[East Asia] - Year of the Plague

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  • KadokenKadoken Giving Ends to my Friends and it Feels Stupendous Registered User regular
    That's a ton of info. That's a whole new look at Korea for me.

    HefflingRchanenDiplominatorGiggles_Funsworth
  • NSDFRandNSDFRand FloridaRegistered User regular
    Kadoken wrote: »
    That's a ton of info. That's a whole new look at Korea for me.

    It was a great talk. Mr. Lankov spoke solo for about 40 minutes and then did a sort of Q&A with Mr. Natsios and then two of us from the crowd.

    I asked about the response of China to US intervention. In the case of an actual US invasion it's probably unknown, but the previous declaration towards NK that China will not step in if NK starts the fight is pretty telling. In the case of regime collapse (China is worried much more about the stability of the regime than nuclear development, but do see NK developing nuclear capability as a proliferation threat) China would likely try to swoop in and set up a pro-China government likely consisting of the current elites even if it means NK loses some territory above the DMZ. But any regime collapse will be a disaster for the peninsula and significantly felt by China.

    The other audience question was about the interaction between POTUS Trump and NK on and off Twitter, which was why the previous point about the seeming escalation in the face of Trump's statements was thrown in. Mr. Lankov argued that Trump's "Twitter Diplomacy" is taken as a much more important factor by us in the West than it actually is in reality. The increasing development and tests are influenced much more by KJUs desire not to meet the same fate as Qaddafi (give up nukes for economic cooperation and assistance, get steam rolled during revolution because western states no longer saw it as in their interests to have Qaddafi around). KJU sees an effective nuclear force as a deterrent to any intervention in NK, but especially in the case of domestic rebellion.

  • MayabirdMayabird Pecking at the keyboardRegistered User regular
    This thread could use some reviving what with all the North Korea stuff going on.

    Like the annual washing up of ghost ships from North Korea in Japan.

    Basically, in the fall, the NK military is sent around to help with the harvests and gather food in whatever way they can to try to avert total famine another year - hence why there aren't missile launches or bomb testing during peak harvest time; there's no one to run the tests. There was a gap between the last launch in September and the one a couple days ago for this reason. Apparently, a lot of military personnel are crammed in boats and told to catch fish, despite having absolutely no knowledge, training, or experience with boating, and anyone who's done anything on the water knows that it's really hard and dangerous and difficult work. So, a lot of times, those boats don't come back. The people die and eventually the boats with their dead wash up in Japan.

  • SynthesisSynthesis Honda Today! Registered User regular
    NSDFRand wrote: »
    So to follow up on the previous post I was able to make it to a speaking even hosted at the George HW Bush Presidential Library on the topic of North Korea.

    The guest speaker was Dr. Andrei Lankov who studied and lived in Pyongyang and has been a Korea SME for decades. He was introduced by the former USAID director Mr. Andrew Natsios who is a faculty member here as well as co-chairman of the Committee for Human Rights in North Korea.

    Here are some of the things that I took away from the talk that I thought were very important points:
    • KJU has as a goal the development of an effective nuclear force. The catalyst for this wasn't and isn't POTUS Trump. The catalyst is actually Libya. KJUs primary personal goal is the perpetuation of his rule. The increased tests lately are not a product of diplomatic (twitter or otherwise) relations between NK and the US but rather are just a natural step in this development and coincide with advances in their program.
    • The North Korean nuclear program is actually very inexpensive. NK isn't starving their population in order to build nukes and aren't pressured to pay wages in the same way the United States Government would be.
    • North Koreans are no longer starving, malnutrition is still happening but there is no longer starvation. This is due primarily to KJU implementing agricultural reforms that almost exactly mirror the initial agricultural reforms China experienced under Deng Xiaoping. The most important reform was a change from a Stalinist system of fixed compensation for agricultural production to the Chinese model of a fixed "tax" with the farmers able to use the leftover yield as they wish. This increased agricultural efficiency significantly starting in 2012. However it's officially kept quiet by Pyongyang.
    • KJU heavily favors a market economy over a centrally planned economy. Most of the business operations in NK are actually private enterprises that due to the political system are on paper run by the government. But internal investment in real estate development and business (restaurants, shops, buses, trucks/transportation, even mines) is almost all private. The economy is still all cash so this system is sort of exploitable in that as part of the deal to establish a business the government takes a fixed percentage of projected income which can be very low compared to actual income.
    • The understanding in the west that the elites are concentrated in Pyongyang for political reasons is actually no longer accurate. The delineation between those who live in Pyongyang and those who live without is now income based after a real estate boom that began way back in 2005.
    • KJU has also been working to reform state owned enterprises.
    • The desired end state of KJU and the elites is a stable market system combined with the survival of the NK state as it exists now.
    • Surveillance and police state are still strong. However, those being targeted for purges are all elites and almost exclusively in the military and secret police. Even without the purges military and secret police leadership are now experiencing shuffling more often to prevent any power build up. Those elites who work have been working on economic activity have not experienced any purges and are very unlikely to.
    • KJU has significantly increased border security even along the NK-China border has coincided with a crackdown on smuggled media in order to control the movement of information in and out.
    • KJU and the elites see unification as of now as a threat to their existence with the primary barrier to unification being the economic disparity between North and South.

