July 20, 2009

The Gulag of Our Time

I'm about a third of the way through Bradley K. Martin's epic tome Under the Loving Care of the Fatherly Leader: North Korea and the Kim Dynasty.

Under the Loving Care.jpg

Just about everything you ever wanted to know

Posted by Michael J. Totten at July 20, 2009 2:21 PM
Comments
So, what if...
I doubt there's an openly Communist nation anywhere that could get North Korea's attention the way China could. What if China were to put it to Fatherly Leader that such over-the-top oppression is counter-productive to the Communist ideal of world domination?
Posted by: gus3 at July 20, 2009 9:05 pm
Bradley Martin's book is great: I reviewed it here.
qus3: the crucial question is what serves Kim family domination, not any wider alleged purposes of revolutionary socialism. Now, if you could convince Kim II that the family domain could be better managed for the benefit of the Kim family, you might get somewhere. But it is hard to see how the Kim family could achieve any higher levels of luxury or control. You would have to work on fears of losing control, but change is probably much more frightening for that than leaving things as they are.
Posted by: Lorenzo at July 21, 2009 5:46 am
Just put in a request at my local library to reserve this book for me. Thanks, Michael!
Posted by: ElMondo at July 21, 2009 5:54 am
Although the administration has made a far bigger fuss about Honduras lately, I did read Hillary's concerns about the dangerous relationship between Burma and North Korea. If she is making this public we can imagine what is really going on.
UNfortunately, without any teeth to UN mandates, I don't see us interdicting delivery of illegal materials. I wouldn't call what we did to the last NK ship bound for Burma, "interdiction".
And we don't hear much about those two American reporters being held in North Korea anymore.
Human Rights don't matter like they once did to Democrats unless it figures into the partisan equation. Nor do we hear much from Ms. Power. I don't believe Jimmy Carter has paid North Korea a visit, though he has found time to speak to Assad, Hamas and Hizb'Allah after declaring his trip to Sudan had revealed no genocide.
Our concern for the plight of the North Koreans are hitting a low as anyting that hints of conflict is pushed far from the headlines.
Posted by: maxtrue at July 21, 2009 9:37 am
Andrei Lankov reccomends the book too. This is a very interesting interview with him (add the http prefix):
thebrowser.com/books/interviews/lankov
Sample:
One of the peculiarities of North Korea used to be the existence of a clearly defined system of hereditary groups. For every North Korean his or her chances of social promotion, choice of residence, quality of job and so on was largely defined by his or her family background in this hereditary system. If your grandfather used to be a landlord under the Japanese, you would be discriminated against for the rest of your life. You wouldn
Posted by: David Boxenhorn at July 21, 2009 9:48 am
This really is just repulsive.
Posted by: ikez78 at July 21, 2009 10:09 am
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Winner, The 2008 Weblog Awards, Best Middle East or Africa Blog

Winner, The 2007 Weblog Awards, Best Middle East or Africa Blog

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