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Cnooc
Wednesday, September 20th, 2006, 03:05 AM
over 100 pics and captions:

http://www.militaryphotos.net/forums/showthread.php?t=82755

Tryggvi
Wednesday, September 20th, 2006, 04:28 AM
Awesome pictures. Thanks for sharing them.

I like this one in particular:

http://www.tema.ru/travel/choson-2/_MG_0061.jpg
Top road: South Korea. Bottom road: North Korea. :D

Compare Pyongyang with Hongkong, a barren, rocky, and originally sparsely settled group of islands that were occupied by the British during the Opium War (1839–42). About 1,000 sqkm, with little natural resources. Enjoyed a libertarian approach, being permitted to pursue happiness and individual freedom with low taxes and few restrictions:

Hong Kong 1900:
http://www.sinomania.com/china_image_archive/photo_albums/hong-kong_1900-1950/hk_old_1900s_peak-trolley.jpg

Hong Kong 1920:
http://www.sinomania.com/china_image_archive/photo_albums/hong-kong_1900-1950/hk_old_1920s_kennedy-town-from-peak.jpg

Hong Kong 1930:
http://www.sinomania.com/china_image_archive/photo_albums/hong-kong_1900-1950/hk_1930s_bird%27s-eye-view.jpg

Hong Kong 1970:
http://www.guardfish.org/history/mid_years/images/Hong%20Kong%20Skyline%20from%20Victoria% 20Peak.jpg

Hong Kong today:
http://www.code-d.com/china/victoria-peak-hong-kong-big.jpg

Historical images of Hong Kong (1840-1960):
http://www.bigwhiteguy.com/photos/index.php

Images of Hong Kong today:
http://www.pbase.com/accl/hong_kong&view=slideshow

Cnooc
Wednesday, September 20th, 2006, 05:32 AM
^actually one of the reasons hong kong became so rich was because of 1949, when china turned communist. shanghai has always been the financial and commercial capital of the far east, even far surpassing that of tokyo, or any japanese city. well, guess what happened to shanghai when it fell under communist hands.

suffice to say, tens thousands of shanghai businessmen, traders, craftsmen, filmmakers, etc, fled to hong kong. not only that, shanghai was also removed as source of competition to hong kong, allowing basically hong kong a monopoly over trade between china, and the west. the world famous (or at least famous in asia) hong kong cinema actually had its start in shanghai.

i do have to admit that mao was wise not to invade hong kong, though. he wasn't scared at all by war with britain (i mean he had the guts to war against the US in Korea and Vietnam). only reason he didn't take hong kong by force, is because he saw the value in hong kong, and its status as china's "window" to the west. from hong kong, mao could obtain valuable western goods, and most importantly of all, medicine for the army, that was unavailable in china at the time. he had the foresight to know ironically, that hong kong under british rule would be more beneficial to china than hong kong under chinese rule.


with regards to north korea. it wasn't always like this. pre-1989, north korea actually had a strong industrial economy in the communist bloc. it had the highest urbanization rate and the people were rather well off. the reason north korea's economy suddenly collapsed is due to the fact that it was too dependent on oil, from which it readily obtained from the Soviet Union. once the soviet union fell apart however, the trickle of oil stopped, and surprise, all the power plants, factories, mines, shut down as well. food production literally stopped, as the north korea could no longer manufacture the fertilizer the required resource of which, is petroleum. north korea itself is not a fertile country, so it really depended on fertilizer for agriculture.

Tryggvi
Wednesday, September 20th, 2006, 06:11 AM
^actually one of the reasons hong kong became so rich was because of 1949, when china turned communist. shanghai has always been the financial and commercial capital of the far east, even far surpassing that of tokyo, or any japanese city. well, guess what happened to shanghai when it fell under communist hands.

suffice to say, tens thousands of shanghai businessmen, traders, craftsmen, filmmakers, etc, fled to hong kong. Very true. The skilled traders, entrepreneers and self-employed people together with masses of cheap labor, fearing Communism, willing to work at extremely low wages. Hong Kong then established itself first in industries, production and trade, and afterwards in banking, services and finance. Now it is one of the wealthiest regions on earth. Do you have actually a figure of the number of actual refugees?

