Korea: September 18, 2002

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North and South Korea both made elaborate ceremonies as fences to the DMZ were opened on both sides were opened and work began to clear two corridors (one 250 meters wide and the other 100 meters wide) for railroad connections between north and south. The mine clearing and construction are expected to be complete by next year.

North Koreas economic situation is so desperate that the leadership has been forced to do whatever they can to obtain money and food from outsiders. Russia and China have pointed out that communist nations can reform their economies, but this causes political unrest. The several hundred thousand people who run North Korea are desperate to hang onto their power and privilege, but are running out of options. The money and food extorted from South Korea, America and Japan has kept the northern ruling class going for the past decade, but pressure to reform the decrepit communist economy in the north will probably make northerners aware of how badly they have been screwed and likely trigger unrest.

 

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