An Acausal Calm
It's hard to say exactly what's up with North and South Korea. Best and Worst Korea have been feuding with each other since the end of WWII and the Chinese Revolution. As the Soviets took the North and the U.S. supported the South, a line was drawn at the 38th parallel separating the Democratic People's Republic of Korea from the Republic of Korea. Both Koreas have been toeing that line for over 65 years. As “The Land of the Morning Calm,” one must wonder if either side is being honest. The North thinks it's superior, the South believes the U.S. will protect them in all ways, and it seems that the two halves combine to form a joint irresponsibility. An acausal calm is generally found in delusional children and not in modern countries with substantial military means. Nervousness could be appropriate and understandable, but the tyrannically ruled DPRK and the actually democratic ROK seem convinced of their own rhetoric. Some call the mutual posturing a hot spot, though I'd suggest hemorrhoid would be more apropos.
Media is duly efficient and candid in reporting every
single attempt by North Korea to threaten (read: beg from)
any country who will pay attention (and give a donation to
help the cause of misery), though commentary and
interpretation are ...way different among the
opinionated. Many offer alarmist predictions, many
more warn of empty silliness, and a few (like me) opt out
of reading tea leaves for answers. Accidents do happen and it would
probably be wise to monitor the DPRK as closely as
possible. And, if anything bad does happen, nuke
Best Korea from orbit. It's the only way to be sure.
Pre-Mumun Period dolmens ca. 3000 BCE in North (L) and South (R) Korea (Song-Nai & Mong-Lyong 1992; pp. 63, 68-70).
The prehistory of Korea (var. Corea, Chōsen, Choo-sen, & Chosŏn) is problematic, as Best and Worst Korea don't share their research and differ greatly in methodology and purpose. Pure science is rare and racist propaganda is regarded as business as usual. A Homo erectus presence is possible, archaic Homo sapiens make an appearance (without Homo sapiens neanderthalensis), and fully modern Homo sapiens sapiens are thought to have migrated to Korea from a Proto-Altaic homeland. Kinship with Siberians and Turks, Chinese and Japanese, and even the New World Inuit (“Eskimos”) are considered likely. A pre-Buddhist and pre-Confucianism Korean shamanism survives with the female mudang approximating the Tungus šamán. North Korea is loath to admit relationships with other East Asian peoples, while the South welcomes such claims. The history of Korea includes some independent periods, but most of its past is tied to either Chinese or Japanese control and annexation. And, displaying shapes of things to come, the 1871 Shinmiyangyo incident involved the deaths of two hundred and forty-three Korean troops with three American casualties. Yeah, the more things change...
As we're constantly reminded, the 1950-1953 Korean War (née “Police Action,” Conflict) never formally ended. The maniacal braggadocio by the “Great Leader,” Kim Il-sung, the late “Dear Leader,” Kim Jong Il, and the “Newbie Leader,” Kim Jong un is consistently over-the-top and ineffectual, but their nuclear work in general and their 1998 and 2012 firing of missiles over Japan specifically, make for genuine and worrisome concern. Well, I was previously concerned when it was revealed that the DPRK excels in flooding the marketplace with bogus Marlboro cigarettes and fake Viagra! The swerve of some people!
In a perfect world, much like China boldly marched to within 50 miles of an uppity Hanoi in 1979, one could hope that China will play Whac-A-Despot if Kim Jong un slips any further into idiocy. It's doubtful the ROK will act independently of U.S. policy, another strongly worded letter of condemnation by the U.N. will likely produce the same non-response, a volunteer coalition of idealistic nations to throw the totalitarians from the Peninsula stands as much of a chance at coming together as the Chicago Cubs have of winning the World Series this autumn, and as the recent announcement that ancient Best Korea was home to a lair of Asian unicorns (the saola antelopes), it would be unwise for any country to go up against the High Magick of the DPRK...
As we fight alongside others to combat the infectious spread of Al Qaeda in Mali and Bali, it seems a shame that Best Korea is ignored. If they can entice Dennis Rodman, perhaps they could convince the Taliban to visit and vacation in the Land of Morning Calm. It's like when the Vikings named Greenland as a means to attract investors, maybe convincing some group to emigrate to the DPRK would be the right thing to do. Yeah, I'm looking at you, Westboro Baptist Church!
Yesterday, it was reported that North Korea had moved a missile of impressive umph to its east coast. Guam should remain calm, but those hentai Japanese will likely freak out a little in their pants. Which means, of course, that if Sweet Caroline Kennedy gets the nod for the ambassadorship to Japan, she'll be sporting white hair in a half-dozen months. It's a tough break for Caroline, as Japan isn't as impressive as the Court of St. James (her grandfather, Joseph P. Kennedy, was ambassador to Great Britain from 1938 to 1940), but with its flexible economy Japan is far from a casual appointment. They've got suicidal and alcoholic young men, the women appear to dress like school girls until shortly before reaching retirement age, really bad luck with nuclear radiation (contra Godzilla), they're behind in points with natural disasters, Greenpeace continues to hate them, yet their cars and personal electronics still sell very well.
So, how do we get past “The Land of the Morning Calm” and make Best Korea smell the coffee? We use a bait-and-switch approach, of course! Promise the entire DPRK a massive shipment of orphaned cats and dogs from around the world (they do so much appreciate fine and not-so-fine pet-flesh), and secretly substitute green salads and cans of creamed corn... The way to a nation is through its stomach and we've got to get North Korea on a different diet before we can consider any further substantial change. Yeah, the DPRK wants/needs free food for its non-free people. I don't know about you, but I feel calmer already... Viva la cats and dogs!
Hey, that's a spicy Kimchi!