There is another interesting question; even if China cuts of North Korean support could they still survive?
In any other country the answer would be a certain no. What would probably happen is that people living around Kim Jong would get tired of living of
rations; and would think “what is the point of this stupid leader who holds us back from wealth and prosperity?”
However with the DPRK being what it is, the first question you have to ask is “how aware are the smart people around Kim Jong aware of the
alternatives?”. North Korea does of course practice a sort of “first class” total information control e.g. according to North Korean TV the
leaders of the world are frequently visiting Pyongyang to seek The Great Leaders advice-wisdom for solving terribly difficult worldly problems. Of
course in reality hardly any heads of State visit North Korea, Chinas president did it recently but it was more or less a one of (and after all the
countries are neighbours). But hay its North Korean TV; they can say whatever
And in North Korea the penalty for almost anyone being caught listening to a foreign radio, or adapting their radio-TV so it can pick up foreign
channels is a minimum of ten years in a Re-Education Centre (many of these are just slave labour camps where people starve to death).
But it’s worse…The North Korean Political Class System
Here is a description: www.brookings.edu...
1. The North has been gathering information from its citizens since 1956
2. Using information obtained between 1967-70 the Fifth Korean Workers' Party Congress divided the population into three groups: a loyal "core
class," a suspect "wavering class," and a politically unreliable "hostile class."
3. Family information (like political arrests or if they are descendant from landowners) is used to class people, as well as put them in up to 51 sub
4. North Koreans do not know which class they are in; but it affects things like the size of rations (very important given the recent famine in which
a few millions starved to death).
This is amazing because it basically involves genetically wiping out the ATS user sort of class. Even though ATS is a really big internet site, has
lots of interesting subjects, it isn’t actually that big (in comparison to say myspace.com) because many people aren’t that interested in
If you annualised the ATS users you would probably find we are more likely to come from wealthy, upper middle class backgrounds, (my family are land
owners) or even you’re poor you would probably find things like more arrests for things like demo activity.
Of course any description of the NK’s Political Class System will tell you that the North Koreans themselves know it doesn’t fully
But in a country where you know so many people are going to starve to death because your economy is c**p, or one where cloths, jobs, are going to be
in short supply; it’s at least an effective way of breading out the resistance; poverty after all (when inevitable
) is free in all ways
Some sociologists say its genetics that makes intelligent children from intelligent families to be more intelligent on average, (and the same applies
to politics just look at Bush the son of a president).
Many other sociologists say it’s mostly
things like social background, wealth, values ect. Well the North Korean class system tackles these
things (genetics and social heritage) in equal measure.
You can’t win can’t you; even if you’ve never done anything wrong against the regime, it’s as if the system is reading your mind. And (as it
isn’t literally doing that) if you improve your attitudes towards the regime, was even and had always been the most loyal citizen possible, it
wouldn’t make any difference. The past and distant history of your family would keep you in a lower category and if a famine comes along you would
be along with the first to starve. But if you’re really loyal, and also in the wrong class category; you don’t know what class you’re in;
because north Koreans don’t know much about the class system (or certainly where you’re in it).
So how do you rebel against that?
So with long existing state of near total information control, childhood plus screening, family history discrimination, and intellectual extermination
I find it hard to see how the right leaders will come along from within.
Even if your one of the few North Koreans who knows the reality of the world you live in, the chances are that a few bits and bobs taken away from the
countries millions will keep in relative (if not literal) luxury. Would you really be the right sort of person with a conscience? How does the right
sort of conscience at the higher level of government evolve in the NK regime? Especially when it starts to involve treachery against the regime?
Frankly I actually wonder if all the information agents-defectors have been sending North Koreans is a waist of time. As in George Orwell’s 1984 the
Party had a false forbidden opposition. By providing North Koreans with information of the outside world I kind of wonder if we’ve just been
providing NK with the information needed to get good people killed; and the regime with a sort of false forbidden opposition it can easily manipulate
I don’t know enough, but I half think things have gone too far in North Korea for a rebellion within to really work. There are only three ways to
destroy the regime…
1. Offer it the chance to destroy itself by giving it the trade and contact with the outside world it needs.
2. Directly appease it: Offer to buy the nuclear weapons when it puts them on the market, or to give it the aid it wants-needs before it comes to
3. Destroy it militarily.
Personally I like the first option best; if the international community will let it be done-work. I despise the second (it spits in the face of every
North Korean who has ever died ether resisting, or just as an “accidental-inevitable” victim of the regime, and I'm half open to the third