Of course AFP would blame North Korea's problems on everything but communism
N. Korea's new leader faces ruinous inheritanceOf course, the news will not mention the collectivism that has forced an entire nation into poverty. It won't mention that Kim Jong Il spent countless millions on Bentleys and bottles of Louis XIII, then squandered billions on a military while millions of people have starved to death.
Ready or not, North Korea's youthful new leader will inherit an economy in ruins, a malnourished population -- and a political system that effectively rules out life-saving reform.
Kim Jong-Un, the 20-something "great successor" to his late father Kim Jong-Il, had no known military or administrative experience until singled out as heir apparent around three years ago.
"This is hardly a country that can be ruled by a novice leader," said Wednesday's Korea Herald in Seoul.
Describing the North's "wretchedness", it cited food and energy shortages, meagre foreign investment, corruption, repression, military privileges and "a false sense of pride" in being a nuclear power.
The communist North in the 1960s grew faster than capitalist rival South Korea. But the loss of crucial aid as the Soviet Union disintegrated accelerated a downward spiral in the 1990s.
Of course the news won't mention the tyrant who bankrupted his nation while threatening his nation's biggest aid donors. The news will blame Mother Nature and capitalism:
Famine which began in the mid-1990s killed hundreds of thousands and severe food shortages persist.It's the West's fault for not just handing over money, right? How could we possibly blame the bellicose butt-crumb bastard who promised to abandon nuclear weapons (not technology but weapons) in exchange for fuel and food, then revealed his lie as a way of extorting more (surprising no one with two or more functioning neurons)?
UN aid chief Valerie Amos has urged the world to reduce "terrible" levels of malnutrition. Amos, who visited North Korea in October, said six million people urgently need food aid.
UN agencies say they have monitoring in place to ensure food reaches the neediest and not the army. But donations to UN programmes have dwindled because of irritation at Pyongyang's missile and nuclear ambitions.Irritation! Of course the lies and deception, the decades-long attacks on South Korea, have nothing to do with it.
Private markets sprang up in the North after the state food distribution system largely collapsed during the famine years.And there is no famine now -- so why is North Korea still in such dire need of food? It couldn't be from communism that has killed 100 million people in the last century, could it?
Kim Jong-Il experimented with limited market reforms in 2002 but rolled them back in 2005, apparently for fear of losing control over the economy.I should not have to explain this.
But several analysts say full-scale economic liberalisation would threaten the very raison d'etre of a regime which theoretically provides its people's needs from cradle to grave.Indeed, a wonderful system that where most North Koreans are born into, live in, and die in almost unimaginable poverty.
US academic and researcher Stephan Haggard says he has found that North Koreans involved in the market have more negative perceptions of the regime than their peers.And will this Haggard conduct another study where he discovers that water is wet?
Biswas described the North's economy as a "basket case" amid a sea of rising East Asian prosperity.Finally, some truth.
"The pursuit of Stalinist economic policies has inflicted devastating suffering on the North Korean population," he wrote.
Biswas said the likeliest future policy was maintaining the status quo, meaning little chance of significant economic progress.
Should the country move gradually towards economic liberalisation and detente, "significant improvements" in living standards could be achieved by 2020.
God in heaven, is "Simon Martin" Jimmy Carter's pen name?