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The Rosett Report

Cynical this may be, but when it comes to puzzling out North Korea, never underestimate the appetite for hard cash — whether in amounts big or small. North Korea’s regime has specialized over the years in wringing every possible dollar out of every feasible racket, from missile deals to counterfeiting U.S. currency to selling narcotics out of North Korean embassies to diverting for its own uses international aid that was meant for starving North Korean children. This is part of how the Pyongyang regime survives.

That is what came to mind while I was reading today about North Korea’s warning to foreign diplomats to consider leaving Pyongyang before April 10. Though, before I explain, please allow me to add that of course, Pyongyang may have had much bigger reasons to issue this warning. North Korea’s  barrage of threats in recent weeks — coupled with such matters as its February nuclear test, its proliferation links to Iran, and the inexperience of its third-generation young tyrant — has provoked all sorts of speculation about what’s really going on.  Maybe this is an extreme version of North Korea’s time-tested nuclear extortion racket — prelude to seeking concessions at a bargaining table. Maybe it reflects young Kim’s efforts to consolidate power at home. Maybe the new dictator is so gung-ho, or so out of touch with reality, that he really thinks it’s a good idea — almost as thrilling as a visit from Dennis Rodman — to provoke a hot war. Maybe he’s not really in charge, and the threats are emanating from an internal struggle we can’t see. Maybe, maybe… Though whatever is going on in the big picture, to credit the Pyongyang regime with kindly concern for the welfare of foreign diplomats just doesn’t wash; this is a state that doesn’t mind hanging on to foreigners it has forcibly abducted from their home countries.

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All Comments   (8)
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There was a provision in the Zimbabwe constitution that said the president gets 10,000 US every time he travels out of the country. Mugabe was famous for taking full advantage. I don't buy this idea because I think the simpler explanation is to give greater credence to Kim's bluff or perhaps his seriousness. I have some concern that China may be using young Kim as a provacateur to get the US involved and then invade Korea and take over the whole peninsula.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
why would China want more poor people in exchange for a war? Just another unfounded speculation.....
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
of all the useless speculations I have read this is by far the dumbest one.....
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
"and they must then buy tickets to return to Pyongyang."
And if Nork is warning them out of the country, why would they return? Maybe China & Russia, just because they have a common border, and a war would perk their ears, but otherwise North Korea is only an irritant on the world scene. Nothing worth going back to, unless you're Iran or Pakistan and are coworkers on nukes. In which case, baby Kim shouldn't tick them off.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
A modern day example of Shakespeare's Danegeld warning:

"We never pay any-one Dane-geld,
   No matter how trifling the cost;
For the end of that game is oppression and shame,
   And the nation that plays it is lost!"
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
My mistake that was meant to be Kipling.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Meh. This is a bit of a stretch. At, let's even say $500 a pop, if one thousand foreigners had to skedaddle, and I doubt the number would even be that high, then the Norks have wiped out their entire diplomatic community, with all the downsides that entails, for about half a million bucks. How much does a cheap fighter jet cost? Less than that? I doubt it. For any national government bigger than St. Kitts, that is pocket change, to be burned through in a week. (FUN FACT: How long does it take the US government to spend $1 million? They just did, when you started reading this comment....... 9 seconds.)

Not buying it, the numbers don't add up.

Frankly, this Nork behavior is so ludicrously mad, even by their standards, and that is saying a lot, that one really has to wonder if there is something at work totally out of left field. I very much wonder if Kim Il Pudge is really calling the shots, or any shots at all here.

My favorite tin-foil theory -- L'il Kim, who lived and schooled in Switzerland for a while, knows that fate has made him king of a madhouse, and one that cannot last. He is actually forcing the issue, and using the outside world to bring some sort of end to all the madness (as opposed to watching it end in some completely uncontrolled yet inevitable fashion. Remember, he's got decades ahead of him, ostensibly).

Crazy? You bet. I ain't saying I buy it, just that it's my favorite Crazy out there. But it seems at least as plausible as him cashing in his entire diplomatic card for what I can win with a lucky scratch-off at 7-11.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
When Obama is obstructed by law or the prospect open debate he turns his "failure" into an issue that generates "hard cash" ... that's an Obama specialty MO, that Chubby Kim Bong Il has learned somewhere; probably from Rodman. I knew there was a real reason for Rodman's visit - he delivered a message from the WH !!! Heh!
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
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