Friday, November 26, 2010

Korea: Why provoke a paranoid regime?

The wise man does not poke a sleeping tiger in the ear, even with a stick.

As a psychiatrist, I would advise the neighbours of a known person who suffers from paranoia not to, for instance, knock on the shared wall, and not to play loud music, as these actions might be misinterpreted by the paranoid mind.

Some will say that South Korea has a perfect right to play military games. I would question the "perfect". In a perfect world, nobody would conduct military exercises, because there would be no military.

Given, though that the Koreans are are already noted for their military prowess, it is questionable why South Korea has to play games near the border. It is analogous to knocking on the wall of a person with paranoid schizophrenia.

That's all.

More on Korea here.


First High Warlord of Didcot said...

It seems quite reasonable to me. If your paranoid Neighbour puts a firecracker through your letterbox, throw a firework party to show that yours are bigger, and you know how to use them.
But then again my understanding of east Asian politics is limited. (and since you know my leanings, no Darcy comments about my understanding of British politics, thanks!)
I do wonder though, how far Russia and (especially) China are prepared to go in backing their paranoid Neighbour ...

DocRichard said...


What you are describing is called escalation. At the top of the particular escalaror that you are suggesting lies an exchange of nuclear weapons.

Which would be in nobody's interests.

Russia has expressed anxiety, and China are probably inwardly embarrassed, though their speech bots will churn out some opaque solidarity with their clients.

When are you going to get community heating from the Didcot Pot?


First High Warlord of Didcot said...

I don't think it's escalation, South Korea has not been the aggressor here. North Korea sunk a South Korean ship with loss of life last year, and have shelled a Southern owned (though disputed) island.
In answer the south have conducted military exercises within their own borders. I think that's pretty reasonable actually. Who is poking whom with a stick?

Its a potentially dangerous situation, and I think we all agree that we don't want a war, particularly one that could rouse China. Are you sure that North Korea would take the South's diplomacy seriously without a restrained show of force?

I don't think my moniker is really appropriate here, so I'll sign off as
Chris ;)

PS I have no idea which houses are part of the sewage methane scheme,we haven't been informed that we are- which is a great shame. I think it's a brilliant idea, shit hot in fact! I can't understand why it hasn't been done before.

DocRichard said...

Hi Chris

All the facts are exacly as you say. The critical part is where you say:

"I think that's pretty reasonable actually".

Yes, perfectly reasonable. Except that NKorea is not reasonable. Military exercises are OK for reasonable states, they say "We are tough and we are strong, don't you go do nuffink wrong", and the other state takes note. Presumably. IN the case of North Korea, it says "we are coming to get you". Because of its paranoid mindset.

That is my point. Diplomats need to have psychiatrists and psychologists aboard. That's all.

PS I didn't know about sewage in Didcot. I meant, when are they going to use the waste heat from those big cooling towers near the station for district heating - i.e. pipe it to local homes schools and businesses to be central heating.