In 2017, North Korea’s GDP was $16.12 billion. To put things in perspective, in 2017 the US gave “Israel” $3.10 billion in ‘aid’ which means that the money was something that amounts to nothing more than a geopolitical gift. When one includes various deals passed off as investment or cooperation schemes, the amount of American cash being injected into the economy of the regime occupying Palestine is in fact much higher.
In spite of a comparatively low GDP and a deluge of sanctions, North Korea has managed to remain remarkably self-sufficient, while the Kim Jong-un years have seen a rapid growth in the economy, especially when contrasted with the nadir of the 1990s. This should not be entirely surprising.
Ever since its founding, the guiding principles of the Juche idea of Kim Il-sung have stressed the importance of self-sufficiency at every level of the DPRK’s economy. After the 1990s demonstrated that external geopolitical factors could still have a negative impact on the DPRK’s productivity, the 2000s saw a great leap forward in respect of Pyongyang’s investment into new technological and infrastructural projects. North Korea’s continued exploration and extraction of off-shore oil means that even if a global oil embargo were to be in place, North Korea could still manage to get by based on the capacity of existing oil refineries. If further efforts were made to expand refining capacity, North Korea could likely have a surplus of oil.
Imagine if the tables were turned and it was “Israel” rather than North Korea which was targeted by US military threats, totally cut off from the western financial system and even many parts of the pan-Asian financial system. Would such a regime be able to survive the pressure?
Before continuing, it is crucial to note that far from being a hypothetical situation, this would be a desirable situation. While North Korea has not been actively at war with any nation since 1953, “Israel” has been at war with every one of its neighbours during that same period. Likewise, Israel has occupied Egyptian and Lebanese territory, while it continues to occupy part of Syria and all of Palestine. Likewise, in 1981, “Israel” illegally bombed non-neighbouring Iraq.
When it comes to weapons of mass destruction, not only does “Israel” have more nuclear weapons than North Korea, but while North Korea was a party to the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) before withdrawing due to US provocations, “Israel” has never signed the NPT nor does it even officially acknowledge its illegal stockpile of nuclear weapons.
If there was ever a case for a country to be isolated by the international community due to its dangerous weapons of mass destruction and violence against its neighbours, that country is certainly not the DPRK – that regime is “Israel”.
While “Israel” is 80% dependent on agricultural imports which have become increasingly expensive in recent years, regime supporters boast of becoming self-sufficient in arms production, in spite of vast supplies from the United States.
In terms of energy, throughout its entire history of occupation, “Israel” has been dependent on energy imports. Furthermore, while Iran has built nuclear power plants while not producing nuclear weapons, “Israel” has taken the opposite approach and opted to build nuclear weapons rather than nuclear power plants. As the regime becomes increasingly hungry for imported energy, it is not surprising that many regime officials have recently provoked neighbouring Lebanon over Beiruit’s desire to cultivate its off-shore gas fields which “Israeli” officials say belong to Tel Aviv.
With all this in mind, it would seem that if the so-called international community was able to pass the kind of UN Security Council Resolutions against “Israel” that it has done against North Korea, that the regime would soon collapse, not least because the capitalist economy of Tel Aviv means that ordinary people have become accustomed to the kinds of international luxury items that are alien to North Korean society.
The fact that none of the five permanent members of the Security Council have attempted to do this, demonstrates that one of “Israel’s” most powerful weapons is the weapon of intimidation. By any statistical calculation, from the number of countries Israel invades, occupies and threatens, to the number of nuclear weapons “Israel” illegally maintains, to the documented human rights abuses against an occupied people, to the fact that Tel Aviv never signed the NPT, it is clear that “Israel” is far more dangerous to world peace than North Korea ever could be, even if it wanted to be. There is also the matter of the Samson Option, whereby “Israel” maintains a strategy to unleash all of its nuclear arsenal on regional states in the event of “Israel’s” conventional forces becoming overwhelmed during a military conflict. If this alone isn’t enough to incur condemnation from the UN, it is difficult to know what is.
There is something else which highlights the difference between how the US gives absurdly preferential treatment to “Israel”, while threatening to “destroy” North Korea. In 1967, the American Naval Ship USS Liberty came under a sustained attack from the “Israeli” air-force and torpedo boats without any warning or justification. In spite of Liberty’s commanders sending communications informing “Israel” that they were an “allied” US ship, the attack persisted for hours. Archival material has revealed that some of the pilots were aware that the ship was American, but that they were ordered by their superiors to keep attacking.
Ultimately, 34 Americans died in the attack while 171 were severely wounded. The incident was systematically hushed up by the US government and media. Many researchers suspect that “Israel” had attempted to stage a false flag incident that would later be blamed on Egypt, in order to coerce the US into attacking Egypt and its Soviet ally. Because “Israel” was not able to kill all the men on board, the plan failed as the survivors knew full well that it was “Israel” and not Egypt nor any other Soviet ally that had attacked their ship.
By contrast, the US media could not stop talking about the DPRK’s capture of the USS Pueblo in 1968. There is still no consensus as to whether the US Naval ship that was captured by the DPRK was in North Korean or international waters. Unlike the allied USS Liberty in the Mediterranean, the USS Pueblo was an enemy ship conducting espionage activities against a communist Asian state at the height of the US war in Vietnam. The incident therefore ought to be viewed in this wider content. In any case, the DPRK captured the ship where it remains to this day as a museum piece. One American died during the capture and the rest of the crew were eventually released into US allied South Korea.
Objectively, any American should be able to see that what “Israel” did to the USS Liberty is a vastly bigger issue than what the DPRK did to the spy-ship USS Pueblo. Yet decades later, it is an ever more militaristic “Israel” that is given billions by the United States, while North Korea continues to be sanctioned and threatened by the United States, in spite of the fact that 2018 has seen Pyongyang and Seoul reach a new detente which will see Koreans from both sides of the 38th parallel marching together in the Olympics under a flag of unity.
The events mentioned in this piece are one of the reasons that Palestinians and North Koreans alike, have no faith whatsoever in the United States and the so-called international community it endlessly asks to unite against North Korea, while equally imploring it to abandon Palestine.