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(The Atlantic)   New North Korean pictures. Looking at 12 and 23 together will both break your heart and make you want to punch your monitor. It's what the unicorns would have wanted   (theatlantic.com ) divider line
    More: Sad, North Koreans, North Korean pictures, North Korean leader, leader Kim, Republic of Korea Army, barbed wires, Kim Il Sung, command center  
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44839 clicks; posted to Main » on 03 Jan 2013 at 2:46 AM (3 years ago)   |   Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2013-01-03 07:57:44 AM  

rynthetyn: I've lived and worked in Vietnam and traveled extensively in southeast Asia and some in China, and what I see in those pictures as far as living conditions is fairly typical of the way that all but the wealthiest people live in all but the most modernized parts of Asia. We obviously don't know how the poor live in North Korea, but when I see people taking pictures like the ones in TFA and using them as "proof" of just how bad North Korea is, it's a sign of people who haven't gotten out much or who are easily susceptible to propaganda.


Well there's part of your issue - those pictures aren't supposed to depict how "bad" things are there, they're supposed to be depicting the good things! Remember, you can't just walk off and photograph whatever you want - you stay with the tour, and you photograph what you're allowed to photograph. They check your camera going in and coming out. The bad comes from imagining that if these pictures are the good, what's the bad like? Do these people look happy and contented to you? Do they look fulfilled and satisfied? I'm reminded of the people I encountered behind the Iron Curtain, but even those people were relatively happy, if very curious about what else was out there.

Not being allowed to cross the border and leave. Just imagine it. Take a full minute and really immerse yourself in that, try to fully realize the fact and all it would entail and what your life would be like. That if you crossed the border on your own, you'd be shot and killed. That's not propaganda, that's fact. Just imagine it. If there were nothing else, if everything else inside was hunky-dory, that would still be enough to make it "bad". If you had a neighbor with a child, and they never ever allowed that child to leave the house, for any reason, and that child was punished if they did make it outside, wouldn't you wonder? Even if everything else about that neighbor seemed rich and good, wouldn't you think that was a little..."off"?

rynthetyn: I'm not saying that North Korea isn't an incredibly controlled state that's not poor. What I'm saying is that when I see photos that are depicting what really is a decent standard of living in much of Asia--including in the less urban parts of more developed countries--being represented to me as something shocking and proof of how bad North Korea is, it's not an honest portrait of the place. Those photos don't show a place that's horrifically bad, they show a place that's in the process of developing.


Developing? It looks approximately the same as it did in the 1950s. What's developing? Time has seemingly stopped there - that's one of the striking (and to me, most fascinating) things about it. Look on the internet for pictures of Pyongyang. Does that look like any metropolis you've ever seen? Empty highways, not a lit sign to be seen anywhere, barely a soul on the sidewalk unless it's an organized event. Drab, blank, drained of all the color and vibrancy you'd expect from any civilized urban location. Name one single large city in America or Europe that looks like that. It's...eerie, don't you think? Spooky. A city that size, housing the population that it does, shouldn't look so empty. What could cause that? What kind of conditions have to exist that people barely seem to step outside? Or is this propaganda too? Do photographers somehow go out on their own, and in conspiracy with each other, only shoot empty landscapes and urban dwellings? No, remember, these guys are all on a tour - they're shooting the good stuff. The city's emptiness - that's the "good". So, what's the bad?

The photos remind me of Pripyat, except obviously not overgrown due to the complete lack of human presence. So what do you think the suburbs are like? How about the farms and the country? What about the factories, which we don't have pictures of? Labor fields? Jails and prisons? Prison camps? Or is that propaganda too?

rynthetyn: There's no doubt that North Korea is a mess and that they try to tightly control journalists' access, but that's not a reason for misrepresenting reality. It's pretty obvious that the media is misrepresenting reality when descriptions on photos are so far removed from what I can see with my own two eyes looking at the same photo. The US media does it with China all the time too--all my friends who have lived long term in China were fuming about the Olympic coverage because the reporting about China was so far removed from reality.


I don't follow your comparison here, because the pictures I see of China all look like normal high-population centers around the rest of the world, so I don't see the media as trying to represent them as anything else in particular. What about North Korea do you think might be misrepresented? Especially since photographers are restricted in what and where they can shoot, what you see if what you get, and apparently that's the face North Korea wants to show us.

