They’ve had a crazy history with Japan occupying the country from 1910 – 1945. After WWII the Korean peninsula was divided in two and Russia controlled the upper half while the U.S. controlled the southern portion. If it weren’t for Russia getting involved, all of Korea would probably be a democratic country now.
The U.S. had no intent of empire building and instead helped the South Koreans build a government and infrastructure to where they’d be okay on their own. Russia gave up on the notion of adding North Korea to their empire for several reasons one is that they had already lost millions on the battlefield and had so much to do to get their country up and running again. But Russia did influence the creation of a communist government with the leader of a Korean guerilla militia their first dictator.
Their population is around 25 million and they only have a GDP of $32B which means that an average citizen in North Korea produces $1,280 of revenue (goods and services output), compared to a U.S. citizen who produces over $57,467 which ranks us at 9th in the world. Although we don’t get credit for it, we are by far a more productive country in generating an economy than any other member in the G8 even though many liberals think we should be like these other countries.
Democrats often bring up that we spend more on the military than any other country in the world but this is misleading since we are so much larger than most other countries; not unusual for them to spin this topic. There are many countries that spend more of their GDP than we do; for example, we spend a little over 3% of our GDP on military spending whereas North Korea spends over 30%. This is comparable spending to what Russia did during the Cold War and it ended up taking down their economy and destroying their military.
One of the reasons our military budget is so high is that we’re the ones who typically pick up the tab when it comes to joint military operations like with the U.N. This is something Trump is fighting and is demanding other countries pay their fair share. This is the primary reason Trump isn’t liked around the world as much as President Obama was, which I’m perfectly fine with but the mainstream media tries to make it an issue.
North Korea primarily does business with China (90% of their trade), along with Pakistan and Russia. They don’t have too much to offer as a majority of their exports are in charcoal briquettes and iron ore whereas they need to import a lot of products like oil, rice, wheat, and various technologies such as phones.
As you can imagine this can lead to trade deficits with China which is why North Korea has a credit line with the Bank of China. Should China become concerned that they won’t get their money back then North Korea would be in a lot of trouble as severe food shortages would abound and a leader who cannot provide for the basic needs of his or her people will no longer be the leader.
I don’t think there’s a country in the world quite like North Korea. From a humanitarian perspective they are deplorable. Businesses are state run and the way they get their laborers is to arrest people for simple things like not clapping enthusiastically enough when their leader Kim Jung-un is giving a speech. There’s a constant stream of people who go through a kangaroo court where they don’t get to say anything and then they’re sent to where they’re needed. This isn’t unlike Otto Warmbier who was sent to perform hard labor in a North Korean owned business.
It’s absolutely shocking to compare South Korea to North Korea as places like Seoul, South Korea are pretty much like being in New York City. South Korea is loaded with a variety of industries including high tech and they are one of the greatest places to get any kind of mineral. If you buy a LG or Samsung product it’s made there and of course they manufacture Hyundai vehicles.
They’re a tremendous success story of capitalism and democracy and their citizens are benefiting from it greatly. I saw a satellite image one time of both North and South Korea at night and the North was almost dark while South Korea was lit up with activity. The fact is, North Korea can’t afford to keep their lights on.
My wife lived in South Korea while her father, Major General Thomas Upton Greer, was on the negotiation team in dealing with North Korea. He told me that North Korea loved to play mind games like calling meetings last minute on Christmas Day or Eve and that they’d constantly saber rattle in order to get economic help from other countries.
For a country that shrouds itself in secrecy why do they constantly show video footage of their military and weapons? It’s like a little dog yapping hoping to sound vicious enough so a big dog won’t attack it. We know we wouldn’t attack North Korea and try to take their country but the citizens there are taught to hate western countries especially the U.S., so they believe we might.
In order for them to relax their display of military might they always ask for humanitarian assistance including food and medicine. The more of a scare they can put into everyone, the more stuff they’ll get. This isn’t a long-term fix and it requires them to go to the well time and time again to get countries to help them.
If they can convince the world they have a successful nuclear weapons program, they know they’ll have tremendous leverage in negotiating for things they need to survive. It’s sad because it wouldn’t take much for them to become a friend to the rest of the world and they’d grow their economy tremendously.
Not much is known about North Korea’s leader Kim Jong-un because when his father was the leader, he wasn’t seen in public much. When his father passed away in 2012 he became the leader at the age of 28. He received a degree at one of their universities in physics and he attended their military academy. He has a wife and daughter but they’re rarely seen.
Because news is sketchy coming from North Korea it’s hard to tell how much is true but apparently Kim Jong-un is a paranoid masochist. He killed his uncle and purged the rest of his uncle’s family including children. All it takes is for someone to whisper in his ear that someone doesn’t respect him as a leader and the person is executed; not unlike royal families during mid-evil times.
In wrapping up, I feel so sorry for the citizens of North Korea and I feel so blessed to be born in the United States where I’ve been able to forge my own destiny. If you pray, remember them and ask that freedom ring.