North Korea

Posted on April 4, 2013

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So, I was reading this article today about North Korea, and a particular piece really stuck out to me:

A spokesman for the North Korean People’s Army released a statement earlier today saying the military has been “authorized to attack the American imperialists using smaller, lighter, and diversified” nuclear weapons. “We are ready any day, could be even today or tomorrow,” and “the moment of explosion is approaching fast,” it said.

Many North Korea analysts believe the series of statements and declarations are for their internal use, a way for different organizations and institutions within the North Korean regime to demonstrate loyalty.

“Some of the statements or the content of the statements are clearly disconnected from reality,” Daniel Pinkston of International Crisis Group said.

“It is targeted at the domestic audience. The average North Korean has no capacity to really assess the credibility of the statements,” he said. “And almost all people in North Korea are going to look at that and their assessment is going to be, ‘Wow, we are really powerful, we have a strong leadership.’ It’s very impressive to them.”

I’m no expert on foreign relations, by any stretch of the imagination.  And perhaps these threats and excited rhetoric are merely for nationalistic ends.  It makes sense.  The US uses similar nationalistic rhetoric as a means for producing a more cohesive people, a seemingly united front.  Seeking out solidarity through aggression (specifically power over others) has been normalized, but at what cost?  What happens when “strong leadership” is equated with being the biggest bully?   What does it say about a people if they respond positively to threats of violence made on “their” behalf?  I’m not picking on North Korea here (not that many people would mind, which in and of itself is problematic); I think these patterns of behaviors are world-wide (hello, militarism!).  Probably a byproduct of capitalism, industrialization and heteropatriarchy.

It really has me thinking about nonviolent communication principles and sociological fractals.

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