December 21, 2011

"[D]uring the 1980s, the North Korean government embarked on a policy of radical self-sufficiency known as juche."

"Farmers were expected to overcome mother nature and grow enough crops to feed the entire population. To do it, they relied on heaps of chemical fertilizer. But that crutch was yanked away in 1991, when the Soviet Union collapsed."

"How Kim Jong Il Starved North Korea."

102 comments:

Pogo said...

The article is wrong, wrong, wrong.

Why? Search for the words: "central planning" in it.

Not there.

Worse, this story was already told once, but Kim Jung-il didn't read it. Neither did the Atlantic article's author.

The Harvest of Sorrow: Soviet Collectivization and the Terror-Famine, by Robert Conquest.

Collectivism kills.
Oh, about those US "Health Care Exchanges...."

Paul said...

But look at how old Kim and his son are so well fed. Reminds me of Stalin and his cohorts.

Next expect 'The Respected General' over there to say, "let them eat cake". And you do remember what happened after the last nobility said that? And what happened AFTER that?

Yes Cry Havoc and let slip the dogs of war.

hawkeyedjb said...

Socialism in a single sentence: "Farmers stole their own crops." Thanks to the magic of collectivism, that which is yours is... not yours.

James said...

I was a kid in Guyana when the then government tried their own implementation of the Juche idea and banned the importation of basic food like cooking oil and flour. Prior to that they had imported "Mass Games" from the DPRK and pulled school kids out of the classroom for months on end.

It wasn't until after the death of the president that the US government allowed food aid to Guyana under the PL 480 program.

When I read many of the comments here I'm often stuck how clueless some are about the realities of the world, and saddened at how they long for a system that has failed everywhere its been tried.

James said...

Maria Conchita Alonso got it right.

Actress Maria Conchita Alonso Calls Sean Penn A ‘Communist A**Hole’ After He Calls Her A Pig

Cuban-born, Venezuelan-raised actress Maria Conchita Alonso has a history of taking fellow actor Sean Penn to task over his habit of voicing support for politicians often accused of limiting personal freedoms and controlling the media within their respective counties.

You may recall that, back in March of 2010, Alonso wrote an open letter to Penn after an interview he conducted praising Chavez. She attempted to share some facts with Penn regarding Chavez and his impact on Venezuela, a goal she’s also worked towards through various appearances on cable news programs.

RELATED: Open Letter to Sean Penn: Actress Confronts Actor On Hugo Chavez

Now, Alonso is sharing what happened when she approached Penn for the first time since writing him that letter.

While waiting for her mother’s luggage at an airport baggage carousel, she discovered that Penn was standing no more than ten feet away from her, also waiting for his bags. After some hesitation, she decided to approach Penn, civilly, and open up a discussion about Chavez.

She recalled that Penn was decidedly not open to speaking with her, and that he eventually began launching accusations against her brother, alleging that he is trying to aid in Chavez’s assassination.

Things grew even more heated, with Alonso telling Penn that, if he supports Chavez, he must also be in favor of Ahmadinejad. Penn grew incensed and called Alonso a “pig,” which prompted her to inform the actor that he is a “communist asshole.”

Scott M said...

North Korea intends to shift away from a dictatorship to a collective rule, a source with close ties to Pyongyang says, in which Kim Jong Un, center, will oversee the workings of a military-based committee.

The guy is fat in a "country" where an absolute totalitarian government overseas starving people. What more needs to be said?

Dan in Philly said...

Why don't I ever see the ill effect of the embargos in these articles? I seriously doubt any country could feed their own people at much more than a subsistence level in the modern age, socialistic or democratic of autocratic or whatever.

Scott M said...

Are you including countries with huge, massive tracts of arable land, technologically advanced farming techniques and equipment, and modern transportation grids? Are you also including countries that export food?

Joe said...

(The Uncredentialed, Crypto Jew)


Well Pogo and other Althouse Smurf-tards, remember:
“…contained little if any acknowledgement of the positive achievements of the regimes of (….) in the fields of employment, welfare provision, education and women's rights. Or the fact that communism, for all its faults, was still a system which put the economic needs of the majority first.”

North Korea has free healthcare AND 100% literacy….can’t say that about Fascist Amerikkka, can you?

Joe said...

(The Uncredentialed, Crypto Jew)
with huge.. tracts … land

You’re marrying the Princess Lucky….

Scott M said...

You’re marrying the Princess Lucky…

Let's not bicker and argue about who killed who.

Joe said...

