There are three lessons to be learned from what’s happening in the pitiful, totalitarian madhouse known as North Korea.
• First, it serves to verify the objective of the logic of Marxist-Leninist collectivism based on a single party, central planning and autarchy or economic nationalism.
In 1953, by the end of the Korean War, provoked by Kim Il Sung’s expansionist madness with the complicity of Mao’s China and Stalin’s Soviet Union, the two Koreas were destroyed. At that time, both countries had a per capita income lower than that of Honduras, then the poorest country in Latin America.
Today, 60 years later, South Korea’s per-capita income is $32,400 (twice that of Chile, Latin America’s richest country), while North Korea’s barely rises to $1,800 (half of Nicaragua’s, the poorest country in Latin America.)
Every year, South Korea produces 18 times the goods and services, per capita, that its neighbor to the north produces, although they both share the same ethnicity and culture and have similar levels of education. They are twin brothers made different by two antagonistic systems of organizing society.
With an economy based on the market, competition, private property, multiparty politics, democracy, commercial openness and respect for individual rights, South Korea has integrated into the First World, eradicated poverty and is one of the engines of the planet, with more patents and scientific articles published annually in specialized magazines than any Latin American country.
North Korea, which does the opposite, is the world’s worst and poorest tyranny. (It would be useful if the cheerleaders of 21st-Century Socialism made note of those differences.)
• Second, North Korea serves to verify how a political and social disaster of that magnitude, once it manages to develop nuclear weapons (something that happened with China’s irresponsible help), becomes invulnerable and can extort its neighbors or the United States with the threat of provoking a nuclear catastrophe that would kill tens of thousands of people. A drunken monkey wielding a razor may be very stupid but is extremely dangerous.
• Third, it serves to confirm the Israeli theory: It is suicidal to allow the theocracy in Iran, a country led by fanatical imams, to develop nuclear weapons. Ali Khamenei, Iran’s supreme leader, has said it often: “This cancerous tumor must be removed from the region,” referring to Israel.
Khamenei, the iron-handed oncologist, is intent on resorting to atomic surgery. He doesn’t have to consult with anyone. According to the Iranian Constitution, it is up to him to declare war or peace. Sovereignty does not rest with the people or Parliament. Sovereignty belongs to Allah. Ali Khamenei, the nation’s top ayatollah, is the interpreter of Allah’s voice. He can and wants to pull the trigger.
The American theory of containing or isolating Iran will not work, as it hasn’t worked with North Korea. Washington can coexist with a nuclear Iran, as it did with the Soviet Union and China during the Cold War, because it was obvious that no nuclear attack perpetrated by either country would wipe out the United States.
Israel is a lot more vulnerable. No one doubts that Jerusalem has the strength to counterattack and pulverize Iran or any other Islamic country that may attack it with nuclear weapons, but the damage it might suffer would be ghastly. After all, Israel is a small country with a population of no more than 7 million. An atomic hammer blow could wipe it out altogether.
We need to look into the North Korean mirror and act before it’s too late. Time is running out.