Let's dribble down the eastern coast of Asia then, and re-examine three brief lessons that your humble author cobbled together in ages past on the subject of North Korea, gathered together for only the second time in one place as a courtesy to the teeming throngs of devoted FP readers. These valuable articles would normally cost many hundreds of dollars, but as you well know, Palm Sunday should be honored, with international posturings and UN fecklessness, and sarcastic ineffectual rants by internet blowhard nobodies. We must all do our part to drive back the vast darkness of your pervading ignorance in all matters political and otherwise.
So from 2006, when Dear Leader blew up one of his test balloons -- for, uh, internal improvements of course. Generating electricity or building bridges to nowhere or digging mass graves -- necessary stuff:
Lesson One: Birthday Twins
Honestly, did it come as a surprise? North Korea has detonated an atomic bomb. An estimated 550 tonnes of TNT. Something over a million pounds. Of course, since it's North Korea we're talking about -- a country that cannot feed its population, which has consequently shrunk on average to under five feet tall -- the Dear Leader may actually have simply ignited a million pounds of TNT. "Fuse set? Okay boys ... run!" Maybe it was just a fireworks display, gone wrong. Columbus Day is usually celebrated in North Korea with fireworks, or so I imagine I think. What is it with North Korea and American holidays? They launch their seven limp missiles on the Fourth of July, they set off their fireworks on Columbus Day -- does Kim Jong-il think we won't notice? We're out picnicking or doing whatever it is we do on Columbus Day? Doesn't seem like a very good strategery.
Pyongyang announced earlier this week that a nuclear test might occur over the weekend. The *ahem* International Community urged NoKo to drop such plans. Um, you better drop those pants, Kim. No, we meant plants. No, plans. Those plans. Yeah ... right guys? And we mean it, too. Really. This time we're serious. Kim dropped his bomb instead. Well, maybe not dropped -- seems to have been a ground level affair ... maybe a few hundred feet underground, to suck up the fallout.
A government release states that "The nuclear test was conducted with indigenous wisdom and technology 100 per cent." Are they using a free internet translation program? Doesn't any North Korean actually speak a second language? Has its isolation caused it to evolve into an indecipherable tongue? Is it like Pictish or Elamite or Sumerian? North Korean radio announced that "the test produced no radiation leakage, because it was conducted with wisdom and scientific knowledge." What a relief. At least it wasn't conducted with voodoo and snake-handling knowledge.
So no nuclear fallout. As to any political fallout, we need not concern ourselves with such hypotheticals. We have learned by now that "unacceptable" is just a word that diplomats use, the way we say "bless you" when someone sneezes. There's some mumblings about further sanctions. What is left, to sanction? A basketball ball embargo? Wilson and Spalding will take the hit for the team -- it's for the great cause of World Peace. Unless ... maybe by "sanctions" they mean an alternative definition of the word. Sanction: Authoritative permission or approval that makes a course of action valid. Synonymous with permission. When words and actions contradict, believe the actions.
Welcome to the club, Jung-il. You don't mind if I call you Jung-il, do you? Now that you're such a big man, you can overlook any inappropriate familiarities. My, I never noticed before how tall you are. And your shoulders! They're so, so broad! But really, Jung-il, a little modesty wouldn't go amiss, in the trouser department. Have your tailor leave some extra room in the inseam area. It's really rather snug-looking down there, not that I'm trying to notice, but good gracious, how could anyone miss it? Are you smuggling basketballs? Are you storing baseball bats? As Henry Kissinger almost said, nuclear power is the ultimate aphrodisiac.
An analysis I heard says that if they tested one, they probably have six. Reports say they have enough fissionable material for 13. Okay. Split the atom and call it 10 nukes in the hands of Kim Jung-il. The guy who thinks he may someday win an Oscar for Best Director -- maybe he thinks its Best Dictator? Well, Castro is sick, so maybe. And remembering that Oscars are handed out by Hollywood, maybe he ain't nuts -- just nukes. Anyhoo, we might expect a North Korean nuke to be about as compact as a '53 Packard, so even if they had missiles that didn't wobble mid-launch and plummet into the sea, the warhead would make the dang things about as aerodynamic as lollipops. Hmm. North Korea as Candyland. Already feels like Wonderland. Not so much hookah-smoking on toadstools as everything smoking under mushroom clouds.
But all levity has its counterbalancing gravity. And the ugly fact that pulls us back to earth like a malformed North Korean missile is that if NK does indeed have, say, ten nukes, it really has six. Who might you suppose gets the other four? Guess. Come on, guess. Yeah. Yeah. Iran.
Right, Iran is gonna patiently toil over the metaphorical yellow cake ovens until by the sweat of its own Islamic indigenous wisdom and technology 100 per cent ingenuity it produces, by the beard of the Prophet PBUH, after five years, by the will of Allah the Merciful, an authentic moslem bombe surprise, by Jiminy Jung-il. Yeah, that's what Iran will do. Rather than cut a deal with Kim, oil for nukes.
