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Friday, November 17, 2017

North Korea is too hungry to fight a war

Novelist Thomas Wictor made the case that the soldier who defected from North Korea shows that North Korea is in no shape to fight any war.



The soldier was malnourished and riddled with parasites.

He is among the nation's elite soldiers.

As he fled on foot through the demilitarized zone, his comrades shot more than 40 rounds, but were unable to kill him.

That either is poor marksmanship, or lack of will.

Likely both.

From the Guardian:
Dozens of flesh-coloured parasites, one of which was 27cm (11 inches) long, were found in the man’s digestive tract during life-saving operations, according to the lead surgeon, Lee Cook-jong.
“In my over-20-year-long career as a surgeon, I have only seen something like this in a textbook,” Lee said.
The parasites, along with kernels of corn in his stomach, appear to confirm what many experts and defectors have said about the food and hygiene situation for many North Koreans.
North Koreans fired 40 rounds at defecting soldier, South Korea says.
Prof Choi Min-ho of Seoul National University’s college of medicine said: “Although we do not have solid figures showing health conditions of North Korea, medical experts assume that parasite infection problems and serious health issues have been prevalent in the country.
“[The man’s condition is] not surprising at all considering the North’s hygiene and parasite problems.”
This is communism. People starve. Leaders fatten.

More from the Guardian:
Parasitic worms were also common in South Korea between 40 and 50 years ago, Lee said, but disappeared as economic conditions improved.
Their continued prevalence in North Korea could be linked to the use of human excrement as fertiliser, often referred to as night soil.
Lee Min-bok, a North Korean agriculture expert, said: “Chemical fertiliser was supplied by the state until the 1970s, but from the early 1980s, production started to decrease.
“By the 1990s, the state could not supply it any more, so farmers started to use a lot of night soil instead.”
They fertilize with human poop.

This is a reminder that for decades we have had a policy in Washington that urged kicking the can down the road with regard to Korea.

Not President Trump.

This is what he said to the general assembly of South Korea:
The Korean miracle extends exactly as far as the armies of free nations advanced in 1953 — 24 miles to the north. There, it stops; it all comes to an end. Dead stop. The flourishing ends, and the prison state of North Korea sadly begins.
Workers in North Korea labor grueling hours in unbearable conditions for almost no pay. Recently, the entire working population was ordered to work for 70 days straight, or else pay for a day of rest.
Families live in homes without plumbing, and fewer than half have electricity. Parents bribe teachers in hopes of saving their sons and daughters from forced labor. More than a million North Koreans died of famine in the 1990s, and more continue to die of hunger today.
Among children under the age of five, nearly 30 percent of afflicted — and are afflicted by stunted growth due to malnutrition. And yet, in 2012 and 2013, the regime spent an estimated $200 million — or almost half the money that it allocated to improve living standards for its people — to instead build even more monuments, towers, and statues to glorify its dictators.
What remains of the meager harvest of the North Korean economy is distributed according to perceived loyalty to a twisted regime. Far from valuing its people as equal citizens, this cruel dictatorship measures them, scores them, and ranks them based on the most arbitrary indications of their allegiance to the state. Those who score the highest in loyalty may live in the capital city. Those who score the lowest starve. A small infraction by one citizen, such as accidentally staining a picture of the tyrant printed in a discarded newspaper, can wreck the social credit rank of his entire family for many decades.
An estimated 100,000 North Koreans suffer in gulags, toiling in forced labor, and enduring torture, starvation, rape, and murder on a constant basis.
In one known instance, a 9-year-old boy was imprisoned for 10 years because his grandfather was accused of treason. In another, a student was beaten in school for forgetting a single detail about the life of Kim Jong-un.
Soldiers have kidnapped foreigners and forced them to work as language tutors for North Korean spies.
In the part of Korea that was a stronghold for Christianity before the war, Christians and other people of faith who are found praying or holding a religious book of any kind are now detained, tortured, and in many cases, even executed.
North Korean women are forced to abort babies that are considered ethnically inferior. And if these babies are born, the newborns are murdered.
One woman's baby born to a Chinese father was taken away in a bucket. The guards said it did not deserve to live because it was impure.
So why would China feel an obligation to help North Korea?
The horror of life in North Korea is so complete that citizens pay bribes to government officials to have themselves exported aboard as slaves. They would rather be slaves than live in North Korea.
Here is how the press reported that speech:

NPR: "As The World Watches Trump In Korea, His New Jersey Golf Course Gets A Plug."

The Washington Examiner: "Trump praises his New Jersey golf club, Korean golfers during speech to National Assembly in Seoul."