I think Hong Kong is actually an interesting libertarian economical case study. Every successful market economy (capitalism) first has to pass through a stage of "exploitation", where people have to work extremely hard under conditions we would today consider absurd... for very low wages. But gradually, as goods are produced, wealth is accumulated, it is reinvested, spread out; competition forces better and cheaper products for which better skills and automatization are needed; people get educated; standards everywhere improve drastically, including for the laborers. It took Britain about 200 years... Hong Kong only about 50.

Everywhere the eventual social results of liberty and market economy are vastly preferrable to those of socialism and command economy.


i do have to admit that mao was wise not to invade hong kong, though. he wasn't scared at all by war with britain (i mean he had the guts to war against the US in Korea and Vietnam). only reason he didn't take hong kong by force, is because he saw the value in hong kong, and its status as china's "window" to the west. from hong kong, mao could obtain valuable western goods, and most importantly of all, medicine for the army, that was unavailable in china at the time. he had the foresight to know ironically, that hong kong under british rule would be more beneficial to china than hong kong under chinese rule. The Chinese have a reputation in the West to be very wise and patient people with a long-term perspective.


with regards to north korea. it wasn't always like this. pre-1989, north korea actually had a strong industrial economy in the communist bloc. it had the highest urbanization rate and the people were rather well off. the reason north korea's economy suddenly collapsed is due to the fact that it was too dependent on oil, from which it readily obtained from the Soviet Union. once the soviet union fell apart however, the trickle of oil stopped, and surprise, all the power plants, factories, mines, shut down as well. Are you saying all oil-exporting countries (including Russia, the Middle East and Venezuela) are boycotting North Korea, i. e. they do not sell their oil to it?

Cnooc
Wednesday, September 20th, 2006, 06:37 AM
Very true. The skilled traders, entrepreneers and self-employed people together with masses of cheap labor, fearing Communism, willing to work at extremely low wages. Hong Kong then established itself first in industries, production and trade, and afterwards in banking, services and finance. Now it is one of the wealthiest regions on earth. Do you have actually a figure of the number of actual refugees?



But after the Chinese communist victory in 1949, the policy changed. At that time, a huge flood of refugees poured into Hong Kong. About 1.3 million Chinese entered the territory between 1945 and 1949, doubling the size of the Hong Kong population within a few years.

http://www.unesco.org/most/apmrnwp7.htm



I think Hong Kong is actually an interesting libertarian economical case study. Every successful market economy (capitalism) first has to pass through a stage of "exploitation", where people have to work extremely hard under conditions we would today consider absurd... for very low wages. But gradually, as goods are produced, wealth is accumulated, it is reinvested, spread out; competition forces better and cheaper products for which better skills and automatization are needed; people get educated; standards everywhere improve drastically, including for the laborers. It took Britain about 200 years... Hong Kong only about 50.

true, every industrialized country from britain to more recent ones like japan, korea, and taiwan went through this stage. as you know, china is actually undergoing the "exploitation" stage right now.




Everywhere the eventual social results of liberty and market economy are vastly preferrable to those of socialism and command economy.


i would say leadership is just as important as ideology. compare vietnam and north korea, for example, both suffered extremely long, debilitating wars, being the battlegrounds for much larger powers. vietnam suffered three major wars, the first being with the French, then the Americans, and lastly, with the Chinese. However vietnam has recovered from its war wounds and its economy is rapidly growing, as compared to n. korea, whose economy has been stagnant. both vietnam and north korea are communist, however, vietnam has enjoyed much more capable leadership than, north korea, who has suffered under the bizarre and incompetent kim jong il.

cuba is another example of a communist country under good leadership. even today it enjoys a higher literacy rate than the US (nearly 100%), and has a doctor-to-patient ratio comparable to first world industrialized nations. indeed, cuba actually has so many doctors, it can afford send them overseas, for example, to venezuela, other latin american countries, and also the disaster areas such as indonesia. cuban doctors and nurses are actually quite popular in SE asia.




