Now why do this?

From


Dictator’s Death Stokes Fears


By EVAN RAMSTAD And JAY SOLOMON

U.S. officials aggressively lobbied China, Russia and Japan and suspended a food-aid plan for North Korea following the death of the country’s leader, aiming to gain a diplomatic foothold as control over the authoritarian, nuclear-armed country appeared to pass to Kim Jong Il’s untested young son.

North Korea officially returned to its customary silence on Monday after announcing the death of its supreme leader early in the day, underscoring the world’s anxiety over its trajectory under Kim Jong Eun, the former ruler’s youngest son, whom state media says will now lead the isolated country.

The U.S. doesn’t have a clear picture of what may happen next there, said a senior defense official in Washington. “A 27-year-old running a repressive regime with nuclear weapons: It’s kind of hard to say you don’t have some concerns,” the official said.

More at the link. It’s no surprise that we don’t have a “clear picture” of what is going to happen in North Korea; anyone who says that he does know what will happen next there is lying.

But the people of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea are seriously malnourished, and winter is starting; there will be no more harvest in North Korea this year. If, despite all of our differences, the United States believed that it was important enough to aid the Communist regime of Kim Jong-il with food assistance, for whatever concessions were received, why should we cut off that assistance now?

The article suggested that continuing food aid might give the country a bit more stability now, and perhaps policymaker in Washington don’t want that, hoping that more instability might prevent Kim Jong-un from securing his hold on power. But that’s a prescription for disaster: the only possible contenders for power would have to have the backing of the military’s leadership, and they are unlikely to be any more reform minded than the younger Mr Kim. And the chance of a popular uprising is vanishingly small: a population which hasn’t had enough to eat lacks the physical energy for revolution.

There are no really good options right now, and there won’t be until we understand where power will reside following the death of the Dear Leader . . . and that might take a while. But cutting off food aid certainly seems like the wrong thing to do right now:

5 Comments

  1. “But cutting off food aid certainly seems like the wrong thing to do right now:”

    Why? How has it become the duty of you, me, Hitchcock, and Wagonwheel to feed the people of a nation which seems to have enough money to build nuclear weapons and support a two million man army? If we feed their people then the money which would have been used for food they will pour into their military establishment. Will that somehow make us, or God forbid, South Korea safer? I think not. Communists, just like everyone else, must be held account for their actions and beliefs. If it is such a good system, why can’t they feed themselves? This is not a tragety like a tsunami or an earthquake. These people have made a conscience effort to establish a communist regime and they need to be held account. Trust me when I say there is no love lost between the people of the North and South. They are two completely different types. And the South has no pity, no tolerance and no compromise for the poor decisions of the North.

  2. Hoagie, that’s a judgement about the food aid policy as a whole, and that part is certainly debatable. But we were already sending them food, and had been under previous Presidents as well; the only thing that has changed is that Kim Jong-il had gone to his eternal reward. That for which we bargained when we agreed to send them food hasn’t changed yet.

  3. Hoagie says:
    December 20, 2011 at 13:14

    “But cutting off food aid certainly seems like the wrong thing to do right now:”

    Why? How has it become the duty of you, me, Hitchcock, and Wagonwheel to feed the people of a nation which seems to have enough money to build nuclear weapons and support a two million man army? If we feed their people then the money which would have been used for food they will pour into their military establishment. Will that somehow make us, or God forbid, South Korea safer? I think not. Communists, just like everyone else, must be held account for their actions and beliefs. If it is such a good system, why can’t they feed themselves? This is not a tragety like a tsunami or an earthquake. These people have made a conscience effort to establish a communist regime and they need to be held account. Trust me when I say there is no love lost between the people of the North and South. They are two completely different types. And the South has no pity, no tolerance and no compromise for the poor decisions of the North.”

    I agree. Just because we were naive enough to feed their army in the past doesn’t mean that it is a sound or moral thing to do now. This is how every SOB who is willing to hold his own kids hostage, plans to get his own way.

  4. “Hoagie, that’s a judgement about the food aid policy as a whole, and that part is certainly debatable.”

    Until you printed this article I was unaware that we were giving food aid or any other kind of aid to North Korea. As of today a state of war exists between the North and South Korea. What kind of moron gives aid to their enemy in time of war? Is our country lead by total idiots who waste our tax money to feed communism? Remember that black hole in your space photo, it’s the black hole created by communists. It’s a black hole that thousands have been killed trying to escape. What’s next, should we buy them their ammunition too?

  5. It’s not feeding Communists, Hoagie, it is feeding people.

    Nevertheless, is it possible that the people are not Communists, instead captives?

    The North Korean people are victims, in my view. They were defeated and occupied by the Japanese until defeat freed the Koreans, though not all of them. The victorious powers, the US and the Soviet Union, divided up their spoils. Thus, a brutal Communism police state was imposed on the Northerners.

    To reunify the country as a Communist country, the North attacked the South, initiating an extremely bloody conflict that pitted the United States against the Red Chinese, with the all the Korean people caught in the middle of this civil war.

    I am rather surprised that your Korean friends do not have any sympathy for their Korean bretheren, apparently only scorn and hatred, something like some US Southerners still exhibit toward the North and Washington, almost 150 years after our Civil War.

    Anyway, in a sense we bear some responsibility for the plight of the North Koreans. That, plus compassion for the starving, is justification enough for me that we should help feed the suffering people in North Korea.

    It is also telling to me who of us expressed condolences, and who of us created nasty and hateful rhetoric, at a time like this. Have we no class? Some of us do!

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