Help ATS with a contribution via PayPal:
learn more

Educating myself on North Korea

page: 1
2

log in

join

posted on Apr, 11 2013 @ 03:58 PM
link   
I should have done this sooner. And now I won’t stop.

With the North Korea being in the news as much as it has been as of late, and with Kim Jong-un being the new guy, I’ve taken a stronger interest than usual in all their blustering.

I’m not ignorant by any means…I know the basics when it comes to Korean peninsula, but like many others, the human element was a mystery. Yeah, I heard it was bad, but I was clueless.

Over the last few weeks, I’ve read reports from people in Pyongyang, saying that everything seemed normal, people were just going on living their lives. And now I understand why. Pyongyang is nothing but a stage in which DPRK tries to show prosperity and happiness amongst its people.

Anyway, I’m rambling now. I’ll cut to the chase.

Instead of just taking the MSM’s word for things, or internet forums…I decided to read a book on defectors from North Korea…

…Reading a book…what a difference.

The book I bought was “Nothing to envy: ordinary lives in North Korea”, by Barbara Demick. I bought it last night (only 12 dollars as an ebook) and finished it about an hour ago…I could not put it down.

I had to keep reminding myself that this was not a novel based on a fictional dystopian society, or some post-apocalyptic rag tag group of survivors…but something that is actually going on. It was damn near like reading 1984, except the conditions were worse and it’s really happening. I am in shock at how this country has lasted for as long as it has.

The things I read that stood out…
- Top university students in Pyongyang in the early 2000’s had no idea what the internet is.
- Televisions must be registered and are modified to only receive broadcasts from DPRK.
- The hatred towards Americans, South Koreans and Japanese people is very, very real…instilled from birth, generation by generation, that’s all they know. In fact, one story conveyed in the above mentioned book recounts a time that rice, delivered during a food aid program, had an American Flag on it. This was outrageous to the North Koreans, even if they hadn’t had rice in YEARS. The Government told them that they took the rice during an assault on the US.
- Even as recent as 2008, the diet of many North Koreans consists of nothing but boiled water, salt and leaves. Many scour the country side to find edible roots, etc… A single egg bought on the black market can cost a whole weeks wage.
- Although somewhat lifted early on under Kin-Jong il, then later cracked down on again, private business…as simple as selling food is heavily forbidden (under the guise of it being something that’ll lead to a desire for capitalism), and can lead to years in prison camps.
- Although many in North Korea work, wages have not been paid in a very long time.
- North Koreans honestly, really, believe that although they have it bad, it’s still probably better than the rest of the world.
- Travel to Pyongyang is STIRCTLY and HEAVILY regulated. All just keep up appearances. In fact, you need special permission to travel anywhere outside the confines of your city.


I could go on and on…But I’ll just let you read it for yourself.

I guess what I wanted to say was, step away from the computer for a bit and do some research for yourself.

Before you go clamoring for war, or making light of the funny, backwards people over there…try to put yourself in their shoes.

And if you think we have it bad…Think again.




posted on Apr, 11 2013 @ 04:07 PM
link   
They eat leaves and water? You should search youtube for north korean supermarket, i didnt see any leaves there



posted on Apr, 11 2013 @ 04:10 PM
link   
Books can be just as biased as any internet article you know.

Your only chance of getting an idea of what's going on, short of going there, is to read absolutely everything from every source you can find and try to find things that are mostly consistent across all the sources. That will give you your basis for what is truth.



posted on Apr, 11 2013 @ 04:16 PM
link   
reply to post by Hopechest
 


What you say is true. However, Barbara Demick, the author, was the bureau chief in Korea for the LA Times while compiling data for this book. She interviewed an estimated 100 NK defectors, and cross referenced many anecdotes throughout the process. I think that’s a pretty good look inside.



posted on Apr, 11 2013 @ 04:19 PM
link   

Originally posted by Juston
reply to post by Hopechest
 


What you say is true. However, Barbara Demick, the author, was the bureau chief in Korea for the LA Times while compiling data for this book. She interviewed an estimated 100 NK defectors, and cross referenced many anecdotes throughout the process. I think that’s a pretty good look inside.


Yes its a good source but using only 1 source is never a good idea.

Suppose Hitler wrote a book on Nazi Germany. He is probably the best source you could ever imagine but would you consider it unbiased or do you think he may twist events a bit to put himself in a better light?

See my point?

I am currently writing on 20 page paper, thereabouts, on security risks from central african countries and my annotated bibliography is already twice that length of sources I plan to use.
edit on 11-4-2013 by Hopechest because: (no reason given)



posted on Apr, 11 2013 @ 04:20 PM
link   
reply to post by Juston
 


I have a question OP, just for the sake of possibly hearing your answer as I have not read that book and I would guess you know enough on the subject for me to be more than curious as your answer..

