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North Korea’s Ballistic Bluster May Mask Major Epidemic

North Korea’s Ballistic Bluster May Mask Major Epidemic

Kim Jong Un choose poorly by refusing to follow-through on Singapore Summit.

Two years ago, President Donald Trump was meeting with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un in Singapore and celebrating the signing of a historic agreement.

Recall that Kim saw a video depicting the prosperous and productive nation North Korea could be if it were an honest partner and willing negotiator.

Kim treated Trump as if he were similar to his predecessors and act-out in the hopes of being bribed into good behavior. For example, he continues to order ballistic missile tests, trying to present “strength.”

North Korea fired what are believed to be two short-range ballistic missiles in the country’s first weapons test of the year.

South Korean officials reported the projectiles were fired from the coastal town of Wonsan on Monday. They soared 149 miles northeast to a top height of 22 miles before falling into the waters between South Korea and Japan. South Korea’s Joint Chiefs of Staff suspect the projectiles were short-range ballistic missiles, and an investigation into the incident is being conducted by South Korean and U.S. officials.

The test was believed to be a test of North Korea’s developing “super-large” multi-rocket launcher, which was tested in 2019. This launcher could give North Korea enough range to strike U.S. bases in Japan or South Korea.

Kim chose poorly.

In these days of infection and fear, a recent propaganda photo sums up the image North Korea wants to show the world, as well as its people: Soldiers with black surgical masks surround leader Kim Jong Un, ensconced in a leather overcoat and without a mask as he oversees a defiant military drill.

As a new and frightening virus closes in around it, North Korea presents itself as a fortress, tightening its borders as cadres of health officials stage a monumental disinfection and monitoring program.

That image of world-defying impregnability, however, may belie a brewing disaster.

North Korea, which has what experts call a horrendous medical infrastructure in the best of times, shares a porous, nearly 1,450-kilometer (900-mile) border with China, where the disease originated and has since rapidly spread around the world. The North’s government has also long considered public reports on infectious disease — or, for that matter, anything that could hurt the ruling elite — matters of state secrecy.

Legal Insurrection readers may recall a previous report I did on North Korean farming techniques and their reliance on human feces, which is also another poor choice.

Parasitic worms have been found in a North Korean soldier critically injured while defecting to South Korea, highlighting nutrition and hygiene problems that observers believe have plagued the isolated country for decades.

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.

Between the sanitation, a diet limited by corrupt farming practices and sanctions, and North Korea’s secret society, conditions ripen for a COVID-19 epidemic. There are indications that this may be occurring.

The Daily NK is a South Korean newspaper that reports on the North, using informants. North Korean dictator Kim Jong-il’s eldest son Kim Jong-nam described it as the most accurate source of inside information on North Korea, particularly the country’s markets. Sometimes even South Korea’s National Intelligence Service contacts Daily NK asking for information.

Here is what that publication is reporting:

North Korea has ordered major provincial organizations, military-run factories and other facilities to prepare a months’ worth of food, signalling that the state is unable to provide rations anymore, Daily NK has learned.

“The order was handed down by provincial party committees to local people’s committees, Ministry of State Security offices, police stations, military-run factories run by the Second Economic Committee [of the Workers’ Party of Korea], and even orphanages,” a North Hamgyong Province-based source told Daily NK on Feb. 26.

“This is the first time the party has handed down an order for these organizations to prepare a months’ worth of food. It’s particularly noteworthy because North Korea isn’t facing the threat of war,” the source continued.

The images taken at the missile testing show several officers wearing face masks. Reports indicate North Korean military maneuvers have been trimmed back, perhaps to stem the spread.

James Carafano of The Heritage Foundation wrote in a recent op-ed piece for Fox News that Pyongyang had closed its border with China.

Lack of trade and travel – even a temporary ban – will further cripple the economy of what is already the poorest country on Earth. The bottom line: Starving North Koreans will starve more, Carafano wrote.

North Koreans are tough, Carafano also noted. They have suffered through decades of deprivation and pain at the hands of the regime in Pyongyang, so they will likely survive this.

Still, if the virus gets loose in North Korea, it will be hellish, he said. Most North Koreans are malnourished, and malnourished people have depressed immune systems. People with depressed immune systems are more likely to get the flu and more likely to be debilitated by it.