If I seem hot on this subject, it's because my family heritage lies in Hungary from the communist era, and I was fortunate enough to see it first-hand in the early 1980s. My father and his family paid a heavy price for living under that regime, and I have a personal sensitivity to people living under those conditions. Don't worry, I don't have a simplistic, black-and-white good-versus-evil view of it, either - it's a fully-painted picture. I know propaganda when I see it. There was happiness in the people there, of course there was. Every cloud has a silver lining, and all that. And, you make do with what you have, right? But when you live under a repressive regime, why is it right that you have to make do with what they merely give you? It isn't right, and even the happiness that was evident in Hungary under communist rule existed under a dark cloud as a result of the overall lack of freedom and mobility. Life could be tolerable, even happy, but always limited. To any free-minded person, that in itself is intolerable. It is every human's right to pursue happiness in any way they see fit, as long as it doesn't infringe on the same right of others. I don't see anything propagandist about showing how the North Korean's lives and environments are about as bland as bland can be. If that's the worst of it, good - I'm glad it's not worse. But all reports indicate otherwise, that there is far, far worse. And having seen starvation, street-urchining and gutter-rat living for myself, and knowing that my father and his family have lived like that before, and hearing their stories of life behind the Iron Curtain at its worst...I simply don't see any reason to tolerate it anywhere, nor to marginalize the tiny bit of reporting that is able to be done on it for no good reason except personal suspicion.
 
2013-01-03 07:59:21 AM  
i48.tinypic.com
 
2013-01-03 08:00:12 AM  

tinfoil-hat maggie: Well said, I remember the cold war stuff, all we saw in the US was the old ladies in bread lines and the military stuff, then the wall fell and it was supposed to be over and we see pretty young Russian girls on the street and kids skateboarding, wow fast turn around.


What makes you think that imagery is mutually exclusive? What makes you think there couldn't be old ladies in bread lines and military presence, and pretty young girls and kids skateboarding?

There could be, and there was.
 
2013-01-03 08:00:21 AM  

DustBunny: Raithun: If you like those, NASA and the NOAA just released a new 'Black Marble' using Oct 2012 data from their fancy new Suomi NPP satellite.

I'm not sure how accurate this pic is...there's a lot of lights in the middle of Australia where there is a whole bunch of nothing but desert, no towns even big enough (except maybe one right in the middle) to raise a blip


Alice Springs or Cooper Pedy?

Australia is a giant desert for the most part, all the people live on the coasts.
 
2013-01-03 08:01:43 AM  

rynthetyn: thatboyoverthere: rynthetyn: The point is that everybody pretends that North Korea is the only country that shows up as black on the map, but it's not true. I'd like some perspective here because I feel like I'm being fed propaganda about North Korea instead of actual facts and information.

The main reason is that they put so much effort in pretending that things don't suck there. And they spend so many resources that could be spent on a million different things rather then a faulty nuclear weapons program.

So we're going to just continue feeding the American populace propaganda in return? I'm sorry, but I'd like to know the actual truth and not the American propaganda version and that's what I feel like I'm getting all the time.

Heck, given the American propensity to invade other countries, I can even understand why North Korea might find it a wise spending decision to develop a nuclear capability. They're not idiots, they know that Pakistan gets treated differently because they've got nukes. But the propaganda version of the story doesn't even allow for the possibility that there might be rational reasons why North Korea would pursue nuclear weapons.

I'm not saying that North Korea isn't a corrupt and impoverished mess, I just want to see information about the place that doesn't reek of the same sort of propaganda that I got fed during the cold war.


Then go get it, no one is stopping you.

If you dislike the quality of the data you are receiving, do something about it. Find primary sources, crunch your own numbers, etc.

You can't actually *go* there unless you want to get shot, and acknowledging the point about the quality of data re: the Soviet Union, but you appear to feel you're being sold a bill of goods, but don't appear to be doing anything about it but biatching on Fark
 
2013-01-03 08:03:33 AM  
Why does that pic with Kim in front of the mics look like hes getting a BJ? Needs a caption so much win in this thread
 
2013-01-03 08:06:52 AM  

rynthetyn: I really want to go visit North Korea. Aside from the fact that I need to check Kim Il Sung off my "Embalmed Communist Leaders World Tour" list, I'd like to see the country for myself. I always get the feeling that with places like Best Korea that the media is showing only what they want us to see that fits in with their narrative.


You can't generally just go to NK and do your own thing you know, all NK visits are stage managed, doesn't matter who you are, journalist, politician, or Joe Bloggs on "vacation", you will have a minder, you will be shown selected areas, you will not speak to the average man on the street.

Occasionally you might get a glimpse of what things are like, and there are plenty of sly photos taken out of the tour bus window corners on the net.

