Korea: March 15, 2003

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 North Korea has cranked up their propaganda broadcasts to unprecedented levels of threats and accusations. The north accuses the US of planning to attack North Korea and use nuclear weapons. In response to these imaginary threats, the north is threatening to strike first, with conventional and nuclear weapons. No one takes all this very seriously, as loopy behavior is fairly normal up north. But the unprecedented level of noise from the north indicates something new. It is suspected, from what the increasing number of North Korean refugees are saying, that the government up north fears that it loosing control. The cut off of free fuel supplies, and cut backs in food aid have left the North Korean government will even fewer resources with which to reward the few percent of the population it depends on to keep everyone else in line. There is unrest in the armed forces and even some of the lower level communist party functionaries are becoming suspect. The north apparently believes that if it threatens enough, it's neighbors and the US will come across with fuel, food and other aid. But so far, this isn't working.

 

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