Here’s a few thoughts on the Hermit Kingdom.
North Korea has been in the news lately, mostly because of Pyongyang’s world-class rhetoric. Although it has been toned down as tensions in Korea ease, what has been said already is pretty awesome. Really, if you want to learn some good war rhetoric you need to go to a North Korean school.
It is the resolute answer of the DPRK and its steadfast stand to counter the nuclear blackmail of the U.S. imperialists with merciless nuclear attack and their war of aggression with just all-out war.
They should clearly know that in the era of Marshal Kim Jong Un, the greatest-ever commander, all things are different from what they used to be in the past.
The hostile forces will clearly realize the iron will, matchless grit and extraordinary mettle of the brilliant commander of Mt. Paektu that the earth cannot exist without Songun Korea.
I mean, no other country can match this. The Earth cannot exist without Songun Korea, people. We’re all going to die because of the iron will of Kim Jong-un. Everyone beware!
And, of course, we are always making fun of Kim Jong-un. He seems like a Mao-style dictator, except that we’re not in the era of Mao anymore, but in North Korea everything is a throwback to something from the Mao era. Kim Jong-un is the Supreme Leader of North Korea who inherited power from his father, Kim Jong-il, who inherited power from his father, Kim Il-sung. Running the country is a family business in North Korea, and the propaganda for their leader shows that they want it that way. Did you know that Kim Jong-il does not need to defecate, and when he was born a double rainbow appeared in the sky along with the birth of a new star? It’s the propaganda like this that makes the Kims so hilarious sometimes. The North Koreans, of course, are brainwashed, and probably believe at least some of the propaganda (eg. Kim Jong-il invented the hamburger). Here’s an example of some North Korean propaganda: in this video, soldiers run down from a mountain to greet their Dear Leader, Kim Jong-un, and even follow him into the sea:
So imagine what it’s like if they see what the rest of the world does to their leaders:
There are tons of other funny Kim Jong-un memes out there; a quick Google search will reveal a lot of them. It’d be horrifying to the North Koreans if they see this stuff. But of course, most ordinary citizens in North Korea don’t have access to the internet. Or if they do, it’s heavily censored.
But who, exactly, are we making fun of?
Kim Jong-un is the third in the line of Kims to have been the dictator of North Korea. Having assumed power as the Supreme Leader after his father’s death in December 2011, he continued his father’s military-first policy, leading to multiple missile and nuclear tests that has led to UN sanctions on North Korea’s economy, which pushed Kim to decide to declare war on South Korea and have led to a stream of rhetoric from Pyongyang and the closing of Kaesong Industrial Park. The tensions have only eased in the past couple of days when joint American-South Korean military drills were over. Now, North Korea demands recognition as a nuclear state.
It’s funny that we’re talking about North Korea being a nuclear state. It’s probably one of the most impoverished countries on Earth. This is a fact that we often seem to forget as we’re making funny memes of Kim, but really, this should be remembered. More than half of North Korea’s population do not have enough food to stay healthy, because they’re starving. There isn’t enough food. (Socialism sure worked out, doesn’t it). The funny thing, of course, is that the Kim regime persists with its military-first policy, spending huge amounts of money on nuclear development, but they can’t even feed their own people. In North Korea’s second largest city, people are so hungry they have resorted to selling human meat. I mean- you know things are going wrong if in your second largest city there are already people who are into cannibalism. It’s hard for us in the more developed world (not that Thailand is super developed, but you know, Bangkok would be like a paradise on Earth for North Koreans) to imagine such a level of starvation and poverty, but it’s a reality for North Korea.
This brings me to my other point. We have tons of dystopian novels that envision worlds where life is super unideal. North Korea is like a work of fiction. It’s like a dystopia we’d read about in a novel, except that it’s real. I’ve recently read a novel called The Orphan Master’s Son by Adam Johnson. It’s a good novel, and it’s set in North Korea. Any novel that is set in North Korea has given itself a hard task, because little is known about what life in North Korea is actually like, and even visiting the place itself might not give you all the answers to your questions about North Korea, because 1) foreigners aren’t allowed to talk to ordinary citizens, and vice versa and 2) you’re only allowed to go to state-approved sites that don’t show you the horrid starvation. But here’s how Johnson portrays North Korea. It’s a place where you’re pretty much forced to believe in the socialist ideology of the state. You’re given a role to play by the government, and you’re going to have to be in that role. In the novel, there is a blind couple who is pretty much always praising the Dear Leader. “Thank you, Dear Leader Kim Jong-il, for my dinner!”
But then, what about the ideologically impure? That’s where concentration camps come in. North Korea denies that there are any human right abuses in North Korea- but any human rights organization is not allowed to enter the country for inspection. North Korea pretty much violates every human right there is, but the worst violation by far is the prison camps. North Korea has a very sophisticated network of camps (they deny it, of course) where people deemed as dangerous to the state get sent to, along with their parents and grandparents. (Three generations are what the North Korean government deems as necessary to punish). In the camps, you get to wear clothes left behind by a dead prisoner, living conditions are horrid, you’re worked to death, and you get a tiny bit of food. (It’s been reported that some children there fight for a few pieces of corn found in cow dung). This is the fate that you know you might get if you’re considered dangerous to the stability of the Kim regime- as I said, it’s a dystopia come true.
So while Kim plans his rhetoric and missile launches in the comfort of his palace in Pyongyang, the rest of North Korea slowly starves to death. Isn’t that an amazing sort of guy we’re making fun of? North Korea is an insane place; if you didn’t cry for Kim Jong-il’s funeral, you could be sent to a labor camp. How nice is that. You’re brainwashed to believe all the myths about the Kim dynasty, you’re starved so that you can’t rebel against the regime, your economy is destroyed, you’re disconnected from the rest of the world while your leader prepares for another expensive nuclear bomb test.
You don’t get much more insane than that, do you. All bow to Kim Jong-un; we can’t beat his insanity.
We should, of course, all be scared of the war rhetoric that Pyongyang releases, and we should be scared of Kim’s nuclear nukes. And of course, there’s still the North Korean standing army (that doesn’t have enough gasoline to fuel their tanks and airplanes). We should be scared of the stuff Kim’s making instead of feeding his people.
Thanks for reading.