I have watched the increasing tensions in Korea with great interest. It combines two of my great interests Asian cultures and dictatorships. IN the South Seoul stands bright as a bustling prosperous modern metropolis of over 10 million, backed by the US and basking in the benefits of the Tiger economy of the last couple years (obviously hurting in the face of the world's economic meltdown).
In stark contrast the Northern Dictatorship under the leadership of Kim Jong-Il (but the eternal presidency of his dead father Kim Il-Sung) has been suffering greatly under its policy of Juche or self reliance developed by the deceased eternal President. The country has the fifth largest army in the world despite a population of 23 million and remains in receipt of large amounts of food aid, mainly from the South and its strongest ally China.
And there in lies the worlds major stumbling block in getting the North to stop its aggressive and undoubtedly irrational actions. With its latest attack on a South Korean warship we have once again seen how China has been reluctant to impose even the most basic of sanctions on its neighbour. And with its power of Veto on the UN Security Council it seems that North Korea's continued efforts at flaunting international law will go (virtually unpunished).
Many people believe that another outbreak of War on the Korean peninsula is unlikely due to the South having simply too much to lose and the North knowing a War with South Korea and its US allies being undoubtedly not winnable on its part. However, one cannot analyse the actions of a leader like Kim Jong-Il from a logical standpoint. This is the leader of a regime who's spokespeople have stated that if necessary they will remove all "human waste" from the Korean peninsula.
The Democratic People's Republic of Korea is one of the most private regimes in the entire world but also with thta the most unpredictable. More so than any other regime North Korea seems hell bent on getting attention from the international community. HOw do you solve a problem like Korea. Well, perhaps this one time with China tying our arms we may just be forced to wait and see.