Dangerous Dan Thoughts and musings on the world


North Korea Accuses the Kettle

Filed under: General,Pics,World — Dangerous Dan @ 1:00 am

North Korea is demanding a billion dollars in compensation from South Korea for alleged abuses against POWs and spies that it held. SK had held 63 prisoners ever since the armistice put a hold on the Korean War in 1953. They were repatriated after a 2000 reconciliation summit. NK is accusing the South of all sorts of atrocities against the prisoners and thinks they should get compensated:

"The unconverted long-term prisoners reserve the right to punish the assailants and demand they make apology and compensation for the mental and material losses they suffered as miserable sufferers and victims," it said.

They deserve billions, eh? Well, let's see. Looking strictly at monetary damages, say, lost wages, the per capita income of North Korea is $1,700 according to the CIA World Factbook (188 out of a list of 232 countries, and likely inflated). Assuming this held steady over 47 years, that would be a mere $5,033,700. Kim Jong Il may feel free to hold his pinky to the corner of his mouth in his best Dr. Evil impression. At the demand of just a billion dollars, that would leave $994,966,300 in punitive damages. Not even backwoods Alabama juries would award that much in a class action suit.

What's really galling, though, is the chutzpah of the demand, considering that NK is still holding prisoners from the South, not to mention all the people they kidnapped.

The North, however, has not given a meaningful response to the South's repeated demand for repatriating hundreds of South Korean prisoners of war and civilians held in the communist state.

More than 540 South Korean prisoners of war are still held alive in the North, according to the defense ministry in Seoul. Another 500 or more South Korean abductees are also said to be held in the North.

A UN resolution, issued in November 2004, expressed concern about alleged torture, public executions, the imposition of the death penalty for political reasons and the extensive use of forced labour in North Korea.

If 63 people were worth one billion in compensation, then 1,040 people are worth about $16.5 billion in compensation. I recommend that South Korea ask the North to pay them $15.5 billion and then they'll call it even.

I've posted on North Korea multiple times in the past. It's an impressively corrupt place where joy goes to die. As well as commonsense, usually in the pursuit of perceived self-importance. Time magazine had a short photo essay of life in North Korea and this, I think, expressed the country's absurdity best:

Pyongyang street

It's a street in North Korea's captial Pyongyang. Despite the fact that there are no cars in sight and that cars are extremely rare and used only for official purposes because of their expense and the fact that there's little gas, there's still a traffic cop standing in the middle of the intersection ready to direct traffic that isn't there and won't come, and people are forced to use pedestrian underpasses instead of just walking across the barren street. It's amazing.

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