Politics over Economics

Those formulating diplomatic approaches to North Korean issues know by now that any calculation predicated on its rational economic self-interest is a mistaken one. The juche system of self reliance evidently incorporates no claim to provide for the material wellbeing of the mass of its citizens; they are expected, in times where resources are squeezed and with no irony whatsoever, to tap “the tree good for the bones” -or to face starvation.  The North’s eternal deference of the fruits of an economic liberalisation that could destroy the regime demands that the world respond to and respect only  its aggregated capacity for one-off  force majeure, and detatch itself from irrelavant dollars and cents fripperies such as joint economic development projects and the feeding of its people. Mulling “fresh” sanctions against North Korea is like putting a penny on the price of 12 year old scotch in an effort to dissuade a suspected alcoholic who has, in fact, never touched a drop.

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