Tuesday, February 28, 2006

South Korean Businessmen Purchase Slave Labor From North Korean Government

How is this for nauseating? South Korean companies are building an industrial park in North Korea to provide jobs for impoverished members of that dictatorship. The first page of the article speaks in glowing terms about North-South cooperation, and the prospects this project offers for future reunification. If you're like me, you'll be incredulously asking yourself, "What? Is Kim Jong Il dead!?" Because there's no way in hell he's giving up his half of Korea to the South, and hopefully, there aren't any plans to give South Korea to him.

So what is the project really about, if it's not about reunification? Well, reading page 2, it appears that the goal is to take money from the South Korean people in the form of taxes, and bestow it upon certain unethical South Korean companies, who will use it to purchase forced labor from Kim Jong Il's slave state. Let's look...

While conceding they are here to promote North-South ties, South Korean executives also say the project makes economic sense. The companies, which have received low-interest loans and security guarantees from the South Korean government, are paying most North Korean workers a fixed salary of $57.50 a month. That is about 20 times less than the pay of a South Korean worker of the same skill level, but it is a welcome sum in North Korea.

Security guarantees? Presumably, this means that the government has insured them against losses in the operation, but how does one go lose money while paying 1/20th the normal wage for labor? Readers who don't suffer from short term memory loss, will recall that on page one it was stated that the per capita income for a South Korean is 10 times as large as for a North Korean, so the company is paying half of the adjusted per capita wage for that particular skill set.

Still, that's money in the worker's pocket, right? Well, no...

It is unclear how much of that money actually goes to the North Korean workers. The dollar-denominated checks issued by the South Korean companies are paid to a North Korean government agency. Na Un Suk, director general of North Korea's Central Special Economic Zone Control Agency, said the government makes deductions for room and board provided to the employees before paying them varying amounts in North Korean currency.

"But it is clear that our workers are not doing this to make money," Na said. "They are doing it because it is their duty for the greater good of the nation."

That last quote is the most sickening part of the article. It's the voice of pure evil justifying itself in the bromides of altruist morality.

The South's justification for being party to this travesty is that it will ease some future reunification of the two Koreas. Even if we take reunification to be more than a pipe dream, this is an error. The North is incapable of sustaining economic development, because it is ruled by looters. The North Korean government survive only so long as it is able to draw loot from some quarter. It has reduced the North Korean people to the point where they have very little left to give. Now, on the pretext of increasing prosperity for the North Korean people, the South is providing a direct transfer of wealth from the people of South Korea to the North Korean government, prolonging the life of that government, and the suffering it inflicts on its people, indefinitely.

1 comment:

Steven Brockerman, MS said...

Let's see in how many ways this is stupid:

1) Supporting your enemy, who damn sure wants to destroy you
2) Buying the crappiest labor pool--slave labor is historically the most inefficient
and, oh yeah, 3) promoting through taxes and company profits ideas that are in essence destructive to business in general and to an even semi-free nation like S. Korea in particular.

Not to mention using brutally subjugated people to build an office park in a nation where 70-90% of the pop are starving; hence the future profitability of the park is nothing but a fantasy.

Yeah, that makes good business sense--of course, the S. Korean looters aren't really interested in building a busines & *earning* profits; they're only interested in lining their shabby pockets with loot, whose buying value will btw be less because of poor business investments like this one.

These guys make Pee Wee Herman look like a brillant tycoon.