Now contemptuous as well as irked, Marge declared, “Sober up, bright boy! Use your head! He wants the threat of nuclear weapons so he can trade them to the west as a show of good faith to gain the needed food aid! They have mismanaged so much of their economy that their people are starving. The only way to accept food for a starving public, and save face in the transaction, is to offer to disarm their nuclear weapons stock.”
Mike fixed a pathetic look at Marge and mocked, “How humanitarian of him! See how this sounds. I won’t nuke your country, and to show you how magnanimous I can be, I will let you feed my starving population. Aren’t I sweet?”
Marge clucked her tongue and visibly strained to keep her temper in check. When she felt in control she bluntly stated, “They will still buy our oil stocks, but we still need to figure out how to convert their lousy Won currency into something that will spend. Where are you on that?”
Mike modestly reined in his sarcasm and replied, “Not very far without a convincing scenario. However, you are going off the deep end on this one.
“Let me try and wrap my head around your current scenario. The North Koreans managed to thoroughly piss off the Russians by defaulting on 90% of their loans, so now they will only deal in rubles for oil purchases. Since the collapse of the Soviet Union, the Russians have stopped handing out subsidies just for towing the communist line.
“Then you have the Chinese trying to distance themselves from your partners. That is in part because the Chinese recognize they kind of like the high lifestyle that free market economies can deliver, so they don’t want to subsidize their neighbors anymore when their eyes are on the profits. The only thing that your partners can produce in quantity is a bloated communist bureaucratic workforce and low grade high sulfur content coal. Oh, and neither of these are marketable by today’s standards.
“On the other side, we’ve got some fresh lunatic clients in the form of Muslim terrorists, who need someone to sell their stolen oil for them so they can continue to run amok. There is something about stealing someone else’s work and selling it to underwrite their psychotic terrorist activities that gets a person all goose-bumpily. However, if we can blend the low-cost oil from the Muslims with the over-priced oil we got stuck with when the oil market took a dump on our business, we might be able to sell it to the Koreans and actually dig ourselves out of our financial hole.
“Of course, we have to get it into their dark country without anyone noticing the source of said crude. Oh, by the way, we need a way to help them figure out how to upgrade their crumbling infrastructure so that they can burn the damn stuff to make electricity! And you’re telling me, the only thing that the fat boy regime wants to know is how he can get more uranium or plutonium so he can barter for food? I’m probably going to have to work through lunch and maybe happy hour to get all of this under control!”
Now it was Marge’s turn to be sarcastic. “Oh, my goodness! We ARE the overworked, melodramatic, and under-appreciated snookum, aren’t we?
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