Power And Dollar

Myanmar Is Not Alone: North Korea Got Famine.

Humanitarian crisis stops at three too.  CNN reports North korea is having yet another famine.  North korea is now having famine as often as Japan is changing its prime minister.  By being a nuclear power, why isn’t this famine getting the attention from the US as Myanmar?  North korea is just as close to china as Myanmar.  Its strategic value should worth to the US than silence. 


The big difference is the position of South Korea.  Ever since 2008 election, the new South Korea government takes a non-negotiable position toward North Korea.  All peace efforts from the previous governments now go wasted.  Actions toward famine relief in North Korea will have less funding and less political traction.  With South Korea taking such a position, US will not be too interested at it either.  


Another famine in North Korea will give China more pressure on this humanitarian crisis.  Refugees from North Korea have been a major problem for about 10 years now.  Thus, China has become more active in ending this Korean peninsula civil war in the recent years.  


In fact, an existing Korean conflict serves Pentagon’s purposes.  An existing Korean conflict does not only justify US military bases in Korea, but also to an extent the bases in Japan as well, in its effort to contain China.  


However, the military base in Thailand cannot serve the purpose to Myanmar as Korean military to China.  Myanmar was the last life line China had during WW2.  The Burma Road supplied all China needed to sustain the war against Japan.  Once China can go through Myanmar, there is the open Indian Ocean.  Navy from Thailand can do very little to stop.  Korean bases can keep the China as if it were a land locked country.  Besides, Myanmar got oil and gas.


Furthermore, Japan also does not want to see a unified Korea, similar to Japan does not want to see a unified China.  A unified Korea will drive the Korean electorate’s attention from ending a civil war to tension against Japan.  


Since Bush continues to look for a legacy item, Bush may try to get something done with North Korea.  In fact BBC just reported North Korea handed over 18,000 pages of documents of its nuclear activities.  If aid to famine will produce any value to Bush, it may get worked out.


May 9, 2008 - Posted by | China, Current Events, Myanmar, opinion, politics, wordpress-political-blogs |


  1. I am curious. What political ideology do you think an united Korea have ?

    Comment by Alfie | May 9, 2008 | Reply

  2. very good question. unfortunately, there is no news to make a good article out of this topic, i.e. not news worthy.

    Everyone has to have a story. A nation needs a myth, a creation myth. and this creation myth can have 2 possibilities:
    1) classic version: the myth about N thousands years ago
    2) modern version: the myth of the new republic, like what India does

    once they settle with the myth, then the political ideology will follow.

    once US settled with the constitution myth, US has made itself forever fixated with promoting other people’s independence, other people’s democracy.

    a country’s creation myth is a lot more powerful than the framers could possibly imagine. that defines the future identity, and thus its likes and dislikes.

    once unification is recognized as inevitable, it is to the interest of japan to help get it done so that japan can shape the creation myth. else, trouble will follow to no end. therefore one may be tempted to conclude that japan thinks a korean unification is too far ahead to be considered.

    Comment by royho | May 9, 2008 | Reply

  3. “The big difference is the position of South Korea. Ever since 2008 election, the new South Korea government takes a non-negotiable position toward North Korea. All peace efforts from the previous governments now go wasted.”

    I disagree. I am not particularly active in politics or following politics but I have lived in South Korea for several years.

    The previous administration here did not send inspectors to see where the aid was going. The aid given was not likely to promote peace – it strengthened the government’s position in North Korea by feeding the army and government people first. The current administration merely wants to see where the aid is going and that seems entirely fair to me.

    Lee Myoung-bak’s government has its problems – the Seoul-to-Pusan canal is a crazy idea, but I approve of its stance toward N Korea.

    China’s position is scary. It is slowly buying North Korea and if or when reunification takes place, China’s borders will expand at the same time.

    Comment by kwandongbrian | May 15, 2008 | Reply

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