Hello, I just had some questions. It appears that at least some people around here like Kim Jong Il, and I'd just like to ask why. I heard that the North Koreans are miserable. Can anyone comment on that? Also, he has a massive standing army, doesn't he? I also heard that his people don't have enough food to eat, because they give it all to the soldiers. Is that true as well? Obviously in capitalist america no one is going to speak positivley in the news about North Korea anyway, but do they straight up lie? Anyhow, thanks for your time.
I guess they like him because he's one of the most important anti-imperialists of our time. Can't disagree with that.
I guess they do better than the global average. Pyongyang looks like it's in better shape than many Southern European cities, but it's most probably drastically different on the countryside. But I don't think starvation or anything is an issue anymore nowadays.
Of course, compared to us Westerners, everybody is miserable. But that perspective seems to be pretty useless because there are huge differences between places like Somalia and Sudan and places like North Korea and China, even though they're both miserable compared to us.
Also, it's probably a bit simplistic to blame the poverty of North Korea on its leadership. I'm pretty sure they're not "torturing" their people on purpose - or that any leadership would ever do that. Not only because the vast majority of people do not like misery, including leaders, but also because it's a bit hard to stay in power if your subjects feel like you're treating them sadistically - which we're told about the North Korean government quite often.
The cause for North Korea's poverty is its international isolation, which is leadership is not happy about.
Yeah. Seems like a good policy if you're threatened by the USA.
I doubt it. I mean of course nobody really knows, but I imagine that soldiers would get higher rations because they need more food, obviously, but I don't think they're deliberately letting the others starve because of that.
I really wonder about whether they have enough food to supply for all the citizens ... I have a friend who serves his military duty close to the North Korean border right now, and he says looking at the mountains behind the border you can see big parts of the woods where all trees are leaf-less. He was told it's because the North Koreans pick the leaves and eat them out of hunger. óo ...
Do they have - theoretically - enough cultivable land to produce food for everyone? o-o
I believe it's called "arable land" and I guess they do. I believe their trouble with making use of this land is due to the age of their technology, and the fuel that they would need to make use of this technology.
Also this: viewtopic.php?f=131&t=46639&p=742584
In short, probably yes, just like the US media do about most countries with a red flag or some sort of Communist Party in power. Even if not outright propaganda, the media can still accomplish quite a bit of misinformation by selectively reporting some events, jumping to conclusions, and simply using loaded words in their reporting. I'm not saying that it's necessarily deliberate, and some of it could very well be unconscious and merely a result of the influences from a liberal capitalist society that's just got out of the Cold War within the past 2 decades (which is really not a whole lot of time for societal trends to change).
Of course, I have no doubts that the DPRK does a lot of biased reporting of its own, and its apparently secluded nature really makes it hard for people to get an accurate picture of what is going on inside. Like, I don't think that the Western media's portrayal of North Korea as like some sort of concentration camp on a massive scale is accurate, any more than its depictions of all the "Red" countries as massive prison camps. On the whole, it's just hard to tell what the situation in the DPRK really is when the information that comes out of that country is limited and with limited verifiable accuracy, and the same can be said about Western information as well.
And I do have trouble trusting the media from any country, in case you were wondering, so if that comes off as cynical... well... it's supposed to be.
“Conservatism is the blind and fear-filled worship of dead radicals” - Mark Twain
ohhh, I think there are plenty of those here that don't like him. See trentski for an example..
Thanks everyone. Isn't a massive standing army kind of useless anymore? In today's world of missiles and war machines, what good is a bunch of people?
You need people to man the war machines, and if your country is ever occupied, you also need a large number of loyal, dependable soldiers to fight the insurgency. People were saying that to the Chinese during World War II, and yet the poorly equipped largely peasant army of the CCP were able to defend themselves from both the Japanese and the KMT and then take the fight to the KMT Government starting in 1946.
“Conservatism is the blind and fear-filled worship of dead radicals” - Mark Twain
I see. Also, how is the political system of North Korea? See, it's called Democratic Republic, but isn't Kim a dictator?
See USA's reasons:
Intimidation, propaganda, and projection of one's views by force.
Without ground troops, you're susceptible to ground invasion and occupation. I doubt anyone would want to bomb their own territory.
Here you go comrade viewtopic.php?f=115&t=32376 (DPRK's Socialist Constitution) Hope it can answer your question
Inggris Kita Linggis, Amerika Kita Setrika ! -Sukarno-
If the DPRK government, it's delegation in S Africa, and it's international image wasnt in perpetual mystery I wouldnt. Congradulations, you're not imperialist. Neither were the mujaheddin. Until the DPRK opens it's doors, stops being cult crazy, and stops advertising products in it's state magazine that magically cure SARS, protect against Cancer, and prevent HIV I am going to be anti-DPRK.
