Doug Casey on North Korea’s New Kim
January 4, 2012
Louis: So, Doug, there’s a new Kim in North Korea. Did you see that he apparently went to school in Switzerland, as both you and I did?
Doug: I did see that. He’s supposed to be 28 or 29 years old and attended a boarding school near Bern. Bern is in the German-speaking part of the country, but very close to the French-speaking area, so he could speak both of those languages—plus English, which every educated European speaks, as well as, almost certainly, someone who went to a boarding school there. So this Kim would appear to have some sophistication. You have to assume he was sent there in order to ensure that. But Korea has always been an inward-looking place. I believe well over half of all Koreans are surnamed Kim, Lee, or Park; there aren’t a lot of foreigners or outsiders. They used to call it the “Hermit Kingdom” for good reason.
L: Do you think that’s significant? Could a Western education be grounds for optimism that this new Kim will allow his subjects to arise from poverty at least a little?
D: Well, there were others before him educated in the West, with no visible positive effect—Ho Chi Min, for example.
L: Hm. I didn’t know that. On the other hand, many of the rulers of Latin American countries are U.S.-educated, and, while not hardcore free-marketeers, they do tend to understand enough economics to know that nationalizing everything is a recipe for poverty, not prosperity. Mexico is a good example of ...