June 10, 2022 13:29
North Korea spent more than W800 billion so far this year to fire 33 long-range ballistic and other missiles (US$1=W1,255). That is enough money to buy coronavirus vaccines for its entire population or make up for most of the impoverished country's food shortfall this year. Yet Kim Jong-un has splurged it on his missiles. This is the true color of a tyrant.
"We achieved our goal of becoming a nuclear power and it is only a matter of time before we become an economic power," he claimed, and then harangued officials to "value every grain of rice, gram of cement and piece of timber" in their austerity campaign. North Korea faces an economic crisis not seen since the famine in the 1990s that killed millions of its people. Yet Kim always blames subordinates for his idiocy.
When the North saw a major coronavirus outbreak, Kim told people to drink willow leaf tea and recommended honey for coughs and keeping their windows open. That was as good as telling them to fend for themselves. When the international community offered to help in 2020, Kim threw a tantrum and responded by launching nine missiles in succession.
Yet the Moon Jae-in administration in South Korea continued to hail Kim as being a "leader who cares for his people" and an "enlightened monarch." Moon and his government were desperate to please Kim in order to arrange another summit, which they had convinced themselves would magically win them the next election. They followed Kim's wishes and drastically curtailed joint military exercises with the U.S. and even banned South Korean civic groups from sending propaganda leaflets across the border.
The North Korean leader is only interested in staying in power, and the North Korean people are his tools. North Korea is engaged in smuggling and cyber hacking to keep Kim's pockets lined with cash to spend on developing new missiles. This must be stopped. Stronger sanctions should be imposed to make it impossible for the North to funnel money that should be spent on vaccines and food into weapons of aggression, and finding humanitarian ways to help its people must be tightly controlled so the regime cannot steal even one grain of rice.
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