Home > General Politics > Will North Korea fail the Aaronovitch test, too?

Will North Korea fail the Aaronovitch test, too?

Yesterday David Aaronovitch wrote in his Times column (£) that dictatorships often appealed to conspiracy theory in order to explain away glitches in their matrix, or failures which would otherwise embarrass them.

Aaronovitch exemplifies the Soviet Union:

In Stalinist Russia the famous show trials of the 1930s created a catch-all explanation for the pain and murderous incompetence brought about by over-rapid industrialisation. Why did factories explode? It was Trotskyist saboteurs, in league with the Nazis or the Japanese. By 1953 the “natural” deaths of senior figures were revealed to have been the work of Zionist Jewish doctors, paid by the Americans.

Instead of coming clean and admitting they’re subject to human failure, dictators often keep up appearances by blaming foreign powers.

Unlike when bored teenagers in their rooms invent conspiracy theories to add exciting narrative where there is none, dictatorial nations create conspiracy in order to appear beyond fault.

That’s why Kim Jong-un will have to think on his feet fast.

News has come in of North Korea’s recent dismal failure to launch a rocket into the orbit with the purpose of installing an earth observation satellite.

Even though it had been a failed mission, it was in contravention of the law and against North Korea’s stated commitments.

A news reporter interrupted scheduled television to inform the public of the failure, which was then described as embarrassing.

This is bold for a dictatorship.

No conspiracy theory – yet.

The Korean central news agency have said that “Scientists, technicians and experts are now looking into the cause of the failure” which may still return some moronic conspiratorial “uncovering” of US or South Korean intervention.

But until then the new President Kim has failed the Aaronovitch test for what dictators do to save face, after wasting money that could have potentially fed the starving in his country.


ITV News’ China Correspondent Angus Walker writes on Twitter

Angus Walker@anguswalkeritv

gone midnight in the press centre set up for the rocket launch in North Korea and no official has spoken to reporters to explain failure

Categories: General Politics
  1. Rpringle47
    April 13, 2012 at 11:04 pm

    I don’t follow ‘it was in contravention of the law’. What law?

    • April 14, 2012 at 8:57 am

      Michael Mann, spokesman for EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton, said yesterday “This launch would be contrary to North Korea’s international obligations, in particular under United Nations (UN) Security Council resolution 1874.” So, contravention of international law.He went on: “It would also undermine ongoing diplomatic efforts to create an environment conducive for the resumption of six-party talks on the nuclear issue.”

      • skidmarx
        April 15, 2012 at 6:56 pm

        It would seem odd for someone challenged about whether an action was illegal, not to quote the law, but to simply quote the enemies of those undertaking an action claiming it as illegal. But then who see imperial activities as self-justifying find themselves exempt from such oddness.
        The key part of Resolution 1874 is this:
        [The Security Council] Demands that the DPRK not conduct any further nuclear test or any launch using ballistic missile technology,/i>
        Leaving aside that the UNSC is a political body, not a judicial one, and so its demands are political ones backed by force, rather than court rulings, I’m sure the North Koreans argument would be that a satellite launch is not the same thing as ballistic missiles.

        I don’t like the North Korean regime, but also don’t like the trend whereby the world’s strongest powers get to declare all of their enemies as illegitimate, while their own arsenals of weapons of mass destruction and the use thereof is OK.

  2. Edgar
    April 14, 2012 at 12:21 pm

    The problem is that the Aaronovitch test is just stupid and wrong. Many so called non dictatorial regimes/institutions lie or spin about failure. It happens too many times to mention. It is a intellectually bankrupt way of thinking, which is what Aaronovitch is. He is no better than Carole Malone.

  3. Mike
    April 14, 2012 at 11:08 pm

    The BBC constantly references North Korea as a Socialist state. Is this true?
    With its concentration of power and wealth into the hands of tiny minority, passed on through inheritance, I would have described it as an ideal Tory state.

  1. April 19, 2012 at 11:10 pm

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