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Eureka: Why the Koreas are bickering
by Jay Gutman
2017-10-05 11:25:18
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Four words. Three years of drought. The South has mountains but some flatlands that help meet agricultural demand. The North has mostly mountains and has to milk its agriculture as much as possible to meet demands. The main products that are consumed in both countries are cabbage, green onions, cucumber, red pepper, soy beans, rice of course along with fish and different types of seaweed and the hearding of different types of pigs and boars, along with pears, apples and watermelon and yellow melon as the main fruits. Three years of failed harvests. A Korean farmer in 2015 showed me what should have been watermelon, but had the shape of a cucumber and was of course not eadible. That's how bad the harvests have been.

kor01_400_02Now South Korea can of course rely on its foreign currency cash reserves to import agricultural products that meet domestic domand, and let's say that food in the South has become very colurful because of all the imports. But North Korea has to get a way to get financial aid. Financial aid is often tied to conditions for use, but North Korea prefers to threaten with wars to get financial aid without conditions. So perhaps trading technology for the end of its nuclear program wouldn't be a bad deal, but as I said before, the situation is complicated. North Korea knows that South Korea needs land and cheap labor to expand as an industrial powerhouse, but North Korea wants to work on industrial development on its own and wants its own narrative for development, of course one that involves its leaders. So I'll keep it short for today.

The end.

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