Are you saying all oil-exporting countries (including Russia, the Middle East and Venezuela) are boycotting North Korea, i. e. they do not sell their oil to it?

when north korea was part of the communist bloc with soviet union, it had free access to russian oil. russia, remember is a oil exporter, so it could afford to sell oil to other communist nations at vastly lower prices than the world market. north korea, however, was too dependant on russian oil, and did not find an alternative before 1989. china now is the sole provider of resources to north korea, but unlike russia, china is an oil importer, and very hungry for resources itself so it could not spare much to north korea. north korea today i believe is too bankrupt to buy anything of value from the world market. ironically, it relies heavily on south korean food aid, the country with whom it is still technically at war.

Spjabork
Wednesday, September 20th, 2006, 07:03 AM
suffice to say, tens thousands of shanghai businessmen, traders, craftsmen, filmmakers, etc, fled to hong kong.If really that host of Shanghai people flooded Hongkong, where are they now? Did they all learn 廣東話?They didn't leave any trace in present Hongkong.

i do have to admit that mao was wise not to invade hong kong, though. he wasn't scared at all by war with britain (i mean he had the guts to war against the US in Korea and Vietnam). only reason he didn't take hong kong by force, is because he saw the value in hong kong, and its status as china's "window" to the west.On the contrary, this was Mao's biggest mistake. 爲什麽?一言難盡。

from hong kong, mao could obtain valuable western goods, and most importantly of all, medicine for the army, that was unavailable in china at the time.Oh, oh, dear Cnooc: the story I know is different from yours: in the 1930ies, the Traditional Chinese Medicine ("TCM"), which is so fashionable in the West now, was near to extinction. It was preserved by tens of thousands "folk-doctors", who took care of the PLA. And with this medicine, they were able to win the war. Why should they have turned back to the western way & stuff after?

with regards to north korea. it wasn't always like this. pre-1989, north korea actually had a strong industrial economy in the communist bloc. it had the highest urbanization rate and the people were rather well off. the reason north korea's economy suddenly collapsed is due to the fact that it was too dependent on oil, from which it readily obtained from the Soviet Union. once the soviet union fell apart however, the trickle of oil stopped, and surprise, all the power plants, factories, mines, shut down as well. food production literally stopped, as the north korea could no longer manufacture the fertilizer the required resource of which, is petroleum. north korea itself is not a fertile country, so it really depended on fertilizer for agriculture.Dear Cnooc, thank you for this necessary rectification. You know, most people in the West don't know anything about East Asia. If they have been there once or twice, they regard themselves as "experts".

Maybe someone has to remind this russian asshole, showing off his malicious ignorance, of the historical facts.

warme Milch
Wednesday, September 20th, 2006, 07:05 AM
A lot of thanks to Cnooc for these interesting views ...

Tryggvi
Wednesday, September 20th, 2006, 07:43 AM
true, every industrialized country from britain to more recent ones like japan, korea, and taiwan went through this stage. as you know, china is actually undergoing the "exploitation" stage right now. Yeah, and they are doing extremely well. Soon China's combined GDP will surpass the one of the U.S.


i would say leadership is just as important as ideology. compare vietnam and north korea, for example, both suffered extremely long, debilitating wars, being the battlegrounds for much larger powers. vietnam suffered three major wars, the first being with the French, then the Americans, and lastly, with the Chinese. However vietnam has recovered from its war wounds and its economy is rapidly growing, as compared to n. korea, whose economy has been stagnant. both vietnam and north korea are communist, however, vietnam has enjoyed much more capable leadership than, north korea, who has suffered under the bizarre and incompetent kim jong il. Judged by GDP per head, they both failed utterly. North Korea $1,700. Vietnam $2,800. Gambia $1,900. Ghana $2,500.

Compare this with politically "Communist" (but economically now market-oriented) China. GDP $6,800. Ex-Communist (and relatively resource-less) Ukraine GDP $7,200.

http://www.infoplease.com/ipa/A0874911.html

Thus, I cannot agree that leadership is as important as the basic economical approach (market economy vs. command economy). A free market economy needs no political leaders. Bad leaders might do damage to it and try to control and tax it to death (like nowadays in Germany), but even the best leader cannot make a success out of a command economy, for one cannot compensate for private ideas, care and initiative by planning from top.


cuba is another example of a communist country under good leadership. even today it enjoys a higher literacy rate than the US (nearly 100%), and has a doctor-to-patient ratio comparable to first world industrialized nations. indeed, cuba actually has so many doctors, it can afford send them overseas, for example, to venezuela, other latin american countries, and also the disaster areas such as indonesia. cuban doctors and nurses are actually quite popular in SE asia. That might be so, but economically and by living standards it's a failure.

