In the United States, felons in general are not allowed to vote, serve on juries, or hold public office. By committing felonies, they lose rights that are enjoyed by most citizens, and rightly so. In the same way, North Korea has forfeited its right to be considered a nation by the crimes it has committed.
In the United States, felons in general are not allowed to vote, serve on juries, or hold public office. By committing felonies, they lose rights that are enjoyed by most citizens, and rightly so. In the same way, North Korea has forfeited its right to be considered a nation by the crimes it has committed. The North Korean GOVERNMENT traffics in illegal drugs, illegal arms, and counterfeit money, while committing unbelievable human rights offenses against its own people. It is more of a crime syndicate than a nation.
Kim Jong-il, the murderous dictator of North Korea was not elected by the people. He inherited his position when his father, Kim Il-sung, died. You might say that dictatorship is the family business. He lives in splendor while the North Korean people live in squalor. Over two million North Koreans have died of starvation in the last ten years. Millions more are alive today only because of food given by foreign aid organizations. Yet Kim continues to squander over one-third of the national budget on arms build-up and his goose-stepping army.
Kim Jong-il's totalitarian regime is guilty of systematic human rights abuses. A US human rights group estimates that there are up to 200,000 political prisoners in North Korea. There have been numerous reports of torture, public executions, slave labor, forced abortions and murders of infants in his prison camps.
North Korea is crumbling. Most of its infrastructure was built between 1910 and 1948. This is typical of Communist nations which are closed to the world. The economy is stagnant. The people have no incentive to be productive, because the government takes everything. Their only desire is to eke out enough of a living to feed their children.
Meanwhile, Kim Jong-il lives in luxury, oblivious to the needs of the people he holds in slavery. His father was called "Great Leader." He has dubbed himself "Dear Leader." But this despot is no leader. When I went through Marine Corps boot camp I was taught that a leader makes sure his people are taken care of before seeing to his own needs. He is the opposite of a leader.
His official biography says he was born on February 16, 1942, in a log cabin on Korea's Mount Paekdu. However, many experts believe he was born in 1941 in the Soviet Union, where Kim Il-sung was living in exile. According to political specialist Dr. Jerold Post, as quoted on CNN, "Kim stands 5'2" tall, drinks Hennessey cognac, and owns a collection of 20,000 movies which includes the complete James Bond series."
In a country where a bowl of rice is considered a luxury, Kim spends millions on his personal food and liquor. His wine cellar contains 10,000 bottles and his library has thousands of cookbooks and texts on gastronomy. Chefs are flown in from around the world to cook for him. He is so insistent on eating the best of everything that he sends servants on trips around the world to buy the rarest and most delectable of foods. His yearly bill for rare cognac alone runs over $650,000.
He has established a health institute in Pyongyang, his capital, which is dedicated not to health care for the nation, but only for Kim. "The purpose of the institute is 100% to prolong the life of Kim Jong-il," said Seok Young Hwan, a physician who worked there and later defected to South Korea. He said 200 professionals were working just in the division that handled Kim's diet.
He is also a notorious womanizer. According to defectors, while in his residences he is always surrounded by young women wearing very little. He had South Korean actress Choi Eun Hee abducted to North Korea. She spent eight years in one of his nine palaces before escaping.
The dictator tells his people that he is a living god, worthy of their worship. Because he is a god, he feels no shame about living in decadent luxury while the North Korean people starve. According to former servants, his favorite palace of seven floors contains an enormous swimming pool with a wave machine, a huge gourmet kitchen, a karaoke bar and a movie theatre.
Why do I dwell on this wretched excuse for a man while his nation threatens the world with nuclear missiles? Because Kim Jong-il IS North Korea. He has absolute power over everyone and everything in North Korea. There is no such thing as a North Korean government, only thousands of lackeys who serve Kim's every whim.
So it is necessary to understand Kim Jong-il, because to negotiate with the North Korean "government" is to negotiate with this megalomaniacal dictator. This is why those who are calling out for a "diplomatic resolution" to Kim's threats sound so ridiculous. It's like trying to negotiate with a pit bull that has rabies.
Kim test-fired seven missiles, one with the capability of reaching US territory, on the Fourth of July. It was no coincidence that he fired them on our Independence Day. He wants one-on-one talks with the US. We have insisted that six-party talks, including North Korea's neighbors Japan, China, Russia and South Korea are the only way we will talk with them. So he fires his missiles on a day when most Americans will be at home and he can get the maximum scare value from his missiles.
This is not the act of a rational man. He says that he has nuclear weapons. He fires missiles toward Russia (a country that supports him, and which definitely has nuclear missiles) and Japan (a country with close ties to the US). He spits the face of the greatest military power in the world by firing a missile with capability of reaching our shores. And he ignores the requests of many nations (including Communist China, his strongest supporter) by so doing.
Kim Jong-il believes his own propaganda. He thinks he is a god, untouchable. He has lived for so long in isolation in his little country, where he holds absolute power, that he believes his army and his missiles can protect him. Fortunately most of the missiles, including the long-range missile, failed and splashed into the Sea of Japan.
We should never have allowed the tests to take place. We should have warned him that we would blow them out of the sky if they were launched, and we should have followed through with action. Instead, we blinked.
Now that he has defied international will, our answer is to go to the spineless UN. This is worse than useless. Even though China and Russia warned Kim not to fire the missiles, they have already announced that they will veto any Security Council resolution that would include sanctions on North Korea.
Enough is enough. In 2002 George Bush listed Iraq, Iran and North Korea as the Axis of Evil. He had the courage and resolve to take out Iraq, and it has been looking like Iran would be the next to either submit or experience the wrath of the US military. Kim's actions may have pushed him in front of Iran as the next country to learn that you cannot threaten the United States with impunity.
George Bush should give Kim the same deal he gave Saddam: Act like a nation, or we'll come in and make you into one. If he doesn't agree to dismantle his weapons and halt his nuclear program (with inspections to verify everything) we should use surgical air strikes to take out every military target in the country. Then we should do as we have done in Iraq. We should set the people free to govern themselves.
Using the greatest of care, there would undoubtedly be some civilian casualties as we struck military targets. That happened in Iraq, even though we went to extraordinary lengths such as no nation has ever used in war to avoid hurting civilians. But, just as in Iraq, the dictator of North Korea kills far more of his own people every year than would ever be harmed by carefully planned military action.
What is the alternative? Are we to wait until he improves his technology to the point where he can effectively place a nuclear missile in any city of the world? Do we ignore the plight of the North Koreans while he kills or starves a few million more of them? Do we sit idly by while a war breaks out in the region because of his threats?
Like it or not, we have become the world's policeman. No, we can't police every corner of the earth. But just like a policeman faced with a choice of enforcing shoplifting laws or stopping a murderer, we must defuse the greatest threat to not only our security, but that of the whole world. And from where I sit, the greatest threat is a crazy man named Kim Jong-il who admits that he has nuclear weapons.
Dr. Tom Barrett has been an ordained minister for 30 years. He has written for local and national publications for most of his life, and has authored several non-fiction books. He has been interviewed on many TV and radio programs, and speaks at seminars nationwide. Tom is the editor and publisher of Conservative Truth, an email newsletter read by over fifty thousand weekly which focuses on moral and political issues from a Biblical viewpoint.