    There was likely a lot more really good information and as soon as the video is put up on the Bush School YouTube or the page I'll post it or a link here.

    I'm actually quite jealous you got to see Lankov speak. That aside, that was an invaluable info dump.

    Re: the bolded bit, this actually doesn't surprise me. Besdes on photographic information and eye-witness accounts, I had a somewhat out-of-date idea of the concentration of wealth and amenities in Pyongyang and major cities (that's no longer true, which is a good thing in the broad scope for the country), but the use of hard cash is actually almost exactly what I expected. In Taiwan, we have let's say a substantially wealthier country (whether we are as wealthy as South Korea is up to debate, I would say "No."), as well as a highly connected and networked one, and even despite those, credit cards are still far less popular than cash in every transaction in the country that isn't online. Our credit card debt is also comparably lower than European and American economies of similar wealth levels. You could easily survive in Taiwan without a credit card, but surviving exclusively with a credit card would be very inconvenient bordering on difficult (you would have to buy everything in specific convenience stores or online).

    That's with the benefit of mobile pay options (Android, Samsung, etc.), and the cryptocurrency bubble. The DPRK presumably has neither of those things in the same degree, so their habits actually make very good sense.

    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.
    NSDFRandHarry Dresden
  • emnmnmeemnmnme Registered User regular
    Noticed a headline today claiming that that North Korean soldier who ran through a hail of bullets and defected to South Korea confessed to killing someone in NK. The article mentioned investigators haven't yet revealed if it was manslaughter or murder but the defector won't be sent back either way since there is no extradition treaty. I'm betting this is the last we hear about this since there's no way a thorough investigation can continue without cooperation from North Korea.

    It's an interesting question: if murder prompts a future defector to hop the border, what should happen to him or her? You can't lock them up in a South Korean prison without a trial and a trial won't start without evidence. You can't send them back to North Korea to face justice because Axis of Evil. I guess that means a murderer would get away with it.

  • EncEnc A Fool with Compassion Pronouns: He, Him, HisRegistered User regular
    edited January 2018
    Probably results in the Witness Protection paradox. Bad people should be punished, but we sometimes need their information for a greater good so instead they get rewarded for terrible behavior. I'd imagine they would go into whatever intelligence system SK has already set up for defectors and their past crimes would be forgotten.

    Enc on
  • SynthesisSynthesis Honda Today! Registered User regular
    Assuming that's the case--we should be careful before labeling anyone a murderer, including a KPA soldier--that certainly puts a different spin on the spam of click-bait videos with titles like "Try not to cry as you watch this Korean soldier defect through a hail of gunfire."

    Again emphasizing caution, but if he murdered another soldier (for example, though it hardly matters)--someone's son, likely someone's brother or someone's father, possibly leaving behind a widow or fatherless children, it'd be an ironic refutation of the absurd faith we seem to automatically put into anyone who leaves North Korea extralegally. Maybe we, consumers of western media, will learn something about this.

    (Hahahaha!)

    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.
  • shrykeshryke Member of the Beast Registered User regular
    Haven't seen this mentioned, like, anywhere but seemed like it should have been a big story:
    http://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-42935761
    North Korea has been acquiring technology for its nuclear and weapons programmes through its Berlin embassy, Germany's head of intelligence says.

  • FencingsaxFencingsax It is difficult to get a man to understand, when his salary depends upon his not understanding GNU Terry PratchettRegistered User regular
    Why the fuck would the Germans give them tech?

  • TastyfishTastyfish Registered User regular
    Fencingsax wrote: »
    Why the fuck would the Germans give them tech?

    Probably a safe meeting ground that's not as heavily monitored (or thought to be) rather than actually from the Germans.
    Lot of trade with Eastern Europe with a tech heavy economy to import into, so a decent destination to justify the shipments parts or arranging meetings.

    a5ehrenKayne Red RobeRchanenDuke 2.0Phoenix-DGiggles_Funsworth
  • SynthesisSynthesis Honda Today! Registered User regular
    It seems that Georgetown Prof. Victor Cha, a conservative Republican expert on the Korean Peninsula, is out of the running for the unfilled ambassadorship to South Korea. Cha had already been approved by Seoul (and is apparently popular enough among South Koreans), and seemed like a very likely candidate. According to Cha, he was sidelined because he'd written in the Washington Post that the "bloody nose" strategy of attack on North Korea could still lead to tens of thousands of American casualties (and vastly far more Korean ones) while failing in its goals.

    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.
  • NSDFRandNSDFRand FloridaRegistered User regular
    edited February 2018
    Fencingsax wrote: »
    Why the fuck would the Germans give them tech?

    Embassies act as centers for espionage for pretty much every state that has one within the borders of another state. URENCO, a joint venture that included Germany, was involved (unwittingly) in the AQ Khan network which also included DPRK, China, Libya, and Syria. More specifically it was a URENCO centrifuge manufacturing plant in the Netherlands which supplied AQ Khan with centrifuges for the Pakistani nuclear development program, which he then passed on through his proliferation network. So there's a history of sourcing materials, ostensibly for nuclear power development in addition to very likely clandestine sourcing, from Europe for nuclear development purposes.

    Germany also has nuclear power facilities which are also very likely to be targets for espionage.

