The nature of North Korea’s criminality is back in the news, and it is making me think. I am aware that the US has propped up some crappy regimes in its time. I also think that our nation could not bring itself to support a state like North Korea. I think that the People’s Republic of China is really setting a new low, every day, by standing by while their parasite-satellite dehumanizes itself. I think that the people of the world can rally around the cause of the North Koreans as well. China rises and seeks to gain good will abroad that the U.S. is too inept to recapture. We should ask Beijing how it can claim any sort of moral high ground while it pays for the torture of the korean peninsula north of the 38th parallel.
I do not have to go over the atrocities that conjure up thoughts of Stalin, Mengele or the inquisition. The fact of the matter is, we have known that North Korea is the worst government on the planet for decades. It is not fair to say that the United States is blameless, that nation’s history in East Asia his hardly spotless. It is safe to say that the superpower has bungled opportunities to help diffuse the situation on the peninsula. Originally, North Korea was the Soviet Union’s mess. That nation, and the context in which the current North Korean state was created, are now gone. Indeed, one might exonerate the USSR to some extent by pointing out that North Korea was healthier, wealthier and equally free as its southern sibling through the seventies. Today North Korea is the responsibility of China. China has the power to bring the Kim government to an end, to release his millions of subjects from slavery. It should do so because whatever your opinion of the China-Tibet issue, this far darker.
This brings me back to my belief that the United States would not support a state like North Korea, at least not over a long period of time. The North Korean state has a good deal of similarities to the USSR, especially under Stalin. The U.S. and the USSR had a brief friendship in the war against the fascist Axis Nations. This was at most, a six year period, and they were never better allies than two enemies with bigger problems than each other. Many western generals on the European front were happy to rearm the wehrmacht to fight the communist armies or even nuke Moscow after the German surrender. The brief US-USSR alliance does not indicates that the US could support a state like North Korea, at least over any long period of time. What China is doing is different.
The US had supported many horrible states though, even if these did not resemble Stalin’s state. In the course of the Cold War killing squads and neo-fascists ran rampant throughout the global south with the support of the US and the deep state. As terrible as the anti-communist governments in Chile, Indonesia, South Korea and other examples were, none of them have been as committed to a long term reign of demented suffering as the current North Korean administration. For example, South Korea and Chile were compelled to grow their general economies, and the United States eventually backed transitions to democratic features. To compare the lives of these citizens to the those of the North Korean people is almost an act of cruelty. The sordid history of the client states of the United States just never reach such sustained criminal lows.
Of course, the fly in the ointment is Israel. For about as long as the Kim Dynasty has been reliant on the USSR or China, Israel has relied on the United States for continued existence. Now if we only look at the citizens of the state of Israel, and compare them to the North Koreans, this issue looks mute. The United States has backed a democratic nation with high scores in economic, health and educational assessments. By virtue of not being in North Korea, Israelis have more freedom, and their nation is the most developed in their region. This obscures the real issue: the flip side of Israel’s coin is Palestine. I do not want to turn this into an Israel-Palestine post, so I’m not going to. I will say that I do not believe that the crimes against the Palestinians amount to as much as the crimes against the North Koreans.
The Palestinian people have the backing of the Arab world, had the support of the Soviets and their allies. Recently, they have held elections and many Palestinians have been able to forge good lives abroad. North Koreans live in an house of horrors that simply make me ill. There is just no justification for China’s support of the North Korean state the way it currently operates. If it could at least point to progress in achieving a better possible life for its citizens, that might be something. The fact of the matter is that the North Korean state is in a painful death spiral that promises to only get worse, and China alone enables this. Many nations have done terrible things, do terrible things, and will continue to do so into the future. That said, I think China’s support of the North Korean state is the sickest example of propping up a satellite state that exists today.