Sunday, August 26, 2007

Pressure Cooker

Traditionally, letting people escape impoverished countries is a safety valve to preserve the regime. For some time now, North Koreans have been successfully escaping North Korea.

The North Korean regime has finally decided that the potential for perhaps encouraging a mass exodus must be ended:

North Korea has started building a fence along parts of its border with China, a news report said Sunday, in an apparent move to prevent North Koreans from fleeing the impoverished communist country.

The North has put in place posts along a six-mile stretch along a narrow tributary of the Yalu River, which marks the border between North Korea and China, and has also built a road to guard the area, Yonhap news agency reported.

The North has yet to string barbed wire between the posts, Yonhap reported.

The problem is, a Berlin Wall-type barrier designed to stop embarassing refugee flight away from the regime requires a government powerful enough to suppress the unrest that no longer has a safety valve that vents discontent abroad.

Does the Pillsbury Nuke Boy have the power to keep the lid on the pressure cooker he is constructing?

UPDATE: Is this related?

Kim Jong Nam, 36, traveled from China to Pyongyang in late June, and his return "has decisive relations to the power transfer," the man told The Associated Press by telephone from the U.S. He spoke on condition of anonymity, citing the sensitivity of the issue.

Could the regime be planning transition events that the regime fears could send people running for the border?