But y'know what I think? I think that those satellite pictures of an utterly black North Korean nighttime peninsula are going to be obsolete in a while. Kim is going to have all the oil he wants, somehow. And he'll string the whole country with fairylights, that spell out his latest song lyrics, perhaps. So the space aliens can read them from the moon. All made possible by a mysterious benefactor -- maybe some New York angel, some rich Jew producer, yeah that's the ticket. Certainly not President Ahmmadasahattah -- why would you think that? That's just crazy.
North Korea and its equally evil twin Iran have entered the nuclear family of the world together, Monday morning of October Nine, Anno Domini Two Thousand Six. No, neither has superstealth missiles that will hit Alaska or Oregon or Maine. Neither has supersilent submarines that will submarinate the nukes to our shores. So what's the worry?
How about just a regular old cargo container, stamped with a friendly green crescent, loaded onto a tramp steamer, Liberia registered? Loaded with a curiously and curiously glowing crate, precisely the size of a '53 Packard? Dropping anchor in NY, NY or LA, CA or NO, LA? Unpossible, you ejaculate? Zip it, pinkie. Entirely possible.
Yes. Iran is nuclear. Thank you, President Carter.
Lesson Two: Friday the Thirteenth, Part IL
As a community service the staff of Forgotten Prophets™ occasionally bring before the public certain issues and personalities, knowledge of which is deemed vital for the common social good. Thus, below, find the dicpotato of North Korea, one Kim Jung-il:
-- aka Jungle Kim, Kim Jung-Elvis, The Junkman, and Ol' Jung Sourpuss. As the above photo indicates, one of his habits is to release a loud and large volume of intestinal gas and then pretend it wasn't him. Oddly, this is the same "innocent" expression he wore when he signed the 1994 Jimmy Carter-negotiated treaty to halt all North Korean nuclear development. "Who? Me? I never!"
In the above photo "The Junkman" appears to be devouring a string of tiny red children, but in reality a side-effect of his bargain with Satan requires that his exhalations take the form of the souls of those whom he has starved and tortured to death.
He is addicted to huffing Aqua Net® Hairspray, which vice he attempts to conceal with the subterfuge of affecting an exuberant "white-trash preacher" hairstyle. As a part of this elaborate self-deception he often disguises himself as Elvis. He has been spotted in various Pyongyang bistros dressed in a spangled skintight spandex jumpsuit, caressing his inner thigh and tearfully warbling Love Me Tender.
He's only fooling himself.
He's only fooling himself.
He's only fooling himself, yet somehow, somehow, he has developed, tested and now possesses some number of nuclear devices.
God allows Satan to roam the earth, effectively untethered. God must have some reason for this, some greater plan that somehow justifies the resulting anguish and torment. Perhaps it is in emulation of this policy of God's, that our leaders have allowed Kim Jung-il to defy every convention of international law, every treaty, every expectation of common decency.
Much is made of the sanctity of national sovereignty. Any interference by the United States in the internal affairs of some other nation is condemned as imperialist by those of a certain political bent. The inconsistency of their position -- worshipping oppressive regimes while reviling the necessity of enforcing American borders and of regulating entry into the United States -- is not acknowledged. But it should be self evident that there is nothing sacred about sovereignty. A nation's right to self-rule can be forfeited, by wanton aggression against a neighbor or against its own people.
If you hear your nextdoor neighbor beating his wife and his children -- if you hear their cries of pain and their calls for help -- if you see the body of some child tossed into the garbage -- you do not say, it is not my house, it is not my family. If that neighbor looks at you, and your wife, and your children, and nods a knowing nod, and sneers, and says, "I own a gun, and anyone who messes with me is gonna get killed" -- well, you know he is a killer. It is his house. It is his family. They are his children. But not his to kill. His to protect. When he becomes the enemy of decency and every normal instinct and every urge to humanity, it is time for him to be stopped. Does he own a gun? Is he brutal? Will he fight back? Facing such threats is the price of being and remaining free and honorable men.
Is the analogy too subtle?
Kim Jung-il is not the president of North Korea. That honorific is retained by his dead father, the former Kim Il-sung -- I should think the past 12 years in hell have burned away any vestige of personal identity. That's right. The current and ruling president of North Korea is a dead man, who, despite a no longer operative metabolism, presides over his largely ceremonial duties from the command post of his mausoleum situated in the heart of the Capitol. So much for symbolism. As for reality, well, Kim Jung-il is still alive.
We live in a cowardly world. China's rage at North Korea's defiance is meaningless. The blathering of the nuclear powers is feckless. The verbal masturbation of the UN is pathetic. The posturing of Mr. Bush is unbecoming of a great and good nation. This is not 1951. We would not be fighting Red China. We have the airpower and enough conventional bombs to destroy the stunted, vaunted North Korean army and leave it in abject disarray, while the enemy does not have the means to deploy its few nukes ... does not currently have the means. It is time for regime change. Period.