And nobody in Cuba enjoys superior medical care to anybody in Switzerland (which has a rather libertarian economical approach) or Sweden (which has a social market economical approach).

Note also that the most prosperous countries are those with the economically most libertarian approach. If one excludes micro-nations like Luxembourg (which is economically rather libertarian, too), then The United States takes amongst Western nations the lead (and that by far). Even if you compare small (judged by the size of the populace) oil-rich nations like Kuwait (GDP $19,200) and Saudi Arabia ($12,800) to other such nations like the U.A.E. (GDP $43,400), a big difference becomes visible. An ever increasing part of this gap is created by the fact that the U.A.E. has created a growing number of free trade zones, where everybody in the world can come, bring his knowledge and initiative and create a LLC with very little capital. In these free trade zones, there is no income tax, no corporate tax, no tax on wages, no VAT/sales tax, no property tax, no inheritance tax. There are no taxes at all, in fact. There are no levies on export and import either. There are no special requirements. There are very few regulations. If you live or your LLC is situated there, your or its complete world income will be subjected to those taxes (none).

Every 6th crane in the world stands at the moment in Dubai alone. Not in Mecca, which has more oil. That's the result of liberty and private initiative. A new Hong Kong, and it will be created in 30 years instead of 50.

Unfortunately, European politicians (both the government and the opposition) are too stupid to get and understand this. They all dream of a socialist utopia (National socialist in the case of the opposition). And it's not because the average Western laborer would have bad living standards in "capitalist" Europe or America. Only yesterday, I talked to an unemployed who has a computer, a notebook, cable TV, Internet, and all the other luxury you can find in any Western home. Of course, he has heating, electricity, running water, books, garments, a sound machine, more than enough food and beverages, medical care, and all other stuff, too. The state pays his rent. Additionally, he gets sufficient cash on the hand every month. He said he lives well and doesn't want to work. The biggest fear many people have is that the state would start forcing them to work or take a job for which they believe they are "too good" or "too qualified."

No, in the West it's finally only envy that drives the socialists. Envy that there are people (some entrepreneurs and managers) that live in villas and can drive sports cars.

Surely, important reforms to the social system would have to be made (at the moment, families with children are grossly disadvantaged), but I don't think that injust market economy can or should be replaced with anything but just market economy. And the less the state interferes, the better.

Tryggvi
Wednesday, September 20th, 2006, 08:36 AM
Dear Cnooc, thank you for this necessary rectification. You know, most people in the West don't know anything about East Asia. If they have been there once or twice, they regard themselves as "experts".

Maybe someone has to remind this russian asshole, showing off his malicious ignorance, of the historical facts. What poor excuse is this?

You are basically saying that the Communist system only works, as long as it can get oil as a gift (= for dumping prices what means "pay the world market price for one barrel, get 4 barrels for free from comrade Russia"). And even then it wasn't able to compete even remotely with market economies. Neither in quality, nor quantity, nor technology, nor price. Not to mention the living standards. As soon as North Korea had to pay the same price for oil as the competing economies, its economy collapsed. There is no better proof for the total failure of command economy and socialism.

North and South Korea at night:

http://www.globalsecurity.org/wmd/world/dprk/images/dprk-dmsp-dark-old.jpg

Spjabork
Wednesday, September 20th, 2006, 09:24 AM
What poor excuse is this?

You are basically saying that the Communist system only works, as long as it can get oil as a gift (= for dumping prices what means "pay the world market price for one barrel, get 4 barrels for free from comrade Russia"). And even then it wasn't able to compete even remotely with market economies. Neither in quality, nor quantity, nor technology, nor price. Not to mention the living standards.
You misunderstand: there was no "competition". Why should communist states "compete" with each other? What should they compete for? The leading power was the Soviet Union. That was clear. There was something like competition between the Russians and the Chinese. The Russians were at that time in a better position, for they had more natural ressources and the stolen technology blueprints from Germany, which the Chinese both were lucking. (By the way: did the Americans pay the "real price" for all the patents, copyrights etc. they "got" from Germany? How much hard work they saved and was lost for the Germans. Really a good example of a "libertarian approach" and "free competition".) If the Russians wanted to sustain a world-wide Empire, of course they should be responsible for the oil supply. :) Who else?

