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The Rosett Report

But one small implication of this warning does seem clear. If foreign embassies and international organizations in Pyongyang choose to heed the alarm, and start evacuating their personnel from North Korea, then those departing foreigners will have to buy airline tickets for the trip. And in North Korea, that pretty much means buying tickets on North Korea’s state airline, Air Koryo. To the best of my knowledge, foreigners are required to pay for those tickets with hard cash. The price may not be enormous — items here and there on the internet suggest the business class fare from Pyongyang to Beijing amounts to a a bit under $400. Nor is the diplomatic corps in Pyongyang very large — totaling two dozen or so embassies as far a I can tell, plus assorted offices of the United Nations and whatnot. But potentially all that otherwise unscheduled travel could add up — if multiple staffers from multiple missions start buying tickets out of the country. Especially if it turns out there is no dire emergency, and they must then buy tickets to return to Pyongyang.

Of course, diplomats who leave the country would no longer be spending money for daily living — or at least not on such amenities as shops and restaurants, such as they are — in North Korea. That might offset some of the airline ticket windfall. On the other hand, unless foreign countries and international organizations actually close down their entire missions, it’s quite likely they will continue paying rent, local staff costs, and all those other expenses that rarely figure in the news, but do constitute a flow of cash to the North Korean regime. My guess is that, net, a genuine evacuation would work out to a cash windfall for Pyongyang. Not massive, mind you. But in the cash-hungry realms of the North Korean state, not utterly negligible either. I’m not saying this is the reason for the warning. But it’s one of the likely results. It’s good bet that somewhere in a corner of the Pyongyang bureaucracy, someone is making the actual calculations of just how much this kind of evacuation might generate in hard cash.

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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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