(The Uncredentialed, Crypto Jew)
Let's not bicker and argue about who killed who

I’d like you to think of me as your Dear Old Dad, in a perfectly legal and binding way…

I assume Purple Penguin or someone else will be by to point out that many Leftists/Progressives have been speaking ill of North Korea…for decades?

Ralph L said...

Whose embargo, Dan?

In the 90's, we should have made our low tariffs on China's goods conditional on them getting rid of this vile regime. They're the only ones who could have done it without war, and now it's too late, thanks to the bomb.

James said...

Why don't I ever see the ill effect of the embargos in these articles? I seriously doubt any country could feed their own people at much more than a subsistence level in the modern age, socialistic or democratic of autocratic or whatever.

Any country? How does the U.S. do it?

Peter Hoh said...

Pogo, did you notice that Andrew Sullivan responded to your comment in an earlier thread?

The Evil in Pyongyang.

Joe said...

(The Uncredentialed, Crypto Jew)


Well Dan in Philly, most of the time, as others have pointed, out it’s NOT the Embargo, it’s the COLLECTIVIZATION of agriculture which has worked the same way in every country it’s been tried…the USSR, the PRC, Ethiopia, and North Korea, which is to say, PEOPLE STARVE TO DEATH. Some time it’s a feature, not a bug, Ukrainian Famine circa 1930….sometimes it just happens, Ethiopia or North Korea.

Please don't try to make excuses for one of the most horroific regimes in history.

Scott M said...

Pogo, did you notice that Andrew Sullivan responded to your comment in an earlier thread?

Sullivan doesn't count because he thinks he's a conservative.

Peter Hoh said...

James:
Any country? How does the U.S. do it?


I could make do without coffee, but I think that most of the rest of you are dependent on imported coffee.

James said...

I could make do without coffee, but I think that most of the rest of you are dependent on imported coffee.

I'm not a coffee drinker. I suppose Hawaii really is in Asia.

Peter Hoh said...

I'm open to proof that I'm wrong, but I'm fairly certain that Hawaii does not produce enough coffee to meet domestic U.S. needs.

Thorley Winston said...

I could make do without coffee, but I think that most of the rest of you are dependent on imported coffee.

It’s more than just coffee, go into your average supermarket and check out where the fresh produce that’s available year-round comes from.

Scott M said...

I'm open to proof that I'm wrong, but I'm fairly certain that Hawaii does not produce enough coffee to meet domestic U.S. needs.

No way in hell. However, removal of coffee, despite what some people might claim to the contrary, does not reduce us to sustenance level.

Joe said...

(The Uncredentialed, Crypto Jew)
Last year, China accounted for nearly 39% North Korea's imports and exports, followed by South Korea, which had a 26% share.
However, both Beijing and Seoul have indicated that they do not believe the implementation of Resolution 1718 should affect their existing trade and business dealings with North Korea


Dear Dan in Philly…North Korea can’t trade with the US. It trades with two of the most dynamic economies in the region….it’s poor because it has NOTHING TO TRADE WITH OR FOR, not because it can’t trade…so if it can’t afford food imports, it’s not the embargo’s fault…But nice try on blame shifting.

Joe said...

(The Uncredentialed, Crypto Jew)
I'm open to proof that I'm wrong, but I'm fairly certain that Hawaii does not produce enough coffee to meet domestic U.S. needs

What does this have to do with anything? The reason the US can afford coffee, Kona or Arabica or Kopi Lewak is that it has the world’s largest and richest economy and can afford to import goods, North korea is the EXACT OPPOSITE, poor and insular, lacking the goods and services that are marketable…not because the US is “mean” to Korea…unless you want heroin, counterfeit US dollars, old Soviet TBM/IRBM’s or crude nuclear technology North Korea has NOTHING to offer.

Joe said...

(The Uncredentialed, Crypto Jew)
I guess the great leader Kim Jong Il, decided to follow the highly successful Great Leap Forward of Mao. Great sociopaths think alike

That would have worked if Capitalist Roaders, like Deng Xiao-Peng, hadn’t sabotaged Mao’s efforts…the Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution, now there was some successful social engineering!

bagoh20 said...

I don't think North Koreans are in need of coffee.

They should make the country into a giant fat farm where Hollywood celebrities could spend millions to loose weight and support their favorite political system in one package.

"NOKO - where the beautiful people go to make all their dreams come true."

Pogo said...

