Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Criminals 11: Kim Jong Il, North Korea

North Korea's political leadership since the creation of the country in 1948, only came from one family.

Kim Il Sung, North Korea founder, died in 1994.
Kim Jong Il, successor, died December 2011, 69 years old.
Kim Jong Un, successor, 20 years old; he is one of the 3 sons of Jong Il.

Yesterday, world news bannered the death of Kim Jong Il, the reining dictator of North Korea due to heart attack. The man has ruled North Korea for 17 years (1994-2011) and has engaged S. Korea in several near-war situations.

My good S. Korean friend, Chung-ho Kim, President of the free market think tank in Seoul, Center for Free Enterprise, told me that after the Korean war of 1950-53, almost the whole of Seoul was flat, no big building was standing.

Despite his totalitarian leadership, many North Koreans were greatly saddened and wept at the news of KJI's death. His successor, KJ Un, also shown. A 20-years old boy can lead a nation of 24 million people that is very poor and frequently suffering from hunger? Only a dictatorial government can do that. But we will see, let us give the boy a chance to prove his leadership.

Chung-ho also once showed us this photo in one of his presentations and he asked, "how short is the North?". I think the answer is something like 4 inches, or the average South Korean is 4 inches taller than an average North Korean, even coming from the same genes.

I remember in 2003, I went to Sweden for a 7-weeks international training seminar on "Sustainable Agriculture". I have two batchmates then from North Korea, both from the government of course, their Ministry of Agriculture. They were bright, they can hardly speak English but their presentations were very quantitative. And they were small, average height would be about 5 ft tall.

Early this year, I wrote and showed this satellite photo in Earth Hour lunacy, March 18, 2011:

Aside from continental Africa, here's another good model for the WWF and other climate alarmists -- North Korea. In this satellite picture taken in 2003, South Korea is the one with lots of lights, Seoul being the brightest. 

The people in N. Korea shut off their lights not only one hour per year. They do it several hours per night, 365 nights a year. See also Earth Hour success in North Korea

Meanwhile, Dan Mitchell of Cato wrote this yesterday.

The Brutal Impact of North Korean Statism

One hopes that the dictator of North Korea suffered greatly before he died. After all, his totalitarian and communist (pardon the redundancy) policies have cause untold death and misery.
But let’s try to learn an economics lesson. In a previous post, I compared long-term growth in Hong Kong and Argentina to show the difference between capitalism and cronyism.
But for a much more dramatic comparison, look at the difference between North Korea and South Korea.
Hmmm… I wonder if we can conclude that markets are better than statism?

The world is a bit safer now with one dictator gone. I hope, as we don't see yet how different, or how worse, KJ Un would be.

See also:
North and South Korea conflict, November 23, 2010
Criminals 1: Killings in Thailand and Military Crackdown, April 16, 2009
Criminals 2: Pakistan, the Criminal state, August 17, 2010
Criminals 3: Kidnappers in Government, August 24, 2010
Criminals 4: Hostage-taking of HK Tourists in Luneta, August 31, 2010
Criminals 5: One Year of Maguindanao Massacre, November 23, 2010

Criminals 7: Illegal Drugs and China Execution, April 01, 2011
Criminals 8: Extortion Culture in the PNP, June 13, 2011
Criminals 9: Crime Wave in Metro Manila?, August 10, 2011
Criminals 10: London Riots, August 10, 2011

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