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Sunday, 3 September 2017

North Korea: Utter Pointlessness

Stalin argued throughout his political career that all the privations that his regime placed on tens of millions of of people, and the punishments and penalties inflicted on millions, were all necessary impositions on the route towards creating a better society than humanity had ever provided in the past. It is impossible to know how much he believed it at the successive phases of his career, but there are many metres-length of the books in which his writings and speeches were recorded, still lying in the deeper stacks of many libraries. He spent a huge amount of his time giving massive speeches, writing for the press, and producing ideological tomes: and there is good reason to believe that most of this output is genuinely his own. He was obsessively concerned that the gulags and the torture chambers served a positive purpose: and  many intelligent and able people believed him; or, at least, were prepared to acquiesce in both his regime and his ideology.

No such motivation has been claimed for the North Korean dictator, who was pictured yesterday 'inspecting' what was said to be a hydrogen bomb that was capable of being fitted into an existing model of ballistic missile. Then, within hours, seismologists were announcing that there had been an earth tremor under North Korea that was consistent with a deeply buried nuclear weapon test.

The immense achievement in such a deprived country making such weaponry is quite extraordinary. It is built on three generations of enslaving the people both physically and mentally, while the regime has steadily built up its destructive capabilities. Russia and China are two of the countries that have land borders with North Korea, so there can be no doubt that the threat of nuclear attack can apply to them as well as to South Korea. Yet it is the USA, and to a much lesser extent Japan, that are most obviously threatened, along with South Korea.

Hereditary dictator Kim III has never pretended to any idealistic objective. No attempt is made to mitigate the appalling living conditions in which his half-starved subjects are made to conduct their lives. The Chinese have continued in broad terms to support his continuance in power, as have the Russians: President Xi and President Putin would probably very much rather not have this troublesome neighbour plaguing them, but they do nothing materially to weaken him.

Diplomats and experts on world affairs, in large numbers, assert that North Korea's weapons buildup is intended to force the US [and, by implication, its dependencies and allies] to enter into talks with the regime. The object of such talks would be blackmail: Kim would [so the peaceniks say] agree somehow to 'neutralise' his weapons in return for assurances that he, and presumably Kim IV and Kim V in due course, would continue to hold his power and access the west's luxury goods for himself and his courtiers. Perpetual immunity to enjoy power, and to oppress the millions of his subjects, is an utterly squalid objective. There is no idealistic pretence about it, as there was about the Chinese cultural revolution and even Hitler's gas chambers.

This is a new step towards a deeper hell than terror states have ever achieved before. It is highly dangerous. China presumably wishes that the rogue regime had been killed off a few decades ago, but the clock cannot be turned back. The Chinese are glad that the maniac's target is the USA and not the Han mainland, but given the instability of the situation in Pyongyang, Beijing must be more acutely worried by the nuisance neighbour as his destructive capability is developed. This is a world problem; but the world's institutions do not have any answer to it: and Mr Trump is on the front line.

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