It won't happen, of course. The only Satans who get tethered are the ones who try to kill former US presidents -- and then, only when their sons become US presidents. I have no problem at all with this. I just wish more tyrants would try to kill former US presidents -- if that's what it takes to kill tyrants.
Lesson Three: The Lord Raised Up a Deliverer
North Korea. Where the radios don’t have tuning knobs ... they’re built to get only one station -- the government station. What does it play? The North Korean equivalent of Sousa marches? Laudatory poems about the Beloved Leader read in stentorian voices 24 hours a day? Of course, to hear it requires electricity, of which there is hardly any. You’ve seen the satellite photos of the night-time peninsula -- So. Korea is lit up like Las Vegas, and No. Korea is swaddled in the comforting darkness as black as the far side of the moon. Ah, for the good old days -- the Dark Ages. Which is just about the state of affairs there.
The population is three inches shorter than their southern cousins -- does two generations of separation make them kissing cousins? Their army is mostly under 5 feet tall now. Yet the Beloved Leader recently built a $57 million basketball stadium in Pyongyang. Basketball is one of the Beloved Leader's passions, you see. “We should make our youths and workers play a lot of basketball,” he says. Make them, on pain of death ... I guess he only thought that part. I’m not feeling clever enough right now to twist this into some sarcastic comment about the ironic effects of starvation. But consonant with its image as a trendsetter, No. Korea has its own innovated scoring system for the game: baskets made in the final two seconds get eight points, and dunks get three points rather than two. Shots made from more than 21 feet, and 3-pointers that hit the net without touching the rim, both get four points. For missed free-throws, one point is deducted. Sounds like qidditch. What incomparable genius could have devised such a diabolically clever system? To so improve upon perfection -- my mind is boggled.
Malnutrition from the decade-long famine has severely affected the IQ of the population. Eighty percent of the refugees from the north who enter South Korean universities drop out. The children virtually always score lower on a wide range of academic tests, and it is estimated that Northern children are three to four inches shorter than Southern. Foreign food aid -- massive amounts of it -- to the North has reduced the dwarfishness of children by some measurable amount, mostly. Hurrah. However, “A major complaint of the foreign aid workers is that a lot of the food aid goes to the military, or is sold overseas to provide money to buy weapons and luxuries for the communist party elite.” Curses.
Misery is built into the structure of every molecule in the universe -- the way sodium chloride crystallizes, the way water forms snowflakes ... so wretchedness precipitates upon the human condition. The bright obverse of that leaden coin is that joy, like the Kingdom of God, is at hand, there for the taking, somehow. What light might be brought to North Korea though? -- plunged as it is by madness into a darkness reserved not only for its nights, but for its people. It might as well be ruled by Vlad the Impaler, for thus does its stunted evil dwarf of a tyrant shake his own fiery shafts at the world, and hurl them smoking into the sky and the seas, and what, what is our response?
Along with other suggestions, James Na says that “the U.S. should press for an immediate quarantine of North Korea to prevent … the inflow of energy and food that sustain the regime.”
I guess the children aren't stunted enough. But this seems the perfect scenario for developing and using lasers from space, wouldn't you think? There are some few specific people who really, really need to be killed. Cast alive into a Lake of Fire. Alive for a few milliseconds that is. I just find it hard to believe that there is no South Korean Delta Force that couldn’t infiltrate the jewel-like capital to the north and pull a 9/11 on its House of Parliament, or Congress of Holy Soviet Politburos, or Grand Konklave of the Great and Powerful Wizard of Il, or whatever it is that passes for leadership and government over there in Hell, North.
We are not dealing with rational people. As long as China is Red, North Korea will be the club it uses to hold over the pointed heads of the West and its Eastern friends. China holds the key to the Madwoman’s Closet, and we’d better toe the line or she'll be loosed and sent screaming at us with nails sharpened from clawing at the walls. Insane with godless communism as it is, a demoniac China may prefer its Terrorist Lapdog even over its almost erotic trade relationship with Wal-Mart. Who knows. But one thing I do think I know. Just as it was never about WMD in Iraq, so it's not about nukes and missiles in North Korea. The North Korean people should not live in a bondage more horrible than that which any Iraqi ever knew.
I have a suggestion. Rather than, say, 150,000 soldiers swarming northward over a border, how about a few elite squads, superbly trained and informed, aimed like a blade of flames at the swollen belly or shrunken coal-black heart of a monster?
We'll call it Operation Ehud.
My, that was a lot of reading, wasn't it. Are your eyes tired? But now you have a correct opinion, rather than a typically uninformed one. Eventually you'll come to appreciate the value of an education in the Liberal Arts. When you're older. Now just go back to your video games. You've earned a little rest. Then I'll get you started on your math.
Or is my tone inappropriate? Why do I feel the need to DO that. I'm always pushing people away.