This is one question that I have had to pry out of people when I travel around the DPRK. You have to get to know someone first, such as in the bars or with the guides. You will not get a direct answer but you can get some sense of what people think. Sometimes it is not what they say but what they do not say.
1) Understand that this is Korea - country and leader are one entity. Kim's father founded the country you see.
2) To denegrate the leader is to denegrate the country and all Koreans.
3) They know things went to hell after his father's death. They are not stupid nor are they zombies.
4) They will say how great KIS was. That they do not say how great KJI is says much. If you take the simple tour (5 days) you will not see much about KJI. You have to be trusted or there a while to see the KJI adulation to any great degree. Closed rooms of the Museum of the Revolution are for local consumption and honor KJI. I have seen them and had lectures on the greatness of the Dear Leader. It is not the same level of aduation as it was prior to 1994 for Kim Il-sung.
KJI aduation is not as enthusiastic as it was for his father. "There was only one leader of the Korean nation!" one party member said. Yeah, that sums it up. Ask a common Korean about their concerns and you get that they are anxious about the future. They live in uncertain times and transition is what they fear. No, they do not like him but he is the son of the Great Leader and he inherited some of his wisdom. He deserves respect. This is a Confucian society. They have no history of democracy. Kim Jong Il has the legitimacy. The Kim family heir (Kim Jong-un) will be weaker for sure, just as KJI is weaker than his father. Also - they want their king to live a good life. Why would they resent that? This is Korea and they would not think he should live like the common laborer.
The average Korean has little concept of the outside. Businessmen who make the Beijing run do know and want some of the simple pleasures of China in the DPRK. One said, "I wish we had KFC in Korea."
You do not see statues to Kim Jong-Il in the town squares. His photo is in most public places but it is with his father. One of the places you see aduation is at the end of the Mass Games when the children say, "We love you Dear Leader Kim Jong-Il." Ideas aboout public opinion in North Korea are really not like those in the West.
When I traveled Romania in 1979 and 1982 you knew what people thought of Ceaucescu - they hated him. They could not say it out loud but they did tell you. They were embarassed that Romania came to that. This is not similar to that at all.
Well the reason North Koreans are miserable is because of Songon the military first ideoligy followed by Kim Jong Il
What people seem to forget is that it is neccesary, the Korean war never ended in a treaty. Not to mention agreemants made between the Democratic Republic of Korea and the United states that the Clinton administration violated.
Kim Jong Il is the only thing stopping the DPRK from being occupied by the United States and South Korea. The people of the DPRK do not want to be occupied, they went thrue it for hundreds of years by the Japanese and during the Korean war by Americans.
Sorry for thread necro, but thanks so much.
I think there fine with food, they openly admit to needeing international aid for about 20% of there food supply which they accept from China, Vietnam and South Korea
North korea is a small country with little arable land, around fifteeen percent I think, and 24 million people inhabiting it all. On top of that, they have the pro-military songun policy that devotes most of the country to supporting the military..
I think recently the food problem has become less of a problem, as we move away from the troubles of the 90s.
Holy shit, how come no one's brought up Zaruko's excellent post?
If he's still around we should see if we can get him to do a Q&A on his travels, or simply tell us his tales and experiences. That post seemed credible, reasonable, thoughtful, and analytical all roled into one, and it's barely half a page of text.
Maybe because it is a first-hand experience which does not reflect the hopes and wishes of some of our DPRK fan-boys.
@Zaruko: Considering what you reported from your trip to the North, I ask myself the question (again) about the future of power allocation in Pyongyang. As I understand it there are two major players that compete over the leadership of the country, namely the Party with the Dear Leader and the Military with its economical importance. Do you think party dominance could be jeopardized with Kim Jong-un?
Nk people like the departed dear leader because they were learned since little that he is god on earth ,that he is the one who feeds them with grass and 1 potato a day,that he is the sun they have in their homes from 7-10 am untill power is off,people like him because HE WRITES THE HISTORY BOOKS THERE!A blitzkrieg would solve this half a century drama that happends there if US and NATO would take kare of him and a Patriot would enter his window )
North Korea is hell on earth and the largest prison on earth,I am sorry for all those who suffer there.
A regime who invest all he can in millitary launches a peacefull sattelite??
No way hose,sanctions fell on the people so the UN and NATO should consider a strike there not sanctions,will be easier to overtrow the gov't then to feed him.
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