About the only real "no minders" trip I've read about was this pair (long blog but good read) who managed to get in on a train from Russia to Pyongyang, at the time the NK's didn't expect anybody to come that way (not that it was easy) and they didn't get accompanied by the minder until they got to Pyongyang, being able to observe from some distance the real NK from the train windows.
 
2013-01-03 08:07:18 AM  
Google's Eric Schmidt is going to Best Korea:
http://www.theregister.co.uk/2013/01/03/schmidt_visit_north_korea/
 
2013-01-03 08:08:45 AM  
Yeah, "kids carrying hay" vs. "dear leader spends a couple hours at an amusement park" is the worst wealth disparity argument I've seen in a while.

Things didn't seem nearly as bleak in those photos as I've been led to expect.
 
2013-01-03 08:09:41 AM  
I liked the part where they have specific devices to hold in window cracks.
 
2013-01-03 08:09:46 AM  
Yes, yes, a truck running on burning wood.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wood_gas_generator
 
2013-01-03 08:14:52 AM  

Smashed Hat: JerkyMeat:
I believe you, but it wouldn't be to change the country, it would just to change that shiatty smug look at that fat farks face. Forever.
He looks like a spoiled asshole who could use a hole in his head.

I fail to see smugness in that expression. I can't see anything but 'duh'.

[cdn.theatlantic.com image 850x574]


cdn.theatlantic.com

1.bp.blogspot.com
 
2013-01-03 08:19:50 AM  

karmachameleon: tinfoil-hat maggie: Well said, I remember the cold war stuff, all we saw in the US was the old ladies in bread lines and the military stuff, then the wall fell and it was supposed to be over and we see pretty young Russian girls on the street and kids skateboarding, wow fast turn around.

What makes you think that imagery is mutually exclusive? What makes you think there couldn't be old ladies in bread lines and military presence, and pretty young girls and kids skateboarding?

There could be, and there was.


Duh, the point of propaganda is to show one point of view.I'm Just saying both were propaganda distributed buy our free market US media.
 
2013-01-03 08:22:55 AM  
I figure make about 20 million solar powered smart phones and air drop them over NK and fill them with easy to use apps that show the dear leader's clan doing what they do best in a way that make it look like this if a gift from them.  Throw in some nice aircraft or sats to relay the signals and include an app where people can look up old friends and family.  Make it work on a nice easy to use band but that is RF robust and see what happens.  Also include deeper apps that show the rest of the world that can only be opened up if one wins levels for a kids game that is included. 20 million phones at $100 each is trivial compared to the USA's defense bill per month and tell the Chinese they are paying it as a tariff for supporting their puppet and letting this get out of hand if and only if it doesn't work.  Play off the new sat and it could wake up a large number of people.
 
2013-01-03 08:26:40 AM  

rynthetyn: miniflea: I feel I should point out that it is a short book, easily read in a single afternoon.

It would have been nice if this conversation happened at the beginning of my break from classes, I'm back to stacks of casebooks starting day after tomorrow.


So you feel strongly you are being lied to, but you are 'too busy' to do anything about it? I submit that you're really not that concerned, then, and are more interested in sulking about how the unnamed *they* are twisting things than in having them untwisted.

Which, since you're apparently looking for a career in the egal field, gives a bit of a hint about how important 'Truth' really is to you
 
2013-01-03 08:26:42 AM  
Soon.
 
2013-01-03 08:28:04 AM  

DON.MAC: I figure make about 20 million solar powered smart phones and air drop them over NK and fill them with easy to use apps that show the dear leader's clan doing what they do best in a way that make it look like this if a gift from them.  Throw in some nice aircraft or sats to relay the signals and include an app where people can look up old friends and family.  Make it work on a nice easy to use band but that is RF robust and see what happens.  Also include deeper apps that show the rest of the world that can only be opened up if one wins levels for a kids game that is included. 20 million phones at $100 each is trivial compared to the USA's defense bill per month and tell the Chinese they are paying it as a tariff for supporting their puppet and letting this get out of hand if and only if it doesn't work.  Play off the new sat and it could wake up a large number of people.


Include zip guns and you have a deal.

A zip gun is only used to get the next, bigger gun.
 
2013-01-03 08:28:07 AM  

rynthetyn: thatboyoverthere: rynthetyn: The point is that everybody pretends that North Korea is the only country that shows up as black on the map, but it's not true. I'd like some perspective here because I feel like I'm being fed propaganda about North Korea instead of actual facts and information.

