Whether or not Kim Jong Il, the goofball who runs North Korea, actually set off a nuclear device over the weekend, he certainly will sometime in the near future. However, assuming he has no way to mount that device on anything more advanced than a captured 1952 Jeep, we are a long way, both in time and distance, from being directly threatened by one of them.
While surfing for the CIA's World Factbook, I came across this from a press release:
"The Central Intelligence Agency placed 32nd in the top 50 of BusinessWeek Magazine's first 'Best Places to Launch a Career' ranking."
I am keeping away from a string of fairly obvious jokes (like, "What was #31, the IRS?") because I am not absolutely clear on the current rules regarding CIA interrogation techniques.
Actually, the IRS ranked #39; the State Department ranked #6.
The very, extremely, excellent and well-written World Factbook prepared by the wonderful folks at the CIA tells us that the Gross Domestic Product per person in South Korea is about $20,400 (compared to about $41,800 for the US). The GDP per capita in North Korea is - wait for it - $1,700.
So, what's swirling underneath Kim Jong Il's Cosmo-Kramer hairdo? Simple: He's going to hold the South Korean economy hostage to his nuclear capability. Pay up or light up.
Start building Kia cars in Pyongyang and Hyundai ships in Wansan or South Korea won't need streetlights to make Seoul glow at night.
Hey. I wonder if I'm too old to start a career at the CIA?
On the Secret Decoder Ring page today: Lots 'o Links: To the National Archives' Declaration of Independence site, a recipe for kimchi, a link to the quite extraordinary CIA World Factbook, to the BusinessWeek list of top 50 companies to start out in, and to a Map of Asia. Also a Mullfoto from George Washington's house and a thin Catchy Caption of the Day.