Saturday, 29 April 2017

Random thoughts 29042017

Korea is a country with a very old history and culture. And the people of Korea have always strived hard to keep their own identity without being swamped by the more dominant Chinese or Japanese. Being geographical neighbours to China, Japan and Russia, the Koreans have always been invaded and subjugated. But they are fiercely independent minded. Surprisingly, it is perhaps one of the very few countries never to be colonised by any European power.

Since the beginning of the twentieth century, Koreans have been subjected to tremendous atrocities and used as a pawn in the chessboard of global domination. It has been under a brutal occupation by the Japanese imperialists from 1910 to 1945. And then after the second World War, the USA and USSR decided to carve out the country into two parts along the 38th parallel (latitude). Just like that as the spoil of the war. Without even bothering or caring for the country. North Korea and South Korea, thus formed were instigated to be the enemy of each other and even fought wars. Gradually, the USSR backed socialist regime in North Korea veered away from the USSR and established its own brand of dynastical dictatorship clothed in the harshest forms of communist principles. It got the backing of China who still looks upon the country to be within their sphere of influence. Closing itself to the outer world in general, it has now earned the sobriquet of a rogue state.

South Korea went on to become a vassal state of the USA. The US maintains a big military presence in South Korea.  But neither the South Koreans love USA nor the North Koreans want to live by communist slogans. People in both the countries want to reunite. While South Korea have developed materially due to a free economy and US help, the North Koreans are militarily more developed because the military is the biggest and probably only thing in that country. In spite of so much of having negatives in their political atmosphere, the Koreans, both from North or South excel in technological and educational aptitudes.

But China, Japan, Russia and USA would never like a unified Korea which can become a regional power. So the situation there will always simmer. More like the Kashmir problem to tie down India. The situation is made worse by the closed dictatorship of North Korea headed by a ruthless person. His grandfather Kim Il Sung was the leader thrust by the Soviets who established the totalitarian regime in the Stalinist mould. But he was a global figure who ruled for five long decades till his death in 1994. Some of the readers will remember the full-page advertisements in Indian papers with the smiling face of the " Great Leader" during the seventies.  His son and successor Kim Jong Il had a comparatively shorter inning which was characterised by confrontation with the USA.

The present ruler Kim Jong Un is portrayed as a raving lunatic by the US propaganda. But he plays his cards quite well to needle the US. Whatever we know about him or North Korea is a highly biased propaganda from the west . After the experience of Iraq, Libya, Syria, Afghanistan , Cuba and Venezuela, it is better to take such propaganda with a large dose of salt. The main game played is the clash of Chinese and US interests. Behind the scenes, it is the Chinese who are manipulating Kim 3 to give a  message to the US . After a bout of stage-managed crisis, the situation will resume to the previous status. But by then the stock markets will play their own game.

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