"Peter Hoh said...
Pogo, did you notice that Andrew Sullivan responded to your comment in an earlier thread?
"

I did, and had noted the TNR article in my post earlier in that thread.

Good for him, TNR, and NPR.

It suggests significant progress since the hard left's refusal to denounce Stalin once his crimes became apparent in the 1950s.

Would that the left similarly come to recognize that soft collectivism is also chock full of evil.

bagoh20 said...

The difference between socialism and communism is just the size of the ruling gang.

Peter Hoh said...

Joe, I agree that the U.S. could do better than subsistence level without any food imports. I was offering one example of a food item for which we rely on imports -- mostly to offer a little poke to the coffee lovers among us.

Non of this was intended to counter the idea that NK is a screwed up country.

Scott M said...

Non of this was intended to counter the idea that NK is a screwed up country.

That's like saying the dark side of the moon is kinda cold.

Joe said...

(The Uncredentialed, Crypto Jew)
I was offering one example of a food item for which we rely on imports -- mostly to offer a little poke to the coffee lovers among us

And who amongst us does not LOVE coffee? There should be none…no Apostates…No Heretics….

The Crack Emcee said...

But, but, but,...Whoopi Goldberg says Communism's A “Great Concept” And “Perfect Sense”!!!!!

And Whoopi's hardly ever wrong,...which is why she's on TV, riiiiight?

Edumacatin' the public,...

Joe said...

(The Uncredentialed, Crypto Jew)


And a noted expert on Rape, as well…one should be punished for Rape-Rape, not just “Rape.”

bagoh20 said...

Crack, don't be too hard on Whoopie. I agreed with her point...when I was 12.

Dan in Philly said...

Scott M, I am - even countries which export food are heavily dependent on other countries to produce other things which frees up that country to produce food. Self-sufficiency for even the largest country would lead to severe declining of standards of living and for most, starvation.

Dan in Philly said...

Joe, I am not making excuses for a horrific regime. I am wondering why the very real consequenses of embargo are never mentioned when trumpeting the suffering of such countries. Can the effect be accounted for? If so, what is the cost in NK lives vs. if such an embargo had not been exacted?

Why exactly are such questions not asked?

edutcher said...

Sounds like Kim Jong Dead went to the same school as Bongo Bobby Mugabe.

PS Re Senorita Alonso, having given Sean Penn, a pampered son of Hollyweird, a long-needed attitude adjustment, maybe she ought to go on The View and she and Hasselbeck could bitch slap everybody there

bagoh20 said...

Meadehouse may delete this, but I need to be honest and admit that watching that "The View" clip made me imagine some Crack on Whoopie woopie.

In the words of a great and wise woman: "That's hot!"

There are long term possibilities there.

Firehand said...

"Some time it’s a feature, not a bug, Ukrainian Famine circa 1930….sometimes it just happens, Ethiopia or North Korea."
No, didn't just 'happen'; the Norks would rather people starve than actually deal with other countries; the government DECIDED to starve its own people rather than do that.

'Socialism forever!', etc.

bagoh20 said...

"Why exactly are such questions not asked?"

A: The media all voted for the guy in charge.

Dan in Philly said...

Joe, if the US embargo has had no effect on NK due to their ability to trade with other Asian powers, why have any embargo at all?

Joe said...

(The Uncredentialed, Crypto Jew)
I am wondering why the very real consequenses of embargo are never mentioned when trumpeting the suffering of such countries. Can the effect be accounted for? If so, what is the cost in NK lives vs. if such an embargo had not been exacted?

Why exactly are such questions not asked


Because the Embargo does NOT cover South Korea and the PRC, dood/doodette…it’s like me saying, “Because McDonalds won’t sell me lunch, I will starve”…it ignores the fact that Burger King/Chipotle/Fazoli’s WILL sell me lunch, and if I’m hungry it’s not McDonald’s fault….To buy food you have to have money, goods, or services to trade for it…The US does, North Korea does NOT, because it’s a Stalinist Command Economy good at making cement and steel, barbed wire and death camps, and not much else….
WV: “Whantaid” North Korea Whants aid…..

Scott M said...

Self-sufficiency for even the largest country would lead to severe declining of standards of living and for most, starvation.

There are so many details involved here I feel we're both being glib to even get into it. Flipping a switch on international trade to OFF would invariably lead to massive death and a lowering of living standards everywhere...for a while. The countries with the largest arable areas are going to be end up better no matter what.