The main reason is that they put so much effort in pretending that things don't suck there. And they spend so many resources that could be spent on a million different things rather then a faulty nuclear weapons program.

So we're going to just continue feeding the American populace propaganda in return? I'm sorry, but I'd like to know the actual truth and not the American propaganda version and that's what I feel like I'm getting all the time.

Heck, given the American propensity to invade other countries, I can even understand why North Korea might find it a wise spending decision to develop a nuclear capability. They're not idiots, they know that Pakistan gets treated differently because they've got nukes. But the propaganda version of the story doesn't even allow for the possibility that there might be rational reasons why North Korea would pursue nuclear weapons.

I'm not saying that North Korea isn't a corrupt and impoverished mess, I just want to see information about the place that doesn't reek of the same sort of propaganda that I got fed during the cold war.


rynthetyn is beginning to sound like a broken record... Getting close to a concern troll...
 
2013-01-03 08:30:20 AM  

rynthetyn: Meethos: rynthetyn: I want an no propaganda look into North Korea!

Protip, going to North Korea doesn't get you a "real Korea" tour. You get 2 to 4 days of propaganda. If you want to see what you will see without the travel expense, watch the Vice Guide North Korea episode. They actually go and film the tour that you will go on.
here is the link

Yeah, because it's totally impossible to read between the lines of what you're being told to figure out what's going on based on what's not being said.

 Watching documentaries only tells you so much, you learn a heck of a lot more from being there. I can't count how many times I've watched documentaries and read books that turned out to be complete bunk when I actually visited the place, and that's especially true with countries that have a tenuous relationship with America.


Even the Vice Guide to North Korea is just a skeptical account of being taken on the official propaganda tour. For a more open account of travel in North Korea, check out this story (with YouTube links) of an Austrian who managed to get train tickets to travel unaccompanied overland from Vienna to Pyongyang.

On the one hand, rynthetyn is not wrong to be skeptical about US propaganda. On each of my 3 visits to the DMZ, the U.S. military escorts told visitors that the imposing building across the border was merely a fake front and that the building is not real. Turns out that they were lying, because you can see video of visitors entering that building from the NK side, and nowadays that bit has been dropped from the U.S. script.

However, you can't proclaim yourself a skeptic and then refuse to look at the evidence, citing being "to busy to read." There is simply too much evidence of the horrors of North Korean life to claim that the stories we hear about NK are just propaganda.
 
2013-01-03 08:32:08 AM  
I just can't grasp the idea of the ego, the cognitive dissonance of a person/persons who think the country they run is so great even though they have to punish or kil people for trying to leave! I just don't get it!

/just a lowly, female civilian
//like living in a country where if you don't like it "don't let the door hit you in the ass when you leave"
 
2013-01-03 08:32:30 AM  

rynthetyn: my lip balm addiction: rynthetyn: miniflea: rynthetyn, if you want as unbiased a look as possible, read the first book I linked to in my above post. You'll hear directly from the mouths of North Koreans. It talks about the good as well as the bad, and it discusses the fact that many defectors are bitter over the decision to flee their homes. It really is an interesting read.

I added that to my long list of books that I don't have time to read.

Yeah - you "don't have time to read" and you sit here whining that you don;t have the right information or some stupid shiat. Get off your ass and go travel ya whiny fark.

You're adorable. You're completely brainwashed and are too stupid to know it.

Pro-tip, when in law school people don't have time to read anything outside of class and can't afford to travel to North Korea, which is a frigging expensive trip.

The grownups are talking, stop threadshiatting if you're incapable of contributing anything useful.


Ok, its official..

i235.photobucket.com
 
2013-01-03 08:32:58 AM  
s14.postimage.org
 
2013-01-03 08:33:12 AM  
stratagos:

Then go get it, no one is stopping you.

If you dislike the quality of the data you are receiving, do something about it. Find primary sources, crunch your own numbers, etc.

You can't actually *go* there unless you want to get shot, and acknowledging the point about the quality of data re: the Soviet Union, but you appear to feel you're being sold a bill of goods, but don't appear to be doing anything about it but biatching on Fark

That is not correct. You can travel to North Korea, providing that you are willing to shell out major bucks for an escorted tour: Koryo Tours.
 
2013-01-03 08:36:58 AM  

Twitch Boy: [i.imgur.com image 850x635]


I've never seen the two in the same place at the same time. You may be on to something.
 
2013-01-03 08:39:40 AM  
i do believe there is a meme hiding in this pic

cdn.theatlantic.com
 
2013-01-03 08:41:07 AM  
Oh hey grenlight cool. I'll get to double digits eventually!