    NSDFRand on
    Harry Dresden
  • KaputaKaputa Registered User regular
    Landmark handshake at Winter Olympics in South Korea

    North Korean leader Kim Jong-un's younger sister, Kim Yo Jong, who landed at the Incheon airport of Friday, was seen shaking hands with South Korean President Moon Jae-in during the opening ceremony.

    In a rare show of unity, athletes from South and North Korea will march together under a "unification flag".

    Earlier, a high-level North Korean delegation, led by Kim's sister arrived for a three-day visit.

    Felt better after reading this article than any news I've seen in months. Thank you, South Korea, for electing a sane and seemingly peace-oriented government; so much better than the dictator's daughter y'all had previously. I have far more hope in South-North dialogue reducing tensions than in any action Washington is likely to take.

    XaquinshrykeForarSynthesisHarry DresdenRawkking GoodguyCptKemzikVeagleGiggles_Funsworth
  • JepheryJephery Registered User regular
    edited February 2018
    What would a peaceful reunification look like?

    The way I see it going is the North Korean ruling party turning into a Russia-style mafia oligarchy and integrating that into the South Korean government. The generals and ruling family get large stakes in privatized North Korean industries, mines, and agricultural land, which are sold to South Korean companies as investment opportunities.

    The North Korean rulers and military get amnesty for any and all crimes against humanity, a fuck ton of money to play with, and peace in the Korean peninsula.

    Jephery on
    }
    "Orkses never lose a battle. If we win we win, if we die we die fightin so it don't count. If we runs for it we don't die neither, cos we can come back for annuver go, see!".
    Kaputa
  • KaputaKaputa Registered User regular
    Jephery wrote: »
    What would a peaceful reunification look like?

    The way I see it going is the North Korean ruling party turning into a Russia-style mafia oligarchy and integrating that into the South Korean government. The generals and ruling family get large stakes in privatized North Korean industries, mines, and agricultural land, which are sold to South Korean companies as investment opportunities.

    The North Korean rulers and military get amnesty for any and all crimes against humanity, a fuck ton of money to play with, and peace in the Korean peninsula.
    I've wondered how reunification could work given the vastly different political economies in the two states, but the scenario you describe doesn't sound impossible. Doesn't sound ideal either, but perhaps closer to ideal than "nuclear standoff."

    Giggles_Funsworth
  • Harry DresdenHarry Dresden Registered User regular
    Jephery wrote: »
    What would a peaceful reunification look like?

    The way I see it going is the North Korean ruling party turning into a Russia-style mafia oligarchy and integrating that into the South Korean government. The generals and ruling family get large stakes in privatized North Korean industries, mines, and agricultural land, which are sold to South Korean companies as investment opportunities.

    The North Korean rulers and military get amnesty for any and all crimes against humanity, a fuck ton of money to play with, and peace in the Korean peninsula.

    Haven't those been devastated into being useless through terrible land management by the NK government?

  • Void SlayerVoid Slayer Very Suspicious Registered User regular
    Jephery wrote: »
    What would a peaceful reunification look like?

    The way I see it going is the North Korean ruling party turning into a Russia-style mafia oligarchy and integrating that into the South Korean government. The generals and ruling family get large stakes in privatized North Korean industries, mines, and agricultural land, which are sold to South Korean companies as investment opportunities.

    The North Korean rulers and military get amnesty for any and all crimes against humanity, a fuck ton of money to play with, and peace in the Korean peninsula.

    Haven't those been devastated into being useless through terrible land management by the NK government?

    Sure, but if the South Korean government subsidizes the acquisition with no interest loans and government grants everyone can pretend they aren't just bribing people with vast wealth to get them to leave office.

    He's a shy overambitious dog-catcher on the wrong side of the law. She's an orphaned psychic mercenary with the power to bend men's minds. They fight crime!
    JepheryHarry DresdenGiggles_Funsworth
  • MazzyxMazzyx Comedy Gold Registered User regular
    edited February 2018
    NBC coverage praise Japanese occupation of Korea at the olympics

    I have one response to this, BUAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAH!

    Wow. Good job America. This is insanely dense. Even the Japanese would tell you this is dense except possible the hardest of the hard liners.

    Edit: This even ended up on the front of the Yomiuri.

    Mazzyx on
    03x29di.png
    Rchanen
  • MortiousMortious The Nightmare Begins Move to New ZealandRegistered User regular
    So what's with the random news articles claiming that North Korea and/or Kim has run out of money?

    Can a country even run out of money?

    Move to New Zealand
    It’s not a very important country most of the time
    http://steamcommunity.com/id/mortious
  • MazzyxMazzyx Comedy Gold Registered User regular
    edited February 2018
    Mortious wrote: »
    So what's with the random news articles claiming that North Korea and/or Kim has run out of money?

    Can a country even run out of money?

    Do you have a link and what the source is?

    It is more possible the personal stores of the regime are running dryer than normal. North Korean currency isn't really well traded and a lot of stuff they do is in US dollars.

    Mazzyx on
    03x29di.png
  • hippofanthippofant ティンク Registered User regular
    edited February 2018
    Mortious wrote: »
    So what's with the random news articles claiming that North Korea and/or Kim has run out of money?

    Can a country even run out of money?