The ratio of farmers to consumers in this country, for instance, is such that we already satisfy the specialist point you're making. If you're talking goods instead of just food items, flipping that switch wouldn't be at all bad for this country. Would that the switch actually existed.

Joe said...

(The Uncredentialed, Crypto Jew)
Joe, if the US embargo has had no effect on NK due to their ability to trade with other Asian powers, why have any embargo at all

Internal US Politics, plus the embargo impacts Korea, but it doesn’t explain the poverty and starvation….

Dan in Philly said...

Look, all: I don't really have a problem with any embargo, and I don't have a problem with war or anything like that. But let's not pretend that embargo is anything but an attempt by the US to put economic pressure on a third world country to do what we want it to do. I won't get into the argument of justification, this is simply the intention of this.

So, either the embargo had an effect, or it didn't. If no effect, why have one at all? If it did have an effect, why not metion this in an article talking about the overall route of the NK economy over the past 50 years?

Of course I know the answer, and so does everyone else here.

Joe said...

(The Uncredentialed, Crypto Jew)
Of course I know the answer, and so does everyone else here

No we don’t ENLIGHTEN us….

Ignorance is Bliss said...

the North Korean government embarked on a policy of radical self-sufficiency...

To do it, they relied on heaps of chemical fertilizer. But that crutch was yanked away in 1991, when the Soviet Union collapsed.

Someone doesn't know the meaning of "self-sufficiency".

Chip S. said...

@Dan--Embargoes are only effective if all countries that trade with each other comply with them. Otherwise trans-shipping undermines them.

Why, then, does the US declare embargoes unilaterally? For the same reason it declares National Pickle Week and all sorts of other stuff: symbolic politics. There's always the chance that somebody will be fooled by them.

Joe said...

(The Uncredentialed, Crypto Jew)
Someone doesn't know the meaning of "self-sufficiency

You, Sir, are a Splitter, a Hooligan, a purveyor of Anti-Soviet Propaganda and need to be arrested and charged under Article 70.

Scott M said...

Someone doesn't know the meaning of "self-sufficiency".

"Nobody expects the North Korean government!

Our chief weapon is surprise. Surprise and fear--our TWO weapons are surprise, fear, and ruthless self-sufficiency. THREE, we have THREE weapons. Surprise, fear, ruthless self-sufficiency and an almost fanatical devotion to Dear Leader. Four! We have FOUR weapons..."

Joe said...

(The Uncredentialed, Crypto Jew)


Don’t you think you ought to come in again, Scott?

Scott M said...

It's a visual gag if you do that. We'll just let Cardinal Biggles say it.

Joe said...

(The Uncredentialed, Crypto Jew)


I don’t think Cardinal Biggles can do it….

Joe said...

(The Uncredentialed, Crypto Jew)


I’m afraid this thread is getting silly…..

Dan in Philly said...

Joe, Chip got it more or less. I'm suprised you didn't.

Of course it's quite foolish to think there was no effect on NK from no being allowed to trade with the US - imagine the Japan economy without the US as an export partner! But Chip's basic point hits on the truth which even Plato knew: you can't say things to everyone, even if everyone knows they are true.

Chip S. said...

...the truth which even Plato knew..

Wow. Tough standards around here.

Kirby Olson said...

WSJ yesterday ran an article about how Clinton and Albright helped N Korea with a huge stimulus that allowed them to starve 2 million of their people while living off the huge gift from Clinton and albright. Albright seems to have gotten an email friend out of the deal.

Joe said...

(The Uncredentialed, Crypto Jew)
Joe, Chip got it more or less. I'm surprised you didn't.

Of course it's quite foolish to think there was no effect on NK from no being allowed to trade with the US - imagine the Japan economy without the US as an export partner


1) They CAN trade with pretty much the rest of the world; and
2) They have NOTHING of value to trade and hence they are poor.
The Embargo is the least of their problems. It’s like worrying about the Cheerleader outfits that the Indianapolis Colts are wearing…It may or may not be a problem, but it’s not much of a problem.

Dan in Philly said...

Chip, no the standards are quite low. After all, Plato didn't read Plato, did he? :)

Seriously, his concept of noble lies which must be told to the people might not be his most popular idea in terms of idealism, but it certainly is one of his most popular ones in terms of what every government in history has actually practiced, isn't it? That's why I assumed everyone here (where most posters seem to be educated, intelligent and honest men and women) would know the answer.

Dan in Philly said...

Joe, they are certainly poorer due to their command economy than they would be without it, I don't argue that, but your logic is that they don't trade because they are poor, and I am saying they are poor at least in part due to their limited trading options, as indeed limiting trading partners will make any nation more poor than they would be otherwise.