/subby
//who read Aquariums of Pyongyang thanks to a Farker suggestion
///that was one of the more depressing good reads ever
 
2013-01-03 08:41:11 AM  
They've got beer, how bad can it be?
 
2013-01-03 08:46:55 AM  

ShawnDoc: What's wrong with 12?  When I was growing up (starting around age 10) I used to help with baling and loading hay.  We'd do a couple tons worth a day.  What are you some sort of city slicker who's never seen a farm?  Its normal for the kids to help out with manual labor when they're not in school.

/The start of deer season was also treated as a week long holiday, and teachers knew not to schedule any major homework or tests during that time, due to how few kids would actually attend classes.


I've done farm work as an adult and had friends who lived and worked on farms in HS. however the look in those kids eyes + the disconnect between the Pyongyang elite and everyone else there is what got me.

My friends did hard work but still got to play. It doesn't look like those kids do, but Dear Leader is absolutely giddy over a amusement park ride. He gets the childhood as an adult - complete with real life army figurines that launch real missles! - that those kids probably never will.
 
2013-01-03 08:47:08 AM  

Meethos: rynthetyn: I want an no propaganda look into North Korea!

Protip, going to North Korea doesn't get you a "real Korea" tour. You get 2 to 4 days of propaganda. If you want to see what you will see without the travel expense, watch the Vice Guide North Korea episode. They actually go and film the tour that you will go on.



Reading these my bullshiat detector went off. I have done 38 days in the DPRK with Koryo Tours. True, the 2-4 day tours show you nothing. The multi-week tours do. Look, do you think a crumbling state such as North Korea can keep you from seeing the back side? You are very wrong. While we cannot photograph the military and the misery, we do see it. They cannot hide it.
farm5.staticflickr.com
Rural apartment building

We do see the poverty, children in work brigades, people working in the worst conditions (during a typhoon), hunger, deprivation etc.

farm7.staticflickr.com
Living conditions in Kaesong

Remember that the observations are only as good as the observer. Take a 20 something from the states who has never been to a developing country or a socialist dictatorship and you will get a reflection of that. If you have been to shiat holes of the world and shivered during winter in the USSR then you will understand more of what you are seeing.

The first rule is that this is Korea. If you do not understand Korea and particularly Korean Confucianism then you will think all that you see is "communism." This is a closed Korean state. You are viewing this society through the Cold War and you should abandon that construct. This is Korea. They will want to show you the best of their country - not to justify their ideology but because they are Korean. They have not had a nation state as long as others have. Aside from the fact that Korea is divided (diaspora, Koreans in China, North and South) they have not matured. Look at the history of military dictatorship in the south. How many protest the neo-fascist tendencies of that regime? Oh, well they are eating and have K-pop so that is ok?

What do you really know of the DPRK? What others have interpreted for you? The Vice guide? Frat boy humor that is more like ugly American tourism. I suggest you go and ask questions. The disconnect between the DPRK and the outside is massive.

Pyongyang is not North Korea. The real action is out in the small villages and the cities few visit. Chongjin is now open and I suggest you go there. We were really restricted in our photography and I can see why. The place is a rusting mess. I was in the first group to go to Hamhung, the second largest city. Even that is not quite what you want to see. The rural towns is where you get a sense of the economy.

I have photo sets of the smaller towns and life there.

Kowon photo set

farm5.staticflickr.com
Scene in the center of Kowon

Jongpyong set


The center of Jongpyong

farm5.staticflickr.com


Most of the journalists do not get to see what the tourists do. I have been able to see air raid drills and the drone of the speakers from 5am to 11pm. There certainly is more to the society, and any society as many of you are pointing out, than is evident from a few days in the country. I keep going back to see change over time and catch glimpses of the society behind the curtain.

And for those of you who want to see the Best Korea you may see the Pyongyang Traffic Girls here
For Ryugyong Hotel fans I have been to the construction site. Here are the photos over the years of that Pyongyang landmark.

Ryugyong General photos with construction models

Ryugyong Hotel in 2011
 
2013-01-03 08:51:19 AM  

karmachameleon: Devil's Playground: Yeah! 'Cause it's so much better here in the civilized world, right? Right?
[fromtheleft.files.wordpress.com image 440x346]
[coffeeandsleeplessnights.files.wordpress.com image 850x605]

Big differences: if you don't like the US (or whatever other free country you live in), you can leave and go somewhere else. If you don't like your job, you can quit and do something else, or start your own business, or hell, even do nothing at all. You can choose whatever hobbies you like, and at least here in the US, you don't have the right not to be offended, nor the obligation not to offend anyone else. But keep posting your myopic pictures in an attempt at clever snark to illustrate how the North Koreans are probably just fine, we just don't understand them, and they certainly don't need us anyway.