    Uh, yes? If you just don't have any bills to pay employees and such, and if nobody's willing to spot you a loan. I mean, they could print more money, but that'd only be "money" in the physical sense. It wouldn't actually be more "money" in the economic sense.

    hippofant on
    Fencingsax
  • MortiousMortious The Nightmare Begins Move to New ZealandRegistered User regular
    edited February 2018
    Mazzyx wrote: »
    Mortious wrote: »
    So what's with the random news articles claiming that North Korea and/or Kim has run out of money?

    Can a country even run out of money?

    Do you have a link and what the source is?

    It is more possible the personal stores of the regime are running dryer than normal. North Korean currency isn't really well traded and a lot of stuff they do is in US dollars.

    Can't give the source since it wasn't mentioned when I was relayed this, but a quick googling gives this:
    https://www.thesun.co.uk/news/5431930/kim-jong-un-has-blown-most-of-his-inherited-slush-fund-on-nukes-and-has-no-money-left-to-run-north-korea/

    And it hits the major points, i.e. because of nukes.
    hippofant wrote: »
    Mortious wrote: »
    So what's with the random news articles claiming that North Korea and/or Kim has run out of money?

    Can a country even run out of money?

    Uh, yes? If you just don't have any bills to pay employees and such, and if nobody's willing to spot you a loan. I mean, they could print more money, but that'd only be "money" in the physical sense. It wouldn't actually be more "money" in the economic sense.

    I meant in the context of North Korea specifically. They have their own currency, and don't use it for outside trade, so its use should be 99% internal.

    Mortious on
    Move to New Zealand
    It’s not a very important country most of the time
    http://steamcommunity.com/id/mortious
  • NSDFRandNSDFRand FloridaRegistered User regular
    Jephery wrote: »
    What would a peaceful reunification look like?

    The way I see it going is the North Korean ruling party turning into a Russia-style mafia oligarchy and integrating that into the South Korean government. The generals and ruling family get large stakes in privatized North Korean industries, mines, and agricultural land, which are sold to South Korean companies as investment opportunities.

    The North Korean rulers and military get amnesty for any and all crimes against humanity, a fuck ton of money to play with, and peace in the Korean peninsula.

    Haven't those been devastated into being useless through terrible land management by the NK government?

    According to Andrei Lankov there have been agricultural reforms similar to the initial reforms in China under Deng Xiaoping e.g. farmers can now sell surplus crops for cash rather than working for rations on a communal farming team. There has allegedly been a significant wave of privatization in the last decade to the point that state owned enterprises are such in name only but are effectively privately owned enterprises.
    Mortious wrote: »
    Mazzyx wrote: »
    Mortious wrote: »
    So what's with the random news articles claiming that North Korea and/or Kim has run out of money?

    Can a country even run out of money?

    Do you have a link and what the source is?

    It is more possible the personal stores of the regime are running dryer than normal. North Korean currency isn't really well traded and a lot of stuff they do is in US dollars.

    Can't give the source since it wasn't mentioned when I was relayed this, but a quick googling gives this:
    https://www.thesun.co.uk/news/5431930/kim-jong-un-has-blown-most-of-his-inherited-slush-fund-on-nukes-and-has-no-money-left-to-run-north-korea/

    And it hits the major points, i.e. because of nukes.
    hippofant wrote: »
    Mortious wrote: »
    So what's with the random news articles claiming that North Korea and/or Kim has run out of money?

    Can a country even run out of money?

    Uh, yes? If you just don't have any bills to pay employees and such, and if nobody's willing to spot you a loan. I mean, they could print more money, but that'd only be "money" in the physical sense. It wouldn't actually be more "money" in the economic sense.

    I meant in the context of North Korea specifically. They have their own currency, and don't use it for outside trade, so its use should be 99% internal.

    The article is worded weirdly. They aren't talking about the DPRK state running out of money but KJU running out of his personal inheritance. It's also repeated a lot of things already openly known about DPRK (malnutrition, remittances being a major part of their economy, prison camps).

  • cckerberoscckerberos Registered User regular
    Mazzyx wrote: »
    NBC coverage praise Japanese occupation of Korea at the olympics

    I have one response to this, BUAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAH!

    Wow. Good job America. This is insanely dense. Even the Japanese would tell you this is dense except possible the hardest of the hard liners.

    Edit: This even ended up on the front of the Yomiuri.

    I think his statement has been misinterpreted, to be honest, and that his comment on Japan serving as "a cultural and technological and economic example" for Korea was not referring to the colonial period.

  • shrykeshryke Member of the Beast Registered User regular
    cckerberos wrote: »
    Mazzyx wrote: »
    NBC coverage praise Japanese occupation of Korea at the olympics

    I have one response to this, BUAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAH!

    Wow. Good job America. This is insanely dense. Even the Japanese would tell you this is dense except possible the hardest of the hard liners.

    Edit: This even ended up on the front of the Yomiuri.

    I think his statement has been misinterpreted, to be honest, and that his comment on Japan serving as "a cultural and technological and economic example" for Korea was not referring to the colonial period.

    I'm sure that's not what he meant, but it's a serious level of obliviousness to the cultural politics involved there.

    RchanenKanaTeriferinFencingsaxMazzyxGiggles_Funsworth
  • KanaKana Registered User regular
    Yeah, it doesn't really seem like he was intending to refer to the colonial period regarding Korea's development.

