[I heard a report on World Have Your Say on BBC News on my way to work this morning. I heard a segment from John Sweeney about his visit to North Korea. He calls the North Korean government the worst in the world. Basically he talked for quite some time trying to come up with superlatives to describe how frighteningly irresponsible the government and how desparately out of touch and impoverished the citizens are. He attempted to show the rediculous nature of opulent wealth vs. extreme poverty. Kissing the British soil when he got home was just one of the stretches of imagination he used to share just how bad the things he discovered on his trip were. I will look to see if I can get a transcript of that. I doubt it. But I will post here this article that was interesting. In America we are caught up by silly politics that makes one gasp at the irresponsibility, but we are far from as bad as it gets. John Sweeney's account reminded me a bit of a Marlow narrative from Conrad's Heart of Darkness]
How potent are North Korea's threats?
2 April 2013 BBC News
2 April 2013 BBC News
Since the latest UN sanctions, North Korea has unleashed a salvo of threats against the US and South Korea, even vowing to restart operations at its main nuclear complex. The BBC examines how much of a threat North Korea really poses to the US and its Asian neighbours.
North Korea's threats
"When you look at occasions where something really did happen, such as the artillery attack on a South Korean island in 2010, you see there were very clear warnings” Professor John Delury, Yonsei university
After US President George W Bush labelled it part of the "axis of evil" in 2002, Pyongyang said it would "mercilessly wipe out the aggressors".
Picking apart the bluster
Is the US a real target?
North Korea's neighbours
"The Cheonan sank close to the disputed sea boundary between North and South Korean territorial waters, along which the two navies have clashed a number of times in the past decade”
Since the Korean War ended, Pyongyang has repeatedly shown its ability to strike neighbours and foreign interests in the region, often in response to what it sees a provocation.