Reflections on recent events, plus the occasional fact
free rant unfiltered by rational argument.
What to do about North Korea? Frankly, I don’t have a clue. Ok, I do have one idea. Bomb them with iPhones. Use drones to deliver hundreds of thousands of iPhones. Have these linked to transmitters placed along the border. In a matter of days, the population would get to see the outside world. Soon they realise North Korea is a dystopian hell. Preload loads of pop music to get them hooked. No Justin Bieber. That would be an infringement of their right to sanity.
Send in the iPhones with chargers. That should over-load North Koreas limited electricity supplies. It’s got to be a viable option, plus cheaper than conventional bombing. Don’t forget each Tomahawk missile cost about $832,000 (£667,000). That will buy you about 2,800 iPhones. So for the cost of ten tomahawks, you get 28,000 iPhones. Using second-hand iPhones it would be cheaper. You know it makes sense. The alternatives are too frightening.
We could ignore Kim, but I suspect he will keep throwing his toys out the cot. Sanctions aren’t working. China and Russia have no appetite for the potential consequences. A worried China sees that a huge influx of refugees could be destabilising. It’s also not keen to see a reunited Korea in the US sphere. That could mean US troops on its border. I guess the US wouldn't be keen to have Soviet troops in Mexico.
Taking out the regime is also a risky option. Any military intervention has unforeseen consequences. With the North Korean military on hair-trigger alert, Seoul will be on the receiving end of a response. Even a short salvo would have terrible results for the civilian population. Unless you can guarantee a knock-out blow .… beheading the regime in one swift action. Even a non-nuclear electromagnetic pulse weapon would have limited impact. North Korea is a low-tech country. Thus, such a weapon wouldn't even register with the majority of the population.
Stirring up some kind of internal rebellion appears untenable. Even in the final days of World War II, with his country in ruins, as armies encircled, Hitler remained in place. Like Hitler, Kim has seen off previous attempts to unseat him. In the process, he’s strengthened his position.
Of course, there is an argument to keep Kim in place. He’s a useful bogey man, who can advance all sorts of agendas. Like the monster under the bed, he threatens from the darkness. In reality, Kim is no tangible threat to the majority of the world’s population. His armies are starving, he has limited fuel whilst his overseas backers are growing wearier. And yet, in the West, the military industrial complex stand to gain. Also, the politicians, aided by a willing media, will feed off the possibility of trouble.
It’s certain Trump needs a war. His ratings are in the toilet. Don’t forget Clinton hit a milk powder factory to distract us from his Monica issues. Using that old play-book, Trump can leverage Kim’s posturing to shore-up his flagging numbers. Actually going to war though is a different prospect. This is not Iraq or Afghanistan. This guy has nuclear weapons that he can throw around. His systems aren’t great at targeting. That’s not a concern. You don’t need accuracy. A nuclear weapon is a proximity weapon, get it in about the right area and it will do its thing.
So, the military options are off the table. Sanctions aren’t working and talks look unlikely. My iPhone idea is looking compelling. Follow this up by air dropping refrigerators, air-cons and other household goods. Before long the North Koreans will be consumers clamouring for change.
My final option … send in Dennis Rodman. Get him to play Kim Jong-un at a couple rounds of basketball. All the cigarettes, kimchi and brandy should do the rest.
Walter De Havilland is one of the last of the colonial coppers. He served 35 years in the Hong Kong Police.