    Although, if he had properly done his research he should have known that saying that Japan was in any way a cultural example to Korea was inevitably going to piss off Koreans like crazy, whether he was referring to the colonial period or not!

    Whether or not it's TRUE is another discussion entirely, but there's definitely much more diplomatic ways to phrase it.

    A trap is for fish: when you've got the fish, you can forget the trap. A snare is for rabbits: when you've got the rabbit, you can forget the snare. Words are for meaning: when you've got the meaning, you can forget the words.
    NSDFRandRchanenshrykeKayne Red RobeMazzyxHarry DresdenNyysjanGiggles_Funsworth
  • KanaKana Registered User regular
    NSDFRand wrote: »
    Jephery wrote: »
    What would a peaceful reunification look like?

    The way I see it going is the North Korean ruling party turning into a Russia-style mafia oligarchy and integrating that into the South Korean government. The generals and ruling family get large stakes in privatized North Korean industries, mines, and agricultural land, which are sold to South Korean companies as investment opportunities.

    The North Korean rulers and military get amnesty for any and all crimes against humanity, a fuck ton of money to play with, and peace in the Korean peninsula.

    Haven't those been devastated into being useless through terrible land management by the NK government?

    According to Andrei Lankov there have been agricultural reforms similar to the initial reforms in China under Deng Xiaoping e.g. farmers can now sell surplus crops for cash rather than working for rations on a communal farming team. There has allegedly been a significant wave of privatization in the last decade to the point that state owned enterprises are such in name only but are effectively privately owned enterprises.
    Mortious wrote: »
    Mazzyx wrote: »
    Mortious wrote: »
    So what's with the random news articles claiming that North Korea and/or Kim has run out of money?

    Can a country even run out of money?

    Do you have a link and what the source is?

    It is more possible the personal stores of the regime are running dryer than normal. North Korean currency isn't really well traded and a lot of stuff they do is in US dollars.

    Can't give the source since it wasn't mentioned when I was relayed this, but a quick googling gives this:
    https://www.thesun.co.uk/news/5431930/kim-jong-un-has-blown-most-of-his-inherited-slush-fund-on-nukes-and-has-no-money-left-to-run-north-korea/

    And it hits the major points, i.e. because of nukes.
    hippofant wrote: »
    Mortious wrote: »
    So what's with the random news articles claiming that North Korea and/or Kim has run out of money?

    Can a country even run out of money?

    Uh, yes? If you just don't have any bills to pay employees and such, and if nobody's willing to spot you a loan. I mean, they could print more money, but that'd only be "money" in the physical sense. It wouldn't actually be more "money" in the economic sense.

    I meant in the context of North Korea specifically. They have their own currency, and don't use it for outside trade, so its use should be 99% internal.

    The article is worded weirdly. They aren't talking about the DPRK state running out of money but KJU running out of his personal inheritance. It's also repeated a lot of things already openly known about DPRK (malnutrition, remittances being a major part of their economy, prison camps).

    In North Korea it's the same difference. The Kim family treasury is the state's treasury.

    A trap is for fish: when you've got the fish, you can forget the trap. A snare is for rabbits: when you've got the rabbit, you can forget the snare. Words are for meaning: when you've got the meaning, you can forget the words.
    ZibblsnrtEnc
  • RchanenRchanen Registered User regular
    NSDFRand wrote: »
    Jephery wrote: »
    What would a peaceful reunification look like?

    The way I see it going is the North Korean ruling party turning into a Russia-style mafia oligarchy and integrating that into the South Korean government. The generals and ruling family get large stakes in privatized North Korean industries, mines, and agricultural land, which are sold to South Korean companies as investment opportunities.

    The North Korean rulers and military get amnesty for any and all crimes against humanity, a fuck ton of money to play with, and peace in the Korean peninsula.

    Haven't those been devastated into being useless through terrible land management by the NK government?

    According to Andrei Lankov there have been agricultural reforms similar to the initial reforms in China under Deng Xiaoping e.g. farmers can now sell surplus crops for cash rather than working for rations on a communal farming team. There has allegedly been a significant wave of privatization in the last decade to the point that state owned enterprises are such in name only but are effectively privately owned enterprises.
    Mortious wrote: »
    Mazzyx wrote: »
    Mortious wrote: »
    So what's with the random news articles claiming that North Korea and/or Kim has run out of money?

    Can a country even run out of money?

    Do you have a link and what the source is?

    It is more possible the personal stores of the regime are running dryer than normal. North Korean currency isn't really well traded and a lot of stuff they do is in US dollars.

    Can't give the source since it wasn't mentioned when I was relayed this, but a quick googling gives this:
    https://www.thesun.co.uk/news/5431930/kim-jong-un-has-blown-most-of-his-inherited-slush-fund-on-nukes-and-has-no-money-left-to-run-north-korea/

    And it hits the major points, i.e. because of nukes.
    hippofant wrote: »
    Mortious wrote: »
    So what's with the random news articles claiming that North Korea and/or Kim has run out of money?

    Can a country even run out of money?

    Uh, yes? If you just don't have any bills to pay employees and such, and if nobody's willing to spot you a loan. I mean, they could print more money, but that'd only be "money" in the physical sense. It wouldn't actually be more "money" in the economic sense.

