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North Korea: Witness to Transformation

A Modest Proposal to Defund the Nuclear Program Contest

by | June 10th, 2014 | 06:27 am


Donald Sterling, V. Stiviano

Last year one of our readers suggested that we defund the North Korean nuclear program by selling Kim Jong-un an NBA franchise. My reaction was that it was so funny that when the play-offs heated up we might even make a contest out of it. Sample entry: “We should sell Kim Jong-un the Toronto Raptors. He could party with Rob Ford, and the mascot is a flesh-eating dinosaur.” Rim shot.

But don’t sell him Arsenal.


With the sales price of the Clippers reportedly $2 billion I’m beginning to think that there might be some legs in this idea.

So in the spirit of better late than never, we introduce our Modest Proposal to Defund the Nuclear Program contest.  Readers are invited to suggest professional sports franchises we could sell to Kim Jong-un to defund the North Korean nuclear program and the reason why that team would be appropriate. Since I already invoked Arsenal in the original post, that one’s off the table. Winner gets a free autographed copy of Confronting the Curse: the Economics and Geopolitics of Natural Resource Governance in which North Korea gets a passing mention. Contest to run for the duration of the NBA finals. Now get those entries in!

Comments (3)

Forget about all those US based sports. What Kim Jong-Un needs for an ongoing cash flow is ownership of the International Cricket Council (ICC) that runs international cricket and the lucrative World Cup 2015. (http://www.icc-cricket.com/cricket-world-cup) Wrestling control from the Indian Cricket Board which runs the show and persuading the other member nations to sell the rights under certain ‘conditions’, should not be to hard…then the cash flow starts with illegal betting throughout Asia and the middle east that has been calculated to be in the billions. You don’t have to fix matches which would be risky but just partake of micro-betting eg individual scores, runs per over, inadvertent bowling errors etc.as happens now. Kim can place some strategic relatives here and there to run the franchise and perhaps budding batsman Rodman can be a guest commentator. Cricket is an secular religion in the sub-continent and the DPRK is strategically located to reap a harvest of cash from punters who should know better than to bet on professional sport.

corrie allegro June 12, 2014 | 2:10 am


A few years back Nautilus calculated the net present value of the KEDO LWRs to be approximately $1.25 billion (see: http://nautilus.org/napsnet/napsnet-special-reports/engaging-the-dprk-enrichment-and-small-lwr-program-what-would-it-take/)

If we adjust that number for inflation (which, I know, is not how you are supposed to do that) you get $1.36 billion in 2014 dollars. $1.36 billion is roughly the valuation of either the L.A. Dodgers or the New England Patriots (according to Forbes see: http://www.forbes.com/pictures/mli45ikdf/6-new-england-patriots-2/).

Thus, by the transitive property of equality, two KEDO Light Water Reactors are equal to the New England Pats or the L.A. Dodgers.

In Kim Jong-Il’s time, we would offer to sell the Dodgers to North Korea. This would allow the Dear Leader to make Hollywood connections and gracefully transition from life as a dictator to his preferred role as a Hollywood producer and director.

In the Kim Jong-Un era, noting the Byungjin policy, we would have to demonstrate that nuclear weapons were no longer necessary for defense. Conquering the Patriots in the United States (and presumably changing the name to the New England Minjok) would demonstrate the triumph of Juche over the U.S. imperialists and justify the surrender of the DPRK’s nuclear arsenal.

S.T. Bruce June 11, 2014 | 9:25 am


The Albuquerque Isotopes – There are three excellent reasons as to why selling this particular minor league baseball team is the international community’s best choice for defunding the DPRK’s nuclear program. First – the Isotopes are one of the highest grossing minor league baseball teams in the United States and would command a comparatively high selling price. Second – the team name’s reference to essential components of nuclear energy might be enough to convince Kim Jung Un that this will somehow be a wise investment for his regime’s nuclear program (rather than acting to defund it), and perhaps act to further drive up the selling price of the team. Third – as a minor league baseball team from Albuquerque, New Mexico, the team would probably not be sorely missed if sold, whereas selling a more valuable team like the Yankees would likely result in riots involving hoards of angry Brooklyintes.

W. Collins June 11, 2014 | 2:57 am


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