The Korean People’s Democratic Republic (KLDR) has rewritten its constitution (h/t iDNES) and Times of India), proclaiming itself a nuclear power and crediting Kim Jong-Il with making it all happen. Naenara, the official KLDR web site, quotes the new constitution’s preamble (translation mine, from the Czech):
“The Chairman of the Commission for National Defense, Kim Jong-Il, has turned our motherland into an invincible state of political ideology, a nuclear power and an indefatigable military power, thus establishing the basis for the building of a powerful and prosperous nation.”
According to Dr. Cheon Seong-Whun of the Korean Institute for National Unification, this might complicate any nuclear arms negotiations with the KLDR because now the North Koreans might claim that any attempt to get rid of KLDR’s nuclear arsenal is unconstitutional.
Of note, the KLDR’s expenditures for its latest (failed) missile test were about USD850 million, an amount that would reportedly feed 80% of the KLDR’s population for a year (again, h/t iDNES). This, per the South Korean news agency Jonhap, which quoted South Korean military intelligence sources as well as World Bank and UN data. The Seoul-based Peace Network claims that the cost of the missile test is overblown because it doesn’t take into account low North Korean labor costs, but the fact remains that, (a) most North Koreans go hungry because (b) North Korea’s priorities have always been cockeyed.