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North Korea: Witness to Transformation

Swiftian proposal contest winner: hooch for pooch!

by | September 8th, 2013 | 05:32 am

hamheung fertilzer complex 2

Well, we got some interesting suggestions in our contest to identify what the citizens of Hamheung could send to their brethren in Detroit in exchange for 50,000 canine additions to the South Hamgyong food chain.

One misguided soul suggested Choco-Pies, but those are South Korean and anyway circulate mainly around Kaesong, not Hamheung. Besides, who needs Choco-Pies when you can chomp down on a good ol’ Moon Pie?

Another suggested demo services, but the problem is that Mode 4 services have not been liberalized, and in any event North Korea is not a member of the WTO. So importing large numbers of Hamheung residents to clear Detroit rubble would seem to be off the agenda.

Another entrant suggested Vinalon, and I have to admit, I expect that the residents of Detroit could come up with some serious sartorial innovations with a 50,000 bolts of Vinalon.

But the clear winner, no pun intended, is Peter Hayes’ suggestion of genuine Hamheung Petrochemical Plant hooch. Free of feral pooches, Detroiters could numb the spectacle of Matthew Stafford’s weekly pummeling with ‘Ol High-Test. Assuming that visiting Syrians haven’t already emptied the still.

Peter’s victory breaks the stranglehold that UCLA grad students have had in our recent contests. It appears that smart grad students are better at predicting actual political developments than coming up with outrageous suggestions for diplomatic initiatives. One needs more experience in dealing with the DPRK for that. For winning our contest, Peter will receive his free autographed copy of Hard Target: Sanctions, Inducements, and the North Korea Problem….as soon as Haggard and I finish writing it.

Thanks to all the contestants, and Dan Pinkston of the International Crisis Group.

Witness to Transformation: Everyone is a Winner!