Wednesday, July 08, 2009


North Korea Watch: The Beginning

I started this blog site in September 2005, just after I started living in Korea. It began as, and has continued to serve as an anthology of sorts for my columns, letting people see them before they end up in The Paris Post-Intelligencer, The or, at times, The Herald.

There comes a time, though, when a guy feels the need to branch out a bit; in my case, I've wanted to start using a blog for it's most useful purpose, which is to offer rapid up-to-date news on something that will interest people. For the most part, the market for Korean bloggers is saturated, with many, many, MANY sites already catering to that market.

Besides, I feel I have too many interests to be contained to one subject. If only I were Roger Ebert or some other guy so famous that he can pretty well blog about whatever's ticking him off on that particular day and get dozens of comments.

Anyway, I've come to realize that one thing I can do is keep people at home up to date on the situation with North Korea. I have gotten queries about that oddity of a nation just to our north on many occasions, and most of the questions can be summed up in this way:

"Are you scared?"

To which I'd have to answer: No. At least, not at the moment. North Korea long ago was left behind to eat the South's dust in economic terms, and their repeated attempts to get attention are just that: attention seeking. The North wants more aid from the United States to keep their nation propped up, at least long enough for Kim Jong-il to pass his baton to his son, and Kim shows no desire to jeopardize that transition.

No matter what he says, he knows that attacking the U.S. (or nations allied with it, such as South Korea) would be suicidal, and the U.S. government knows that, after our Iraq misadventure and the economic bubble burst, that we can't afford another costly war (in terms of both money and members of the armed service we would lose). My limited faith in governments should be made clear by the links under "liberty" at the side of this page, but I think both the Kim regime and the Obama administration are intelligent enough to avoid a disaster of this sort (start on pg. 10 of this report to see the consequences of such a war from our perspective).

So, as news develops I will use this page to inform you of reasons why I don't worry, and why you shouldn't either.

(PS-I was planning this entry long before news of the cyber attack on U.S. and South Korean government sites broke. It doesn't change much, though, as a source near the end of the story says "no immediate reports of financial damage or leaking of confidential national information" emerged and "the alleged attacks appeared aimed only at paralyzing Web sites."


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