But if you refer to the competition between the two global systems of that time, then, I must tell you, we are really lucky that the Russians did not attack us in 1984, or so. As had been predicted and expected.

If they had, they might have won.

As soon as North Korea had to pay the same price for oil as the competing economies, its economy collapsed. There is no better proof for the total failure of command economy and socialism.The oil is the oil. Find it or not. The oil costs nothing. NOTHING. Or do really think, oil "costs" some funny spraps of printed paper? Issued by a gang of cranc Jews? To get oil - or anything that's under earth -, you need men who find it, who exploit it. These men follow "commands". As a captain on a ship gives commands, which must be obeyed. Oswald Spengler: "The most important man on the ship is the captain, and not the merchant who owns the payload."

In Iraq - I don't know whether you know - the "government" has deliberately reduced the oil-price to a minimum, in order to prevent smuggle. Ha, ha, ha.

Of course, the oil costs nothing, but it must be there. If one day, oil is running out, no matter which system you prefer, no matter which system you are in: all the glitter-glamour will be over.

And then, should they still be there, the poor North-Koreans can teach us again how to plow the soil with oxen.

North and South Korea at night:

http://www.globalsecurity.org/wmd/world/dprk/images/dprk-dmsp-dark-old.jpgThorburn: such a map of satellite-photos of the whole globe was given by Herbert Gruhl, the father of German ecologist movement, in his last book in 1992. It looks impressive indeed, what man has achieved. Gruhl remarked: "But the brighter these lights shine - the sooner they will go out."

Tryggvi
Wednesday, September 20th, 2006, 10:03 AM
The oil is the oil. Find it or not. The oil costs nothing. NOTHING. Or do really think, oil "costs" some funny spraps of printed paper? Issued by a gang of cranc Jews? Money is just a medium of exchange. And of course oil costs something. It is a limited resource and thus has a price that depends on the market (offer and demand). It also costs to extract the oil. And again money is ordinarily used to compensate laborers and managers for their effort. Of course, you could as well pay them with concumbers, gold, or oil, if they accept it, or build them a house in exchange.


To get oil - or anything that's under earth, you need men who find it, who exploit it. These men follow "commands". As a captain on a ship gives commands, which must be obeyed. Short of slavery, you will have to compensate them for their time and effort, because they have desires, too; everything from food to surfing the Internet. Money is used as a convenient medium of exchange; but again, you could as well use gold or concumbers, if they accept it.


In Iraq - I don't know whether you know - the "government" has deliberately reduced the price to a minimum, in order to prevent smuggle. Ha, ha, ha. No, I didn't hear this. But there are allegedly Middle Eastern countries that sell oil cheaper within their countries (to their populace) than the world market price is. Nothing wrong with it, as there are different markets. The world market is just one of them. Rice is cheaper in China than in Europe.


Of course, the oil costs nothing, but it must be there. if one day, oil is runnuig out, no matter which system you prefer, no matter which system you are in: all the glitter-glamour will be over. I very much doubt it. Oil won't run out in the next 50 or 100 years... maybe not even 200. If it ever runs short and thus becomes expensive, market economy will guarantee that other forms of energy (chemical synthesis, coal, gas, alcohol, hydrogen, fusion, fission, solar, wind, water, &c.) will replace it.


And then, should they still be there, the poor north-Koreans can teach again how to plow the soil with oxen. If the North Korean system by then still exist, they will be a study object for anthropologists studying primitive societies.


Thorburn: such a map of satellite-photos of the whole globe was given by Herbert Gruhl, the father of German ecologist movement, in his last book in 1992. It looks ipressive indeed, what man has achieved. Gruhl remarked: "But the brighter these lights shine - the sooner they will go out." Even with all the darkness in Communist countries, the environmental damage they have done, exceeds the one market economies have done by far. Market economy will actually automatically preserve nature and the environment, as long as people value them. I think almost everyone does.

You can see already that the people in rich market economies are the most environmentally conscious (if one excludes primitive societies that never discovered industrialization; but you can't stop or reverse progress, anyway -- not on the long run).

