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Kim Jong-un’s Generational Ambitions
But having covered previous North Korean nuclear tests, I know the script: International outrage, emergency meetings and sanctions will follow in close suit. And as debate continues in regional capitals about what to do about the defiant North Koreans, their rock-star scientists will keep building better and more powerful nuclear weapons.

here is a small nation where the people are dancing in the streets celebrating the supposed creation of a bomb with the potential to exterminate whole cities. Footage of North Koreans cheering as they watched the news announced at noon local time Wednesday was like a scene out of an old Cold War movie, so anachronistic in this globalized era that the only response that makes any sense is to think the North Koreans are crazy.

C.I.A. estimates put it at roughly $1,800 per capita, on par with some of the poorest nations in the world. Geographically, North Korea was dealt a bad hand: Mountainous, with an extreme climate that veers from bitterly cold winters to blistering summers, it simply does not produce enough food to sustain its people, and outmoded agricultural practices have only worsened that shortfall.

What North Koreans do have in spades is pride, a characteristically Korean trait that has protected this small peninsula for 5,000 years. For North Koreans, pride is manna. They may be hungry every day, but pride is what keeps them going. Not everyone can feast off pride — tens of thousands of North Koreans have defected over the decades — but enough of the population is buoyed by this singular sense of national pride and a Korean sense of conformity to keep the regime afloat.
story  korea  weapon  war  enemy  people  children  society  psyche 
february 2016 by aries1988

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