Many people in the US, when they think of North Korea’s Kim jong-Un, they think of some crazed, irrational national leader. All we have to do is look at the White House to see that North Korea certainly has no patent on such leaders. But there’s a reason for all his bombast, several in fact. Here Luke Pickrell makes a presentation to the Laney Socialist Club on some of the history of the peninsula and on the present regime in the North:
As Luke shows, the history of all of Korea has been a traumatic one for over 100 years, bounced around like a ping-pong ball between greater powers. Then there was the division of the country, the loss of its main ally (the Soviet Union), the fact of this half-a-country balancing between South Korea, China, Japan, the US… With the loss of the Soviets, living standards collapsed by 50%. Now, Kim is pursuing an economic policy much like that of Gorbachev’s. Kim knows what happened to him, so no wonder he feels in a precarious situation; he is! As for the increasingly hostile utterances of Kim right now: This is the time of year when the US and South Korean governments prepare to carry out joint military exercises. It is always a time of increased tensions in the region and is always reflected in increased bellicose statements from the North Korean government.
There’s a lot more to Luke’s interesting presentation. We urge you to listen to it.