Why Does Kim Jong Il Need Flood Aid? -- Didn't We Just Send Him $25 Million?

Following floods in North Korea, we are now hearing urgent calls for the world community (in this case, that means you, the U.S. taxpayer) to swamp Kim Jong Il’s regime with aid. That’s strange, because right now Kim’s regime is presumably swimming in ready cash, thanks to the mighty efforts of U.S. envoy Chris Hill to ensure that Kim got the $25 million in allegedly crime-tainted funds that had been frozen at Banco Delta Asia in Macau.

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Recall that when North Korea was making its public demands for that $25 million, earlier this year, we were told the money would not be spent on Kim’s liquor habits, palace parties, and WMD programs, but would be earmarked for humanitarian use. What better than for Kim to spend it on his own flood aid? In all the decades of Kim cult claptrap from Pyongyang, that might just be the first decent and honest instance of Pyongyang’s party line about “self-reliance” being put to good use.

Behind the calls for aid is an assumption the only answer to this latest in North Korea’s endless roster of horrors is international charity. Nonsense. There are private companies that could do a fine job — probably a much better job — of efficiently and quickly helping the poor and stricken, if Kim were to hire them and give them access. They would charge for their help. Kim can afford to pay. It is his abominable government that is responsible for the wretched state of North Korea’s infrastructure in the first place. A bonus: Every dollar Kim’s regime spends on flood aid would be that much less for his pleasure palaces, crony pay-offs and nuclear programs.

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And if no one thinks that Kim would be willing to spend a penny of his $25 million in extortionist loot on actually helping his own flood-hit countrymen, then all the more reason to question what kind of crackpot policy would trust the “good will” of this tyrant enough to send him anything at all?

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