Tuesday, July 12, 2005

Power to the People...'s Republic of Korea... the "democratic" one

Seoul has said that if Pyongyang promises to give up its nuclear weapons, it will send lots of electrons its way:
South Korea said it had offered to lay power lines into North Korea and provide the Stalinist state with electricity if it agreed to dismantle its nuclear weapons program.

South Korea would transmit its surplus electric power to the North through cross-border power lines which have yet to be built, South Korean Unification Minister Chung Dong-Young said at a press conference.
So, is this giving in to the North Korean threat?

Or is this deft dealing to stave off a crisis?

Is this giving in to dictators?

Will this deal-making boost Chung Dong-young's (the deft jammer himself) bid for the Blue House?

Will the electricity be used for torture?

Will making North Korea dependent on South Korean energy mean it will be easier to keep Pyongyang in line?

In Korea I paid 250 won or so per kilowatt-hour... how much will Pyongyang pay?

And the obvious question, shouldn't we be sending surplus electricity to California?

In related news, Condaleeza Rice said the US has no objection to the South giving sending rice (the staple, not herself) to the North.


At 7/13/2005 8:51 AM, Anonymous Sean said...

I am sure that the power will be given to them for free along with the cost of installing the power lines...at least the ones on this side of the DMZ.

Well, maybe not totally free. If this goes through I am sure that we can expect to pay just a little more. Is it worth it?

At 7/13/2005 12:16 PM, Anonymous Mark said...

It's called propping up North Korea barely enough to stay alive. This allows the regime to survive and prevents unification, because the rich people south of the Han have better things to do with their money than bail out a collapsed dictatorship.

At 7/13/2005 1:22 PM, Blogger bluejives said...

So whaddaya suggest, Mark?

Strangulate NK with sanctions until they implode? Surgical strikes against nuke facilities? Invade NK?

Any bright ideas?

At 7/13/2005 1:42 PM, Blogger Kushibo said...

As I have said in my China rant, the goal of Sunshine Policy is, to its proponents, a way of laying the expensive groundwork for what will be an expensive unification, eventually. Hard-line policies have gotten nowhere (and let's face facts: North Korea started its nuke program and got it going during the Reagan and George H.W. Bush administrations).

North Korea is going to fall or survive without or without South Korea's help, thanks to China. Beijing, not Seoul, Tokyo, or Washington, controls the switch (unless Washington launches an attack).

Considering that, it may be prudent for South Korea to offer electricity to help build up infrastructure now so that South Koreans won't have to do that later. Especially since it's tied to North Korea actually doing something to get rid of its nukes, I think this can be a win-win situation. I just hope it doesn't mean a win for Chung Dong-young.

At 7/14/2005 1:22 AM, Anonymous Haksaeng said...

Kushibo, to be fair, you should add that the North's HEU program started and got going during the Clinton administration. Otherwise, I'm with you.

At 7/14/2005 9:41 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ha! How much will the Norks pay? We will get stuck paying for this!

In the ROK, the household rate and its tax is progressive - the more you use the higher the rates. 1 million won/month during AC season is not uncommon here. Yet the rate is much lower for business and industry. If there is such a surplus, why not reduce the rates?

Ever notice how stores and businesses never think twice about having doors and windows open with the AC on? Why - because their rates are so cheap. Why doesn't the government do anything to promote "real" energy conservation? All they do is raise the rates. I've never seen any mention about makeing buildings more energy efficient, or even urging people to close the windows and doors.

At 7/14/2005 1:11 PM, Anonymous Mark said...

Sorry, bluejives. I don't think you would go along with my suggestion, because that would entail South Koreans having to tighten their belts a little to help out their own countrymen. Oh my! No more booking clubs, expensive German luxury cars, or business trips to the room salons? I think South Korea is much more happy with the status quo: continuing economic and humanitarian aid so North Korea can spend all their money on military rather than economic development.

At 7/15/2005 11:14 AM, Anonymous baduk said...

NorK will want everything, electricity, money, food, raw materials, etc.

They will drain SKs wealth. Somebody should stand up and say "no more till we see some results".

Eventually, anti-North sentiment will come back. People think differently as more of their money is given to the North for nothing.

People get smart quick when money is concerned.


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