    I meant in the context of North Korea specifically. They have their own currency, and don't use it for outside trade, so its use should be 99% internal.

    The article is worded weirdly. They aren't talking about the DPRK state running out of money but KJU running out of his personal inheritance. It's also repeated a lot of things already openly known about DPRK (malnutrition, remittances being a major part of their economy, prison camps).

    I wonder. With privatization you would think they would gain more efficiency. Do you think NK has a China or Trump level corruption problem?

    spool32 wrote:
    he pops this cobalt blue tetrahedron like he's thought of something. I'm like son, you know that's just a reskinned fireball, right?
  • KanaKana Registered User regular
    A lot of the privatization of North Korea is less about reform, and more about the shrinking of the state's enforcement capability against corruption. As the NK economy collapsed in the late 80s and 90s, all those state industries and farms collapsed as well. Out of work factory workers stripped their factories of anything of value and sold it, farmers started keeping their own off-the-books private crops to feed themselves or to sell for a profit, doctors whose salaries were no longer being paid started working off-book in exchange for profit, and so on. Smuggling over the border went from strictly illegal, to being sort of a gray market, to being something that the government itself dipped its fingers into for its own goods.

    It is, in a sense, liberalization, but it's also simply the North Korean regime doing less for its citizens and focusing more on just maintaining power.

    A trap is for fish: when you've got the fish, you can forget the trap. A snare is for rabbits: when you've got the rabbit, you can forget the snare. Words are for meaning: when you've got the meaning, you can forget the words.
    NSDFRandFencingsaxGiggles_Funsworth
  • NSDFRandNSDFRand FloridaRegistered User regular
    edited February 2018
    Rchanen wrote: »
    NSDFRand wrote: »
    Jephery wrote: »
    What would a peaceful reunification look like?

    The way I see it going is the North Korean ruling party turning into a Russia-style mafia oligarchy and integrating that into the South Korean government. The generals and ruling family get large stakes in privatized North Korean industries, mines, and agricultural land, which are sold to South Korean companies as investment opportunities.

    The North Korean rulers and military get amnesty for any and all crimes against humanity, a fuck ton of money to play with, and peace in the Korean peninsula.

    Haven't those been devastated into being useless through terrible land management by the NK government?

    According to Andrei Lankov there have been agricultural reforms similar to the initial reforms in China under Deng Xiaoping e.g. farmers can now sell surplus crops for cash rather than working for rations on a communal farming team. There has allegedly been a significant wave of privatization in the last decade to the point that state owned enterprises are such in name only but are effectively privately owned enterprises.
    Mortious wrote: »
    Mazzyx wrote: »
    Mortious wrote: »
    So what's with the random news articles claiming that North Korea and/or Kim has run out of money?

    Can a country even run out of money?

    Do you have a link and what the source is?

    It is more possible the personal stores of the regime are running dryer than normal. North Korean currency isn't really well traded and a lot of stuff they do is in US dollars.

    Can't give the source since it wasn't mentioned when I was relayed this, but a quick googling gives this:
    https://www.thesun.co.uk/news/5431930/kim-jong-un-has-blown-most-of-his-inherited-slush-fund-on-nukes-and-has-no-money-left-to-run-north-korea/

    And it hits the major points, i.e. because of nukes.
    hippofant wrote: »
    Mortious wrote: »
    So what's with the random news articles claiming that North Korea and/or Kim has run out of money?

    Can a country even run out of money?

    Uh, yes? If you just don't have any bills to pay employees and such, and if nobody's willing to spot you a loan. I mean, they could print more money, but that'd only be "money" in the physical sense. It wouldn't actually be more "money" in the economic sense.

    I meant in the context of North Korea specifically. They have their own currency, and don't use it for outside trade, so its use should be 99% internal.

    The article is worded weirdly. They aren't talking about the DPRK state running out of money but KJU running out of his personal inheritance. It's also repeated a lot of things already openly known about DPRK (malnutrition, remittances being a major part of their economy, prison camps).

    I wonder. With privatization you would think they would gain more efficiency. Do you think NK has a China or Trump level corruption problem?

    If the reforms are similar to those in China in the late 70's then North Korean farmers are still required to meet quotas for the state, just after the quota they are then allowed to sell surplus. With the other private businesses, the North Korean economy is all cash according to Mr. Lankov. This has allowed private citizens to report less income to the state through the private enterprises. How I heard it described, the system works like this:

    A private citizen comes to the state with a proposal for a business, for this example a corner store.
    The private citizen provides a business plan including location.
    The state assesses the potential income of the business.
    The state then decides a fixed dollar amount of that estimate as the "tax" due from the private citizen.
    The private citizen is then "hired" as a manager by the state so the business appears to still be a state owned enterprise.
    The estimates are alleged to be much lower than the actual income of the businesses usually end up, and due to the cash economy there is really no way for the state to know the flow of money into a private enterprise.

    As Kana stated, there seems to be an element of the regime recognizing an inability to enforce. However, I was told there has been a major crackdown on the interstate black market for information control reasons. Allegedly the regime is much more concerned about information flow than strictly limiting black market consumer goods.