Cnooc
Thursday, September 21st, 2006, 04:21 AM
here's an article on South Korea:



wo Koreas: A beehive and a desert
By Aidan Foster-Carter

South Koreans are tireless rankers. Seoul churns out reams of statistics - while anxiously scanning everyone else's - to see how they match up.

An abiding self-image as a "shrimp among whales", as a Korean saying has it, belies the fact that this half-nation of less than 100,000 square kilometers - but more than 48 million people - is in fact not just in the top 20, as you'd expect, but one of the dozen largest economies on the planet.

Indeed, in 2003 South Korea made the top 10. Not long ago it was bigger than China, and India only overtook it in 2004. A gross domestic product (GDP) of US$787.6 billion last year still put South Korea ahead of Russia and Mexico, and just behind Brazil. Asia's fourth-largest economy is almost as big as the whole of ASEAN (the Association of Southeast Asian Nations) put together. More of a dolphin, surely?

Of course, it all depends how you measure. At purchasing power parity (PPP), South Korea slides further down the list. Even in current dollars, these figures reflect not just real growth but also the won's steady appreciation against the greenback. Still, Korea is right up there with the big boys: major league, not merely a regional but a global player.

Had anyone predicted this half a century ago, he'd have been laughed out of court. On August 15, Liberation Day - from Japan in 1945 - the National Statistical Office released a raft of figures to remind today's often blase South Koreans just how far they've come.

Though seemingly not adjusted for inflation, the numbers are mind-blowing. Back in 1953, amid the rubble of the recently ended Korean War, GDP was just $1.3 billion: so it has soared 605-fold. Per head, 1953's $67 rose 243 times to 2005's $16,291: only 29th in the world and still trailing fellow tigers Hong Kong and Singapore - but ahead of Taiwan.

It is also one of the top dozen trading states. South Korean exports of $284 billion in 2005 were 12,928 times the paltry $22 million of 1948, the year the Republic of Korea was founded. In 1960, just 8,000 South Koreans traveled abroad; in 2005 it was 9.5 million. And so on.

No less striking is the demography of all this. A total of 48.5 million souls crammed into just 99,646 square kilometers already gives Asia's third-highest population density (city-states apart) of 487 people per square kilometer: more than the Netherlands. In Asia, only Bangladesh and Taiwan are more jam-packed.

But the Netherlands, famously, is flat. Not so Korea. Two-thirds of South Korea is mountain forest; another 21% is farm or grassland. In a huge social change, 90% of South Koreans now live in cities, mostly in highrises. That's 44 million of them squashed into the mere 13,625 square kilometers where the action is. Maybe we should think of South Korea too as virtually a city-state like Hong Kong and Singapore - but with four times as many people as both put together.

Greater Seoul alone has 20 million peopleGreater Seoul alone has 20 million people - and looks like it, as you fly into Incheon airport. Serried ranks of highrises march to the horizon in all directions, as far as the eye can see.

Yet the South is but half of Korea. Indeed, less than that in area: the North's 122,762 square kilometers give it nearly a quarter more territory. But its 22.7 million population, decimated by famine a decade ago, is less than half the South's. With more than 70 million people, a unified Korea would be among the world's 20 most populous nations. No shrimp in numbers then, either.

Figures that Seoul is less keen to publicize show just what a challenge reunification will be. Evenly matched until 1970, the Korean economies are now too far apart to fit on the same graph. While the South soared, the North stagnated - and took a great leap backward in the 1990s, after Moscow pulled the plug on aid. It's almost a case of one country, two planets.

North Korea itself, need one say, is a statistical desert. The southern Bank of Korea strives to fill in the blanks. Its latest figures, for 2004, put Northern gross national income (GNI) at barely 3% of the South's: $21 billion against $681 billion. Per head, the gap was $14,162 against $914, or more than 15:1. The former is First World, the latter Third.

In trade, the gulf is staggering. South Korea's $478 billion was 167 times the North's $2.86 billion; the South trades almost as much in 48 hours as the North in a whole year. In oil imports, the South's 826 million barrels dwarfed the North's 3.9 million 211-fold. South Korea produced 44 times as much steel, and 79 times as much synthetic fiber. Et cetera ...

