If ever there were a country that could benefit from being invaded by wealthy industrialized super powers looking to plunder their natural resources and create a Coca Cola friendly corporate capitalist system, it is North Korea.
Last month, vice premier Choe Yong Gon was executed for apparently expressing “discomfort against the young leader’s forestation policy” on the orders of Supreme Leader Kim Jong Un. This month, a NASA satellite image was released showing just how economically backwards the country is (it is almost invisible at night due to lack of electricity):
It is high time the international community put an end to the madness in the hermit country and stop the endless killings and mass starvation plaguing the desperate population.
Generally speaking, war is never a good idea. The human, economic and environmental cost is enormous and the ramifications of prolonged bloodshed can last decades, even centuries. Iraq was blasted back into the Bronze Age with America’s needless invasion back in 2003, providing a very good example of war that really benefited no one. It will take decades to revive the remnants of Iraq’s civil society and generations of Iraqis will be negatively affected by the violence created through years and years of conflict. Yes, Saddam Hussein has gone, but sectarian violence, Islamic extremism and a crumbling economy are hardly a reward for Iraq’s violation.
If North Korea is invaded by western powers (or anyone else), there would no doubt be the same unpredictable mayhem for decades afterwards. Post war occupation is never an easy business, and it isn’t hard to imagine occupying forces clashing badly with a completely alien culture that has been isolated for six decades. There would likely be extreme violence and potentially a civil war if the power vacuum isn’t plugged quickly and skillfully (and given our own track record, this isn’t likely to happen). Whether it is China, Russia or America taking the lead in restructuring North Korea, they would be looking to turn the country into a profitable enterprise – as have all invading forces throughout history.
North Korea reportedly has an abundance of rare earth oxides deposits that are used to build tech products like cell phones and guided missiles, so it could be a huge profitable venture from a monetary perspective. It is of course morally reprehensible to discuss invading a country on the basis of its potential profitability, but the situation in North Korea is so dire that almost any economic and political system is preferable to the status quo. In 2014, a UN Commission of Inquiry found that abuses in North Korea “were without parallel in the contemporary world.” The report stated that:
They [the abuses] include extermination, murder, enslavement, torture, imprisonment, rape, forced abortions, and other sexual violence. North Korea operates a series of secretive prison camps where perceived opponents of the government are sent to face torture and abuse, starvation rations, and forced labor. Fear of collective punishment is used to silence dissent. There is no independent media, functioning civil society, or religious freedom.
In other words, North Korea is hell on earth. If you can stomach it, just listen to tales from those who survived North Korean prison camps:
Chinese style communism with a dictatorial government would be heaven on earth compared to the totalitarian hell hole that is North Korea, and so would an American style capitalist democracy with a McDonalds on every street corner and a rampant obesity epidemic. This is the one country where nuking the government and killing thousands of North Koreans collaterally would be justified in the long term – an admittedly horrific statement given the actual consequences of war.
Of course it is easy to plan and support a war you are not actually going to take part in. Sending other people’s children into battle is not something to take lightly, so here’s a proposal: let’s get the international community to put forward their respective country’s best technology and come up with an invasion plan that requires no boots on the ground until Kim Jong-un’s regime has been completely obliterated. Drones, satellites, robots, you name it – let’s use our best stuff to take out the world’s most disgusting tyrant so we can get to business turning North Korea into literally anything other than North Korea.
Ben Cohen is the editor and founder of The Daily Banter. He lives in Washington DC where he does podcasts, teaches Martial Arts, and tries to be a good father. He would be extremely disturbed if you took him too seriously.