Korea: May 12, 2002

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South Korea's "Sunshine Policy" of playing nice to the north appears to have failed, with the north continuing to demand bribes and resist any effective changes in how they run the northern economy or government. South Korean politicians are desperate to prop up the North Korean dictatorship lest there be a war or, almost as bad, the North Korean government collapses and the northerners seek reunion with the south. Aware of how much it cost West Germany to absorb East Germany in the 1990s, South Korean politicians see that kind of expense as political poison. China also wants to avoid a breakdown of the North Korean dictatorship, as that could mean over a million refugees fleeing into China. The North Korean dictatorship is running on momentum and fear, amidst economic collapse and years of famine. At the rate things are going, the North Korean government could end up killing as large a portion of their population as Pol Pot's communists did in 1970s Cambodia. 

 

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