If numbers make your eyes glaze over, try flying into Seoul. South Korea's dense urbanism is all the more striking after passing by North Korea's west coast en route. While obviously not overflying the North, the weird thing is that there seems to be nothing there: just gray-brown, featureless hills, with no sign of habitation whatsoever. It's strange, and spooky. This is the daytime equivalent of those telling night photos of the peninsula, showing South Korea ablaze with light while the North is all but shrouded in darkness.

And now you can pore over such stark contrasts in detail without leaving your desk, thanks to Google Earth. Satellites see it all, and even the hermit Kimdom can no longer hide. The Los Angeles Times' Sonni Efron recently described "soaring over North Korea, looking down on a denuded landscape and zooming in to hover over missile batteries, nuclear sites, huge palaces and prison camps". Anyone with broadband can do likewise - and it's free.

As Efron adds: "Click on down into South Korea and the barren, deforested mountaintops give way to lush forests, the dusty valleys to emerald rice fields, the surface-to-air missiles to factories, houses and cars." A picture, as they always said, is worth a thousand words.

Pictures, words, numbers: they all tell the same story. The contrast between South Korea's dense, busy beehive and the North's dusty desert - studded with wasps' nests - is glaring.

On their present courses, the two Koreas can only go on growing apart economically. One day, somehow, they will come together again. South Koreans had better brace themselves - and log on to Google Earth now, the better to grasp the formidable long-term challenge that will face them, their children and grandchildren, of putting Korea's Humpty Dumpty together again.

Aidan Foster-Carter is honorary senior research fellow in sociology and modern Korea at Leeds University, England.

Siegfried
Monday, December 11th, 2006, 01:58 PM
I think Hong Kong is actually an interesting libertarian economical case study. Every successful market economy (capitalism) first has to pass through a stage of "exploitation", where people have to work extremely hard under conditions we would today consider absurd... for very low wages. But gradually, as goods are produced, wealth is accumulated, it is reinvested, spread out; competition forces better and cheaper products for which better skills and automatization are needed; people get educated; standards everywhere improve drastically, including for the laborers. It took Britain about 200 years... Hong Kong only about 50.

It arguably took longer in Britain because it was at the spearhead of this development, and the market had to struggle against the feudal and imperialist structures that were still dominant on a global scale. Hong Kong could attach itself to the already existing market economies.


Market economy will actually automatically preserve nature and the environment, as long as people value them. I think almost everyone does.

I don't think that is the case, as the market itself cannot incorporate environmental damage into the prices. In fact, those who produce with little regard to the environment are more likely to produce cheaper. This could perhaps be partially overcome by giving 'green' companies positive labels on their products. That way, consumers could take environmental damage into account when making their purchasing decision. Laws restricting environmental pollution are probably necessary, however, at least in the current situation - which means government interference with production and distribution.

Horagalles
Monday, December 11th, 2006, 02:21 PM
...true, every industrialized country from britain to more recent ones like japan, korea, and taiwan went through this stage. as you know, china is actually undergoing the "exploitation" stage right now.Not only right now - They undego this already for at least decades.


i would say leadership is just as important as ideology. compare vietnam and north korea, for example, both suffered extremely long, debilitating wars, being the battlegrounds for much larger powers. ...Just like Germany ....


As for socialism. They only managed to impair the market, but not to eradicate it. Actually since the state ist the dominant employer. Exploitation is the norm for any socialist country.

Baaß
Monday, December 11th, 2006, 03:02 PM
Sorry, but the pictures for me are working not. Is anyone else having the same problem? I much want to view the pictures of North Korea.

BopoH
Tuesday, December 12th, 2006, 03:28 AM
Sorry, but the pictures for me are working not. Is anyone else having the same problem? I much want to view the pictures of North Korea.

Here is the original site, the author is Artemiy Lebedev, he's pretty well-known in the russian part of the internet.

tema.ru

North-Korean pictures

http://tema.ru/travel/choson-1/
http://tema.ru/travel/choson-2/
http://tema.ru/travel/choson-3/
http://tema.ru/travel/choson-4/
http://tema.ru/travel/choson-5/

His other trips including some exotic locations like Mongolia, Greenland, Shpitzbergen (links in Russian)
http://tema.ru/travel