    NSDFRand on
    KanaFencingsax
  • SmrtnikSmrtnik job boli zub Registered User regular
    In other words, black market tomatos and umbrellas a ok
    Black market vhs/dvd straight to torture jail

    steam_sig.png
  • NSDFRandNSDFRand FloridaRegistered User regular
    Smrtnik wrote: »
    In other words, black market tomatos and umbrellas a ok
    Black market vhs/dvd straight to torture jail

    Well sort of. There have been some relatively recent refugees from the DPRK giving interviews that have said a lot of the draconian enforcement has softened in the last few years. People aren't automatically sent to labor camps to be worked to death even when repatriated from China. Though their enforcement is generally more openly corrupt than, say, law enforcement in the US (eliciting bribes, for example).

    SynthesisKana
  • KanaKana Registered User regular
    edited February 2018
    Smrtnik wrote: »
    In other words, black market tomatos and umbrellas a ok
    Black market vhs/dvd straight to torture jail

    Basically... Although the government's ability even to enforce that is probably fairly limited.

    Of course most of NK doesn't have reliable electricity, so movies and stuff aren't the really common smuggled item for most people.

    But things like radios modified to pick up international stations, and now especially cell phones, where you can make calls out of the country, are hot items. Listening to South Korean music is a big no-no.

    A core part of the North Korean juche ideology is the inherent cultural superiority of North Korean. Even when the state has to admit that the economy sucks, there's still that core xenophobic ethnocentism, that the only people North Koreans can trust is North Koreans, and even though the government sucks it's the only thing keeping us safe from the bloodthirsty foreign barbarians and their South Korean puppets.

    One of the Kim regime's biggest fears is free and open communication between North Korean subjects and outsiders.

    Kana on
    A trap is for fish: when you've got the fish, you can forget the trap. A snare is for rabbits: when you've got the rabbit, you can forget the snare. Words are for meaning: when you've got the meaning, you can forget the words.
    NSDFRand
  • SynthesisSynthesis Honda Today! Registered User regular
    It's worth noting that the North Korean government can be entirely capable of dealing out draconian punishments and being unfairly harsh for even minor aggrevations without actually confirming the sort of cartoonish action movie bullshit that our own media applies to them because, well, there are literally no consequences for American media claiming a North Korean flag officer was executed via antiaircraft gun and then fed to dogs when South Korean media reports, with actual evidence, that he was just executed in prison.

    (This is actually something that happened.)

    Likewise, the notion that North Korean resort towns were actually turning their senior citizens into glue. Things like this, because, a I've pointed out, American foreign media coverage is already consistently fairly bad, what do you think happens when you're dealing with a hermit kingdom that can barely file a strongly-worded complaint with the United States, much less your media outlet, where the closest you'll ever get to North Korea is watching a scary video in a Chinese hotel telling you not to go to North Korea.

    That doesn't mean that the North Korean government doesn't, for example, give brutal punishments to economic criminals while simultaneously tolerating its own useful black market, and that doesn't make it not hypocritical, but it does mean that some portion of mainstream "general wisdom" about North Korea is about as accurate as Pyongyang's own propaganda about the Kim Dynasty (and it's not just North Korea either).

    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.
    KanaNSDFRandFencingsaxForar
  • KanaKana Registered User regular
    edited February 2018
    Yeah there's a definite element of pitch black comedy to North Korea's dictatorship. Everyone's so poor, and the government does so little to actually provide, that it leads to kind of hilarious lack of follow-through for what is still very much a police state. Just, a shitty one.

    So like they used to have big labor camps where they would work undesirables to death. And there's still some labor camps, and they're still awful, and people still die there.

    But on the other hand, if you want a forced labor camp you've still got to pay camp guards, and build infrastructure, and do all of that shit. And North Korea just kind of... doesn't, not anymore.

    So there's folks who are sent to secret prison labor camps, told sternly not to be bad, and simply let loose again, because the dudes running the camp are just trying to make ends meet themselves. Or they maintain smuggling in and out of the camp, as long as the guards get a slice themselves.

    The myth of North Korea is that it's a strictly regimented and ordered police state. It's mostly just a shitshow.

    Kana on
    A trap is for fish: when you've got the fish, you can forget the trap. A snare is for rabbits: when you've got the rabbit, you can forget the snare. Words are for meaning: when you've got the meaning, you can forget the words.
    shryke
  • RchanenRchanen Registered User regular
    Kana wrote: »
    Yeah there's a definite element of pitch black comedy to North Korea's dictatorship. Everyone's so poor, and the government does so little to actually provide, that it leads to kind of hilarious lack of follow-through for what is still very much a police state. Just, a shitty one.

    So like they used to have big labor camps where they would work undesirables to death. And there's still some labor camps, and they're still awful, and people still die there.

    But on the other hand, if you want a forced labor camp you've still got to pay camp guards, and build infrastructure, and do all of that shit. And North Korea just kind of... doesn't, not anymore.

    So there's folks who are sent to secret prison labor camps, told sternly not to be bad, and simply let loose again, because the dudes running the camp are just trying to make ends meet themselves. Or they maintain smuggling in and out of the camp, as long as the guards get a slice themselves.

    The myth of North Korea is that it's a strictly regimented and ordered police state. It's mostly just a shitshow.

