Completion of Intercontinental Ballistic Missile Is a Massive Accomplishment for the North Korean People

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The Hwasong-15, Korean intercontinental ballistic missile has been successfully tested. We can't help but wonder how a country as big as the state of Pennsylvania, living under a rigorous blockade for 50 years, can pull off a space program, or at least something close to it.

Welcome to Agitation & Propaganda' we aren't interested in dry facts, but in causes and consequences. There's only one truth.

Instead, they produce missiles, and they are successfully launched. A late Soviet joke about the Yenisei river being shut off isn't funny anymore.

Suddenly, it has been revealed that countries are still divided into two camps: those who produce missiles and those who don't.


Korean reporter: "The Hwasong-15 intercontinental ballistic missile has been successfully tested today. It was developed by the decision of the Workers' Party of Korea. The missile is bearing a heavy warhead. Its destructive radius covers all of US territory. The successful launch is a big victory of the Korean people. It's a tool to defend the sovereignty and territorial integrity of North Korea".

Intercontinental news from Pyongyang hit the target.

Donald Trump, US President: "Our tax reduction plan enjoys massive support in business circles. These massive tax cuts will be rocket fuel... Listen up, you little rocket man, rocket fuel for the American economy. He's a sick puppy".

The dog theme has become central to the virtual polemic between Washington and Pyongyang. Two months ago the North Korean ambassador called Trump a 'barking dog'. Here comes a retaliatory allegory. Each consecutive move contributes to increasing patriotism and, to some extent, is convenient to both parties to the conflict.

Besides, this conditional 'if anything' may occur at any time. The Hwasong-15 was launched at a height of 4,500 km, which means that it could have covered 12,500 km, had the trajectory been altered. The payload, if North Korea has any, is unknown. But the message is clear: Leave us alone.

5 minutes later, the Hwasong-15 launch was followed by South Korea's seaward salvo fire to a distance that equals the distance to Pyongyang. But the missiles launched here were made in the USA.

These fireworks are a gloomy setting for the coming Winter Olympics. We can't help but wonder how a country as big as the state of Pennsylvania, living under a rigorous blockade for 50 years, can carry out a space program, or at least something close to it.

The US Congress report on North Korea: "Education in North Korea is free, compulsory, and universal for 11 years, from ages four to 15. The national literacy rate is 99%. In 2000, nearly 2 million students attended more than 300 colleges and universities".

2 million out of 24 million are students. Newspapers don't write about such a Korea. However, it's not the propaganda of the Korean Central News Agency, but an extract from the US Congress report. It's noteworthy that the US national literacy rate is 86%, meaning that 14% of Americans can't read and write well.

Another aspect is to support these comparative statistics. The US lost 0.32% of its population in WWII, while the North Korean casualties in the US intervention of 1950 were 30% of the population. In other words, 1/3 of the people of the country that has launched a Hwasong-15, were killed by American bombs and napalm. 78 cities were wiped off the map.

Reporting to Congress on the operation in North Korea, Gen. Douglas MacArthur said that a parting glimpse of that war caused him to vomit.

Gen. Douglas MacArthur: "I have never seen such devastation. I have seen, I guess, as much blood and disaster as any living man, but this made my stomach turn".

It was said by a man who was responsible for atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki prior to the intervention in Korea. How bad was the Korean war, if even Hiroshima fades in comparison to it? Korea received neither apologies, nor a compensation, only a blockade and mockery in the Western, and now in our, newspapers.

"North Korea is mad at Russia because the latter supports the UN sanctions against it,” — says Alexei Chepa, deputy Chairman of the State Duma Committee on International Affairs, who is a member of the State Duma delegation in North Korea. — "All the meetings proceeded in a friendly, absolutely sincere atmosphere, they frankly expressed their opinion. They are offended because we had voted for the sanctions against North Korea. They wonder: How come? Why?"

It's easy to mock someone else's poverty. It's easier than to launch a missile, grant education to children, or build free hospitals.

The US Congress report on North Korea: "As of 2000, some 99% of the North Korean population had access to sanitation, and had access to water. In the past, there has been one doctor for every 700 inhabitants and one hospital bed for every 350 inhabitants. In 2006 life expectancy was estimated at 74.5 years for women and about 70 years for men".

Another war will, of course, dash these statistics. Yet another military exercise is scheduled for this weekend, with 230 jets, including nuclear bombers, to take to the Korean skies and 12,000 US soldiers to be put into the field.

WWI warmongers acted like sleepwalkers: wary but blind, obsessed with fantasies but unseeing of the atrocities they were going to plunge the world in. Both sides believed that their bluff was enough to achieve success. Neither of the players realized that they'd have to pay for their words. A tragic poker game began.

Helmut Schmidt, the former FRG Chancellor, would quote this book shortly before his death, but in relation to Ukraine, not Korea. In the 80s, Schmidt was the first to refer to the USSR as 'Upper Volta with rockets'. This catchphrase, along with Vizbor's song "Technologist Petukhov's Story," appealed to our liberal intelligentsia: "Instead, we produce missiles! And shut off the Yenisei river. Our ballet is also ahead of the curve".

Our intelligentsia preferred a variety of sausages and jeans to intercontinental missiles and Yenisei being shut off. The obsession with sausages made them forget about many things, for example, about the fact that both Hiroshima and Nagasaki attack and the Korean war were preparations for a strike against the USSR. Or that the sharp-tongued Helmut Schmidt, when he was young, was granted an Iron Cross for taking part in the Siege of Leningrad; And that sometimes a four-flush sleepwalker can only be stopped with a missile, and woe to anyone who has sausages in a pit instead of a missile.