Let's pretend they decided to start building auto plants 40 years ago. They couldn't gather the capital, the expertise and markets due to the embargo - no one was buying cars in China at the time. They didn't have the option that Japan had. The limited options made their bad situation (command economy) worse.

I just wish articles discussion the fate of NK and such countries tried to assess the impact of this, that's all.

William said...

Would you define the embargoes on Rhodesia, Botha's South Africa, and Allende's Chile as attempting to influence the internal poliics of a third world country?

Joe said...

(The Uncredentialed, Crypto Jew)
Joe, they are certainly poorer due to their command economy than they would be without it, I don't argue that, but your logic is that they don't trade because they are poor, and I am saying they are poor at least in part due to their limited trading options

Again Dan, you’re making excuses…North Korea is poor because it is a Stalinist Command Economy…the USSR could trade with most of the world, US included, the PRC as well post-1972…did Brezhnev’s USSR or Mao’s PRC get rich…NO, because they could not effectively compete in world markets, offering little anyone wanted, beyond raw materials….

The US Embargo did not make North Korea Poor, the Kim Family did…it’s not difficult to understand, only difficult to accept, because it doesn’t make the US the bad Guy.

Joe said...

(The Uncredentialed, Crypto Jew)
Dear Dan in Philly, please read and note no mention of embargo:
2. North Korea is still in principle a planned Soviet-type economy: but for almost two decades it has in reality been engaged in “planning without facts” and even in “planning without plans” (in the memorable phrase of Japanese economist Kimura Mitsuhiko). In and of itself, this would be enough to consign the North Korean economy to trouble. But to make matters worse, North Korean leadership has insisted on saddling the economy with a monstrous military burden under its campaign of “military-first politics” [Songun Chongchi]. Further, in contradistinction to virtually all other contemporary economies, North Korean trade policy for almost two generations has systematically throttled the import of productive and relatively inexpensive foreign machinery and equipment, thereby guaranteeing that the national economy would be saddled with a low-productivity, high-cost industrial infrastructure of its own making.
3. Add to this North Korea’s unrelenting war against its own consumers (no other modern economy has ever seen such a low ratio of consumer spending to national income, even at the height of Maoism or Stalinism) and Pyongyang’s stubborn, longstanding policy of “reverse comparative advantage” via a juche food policy that attempts to devote no more funds to overseas cereal purchases than foreigners pay for North Korean agricultural products, in a country where cropland is scarce and growing seasons are short, and one begins to see how North Korean leadership engineered the country’s remarkable Great Leap Backward–and eventually, even a famine

http://blog.american.com/2011/12/north-koreas-horrific-economy-and-the-cost-of-reunification/

William said...

Chiang vs Mao, Rhee vs Kim, Franco vs the Republicans (i.e. Stalinists), Pinochet vs Allende. Whose side are you on? Fascism has a way of evolving into democracy. Communism tends to create famines and mass death on its journey towards utopia. I would be more comfortable with our artists and intellectuals if just once they acknowledged how radically wrong they have been about history.

Joe said...

(The Uncredentialed, Crypto Jew)

But don’t let any of those pesky facts intrude, please, by all means, continue to raise the idea of the “embargo.” Again, the Colts may have lousy cheer leader outfits, but that doesn’t explain the miserable 2011 Season, no matter how much fans might want to blame the outfits…

MadisonMan said...

After all, Plato didn't read Plato, did he?

That explains all the typos.

William said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Chip S. said...

typos is the human form of the divine logos.

Or something like that.

William said...

Let them eat weapons grade uranium.

Hoosier Daddy said...

"... Joe, they are certainly poorer due to their command economy than they would be without it, I don't argue that, but your logic is that they don't trade because they are poor, and I am saying they are poor at least in part due to their limited trading options.."

All that said, yet they are a nuclear power.

Huh.

Hoosier Daddy said...

"... Again, the Colts may have lousy cheer leader outfits, but that doesn’t explain the miserable 2011 Season, no matter how much fans might want to blame the outfits….."

Hey now, lets get back on topic. We won a game.

garage mahal said...

Collectivism kills

I blame school teachers. It goes something like this:

teacher---->left----->liberal---->socialism----->communism-----mass death!

The beauty is you can substitute anyone you dislike in the first part of the flowchart. For instance, you could substitute a serial killer or even a trial lawyer instead of teacher, and it all comes out the same!