    So its less like 1984 and more like Hogan's Heroes?

    spool32 wrote:
    he pops this cobalt blue tetrahedron like he's thought of something. I'm like son, you know that's just a reskinned fireball, right?
  • emnmnmeemnmnme Registered User regular
    Rchanen wrote: »
    Kana wrote: »
    Yeah there's a definite element of pitch black comedy to North Korea's dictatorship. Everyone's so poor, and the government does so little to actually provide, that it leads to kind of hilarious lack of follow-through for what is still very much a police state. Just, a shitty one.

    So like they used to have big labor camps where they would work undesirables to death. And there's still some labor camps, and they're still awful, and people still die there.

    But on the other hand, if you want a forced labor camp you've still got to pay camp guards, and build infrastructure, and do all of that shit. And North Korea just kind of... doesn't, not anymore.

    So there's folks who are sent to secret prison labor camps, told sternly not to be bad, and simply let loose again, because the dudes running the camp are just trying to make ends meet themselves. Or they maintain smuggling in and out of the camp, as long as the guards get a slice themselves.

    The myth of North Korea is that it's a strictly regimented and ordered police state. It's mostly just a shitshow.

    So its less like 1984 and more like Hogan's Heroes?

    Maybe a tad worse than Hogan's Heroes.
    https://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/north-korean-prisons-nazi-camps_us_5a2fad6ce4b0461754330e3d
    Thomas Buergenthal, a law professor who served for a decade as an International Court of Justice judge, said a new report he helped write documenting atrocities in North Korea’s prisons shows the Kim regime may be “even worse” than Nazis.

    The report is based on testimony from North Korean defectors, including a former prison guard, and scholarly research, videos and transcripts. It says investigators found evidence of crimes against humanity that have been committed in the prisons, including murder, extermination, enslavement, forcible transfer, imprisonment, torture, sexual violence, persecution and enforced disappearances. The report focuses on North Korea’s four “total control zones,” where people are sent with no prospect of release.

  • frandelgearslipfrandelgearslip 457670Registered User regular
    Synthesis wrote: »
    It's worth noting that the North Korean government can be entirely capable of dealing out draconian punishments and being unfairly harsh for even minor aggrevations without actually confirming the sort of cartoonish action movie bullshit that our own media applies to them because, well, there are literally no consequences for American media claiming a North Korean flag officer was executed via antiaircraft gun and then fed to dogs when South Korean media reports, with actual evidence, that he was just executed in prison.

    (This is actually something that happened.)

    Likewise, the notion that North Korean resort towns were actually turning their senior citizens into glue. Things like this, because, a I've pointed out, American foreign media coverage is already consistently fairly bad, what do you think happens when you're dealing with a hermit kingdom that can barely file a strongly-worded complaint with the United States, much less your media outlet, where the closest you'll ever get to North Korea is watching a scary video in a Chinese hotel telling you not to go to North Korea.

    That doesn't mean that the North Korean government doesn't, for example, give brutal punishments to economic criminals while simultaneously tolerating its own useful black market, and that doesn't make it not hypocritical, but it does mean that some portion of mainstream "general wisdom" about North Korea is about as accurate as Pyongyang's own propaganda about the Kim Dynasty (and it's not just North Korea either).

    Just to be clear the stories don't originate in American Media, they originate in the South Korean equivalent of the National Enquirer. The quality of American Media has decreased to a degree that they no longer know which foreign media sources are reliable, but they are not actually making shit up out of thin air out of jingoism.

    Fencingsax
  • SynthesisSynthesis Honda Today! Registered User regular
    edited February 2018
    Synthesis wrote: »
    It's worth noting that the North Korean government can be entirely capable of dealing out draconian punishments and being unfairly harsh for even minor aggrevations without actually confirming the sort of cartoonish action movie bullshit that our own media applies to them because, well, there are literally no consequences for American media claiming a North Korean flag officer was executed via antiaircraft gun and then fed to dogs when South Korean media reports, with actual evidence, that he was just executed in prison.

    (This is actually something that happened.)

    Likewise, the notion that North Korean resort towns were actually turning their senior citizens into glue. Things like this, because, a I've pointed out, American foreign media coverage is already consistently fairly bad, what do you think happens when you're dealing with a hermit kingdom that can barely file a strongly-worded complaint with the United States, much less your media outlet, where the closest you'll ever get to North Korea is watching a scary video in a Chinese hotel telling you not to go to North Korea.

    That doesn't mean that the North Korean government doesn't, for example, give brutal punishments to economic criminals while simultaneously tolerating its own useful black market, and that doesn't make it not hypocritical, but it does mean that some portion of mainstream "general wisdom" about North Korea is about as accurate as Pyongyang's own propaganda about the Kim Dynasty (and it's not just North Korea either).

    Just to be clear the stories don't originate in American Media, they originate in the South Korean equivalent of the National Enquirer. The quality of American Media has decreased to a degree that they no longer know which foreign media sources are reliable, but they are not actually making shit up out of thin air out of jingoism.

    Some of it is being made up out of thin air (or, arguably worse, parroted out of the State Department and the White House, who can do a good job with believably especially when it comes to advancing an agenda), that much is clear--but you're not wrong, tabloid journalism in South Korea is in part to blame (though I would say that goes up and down with the variable position of the government in Seoul which has a great deal of power over the messaging itself even today). And some things, like the decision to portray the recent KPA defector as some kind of romantic hero (until it turned out he was wanted for homicide) are the fault of both parties.

    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.
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