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Hope for the Hermit Kingdom

If your knowledge of current events extends beyond that that Miley Cyrus is the latest to sing in carpool karaoke with James Corden, then you’re probably aware that we seem to be having a little kerfuffle with North Korea. Just to bring everyone up to speed, the boys in Pyongyang have decided that they want to start punching above their weight by firing off a series of ICBM’s just to let everyone know that “we could hit the west coast, you know, if we really wanted to”. Certainly, that would be annoying, but recently our intelligence services have determined that they now might have the capability to pop a nuclear warhead into one of those things, a prospect that has more than a few people on edge. You can knock off your generals with howitzers and have your own half-brother killed in broad daylight—after all everyone needs a hobby–but the prospect of a mushroom cloud over Malibu is going to crater the cost of any remaining beachfront property, no matter how you look at it, and we can’t have that. Fortunately, a recent development may be just the pressure release valve needed to take all this saber rattling down a few notches. I speak of course of the arrival of a second route to the Internet for Kim Jong Un and the starving masses he ‘benevolently’ rules over.

Students of international diplomacy from Metternich to Kissinger have long realized that, just like third graders who’ve missed recess, folks need an outlet for their rambunctious behavior, and increased access to the internet may be just the thing to help the reduce some of the tension within the “Hermit Kingdom”. Apparently, we have the Russians to thank for this. Previously, the only access point for Kim and his coterie was provided by China, and their views on what is appropriate to take a peek at on your PC are a little restrictive. Let’s face it if you can’t look at cat videos, and your only other entertainment is watching your citizenry grubbing for food, you’re going to get a little restless.

Expanded access to the internet could be just the thing needed to help convince North Korea to put those missiles back in their silos and sell their plutonium to the Iranians since they seem to be in the market. Think about it, Kim and the president could follow each other on Twitter so we can all see diplomacy in action first hand, they could “like” each other’s posts on Facebook and, best of all, take out their aggressions playing “Call of Duty”, thereby proving that there are more humane ways to work out our differences than plopping a Taepong-2 into the lap of El Segundo.

It’s hard to tell if doubling the access to the internet will be sufficient to placate North Korea, but it certainly can’t hurt. While it won’t help feed the country’s starving masses, it will give them something to do while writhing with hunger pangs or, to paraphrase a despot from an earlier era, “Let them watch Netflix”. The world is a scary place right now, and its seems like a number of things that we’ve tried to improve our international relationships haven’t borne much fruit, but if enabling the Kim regime to occupy themselves watching the latest season of Narcos, I say it’s worth a try.