_______ kills! Share with friends. RETWEET!

Joe said...

(The Uncredentialed, Crypto Jew)

Hey now, lets get back on topic. We won a game

Does that “Queer the Pitch” for the first round draft pick? Meaning your team is so bad it even screws up being bad? Or do you all still get the No. 1 Pick? BTW, what happened, this season? Was the GM Plan, “Peyton Manning will not get hurt, so we have no Plan B?”

Joe said...

(The Uncredentialed, Crypto Jew)



Well Garage that was about as rational as most of your other recent postings….”though communism-----mass death” certainly works…of course NO ONE, on the Left has ever supported such things, so there’s no need to discuss it further.

dbp said...

It is certainly true that trade, in general, improves the lot of all who participate in it. The case of the US trade embargo is not very typical though. Before the embargo, most of the US goods coming in were luxury items for use by the Kims and others of the ruling class. The idea was to hit the rulers where it hurt, since they obviously could not care less about the immiseration of their subjects.

Joe said...

(The Uncredentialed, Crypto Jew)

The idea was to hit the rulers where it hurt, since they obviously could not care less about the immiseration of their subjects

You cannot make an omelet without breaking eggs. The Proletariat will thank us, in the future, for having made the society eat this sacrifice, to preserve and strengthen the Glorious Revolution.

Hoosier Daddy said...

"... I blame school teachers. It goes something like this:.."

Do you work at being an insufferable dolt or does it come naturally?

Joe said...

(The Uncredentialed, Crypto Jew)

Do you work at being an insufferable dolt or does it come naturally

Both it’s a Yhwh-Given talent, he has been honing for the last few years….

ken in sc said...

I am pretty sure that juche is older than the 80s. I was in South Korea in the late 80s and the Hangul word was carved in a hillside visible from the DMZ then. South Koreans knew it as the official North Korean policy for a long time.

BTW, North Korean diplomats are known for using diplomat pouches to smuggle cigarettes, drugs, counterfeit money, and all kinds of other stuff.

garage mahal said...

Hoosier
You can use the diagram for anything, like economics.

I know you'll like this one: [shortened]

Medicare------>Greece!

Dan in Philly said...

Joe, I defer to your superior cut and paste skills :)

Joe said...

(The Uncredentialed, Crypto Jew)



It would seem, Ken in SC you are correct about Juche…first used in 1955, by Kim-Il Sung (according to Wiki).

Joe said...

(The Uncredentialed, Crypto Jew)

Joe, I defer to your superior cut and paste skills

Good, I’m glad something can convince you of your wrong-i-tude-di-ness…Of course that might also be called, research, and evidence, and a citation…supposedly the basis of good argumentation. But if you prefer cut n’ paste, that’s OK, too.

Joe said...

(The Uncredentialed, Crypto Jew)

Medicare------>Greece

If by Medicare you mean a program growing faster than it’s inputs…then that is an excellent summation….

Tim said...

"I just wish articles discussion the fate of NK and such countries tried to assess the impact of this, that's all."

Dan, you are an idiot.

The NoKors tried to open up to international trade (that would be to ALL countries, not just the US) in 1984, but it FAILED because they have nothing for which anyone (that would be ALL countries, not just the US) wants to invest or trade.

Assuming you are truly ignorant, here are the notable facts: as communists, they don't believe in markets or private property. That puts a damper on investments, domestic or foreign. Their currency is worthless and useless outside of NoKor except as scrap or toilet paper. They make absolutely nothing in which anyone (that would be ALL countries, not just the US) is interested in trading.

Except uranium. The US offered free food for NoKor uranium. Free food for NoKor uranium. I repeat so you get the point: free food for NoKor uranium. Just so you are clear, the US offered free food to the NoKor's for their uranium.

The NoKor's said "No. We like uranium more than your free food." There is no known nutritional value to uranium.

Your obsession over the discussion or lack thereof of the US embargo on the NoKors is a sign of either mental deficiency, mental illness, or an intentional distraction from the real issues.

There are, at last count, 193 nations in the UN, of which 192 do not have trade embargoes with the NoKors, and are absolutely, completely free to trade with them. Yet, outside of a few minor infrastructure projects by the Russians and Chinese, and what is effectively foreign aid from the South Koreans, NO ONE trades with the NoKors. The reason for this has nothing to do with the US embargo, and EVERYTHING to do with the NoKors, their regime and, not inconsequently, their being communist.

