Open Sources, November 3, 2012

SO HOW DID WEN JIABAO’S FAMILY amass a family fortune of $2.7 billion? The difficulty of answering that question causes China to block the New York Times. The corruption of China’s politicians seems endemic and universal, but the prosecution of their corruption seems to have more to do with factionalism than morality.  I loved the close:

“When a country is so corrupt that one lightning strike can cause a train crash … none of us are exempt. China today is a train rushing through a lightning storm…. We are all passengers.”

I wonder how the Fifty Cent Army would spin that one.


WHEN NORTH KOREA COLLAPSES:” Any piece with that title, co-authored by Robert Kaplan, is well worth reading in full.


WHAT’S IN IT FOR US?  To some South Koreans, a “strong alliance” means we subsidize South Korea’s defense from North Korea, so that South Korea can afford to subsidize North Korea’s threat to South Korea.  Take your time unpacking that.


I KNOW THE NORTH KOREAN REGIME sends spies to the South who pose as defectors, but is this really the most effective way to uncover them?