I have first-hand experience with communist countries where freedoms come at a premium, countries that were behind the Iron Curtain, and I know with my own eyes, ears and other senses what the quality of life was like in those countries. I can only imagine it's even worse in a family dictatorship like North Korea. I saw both the best of what they had (not very good) and the worst (more appalling than anything you could imagine exists in the US, where I have also seen the worst of what we have to offer). And when it comes to the plight of the North Koreans, you just sound like another asshole who doesn't know what the fark he's talking about. So consider keeping your trap shut until you pull your ignorant head out of your ass and learn a thing or two about the rest of the world, you entitled little prick, because when you post nonsense like this as if the comparison were valid, you tell us everything we need to know about you, while simultaneously saying nothing worthwhile about the subject you're attempting to enlighten everyone on.


Well put.

/oh snap seemed too flippant
//know people who grew up in communist Russia and Poland who would completely agree
///in theory communism works
////in *theory*
//[Simpsons]
 
2013-01-03 08:52:18 AM  
They rook ronery...
 
2013-01-03 08:55:17 AM  

tinfoil-hat maggie: karmachameleon: tinfoil-hat maggie: Well said, I remember the cold war stuff, all we saw in the US was the old ladies in bread lines and the military stuff, then the wall fell and it was supposed to be over and we see pretty young Russian girls on the street and kids skateboarding, wow fast turn around.

What makes you think that imagery is mutually exclusive? What makes you think there couldn't be old ladies in bread lines and military presence, and pretty young girls and kids skateboarding?

There could be, and there was.

Duh, the point of propaganda is to show one point of view.I'm Just saying both were propaganda distributed buy our free market US media.


There are first hand accounts from several North Korean refugees you know. You can Google. I've already mentioned one above.

Last account I read (visiting musicians) seem to say New Leader is easing up on the minders. The *visible* ones anyway.
 
2013-01-03 08:57:07 AM  

DON.MAC: I figure make about 20 million solar powered smart phones and air drop them over NK and fill them with easy to use apps that show the dear leader's clan doing what they do best in a way that make it look like this if a gift from them.  Throw in some nice aircraft or sats to relay the signals and include an app where people can look up old friends and family.  Make it work on a nice easy to use band but that is RF robust and see what happens.  Also include deeper apps that show the rest of the world that can only be opened up if one wins levels for a kids game that is included. 20 million phones at $100 each is trivial compared to the USA's defense bill per month and tell the Chinese they are paying it as a tariff for supporting their puppet and letting this get out of hand if and only if it doesn't work.  Play off the new sat and it could wake up a large number of people.


Some people have some phones and radios. They get thrown in labor camps if they're caught.
 
2013-01-03 08:59:03 AM  

BorgiaGinz: stratagos:

Then go get it, no one is stopping you.

If you dislike the quality of the data you are receiving, do something about it. Find primary sources, crunch your own numbers, etc.

You can't actually *go* there unless you want to get shot, and acknowledging the point about the quality of data re: the Soviet Union, but you appear to feel you're being sold a bill of goods, but don't appear to be doing anything about it but biatching on Fark

That is not correct. You can travel to North Korea, providing that you are willing to shell out major bucks for an escorted tour: Koryo Tours.


I would submit an escorted tour doesn't meet the desire for an unbiased view of conditions
 
2013-01-03 08:59:37 AM  

volodya: Meethos: rynthetyn: I want an no propaganda look into North Korea!

Protip, going to North Korea doesn't get you a "real Korea" tour. You get 2 to 4 days of propaganda. If you want to see what you will see without the travel expense, watch the Vice Guide North Korea episode. They actually go and film the tour that you will go on.


Reading these my bullshiat detector went off. I have done 38 days in the DPRK with Koryo Tours. True, the 2-4 day tours show you nothing. The multi-week tours do. Look, do you think a crumbling state such as North Korea can keep you from seeing the back side? You are very wrong. While we cannot photograph the military and the misery, we do see it. They cannot hide it.

Rural apartment building

We do see the poverty, children in work brigades, people working in the worst conditions (during a typhoon), hunger, deprivation etc.


Living conditions in Kaesong

Remember that the observations are only as good as the observer. Take a 20 something from the states who has never been to a developing country or a socialist dictatorship and you will get a reflection of that. If you have been to shiat holes of the world and shivered during winter in the USSR then you will understand more of what you are seeing.