Most people who've paid any attention to this know this. Everything else, most certainly including your inapt citation of Plato, is completely beside the point.

Balfegor said...

Re: Hoosier Daddy:

"... Joe, they are certainly poorer due to their command economy than they would be without it, I don't argue that, but your logic is that they don't trade because they are poor, and I am saying they are poor at least in part due to their limited trading options.."

All that said, yet they are a nuclear power
.

This isn't that surprising -- the same was true of the Soviet Union. And indeed, to a certain extent, the same was true of South Korea at one point.

For many years, under the dictatorship, South Korea had tight restrictions on trade. One of the objectives of the military dictatorship was to foster economic development, not in the kinds of cheap textiles and tchochkes that South Korea -- with an impoverished population, no natural resources, and an educational system that had been crippled by two generations of the Japanese occupation followed by civil war -- would naturally have slotted into in the 60s, but in more profitable indutries. Because the country was so poor, the government did its best to corral all foreign currency into things like purchases of capital goods, or education abroad. Under the policy of import substitution (pursued to national ruin by incompetent governments in Afria and Latin America), foreign imports were discouraged in order to preserve foreign currency reserves and develop domestic capabilities. South Korean workers were sent to the ends of the earth to earn wages in foreign currency and learn how the world worked abroad.

The government pushed the resources of the nation to the chaebol, to Samsung and Hyundai and their smaller brethren, for the purpose of building out the nation's capabilities, in terms of capital goods and an educated workforce which would help Korea capture more lucrative segments of international commerce. Heavy industry, like shipbuilding, is the classic example (because Korea had absolutely no know-how or experience in shipbuilding whatsoever when the government decided Korea should build ships) and Hyundai Heavy is now the largest shipbuilder in the world. Samsung went into electronics, and is now one of the largest electronics companies in the world.

Juche is a similar idea. It's just that instead of pooling resources to acquire wealth-generating capabilities and knowhow which would ultimately improve the lot of the people, they blew it all on a gigantic military and nuclear weapons.

Joe said...

(The Uncredentialed, Crypto Jew)

Juche is a similar idea. It's just that instead of pooling resources to acquire wealth-generating capabilities and knowhow which would ultimately improve the lot of the people, they blew it all on a gigantic military and nuclear weapons

Yes and No, ISI went out the door in the late 1960’s, IIRC…The chaebol were focused on INTERNATIONAL EXPORT, Korea became an Export Driven, not an Import Substitution-Driven Economy…as such it had to meet market demands, simply not Korean Market demands…..the result was that South Korea developed industries, factories, and a work force that could compete in the world, whereas North Korea shut itself off from the world…Certainly Hyundai was not a model of Smith’s laissez faire economics, but it is much closer to being a market-driven entity than anything in North Korea. And hats-off to Hyundai Heavy Industries, took firm delivery orders for super tankers, from shipyards not yet built….tough guyz…

kcom said...

"the North Korean government embarked on a policy..."

No pun intended, I assume.

Dan in Philly said...

Tim, was it something I said?

MayBee said...

Kim Jong Il was the ultimate Organic Localvore.

Ralph L said...

And who amongst us does not LOVE coffee?
I think it's the jizz of Satan.

Ralph L said...

Especially when made without filters.

Scott M said...

I think it's the jizz of Satan.

"So, vending menace, we meet again. Armless bandit! Empty your bladder of that bitter black urine men call coffee!"

Balfegor said...

The chaebol were focused on INTERNATIONAL EXPORT, Korea became an Export Driven, not an Import Substitution-Driven Economy…as such it had to meet market demands, simply not Korean Market demands

Fair point -- I'm using "import substitution" wrong. It's not pure import substitution, but throughout the period when the government was focusing on the chaebol as engines of development, the tariffs and trade restrictions were firmly in place. My grandfather was a South Korean diplomat in the 70s and early 80s, and being able to purchase things like foreign cigarettes and luxury goods was a perk of his position -- the average Korean, even if they were able to afford such things, just didn't have access to outside markets under the dictatorship.

Joe said...

(The Uncredentialed, Crypto Jew)

just didn't have access to outside markets under the dictatorship

Yes I see that’s true, certainly…

Balfegor said...

Re: Tim:


There are, at last count, 193 nations in the UN, of which 192 do not have trade embargoes with the NoKors, and are absolutely, completely free to trade with them. Yet, outside of a few minor infrastructure projects by the Russians and Chinese, and what is effectively foreign aid from the South Koreans, NO ONE trades with the NoKors. The reason for this has nothing to do with the US embargo, and EVERYTHING to do with the NoKors, their regime and, not inconsequently, their being communist
.

