As the contention with North Korea cycles through various levels of sword-rattling on both sides, each one seeming to think only a major conflict involving large-scale weaponry will be necessary, former Navy SEAL Jocko Willink has a simple solution that could actually work, if enacting it were feasible.
“Drop 25 million iPhones on them and put satellites over them with free wi-fi,” Willink said in a Tweet.
This gets to the core of what Kim Jong-un counts on for his control over the citizens of North Korea: Ignorance to a world outside its borders.
While North Koreans do have smartphones, access is limited to only what the government allows. In a country where Kim Jong-un’s success predicates only on what information–propaganda–he and Pyongyang trickles out to its 25 million citizens, external knowledge would have a detrimental effect.
As Willink says in the video below about (good and truly effective) leadership, “You want your people thinking. And you want them thinking with a completely open mind. A mind that’s been completely freed from constraints.”
As of 2017, then number of smartphone users in the United States alone is 224 million. Given most people replace their phones every 1-2 years as their contracts allow, if a mere 12% of those people donated their “old” phones to this cause, that would provide nearly 26 million phones, 1 million more than the entire population of North Korea–making Willink’s idea not too far-fetched.
But how to get the phones dropped? And how to provide the free wi-fi?
With a little ingenuity and combined forces of Elon Musk’s Space X program and the US Military, the entire operation could be as simple as a few thousand padded boxes and some parachutes.
Or we could just orient a few satellites over North Korea and send in Chuck Norris with a well-packed ruck.
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