The first rule is that this is Korea. If you do not understand Korea and particularly Korean Confucianism then you will think all that you see is "communism." This is a closed Korean state. You are viewing this society through the Cold War and you should abandon that construct. This is Korea. They will want to show you the best of their country - not to justify their ideology but because they are Korean. They have not had a nation state as long as others have. Aside from the fact that Korea is divided (diaspora, Koreans in China, North and South) they have not matured. Look at the history of military dictatorship in the south. How many protest the neo-fascist tendencies of that regime? Oh, well they are eating and have K-pop so that is ok?

What do you really know of the DPRK? What others have interpreted for you? The Vice guide? Frat boy humor that is more like ugly American tourism. I suggest you go and ask questions. The disconnect between the DPRK and the outside is massive.

Pyongyang is not North Korea. The real action is out in the small villages and the cities few visit. Chongjin is now open and I suggest you go there. We were really restricted in our photography and I can see why. The place is a rusting mess. I was in the first group to go to Hamhung, the second largest city. Even that is not quite what you want to see. The rural towns is where you get a sense of the economy.

I have photo sets of the smaller towns and life there.

Kowon photo set


Scene in the center of Kowon

Jongpyong set


The center of Jongpyong

Most of the journalists do not get to see what the tourists do. I have been able to see air raid drills and the drone of the speakers from 5am to 11pm. There certainly is more to the society, and any society as many of you are pointing out, than is evident from a few days in the country. I keep going back to see change over time and catch glimpses of the society behind the curtain.

And for those of you who want to see the Best Korea you may see the Pyongyang Traffic Girls here
For Ryugyong Hotel fans I have been to the construction site. Here are the photos over the years of that Pyongyang landmark.

Ryugyong General photos with construction models

Ryugyong Hotel in 2011


Thanks for that post.

/in before anyone says "reminds me of Detroit"
//you can literally walk out of Detroit plus I don't really see child labor except teens working fast food
 
2013-01-03 09:00:31 AM  
Lazy:

coffeeandsleeplessnights.files.wordpress.com

Bootstrappy:

cdn.theatlantic.com
 
2013-01-03 09:04:13 AM  

volodya: Meethos: rynthetyn: I want an no propaganda look into North Korea!

Protip, going to North Korea doesn't get you a "real Korea" tour. You get 2 to 4 days of propaganda. If you want to see what you will see without the travel expense, watch the Vice Guide North Korea episode. They actually go and film the tour that you will go on.


Reading these my bullshiat detector went off. I have done 38 days in the DPRK with Koryo Tours. True, the 2-4 day tours show you nothing. The multi-week tours do. Look, do you think a crumbling state such as North Korea can keep you from seeing the back side? You are very wrong. While we cannot photograph the military and the misery, we do see it. They cannot hide it.
[farm5.staticflickr.com image 500x333]
Rural apartment building

We do see the poverty, children in work brigades, people working in the worst conditions (during a typhoon), hunger, deprivation etc.

[farm7.staticflickr.com image 500x333]
Living conditions in Kaesong

Remember that the observations are only as good as the observer. Take a 20 something from the states who has never been to a developing country or a socialist dictatorship and you will get a reflection of that. If you have been to shiat holes of the world and shivered during winter in the USSR then you will understand more of what you are seeing.

The first rule is that this is Korea. If you do not understand Korea and particularly Korean Confucianism then you will think all that you see is "communism." This is a closed Korean state. You are viewing this society through the Cold War and you should abandon that construct. This is Korea. They will want to show you the best of their country - not to justify their ideology but because they are Korean. They have not had a nation state as long as others have. Aside from the fact that Korea is divided (diaspora, Koreans in China, North and South) they have not matured. Look at the history of military dictatorship in the south. How many protest the neo-fascist tendenc ...


You must be getting a kick out of these replies huh?

Seriously, great photos.

/in before "you mist be getting a kick..."
// d'oh
 
2013-01-03 09:05:03 AM  

StreetlightInTheGhetto: DON.MAC: I figure make about 20 million solar powered smart phones and air drop them over NK and fill them with easy to use apps that show the dear leader's clan doing what they do best in a way that make it look like this if a gift from them.  Throw in some nice aircraft or sats to relay the signals and include an app where people can look up old friends and family.  Make it work on a nice easy to use band but that is RF robust and see what happens.  Also include deeper apps that show the rest of the world that can only be opened up if one wins levels for a kids game that is included. 20 million phones at $100 each is trivial compared to the USA's defense bill per month and tell the Chinese they are paying it as a tariff for supporting their puppet and letting this get out of hand if and only if it doesn't work.  Play off the new sat and it could wake up a large number of people.

