JavaScript disabled. Please enable JavaScript to use My News, My Clippings, My Comments and user settings.

If you have trouble accessing our login form below, you can go to our login page.

If you have trouble accessing our login form below, you can go to our login page.

Paranoid state fuels military madness

Date
North Korean soldiers take part in a mass parade in Pyongyang to celebrate the 100th anniversary of founder Kim Il-sung's birth.

North Korean soldiers take part in a mass parade in Pyongyang to celebrate the 100th anniversary of founder Kim Il-sung's birth. Photo: Reuters

The Government of the Republic promotes friendship and cooperation with the various countries of the world. It makes every effort in unity with all the peace-loving peoples of the world to ... reduce armaments, nuclear armaments in particular, thereby meeting the desire of human beings to live in a world, free from nuclear weapons. The Democratic People's Republic of Korea website

Once the above-said special actions kick off, they will reduce all the rat-like groups and the bases for provocations to ashes in three or four minutes, in much shorter time, by unprecedented peculiar means and methods of our own style. The Korean People's Army Command

It would be lunacy, rib-chuckling idiocy, if it were not so serious. Both statements are the creation of North Korea. Without knowing the author of the first, you could take it as the statement of a nation part naif, part hopeless idealist, maybe a recluse from the world, a Bhutan with a national happiness index switched on to a view of the unknown outside world.

Knowing the author, it's breathtakingly hypocritical. And yet, there it is: a nation that starves its people to feed its military spouting a philosophy of friendship and cooperation. It's despicable.

The second statement is, in its ridiculous way, at least honest. It was made this week by the "special operation action group" of the Korean People's Army's Supreme Command.

The Democratic People's Republic — a misnomer on the same level of a grand lie as the German Democratic Republic (East Germany) — was retaliating for the great hurt it had endured over a botched missile launch and perceived slights at the 100-year birthday celebration for Kim Il-sung, its founder, its ''Great Leader".

It is passing strange that a socialist state should embrace a familial dynasty; after the "Great Leader" came his son Kim Jung-il and then the present leader, Kim Jong-un.

One country's family values mean something different in another's. In North Korea, they mean tyranny. But like all tyrannical reigns, it demands of its downtrodden citizens an unquestioning love for the leader and state, while the state in return makes its people pawns in a pariah.

As to the words of statement No. 2, no sane person could have made them. Once actions kick off, they will reduce "all the rat-like groups and the bases for provocations to ashes in three or four minutes, in much shorter time, by unprecedented peculiar means".

It could have just easily said: "Among our weaponry are such diverse elements as fear, surprise, ruthless efficiency, an almost fanatical devotion to the Pope [read Great Leader. No. 3] and nice red uniforms."

The latter is, of course, Monty Python's take on the Spanish Inquisition. The Python team were joking. Alas, the North Koreans were not. Humour is not part of their weaponry, more's the pity.

One of the key planks of North Korea's massive military complex (which according to the US State Department has one of the largest armies in the world with about 1.2 million personnel actively deployed) is its unbending paranoia. What it doesn't see is that if it did not strike a belligerent posture and act as a threat then it wouldn't be treated as one.

Recently, a senior military officer, Lieutenant-Colonel Nam Dong Ho, gave an example of this. He said: "Nuclear weapons are not the monopoly of the United States." North Korea needed them because the US was a threat to his country, he said. Thus nuclear testing needed to be on the agenda.

The rest of the world would be better pleased to see a nation feeding its own people instead of buying arms. As it is, North Korea's stance is a constant threat to it receiving food aid from other countries, particularly the US, the nation it condemns as a threat to its existence.

It's true that the US stance is also less than pure, being as it is using such aid to bring into line a rogue nation.

The despairing result of all this is that it is the people who suffer, not the leaders. It's not enough that famines devastate the population, as North Korea endured in the nineties and from which it has not recovered, but that military madness should overwhelm all other considerations.

The health of a nation is more than its arsenal. It is more than its ridiculous posturing; its fanatical language dressed up as outrage.

Unfortunately, the grey men of Pyongyang believe what they say. In the end, theirs is a lexicon without humanity. Their grasp of humanity towards their own is peculiar, to say the least.

twitter Follow the National Times on Twitter: @NationalTimesAU

5 comments so far

  • A very good article but it is important to recognise that they only continue with the support of China. China, for its own reasons, supports the continaution of this situation. If change is to occur it will only occur if China is willing to force the change.

    I suspect that China is becoming tired and also concerned with the atomic games and attacks but is not ready to take 'action" to rein in this rabid dictatorship.

    Commenter
    Reality
    Location
    Sydney
    Date and time
    April 27, 2012, 10:09AM
    • this rabid didtatorship is only affecting its own in boarder population. it is under constant political attack from america who by the way take their standlike over military all over the world and attack militarily any country that has something american big business wants to either control or own.like another countries economy or oil,bestwestern motel chains,mcdonalds burgers,kfc,coca cola.american world domination.for a dollar,but you dont get a choice they attack militarily or subvert your economical stability,then over run your economy

      Commenter
      chris.everingham1
      Date and time
      April 28, 2012, 1:51PM
  • While the people play their masters games, non will grasp self determining reigns.

    Commenter
    Games
    Date and time
    April 27, 2012, 7:30PM
    • More 'get on the bandwagon North Korea bashing'.

      One only needs to look at US foreign policy and state propaganda to understand that our Australian press is so incredibly biased...

      When the US talks Chinese 'human rights' they don't mention Guantanamo Bay, Israel, race in southern US states, 'predators' over Pakistan, American homeless etc ..etc ?

      Can you imagine the uproar if it was Chinese spy planes and troops up and down the Californian coast, containing US capitalist behaviours? What would you print then? Something clever on Iran?

      Be original, write something objective, try a little truth?

      Commenter
      Ima Sponge.
      Location
      Armidale, N.S.W.
      Date and time
      April 28, 2012, 6:12AM
      • Their fearsome display impresses in a similar manner to Wilke's relentless search for relevance.

        Commenter
        Geronimo
        Location
        Yippee Yi Yo
        Date and time
        April 28, 2012, 11:22AM

        Make a comment

        You are logged in as [Logout]

        All information entered below may be published.

        Error: Please enter your screen name.

        Error: Your Screen Name must be less than 255 characters.

        Error: Your Location must be less than 255 characters.

        Error: Please enter your comment.

        Error: Your Message must be less than 300 words.

        Post to

        You need to have read and accepted the Conditions of Use.

        Thank you

        Your comment has been submitted for approval.

        Comments are moderated and are generally published if they are on-topic and not abusive.

        Featured advertisers