South Korea has a fair share of piracy going on these days – on the open seas and in the supermarkets. Well, actually not the supermarkets, but the open markets. From Mozambique to the Maldives, it would appear that pirates are seizing boats in record numbers. South Koreans seem to be plagued by the pirates lately. As if the South Koreans didn’t already have enough trouble with the rising prices of Kimchi.
The price of Kimchi is skyrocketing. If you are not familiar with Kimchi, allow me to tell you about my introduction to it. It is fermented cabbage that smells like, well, for lack of a more descriptive term: cat pee. I was living overseas when my Korean neighbor began to prepare what she considered to be a delicacy. It smelled up the entire building for days on end and perhaps you have to acquire a taste for it because I never did – I couldn’t get past the smell.
This past month, the prices for Kimchi in Korea skyrocketed from $2.50 to about $14. Can you say, “Inflation?” Kimchi is priced out of reach for most South Koreans but you don’t see the South Koreans turning to piracy to make a living. In fact, South Koreans trying to eke out a living fishing are being seized in record numbers.
Did you ever notice how some employment opportunities seem to flourish in a bad economy? The Somali pirates must be recruiting en masse these days.
On Sunday, another South Korean fishing vessel was seized by Somali pirates off the coast of Kenya. In fact, piracy has surged off Somalia so much lately that it seems to be a growing industry. Can we call it an industry? I suppose since it is estimated that the pirates rake in some 60 million dollars in ransoms each year, it should qualify. How do you become a pirate anyway – I mean do they have recruiters searching for the most ruthless?
It would appear that South Koreans are being taken both on the open seas and in the open markets.