Some people have some phones and radios. They get thrown in labor camps if they're caught.


That is the point to get 20 million in the country in a hurry and make them look like gifts.  This will not work with just a few thousand.

Some of the elite have smart phones now.  The big hotel is being finished by an Egyptian company that is providing mobile phone coverage for the capitol.
 
2013-01-03 09:09:32 AM  
Is contour tilling counter-revolutionary or something? What the heck are they doing to those hills in the background of the "children with hay" picture?
 
2013-01-03 09:10:51 AM  

JerkyMeat: it wouldn't be to change the country, it would just to change that shiatty smug look at that fat farks face. Forever.
He looks like a spoiled asshole who could use a hole in his head.


What an excellent reason to assassinate a foreign head of state. You should run for office on that platform.
 
2013-01-03 09:11:30 AM  
I'm guessing subby was a city kid if he was phased by number 12. Granted life on the farm is probably harsher in NK then life on an American farm, but as a kid growing up in farm country here in the States seeing something similar to this was common.
 
2013-01-03 09:13:22 AM  

rynthetyn: Flint Ironstag: rynthetyn: I really want to go visit North Korea. Aside from the fact that I need to check Kim Il Sung off my "Embalmed Communist Leaders World Tour" list, I'd like to see the country for myself. I always get the feeling that with places like Best Korea that the media is showing only what they want us to see that fits in with their narrative.

I suspect they're actually showing us the 'good' parts, because you can only go where they let you. Hence no pictures of their prison camps etc.

That their 'good' parts look like shiat to us just makes it obvious that their 'bad' parts must be really bad.

/Do North Koreans near the border get South Korea TV?

And this is why I want to go for myself--the "good" parts don't really look much different to me than other developing parts of the world that I've visited. If that house that the farmer woman in that photoset is photographed in is really where she lives, that's nicer than where I lived while I worked in Vietnam. No doubt that there are a lot of shiatty things in North Korea, but I'd like to see it for myself. After realizing that half the stuff we got told about the Soviets when I was a kid were nothing but propaganda and distortions, I don't like taking other people's words for it.


I worked with a Brit who went over (non-media) as a tourist. He was led around by Best Korean handlers who monitored his every move, but he still got pictures of women cutting lawns with scissors, washing sidewalks with rags. Everything looked so sad. He said everywhere he went it was completely empty except for the tourists. Watch the Vice documentary.
 
2013-01-03 09:13:31 AM  

Crewmannumber6: They've got beer, how bad can it be?


media.americanfood4u.de
 
2013-01-03 09:14:30 AM  
they have cell phones and beer.  they are doing great!
 
2013-01-03 09:14:32 AM  

fusillade762: A truck, retrofitted to run on a barrel of burning woodThat's pretty crafty. Wonder what kind of mileage it gets?


1.5 kilometers to the board-foot.
 
2013-01-03 09:17:55 AM  

ShawnDoc: What's wrong with 12?  When I was growing up (starting around age 10) I used to help with baling and loading hay.  We'd do a couple tons worth a day.  What are you some sort of city slicker who's never seen a farm?  Its normal for the kids to help out with manual labor when they're not in school.

/The start of deer season was also treated as a week long holiday, and teachers knew not to schedule any major homework or tests during that time, due to how few kids would actually attend classes.


Kids should be in their rooms, playing XBox on their 27" flatscreen TVs, not doing chores around the house. How else will they learn that the world owes them a living?
 
2013-01-03 09:18:10 AM  

JesusJuice: How do you make a truck run on a barrel of burning wood?


On one of the "Perp-er" shows they had one of these and it could be hooked to a truck to run the main drive shaft (wheel), connected to a generator for electricity (home), and a whole host of other home essentials (for an Apocalypse) like a wood splitter, planer, belt knife sharpening, blacksmiths stove, etc.

Pretty neat overall and shows how ingenious people ALLOWED to invent can be.

Wood Powered Engine
 
2013-01-03 09:20:15 AM  

RamboFrog: So where are all the fawning reviews from the Odorize Wall Street crowd? Isn't this what they want? Free health care, free education, businesses not allowed to make a profit, 'economic justice'?


2/10
 
2013-01-03 09:24:29 AM  
www.spineuniverse.com
 
2013-01-03 09:27:13 AM  
There's homeless people in the US, so the US is no better than NK!

/idiots
 
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