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Tag Archives: north korea

The struggle for the means of reproduction

Recently read the sort of work of history I particularly enjoy–one that gets into how past societies and states actually worked. Edited by historians Walter Scheidel and Ian Morris, The Dynamics of Ancient Empires: State Power from Assyria to Byzantium has essays on the Neo-Assyrian, Achaemenid Persian, Athenian, Roman and Eastern Roman (“Byzantine”) empires (the last […]

Some words in favour of monarchy

I rather like monarchy.  I like the pomp and ceremony. I like the sense of continuity. (The Papacy, the Japanese monarchy, the English monarchy and the Danish monarchy are the oldest political institutions on the planet; the English coronation ceremony has elements that date back to Anglo-Saxon times.) I like monarchy’s capacity to separate the […]

Government: the good, the bad and the appalling

Conservative humourist P J O’Rourke once observed, after flying over West and East Germany, that one should probably try to avoid public policy mistakes you can see from 20,000 feet up. Then there are public policy mistakes one can see from orbit. The two Germanys and the two Koreas constituted natural public policy experiments. Take […]

War and peace

We think of the World Wars of the C20th as being unprecedented in their death tolls. That is not true in either total deaths or, still less, death rates. While the 1939-45 War did have the largest death toll of any war in history, the 1914-19 War does not come second. When one considers the huge […]

A-ha? Uh-huh

All the way from Pyongyang, where the hep cats of North Korea are at it again. According to Tom G. Palmer — who visited last year – they like accordion playing there, it seems. Everyone who visits gets to see a room full of girls playing the accordion, with a photo of the Maximum leader and […]

And when he cried…

… the little children died in the streets. It is generally a good idea to laugh at dictators. It helps that they are often funny, with their monstrous pretensions, awful taste in clothes and bad hair. Laughter is a way of puncturing their pomposity and self-regard: I have long thought that David Low’s hilarious send […]

Vale Little Kimmie Sick

As a nation mourns (and the Internet boggles) we pause to offer our sincere condolences to the people of North Korea on the occasion of their Dear Leader’s funeral…. We also offer some fan service to our male readers – hotpants and swords, that’s all I’m going to say. Ain’t no party like a Pyongyang […]

New Korean Minefield

North Korea is to cut all relations with South Korea, Pyongyang’s official news agency reports. KCNA said the North was also expelling all South Korean workers from a jointly-run factory north of the border. The move comes after an international report blamed North Korea for sinking a South Korean warship. Pyongyang denies it torpedoed the […]