The Hill: "Trump touts New Jersey golf club during South Korea speech."

The Washington Post: "Trump promotes his New Jersey golf course during speech to South Korea parliament."

The American press at times is a giggling, clueless schoolchildren.

President Trump has not pushed human rights in dealing with world leaders.

But if he accomplishes a regime change in Pyongyang, he will have shown once again that actions speak louder than words.

Pray for North Korea. Pray for peace. Pray for the defector.

***

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17 comments:

  1. The enemedia ignores North Korea. Doesn't fit "the narrative".

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  2. Forgot to mention, the picture did not open for me.

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  3. I find it telling that Kim Jong In is a fat boy among starving skeletons.

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  4. I actually think that his comrades intentionally avoided killing him, and simply aimed to wound him...and make it look like they were doing their job.

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    Replies
    1. They probably get inadequate eye care, have trouble with target acquisition, and can't spare enough rounds for target practice. Like Afghanis.

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  5. North Korea is the proverbial paper tiger. They may have an initial sharp bite if they are actually able to deliver a nuclear weapon, but they have nothing after that initial strike but a military that would be all too happy to surrender to the American gangsters at their opportunity. Perhaps that insight is what China is really afraid of.

    President Trump has seemed to intuitively grasp the situation and has actually behaved quite charitably toward the North Koreans, probably to assuage any Chinese anxieties in that regard.

    - Elric

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  6. Don't be too sure. They fought like tigers back in the early fifties. They had "nothing to lose".

    President Trump has an intuitive grasp of 'most everything.

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    1. That is somewhat true, but after we recovered from the initial blow we pushed them back to the Yalu. The only thing that saved them from total destruction was the Chinese army. And the situation in North Korea has changed quite a bit since the early fifties. - Elric

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  7. On a related topic, did China collapse the nuke lab/testing tunnel in north Korea?

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    1. If they had anything to do with building it they could have placed charges at key points that could be set off at will to shut things down any time they wanted. After all, if you are going to let kids play with matches you reserve the ability to take them away at the first sign of trouble.

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  8. They may be on half rations or less, but people can do that for quite some time. The Imperial Japanese were not known for their logistical skills, yet their forces could fight ferociously on a very limited diet.

    -Mikey NTH

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  9. Wonderful post. I didn't follow the news during this trip, your post brings it alive.
    Probably a typo, missing phrase "group of" in this sentence-
    The American press at times is a giggling, clueless schoolchildren.

    Jim, NorCal

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  10. I'm serious...this is one of the great diplomatic feats in the history of earth, unfolding right before our eyes, and the Proggies continue to yell at Roy Moore and cover Franken's ass. They are unfit to lead.

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  11. It’s not unusual to miss when firing at someone, particularly from a distance. In Vietnam, there was one enemy dead per 100,000 M-16 rounds fired. Hitting a fleeing target eight times out of forty seems very good combat shooting.

    That said, the North Korean army may well be too hungry to fight. Another soldier defector from some time ago reports that his unit did not get enough to eat to do a full hour of physical exercise. There are other reports that army units were given orders to raid local farms to feed themselves.

    There are other reports that North Korean army trucks bear heavily patched tires and are often found broken down by the side of the road.

    When the North Korean Air Force launched its fighter fleet in a show of source a few years back, some of them crashed just in normal flight. That shows a lack of maintenance and/or training.

    All of these indicate a low level of readiness by the North Korean military to engage in a war.

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  12. Maybe we should just call their bluff and invade.

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  13. The answer to the Korea Question is: This is a non- problem. "The mandate of heaven" or "the right to rule" are fancy poetic phrases for "maintain sufficient economic expansion to keep the social/political lid on." China does not need a freakish starving pseudo-monarchy as a so-called "buffer." China needs a trade partner that pays cash for Chinese natural resources. China wants U.S. armed forces pulled back off the peninsula.
    It wouldn't surprise me if Pres. Trump has already offered China a "Finland" style solution. An independent, nonnuclear, neutral-by-treaty&constitution United Korea. If the People’s Liberation jingoist's in uniform can't be pushed to accept this, then the Chinese Communist Party isn't actually in charge anymore anyway.

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    Replies
    1. ...I've been saying something similar for years, especially having served with the USAF in Korea - if the RoK is good with it, tell the Chinese that we will pull every last soldier, airman, tank, and airplane off the peninsula and we'd be willing to guarantee a neutral United Korean Republic...but the Kims, their bombs, their bugs, and their chemicals have to go. I suspect we might have to wait about thirty minutes before we get a phone call that the entire Kim family slipped in the shower, and left the keys for the mags at the Chinese embassy.

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