North Korean leader Kim Jong-il met with South Korean President Roh Moo-hyun this week in the North Korean city of Kaesong. This meeting is only the second ever meeting between North and South Korean leaders.
One topic of conversation during the meeting put forth by Roh was a request that South Korean companies operating in an industrial park in the North Korean city of Kaesong be allowed the use of the Internet.
The response from the Dear Leader, according to Yahoo! News, was, “I'm an Internet expert too. It's all right to wire the industrial zone only, but there are many problems if other regions of the North are wired.”
Kim went on to say, “If that problem is addressed, there is no reason not to open [web access].” Kim did not elaborate on the "many problems" caused by opening Internet access to all of North Korea, though clearly the intention of Roh's suggestion is to increase North Korean exposure to South Korean and Western influence.
North Korea explicitly prohibits its 23 million citizens from accessing the Internet and mobile phones outside of government research groups. South Korea, by comparison, is one of the world's most digitally connected countries.
quote: If ever anyone needed an illustration of why wars must we fought with the purpose of winning.. that picture's it.
quote: I think perhaps I agree with you with this: The only ones they have to blame for their current situation is themselves, as FDI would flow anywhere it could where it thought it would be protected by property laws.
quote: the "asian tiger" phenomenon of export-driven growth from the 60s through the 80s was primarily exports to the USA. Taiwan, Hong Kong, Singapore and South Korea all had good relations with the USA
quote: Even today, the US accounts for only 11% of Singapore exports and 14% of South Korean exports
quote: You're seeing the correlation, just in reverse.
quote: the lack of a peace deal and not the kims' paranoia (especially after seeing what happened to dictators like Nicolae Ceausescu) is keeping back north korea? that's rich.
quote: it is the leaders of the country who determine the policy and it is always a simple matter to drag the people along, whether it is a democracy, or a fascist dictatorship, or a parliament, or a communist dictatorship. Voice or no voice, the people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. That is easy. All you have to do is tell them they are being attacked, and denounce the peacemakers for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger. It works the same in any country.