by Andrew Freeman
April 30, 2013
A new complication has surfaced regarding diplomacy between the United States and North Korea, as an American citizen is standing trial for attempting to overthrow the local regime.
North Korea said on Saturday that it would put a US citizen on trial for trying to overthrow the communist regime, in the face of soaring tensions between Pyongyang and the West. The North’s official Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) said U.S. citizen Pae Jun-Ho had admitted to the charges and would soon face “judgment.” A 44-year-old Korean-American tour operator, Pae was arrested in November as he entered the port city of Rason, which lies inside a special economic zone near North Korea’s border with Russia and China. Activist Do Hee-Yoon told AFP that he suspected Pae was arrested because he took photographs of emaciated children in the country hoping to get them more outside aid.
North Korea is experiencing a horrible famine brought on by the insane policies that the regions government has been forcing on its population for decades.
Like many, this government celebrates itself as a “democratic peoples republic”, and claims to have the poor and hungry as their top priority.
Yet, despite there being a massive military budget and a rich ruling class, the peasants who are barely allowed to keep any of their own income are starving to the point of cannibalism.
For years the North Korean government has been notorious for poorly allocating the natural resources that they have put themselves in charge of, creating mass starvation among the general population.
Just a few months ago, it was reported that North Korean farmers are only allowed to keep half of what they produce.
Even then, the government was only forced to give them that much because the prior rate of almost total taxation was exacerbating famine conditions.
“The move to liberalise agriculture under Kim Jong-un, who succeeded his father in December last year, would reverse a crackdown on private production that started in 2005. The claim by the Reuters news agency comes amid suggestions that Mr Kim is considering reforms to boost the impoverished state’s economy.
“Peasants will have incentive to grow more food. They can keep and sell in the market about 30-50 percent of their harvest depending on the region,” said the source.
At present, most farm output is sold to the government at a state auction price that has diverged from the market rate.”
You don’t see this kind of problem in South Korea, where they don’t have a centrally planned economy, at least, it is not centrally planned to the extent that North Korea is.
The truth behind all of this is revealed a few more paragraphs down in that same article:
“North Korea wants to attract Chinese investment to help it overcome tough sanctions imposed in retaliation for its nuclear tests.
Kim also aims to deliver on a promise to make the North a “prosperous” nation by 2012 and to banish memories of his father’s austere 17-year rule.
But it is unclear how far Mr Kim can go in liberalising the economy without losing his family’s firm grip on power, most independent analysts say.”
Allowing the economy to become more free by removing restrictions on average citizens to trade and keep their own income would diminish the power of the central government.
This is why governments love gaining as much control as they possibly can over the economy.
North Korea is going through a process that Russia, China and many other regimes of the communist variety have went through in the past.
In many societies around the world where there are less restrictions, the people can get through a drought without eating one another.
While there is no place on the planet right now that allows human beings to be as free as they should, there are still varying degrees of control, and this is a perfect example that can be used to show the conditions that are created when a certain level of power is achieved by a central authority.
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