After reading that, how much do you support an American invasion/war ( to the death, not a cold war/economic war, but a war with nuclear weapons used and people - possibly whole cities wiped off the Earth ) with North Korea? If the goal was irrelevant, be it America wanted oil that was there or something stupid like that - would you support a war to free and help those people trapped in North Korea?

I'll state my own answer here, I feel it's time to subdue North Korea completely. America has the firepower obviously, although it would be difficult ( from what I hear North Korea is still in the dark ages on missle technology to carry their nuclear weapons ) it could be possible North Korea would lay at least one good nuke or otherwise noteworthy causalty against American lifes... But I say we do it, form a democracy there and decide that realistically - even if our way is pretty messed up.. It's better than the North Korea right now.

Also, the psychological game the American government uses with NKorea, using them as 'the bad guy' etc etc.. With that gone, the playing feild will change dramatically enough that players on the global scale will have to move around etc.. Who will be the 'next bad guy' for the public fear? I would like to see
edit on 4/11/2013 by indigothefish because: (no reason given)



posted on Apr, 11 2013 @ 04:24 PM
link   

Originally posted by Hopechest

Yes its a good source but using only 1 source is never a good idea.

Suppose Hitler wrote a book on Nazi Germany. He is probably the best source you could ever imagine but would you consider it unbiased or do you think he may twist events a bit to put himself in a better light?

See my point?


One source? Numerous defectors were interviewed. And this is but one of many books on the subject. With your line of thinking, I could easily take a book filled with Holocaust survival stories with a grain of salt too.

Nevertheless, the merits of the book were not meant to be the focus, just wanted to share what I learned.

Let's agree to dissagree.



posted on Apr, 11 2013 @ 04:31 PM
link   

Originally posted by indigothefish
reply to post by Juston
 


After reading that, how much do you support an American invasion/war ( to the death, not a cold war/economic war, but a war with nuclear weapons used and people - possibly whole cities wiped off the Earth ) with North Korea? If the goal was irrelevant, be it America wanted oil that was there or something stupid like that - would you support a war to free and help those people trapped in North Korea?


Honestly...I really can't say. I really feel that the rebuilding and integration back into a normal society will be more difficult than toppling the regime. And really, from what I understand, it'll be a long time before they trust us because as I said, as far as they know, they are on the right track.



posted on Apr, 11 2013 @ 04:32 PM
link   
reply to post by Juston
 


This is a relatively good documentary about life in North Korea...



It is fairly mild, and only shows the best conditions that the average family lives under, otherwise it probably wouldn't have been made, but still fairly insightful.

The extreme of course are the gulags, BBC radio 4 did an excellent documenary series based around a child who had been born in one, and subsequently escaped a couple of years ago. I can't find it though I am afraid, but most of the reports of the gulags are like that, just the odd person who manages to survive and run far enough away to be able to tell their stories. It is hard to find an impartial view.



posted on Apr, 11 2013 @ 05:21 PM
link   
reply to post by indigothefish
 


Also, too add to your question. NK's current actions are a complete mystery to me. Even more so after seeing what the average citizen is going through.

Sure, their actions made a lot sense previously, as far as tot for tat concessions, but man now?

I'm totally lost.



posted on Apr, 11 2013 @ 06:00 PM
link   
reply to post by Juston
 


That is true, not that I would be willing to call America some kind of North Korean savior, as what has been happening in the Middle East is clear evidence of how that would go down in NK as well, but you are right the people themselves would have to likely undergo some kind of trust reformation.. Thanks for the response



posted on Apr, 11 2013 @ 06:58 PM
link   
reply to post by Juston
 



I’m not ignorant by any means…I know the basics when it comes to Korean peninsula, but like many others, the human element was a mystery.


Of course you're not ignorant but its good to get as much as possible from the horse's mouth, so to speak.

“"Don't listen to what they say. Go see." ~ Chinese proverb”

members.virtualtourist.com...
www.fallingrain.com...



posted on Apr, 11 2013 @ 08:13 PM
link   
Text Okay Good afternoon, how are you doing? Well check it I understand what your trying get across... But we have nothing to worry about REALLY! Today at my alternative high school, I had the chance to met A guy good who was working in "intelligence" on the army branch. But now he is Retired. Well anyways his a pretty smart guy knows what's going on He basicly told me the real stuff, North Korea would be commiting suicide by starting anything Big or "launching missles" Their poor as hell, What we got to worry about? Even if they do we have A marine based army which we can protect all oceans, they Cant plus they know better. Thanks for your time have A good day.





new topics




 
2

log in

join