Kaesong isn't exactly foreign aid from South Korea, since South Korean corporations are getting something (super-cheap labour) in return. I think there's a lot of government subsidy built in there, but the trade that's occurring is real.

Joe said...

(The Uncredentialed, Crypto Jew)



Of course, there’s a point where “super-cheap” labour just doesn’t do that much for a product, I mean who wants a Zil or Trabant, no matter how cheap the labour input is? But there are, as you mention, government subsidies, so even if no one wants the Trabant, at the price it can be made at, possibly the South Korean Government can provide a sufficient subsidy that there is a clearing price for a Trabant, even if it is less than the cost of production…so basically South Korea is making itself poorer for the sake of some South Korean Companies and to foster a little cooperation with North Korea, and provide a little humanitarian aid to North Koreans, in the form of “work”.

n.n said...

The paradox of dependent independence. There is only optimal.

Balfegor said...

Re: Joe

Of course, there’s a point where “super-cheap” labour just doesn’t do that much for a product, I mean who wants a Zil or Trabant, no matter how cheap the labour input is? But there are, as you mention, government subsidies, so even if no one wants the Trabant, at the price it can be made at, possibly the South Korean Government can provide a sufficient subsidy that there is a clearing price for a Trabant, even if it is less than the cost of production…so basically South Korea is making itself poorer for the sake of some South Korean Companies and to foster a little cooperation with North Korea, and provide a little humanitarian aid to North Koreans, in the form of “work”.

I don't think anyone is using North Korea to create high level consumer goods on the order of cars or complex machinery or whatever. I think it's basic stuff like clothes and cutlery and basic machinery components, and even those are South Korean designs and South Korean manufacturing processes. The subsidies haven't been direct price-point subsidies as such, since wages in North Korea are extremely low (and North Koreans will apparently work for chocopies). The biggest is probably insurance against the political risk of doing work in North Korea (political risk from the North Korean governemnt, that is), together with substantial investments in infrastructure for the industrial zone. That's all non-trivial, of course, since no one would use North Korean labour in North Korea otherwise (if North Korea would release them over the border as day labourers or something, the situation might be different) but its a different kind of subsidy.

That said, since Kaesong products are specifically carved out of the US FTA and, I believe, the EU FTA, it's arguably the case that Kaesong is going to impose significant additional costs downstream in terms tracking and compliance with the FTA provisions, to segregate out goods containing Kaesong-made components from pure South Korean goods, and so on. I don't know how that will all play out.

Alex said...

If you ask the average liberal what is the worst thing in the world, they will always say "Republicans". That says it all.

Tim said...

RE: Balfegor,

From your link: "If the regime shuts down the industrial park, the South would suffer double the losses it incurred from the regime's seizure of the properties in Mt. Kumgang, which are worth W484.1 billion."

I'm not sure we're arguing different things: my point is, S. Korean "trade" (as limited as it is) is essentially politically driven (mostly out of a "pro-Korean/make nice with our N. Korean brothers") rather than market driven. Were the NoKors Chinese, or Japanese, or anything but "Korean," I think it's trade with NoKor would be even less than it currently is. The risk, based upon the past, is simply too great.

Balfegor said...

I'm not sure we're arguing different things: my point is, S. Korean "trade" (as limited as it is) is essentially politically driven (mostly out of a "pro-Korean/make nice with our N. Korean brothers") rather than market driven.

I think we're saying something similar -- certainly it would be madness to deny the substantial risk of expropriation (and death) that doing business in North Korea entails. That said, it's also the case that if the law/governance issues can be taken care of, there's a huge market incentive to use a population that speaks your language and works for peanuts/chocopies to manufacture low-tech products.

All that said, even without the subsidies, I think you'd see South Korean enterprises investing in North Korea if a vehicle for such investment were set up. I recall that the Hyundai royal family are originally from a province now in the North (Kangwon) -- that's probably a major reason why Hyundai Asan has been so involved in opening up business to North Korea, and why Hyundai companies were involved in routing bribes to North Korea to get Kim Dae Jung his Nobel prize. That's "politically" driven, but it's driven by something other than the government alone. When you talk about "our North Korean brothers," in many cases that is literally the case. I thought Kim Dae Jung was a crap president and his sunshine summit meetings pretty much a sham, but I have to admit even as I recall the family reunion meetings, I am tearing up.