I suspect that last week’s ballistic bluster was an attempt to distract a sick and miserable population. That is a prescription likely to fail.

And the saddest part of all, it didn’t need to happen.


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notamemberofanyorganizedpolicital | March 4, 2020 at 8:43 pm

Hasn’t the North Korean population been undernourished for decades?

I doubt if Kim did any choosing, other than choosing to live.

No country is more than 3 meals away from a revolution.

    clintack in reply to MajorWood. | March 5, 2020 at 8:44 am

    Sadly, I think North Korea has solidly disproven that over the last several decades.

      Tom Servo in reply to clintack. | March 5, 2020 at 10:35 am

      Yes – when a government has all the guns, and the willingness to use them, and the people have none, then revolution is never more than the dream of those who are dying.

        chocopot in reply to Tom Servo. | March 5, 2020 at 11:48 am

        Which is exactly why we must never let the Communists – er, I mean the Democrats – ever again gain control of our government.

        The US is just a couple of elections away from being a fascist country.

        Hillary clinton was entrusted with the torch of treason from obama/jarrett/soros, but she the corrupt, treasonous POS ‘snatched defeat from the jaws of victory’.

        Half the US population is so brainwashed, so pathetically ignorant and arrogant, we are again one or two elections away from tyranny. Just look at Virginia. Just look at treasonous scams perpetrated by pelosi and company.

“And the saddest part of all, it didn’t need to happen.”

No, its happening was inevitable.

I don’t understand why Kim and his supporters can’t look at South Korea’s vibrant economy and see what they could become if they dropped their aggressive attitude.

But our young people here in America need to look at North Korea (and Cuba and Venezuela) to see what we could become if we allow the Socialists to take over.

    Olinser in reply to OldProf2. | March 4, 2020 at 11:31 pm

    Because you don’t take the time to understand how they actually live.

    Kim? He wouldn’t personally benefit from a vibrant economy. He is supreme dictator of his country. Materially he has everything he personally could possibly want. He doesn’t care how his people live. He cares that they worship him, and keeping them poor and stupid makes it easier to maintain his power.

    Likewise, the top level supporters of Kim already live large in their country (as long as they don’t piss off Kim Jong Healthy and get executed). Their standard of living not improve either by a vibrant economy.

    And for those not in positions of power, 99% of his people HAVE NO CONTACT with any outsiders. They have no internet. They have no TV. No non-state newspapers. Every bit of news they see other than word of mouth comes from the State. The borders are closed and tightly regulated. Most of them don’t even having electricity or RUNNING WATER.

    So no, they can’t ‘look and see what they could become’. Kim tightly controls his populace so they CAN’T look at how South Korea lives. There are countless stories about people escaping North Korea and being utterly shocked at the standard of living in other countries. They are told that North Korea is one of the strongest countries in the world, that they are a proud people, that Dear Leader is a titan on the world stage, and that compared to other countries they are prosperous and lucky, and that Dear Leader is the one they owe their thanks to.

    Dictatorships have but ONE benefactor of the dictatorship: the dictator. Everyone else is either in the inner circle (and terrorized in a different way) or they aren’t and they get crumbs.

    Kim would be nothing without his dictatorhsip. A free market would shove him aside like the DNC does to hillary clinton and bernie sanders.

You can bet your butt that North Korea is being eaten alive by Coronovirus.

Is NK not Bernie’s model for government?

A couple of years ago I downloaded several autobiographies of North Koreans who had escaped to the west and told the world what their lives were like in NK. After reading them, I concluded that everything we’re told about conditions there is true but incomplete: it’s worse.

Suggested reading: A River In Darkness and The Girl With Seven Names. These stories and others like them will make you thank God for being an American.

    TX-rifraph in reply to DSHornet. | March 5, 2020 at 11:40 am

    I will read both even though I already thank God for being an American. I thank you for the reading recommendation.

    ” thank God for being an American…”

    If only we can take back our schools, and reverse the toxic brainwashing of our young.

    But we’ve got the romneys of the world to deal with first. Once we finish cleaning out the traitors in our own party, we can start moving things along.