingers in much more subtle, less violent ways. It's a shame the US, as the dominant military power in the world, is also the top candidate for an actual invasion and occupation of North Korea, the sort of dramatic event you'd need for the bribe to work.

    The one advantage, that of time, isn't working in America's favor as much as it should. Stalin had 20 years between "Holy Shit, tens of thousands of actual living, breathing Americans have invaded our country, blowing things up and occupying major cities like Vladivostok!" (the Allied Invasion of the Russian SFSR during the Civil War) and "Hey, maybe the Americans aren't that bad after all, they're sending us shitloads of jeeps and other useful stuff." It's been more than fifty years since Americans were running around North Korea, blowing things up and fighting an actual war, but in the last decade, things have remained at such a high level of animosity between the leadership on both sides, no one's going to believe it's anything short of a cynical ploy for the bribe to work. "You just spent the last ten years convincing us this man was the Antichrist, what the fuck are you talking about?"

    Maybe you can get the aliens from a Crysis or a Michael Bay movie to invade North Korea. Otherwise, no deal.

    Synthesis on
    Orca wrote: »
    Synthesis wrote:
    Isn't "Your sarcasm makes me wet," the highest compliment an Abh can pay a human?

    Only if said Abh is a member of the nobility.
  • DarkPrimusDarkPrimus Registered User regular
    This is required reading as far as North Korea is concerned.

    As far as intervention to end the regime in North Korea, it is practically impossible. By which I mean from a practical standpoint it is impossible.

    The cult of personality built up around the Leaders is unparalleled in modern history, the only real analogue I can think of it is Egyptian Pharaohs. People are indoctrinated from birth to revere them as perfect and relentless in the pursuit of what's best for them. The populace is told that the rest of the world is worse off than them, and they believe it.

    Economically, North Korea is a giant black hole. They could possibly be self-sufficient if not for their Leader's ostentatious vices and impractical construction projects that are just for show, but those aren't stopping and so they are slowly destroying themselves. Any aid we give them would just allow the extension of the current state of affairs for that much longer. But, when the Leaders finally crumble... what will happen? Will the military take control, or will the populace sit, stunned, not sure what to do, requiring a foreign power to swoop in and save them? But honestly, I'm not sure anyone wants to. Getting them up to speed with the rest of the world is going to probably be a multi-generational task, one that requires huge amounts of resources and funds to be funneled into the county, knowing you aren't going to be seeing a return on the investments in your lifetime.

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  • emnmnmeemnmnme Heard about this on conservative radio:Registered User regular
    World's tallest flagpole was an impractical construction project? It's the world's tallest! Best Korea!

  • DemerdarDemerdar Registered User regular
    This is relevant:

    y6GGs3o.gif
  • Dark Raven XDark Raven X Laugh hard, run fast, be kindRegistered User regular
    edited July 2011
    Holy shit that's a lot of SNES.

    EDIT: Think I should stay out of D&D. Lotta big words in here.

    Dark Raven X on
    Oh brilliant
  • The EnderThe Ender Registered User regular
    Holy shit that's a lot of SNES.

    EDIT: Think I should stay out of D&D. Lotta big words in here.

    Just NES.

    I guess they just didn't quite have the capital to take it all the way into Super territory.


    As far as the question goes: you could attempt an armed evacuation of the population. Essentially, you'd treat it the same way as the Berlin airlift; fly-in, create a pocket of heavily defended airspace, load people in transports and fly out.

    Expensive, but doable and ethical, if you really did want to get something accomplished.

    With Love and Courage
  • iammattpleeveeiammattpleevee Registered User regular
    edited July 2011
    It's also been claimed they are working with Iran on developing a long range nuclear missile. so, another reason any unwanted intervention might be tricky.

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/asia/northkorea/8653171/North-Korea-and-Iran-increase-collaboration-on-nuclear-missile-report-claims.html

    I think the situation sucks in North Korea but there isn't much we should or can do about. I also don't think we should try to do much about it either. If things got resolved in the middle east then yeah it'd be a feasible idea but our national debt just keeps getting worse, and that's without having another war/rehabilitation to support.

    iammattpleevee on
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  • SynthesisSynthesis Honda Today! Registered User regular
    The Ender wrote:
    Holy shit that's a lot of SNES.

    EDIT: Think I should stay out of D&D. Lotta big words in here.

    Just NES.

    I guess they just didn't quite have the capital to take it all the way into Super territory.


    As far as the question goes: you could attempt an armed evacuation of the population. Essentially, you'd treat it the same way as the Berlin airlift; fly-in, create a pocket of heavily defended airspace, load people in transports and fly out.

    Expensive, but doable and ethical, if you really did want to get something accomplished.

    Wait....did I miss something? For the whole country? Or are we just talking about a particular city?

    Orca wrote: »
    Synthesis wrote:
    Isn't "Your sarcasm makes me wet," the highest compliment an Abh can pay a human?

    Only if said Abh is a member of the nobility.
  • L|amaL|ama Registered User regular
    yeah that's a great way to get people to think you're kidnapping the entire population

    the NK situation is pretty much "it is terrible and any attempt to change it in a fairly short timespan will only make things worse"

    things are changing a little: anti-kim graffiti has been found in Pyongyang, which if not a first is a very rare thing. It's pretty striking too: "Park Chung Hee and Kim Jong Il are both dictators; Park Chung Hee a dictator who developed his country’s economy, Kim Jong Il a dictator who starved people to death." which is a good summary of the situation

  • override367override367 ALL minions Registered User regular
    I say we bombard them with high power wifi and cellular phone towers, and then airdrop in ipads

    they'll all become hipsters and want nothing more of this kim guy

  • Gabriel_PittGabriel_Pitt (effective against the Irish) Registered User regular
    It's actually absurdly simple. North Korea is the real life Kobayashi Maru. No matter what solution you pursue, you lose.

  • Pi-r8Pi-r8 Registered User regular
    It's actually absurdly simple. North Korea is the real life Kobayashi Maru. No matter what solution you pursue, you lose.

    haha, i like this analogy.

  • BagginsesBagginses __BANNED USERS regular
    I say we leave boats all along the coast with maps and food surplus analyses and let the exodus begin.

  • Alfred J. KwakAlfred J. Kwak Registered User
    that didn't work all that well for the Vietnamese (minus the food and maps)

  • KageraKagera Imitating the worst people. Since 2004Registered User regular
    Pi-r8 wrote:
    It's actually absurdly simple. North Korea is the real life Kobayashi Maru. No matter what solution you pursue, you lose.

    haha, i like this analogy.

    So what we need is a young and brash bastard willing to cheat the laws of the universe into making the scenario winnable through sheer force of will...

    My neck, my back, my FUPA and my crack.
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