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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 100
    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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44834 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 03:55:34 AM  
11 votes:

Hobodeluxe: Gig103: Obligatory Oatmeal comic: (hotlinked)
[s3.amazonaws.com image 275x290]
[s3.amazonaws.com image 275x290]

It's a shame the North Koreans suffer while South Koreans enjoy a GDP of over $1 trillion US

all because of international sanctions.
because you know, communism is evil.

meanwhile in the US


[povertysevolution.wikispaces.com image 200x217][povertysevolution.wikispaces.com image 432x269][economiccrisis.us image 750x485]

[cdn.cstatic.net image 500x393][bittenandbound.com image 400x280][www.bittenandbound.com image 400x280]


If you want to guarantee that no one will take you seriously, go to a thread about a place like North Korea and claim that because the US isn't a poverty-free utopia, the US is as bad as NK and our leaders are as despicable as theirs.

For extra measure, be sure to imply that anyone in the developed world who spends one dollar on their own happiness while poor, impoverished children anywhere are starving is evil and not allowed to say anything about the wrongs of the world or those responsible.

Let's be honest here and have some perspective: For all the biatching we do about our leaders, the nastiest corrupt machine boss in Chicago and the looniest Tea Party legislator in Kansas are angels of decency, honesty, and intellectual integrity compared to the inhuman monsters who "govern" North Korea.
2013-01-03 03:03:23 AM  
11 votes:

Gig103: Obligatory Oatmeal comic: (hotlinked)
[s3.amazonaws.com image 275x290]
[s3.amazonaws.com image 275x290]

It's a shame the North Koreans suffer while South Koreans enjoy a GDP of over $1 trillion US


all because of international sanctions.
because you know, communism is evil.

meanwhile in the US


povertysevolution.wikispaces.compovertysevolution.wikispaces.comeconomiccrisis.us

cdn.cstatic.netbittenandbound.comwww.bittenandbound.com
2013-01-03 05:29:14 AM  
9 votes:

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.
2013-01-03 07:57:44 AM  
7 votes:

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 03:32:37 AM  
7 votes:

Fano: randomjsa: I still think the nighttime satellite images of the region are more telling than anything.

Hopefully they stfu the folks posting pics comparing poverty in America to absolute destitution in best Korea.


A lot of people are poor and destitute in America.

ALL the people are poor and destitute in North Korea.

We try to fix it. They don't. That really makes a big difference.
2013-01-03 02:52:27 AM  
7 votes:
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.
2013-01-03 02:10:46 AM  
6 votes:
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.
2013-01-03 03:47:12 AM  
5 votes:
Are people seriously comparing the conditions in the US to North Korea? Really? Even during the height of the Great Depression, the two things simply cannot be compared. It's ridiculous.

Yes, we all have problems, and some places in the US are shocking. Yes, we need to provide everyone with a quality education and healthcare and the tools to succeed. But seriously folks, get some perspective on the differences.
2013-01-03 03:43:55 AM  
5 votes:

Summoner101: FourBlackBars: The US has winners and losers and there is nothing wrong with that.  The DPRK only has winners and the starving.

Photo when US faced similar conditions to NK:
[0.tqn.com image 462x600]


Not even close. The total systemic cataclysm of North Korea can only be compared to the inequities of America by a grasping mind. Its like comparing a hunger strike to a famine.
2013-01-03 03:08:08 AM  
5 votes:
Yeah! 'Cause it's so much better here in the civilized world, right? Right?
fromtheleft.files.wordpress.com
coffeeandsleeplessnights.files.wordpress.com
2013-01-03 04:00:00 AM  
4 votes:

Hobodeluxe: Gyrfalcon: timelady: Wanebo: Funny. There's nobody obese in any of those until you see Dear Leader.

Not funny haha.

That's the bit that strips I me. That and the eroding sorrow and hardship etched into the face of the farmers.

Yeah, even the soldiers look like they'd be better for a few solid meals. When the best off class still looks hungry....dude, your country is really f*cked.

by and large (pardon the pun) they're healthier than most in the US I'd bet.


Wow, look how wrong you are.

Link

Jesus Christ they were boiling bark to make soup in the 90's but were too proud to ask for food aid until millions had died. America isn't all rainbows and unicorns but don't pretend for a minute we aren't better than them.

Yes better. Cultural relativity will only get you so far. We're better than they are.
2013-01-03 03:43:09 AM  
4 votes:
why is this crap sad? It's perfect. Perfect to send to all the idiots who were "edgy" and being leftie in college.

Also to all the 30-50 year old failures who post anti repub stuff on their facebook every day when they should really just an hero.
2013-01-03 03:23:08 AM  
4 votes:

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]


You kind of have to wonder what they did to him, because this is allegedly a picture of him when he was at school in Switzerland, about 2000.

i.crackedcdn.com

The picture was verified by Esquire magazine as being from his school, so it's probably him...and if that's the case, he looks pretty much like a normal kid. So what the hell did his dad and the secret police do in the ten or eleven years between the time he one day vanished from school and then turned up running Best Korea? Seriously, he looks like he was subjected to some hardcore brainwashing.
2013-01-03 03:19:27 AM  
4 votes:
My sister knew someone who had ended up going into North Korea (I didn't understand how, or whether it was even intentional.) He was caught, and apparently what they do when they catch a foreigner in the country is take him on a "tour" of the country to show off how great everything is. So they brought him to this park full of cheerful people passing the time. He noticed there was one guy a ways away who was painting a picture, presumably a landscape or something. He went to go see what the guy was painting, even though the guide seemed disinclined to want to do this. When he got over, he saw that this man was not actually painting anything: it was a blank canvas that he was just dragging a dry brush over.

And this Twilight Zone moment was when he realized the whole park scene was totally staged.
2013-01-03 06:10:03 AM  
3 votes:

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.


Then what do you want, man? You can't visit, ok. It's expensive and who has time? You don't trust written or video sources to give you the whole picture, as if anyone who isn't a North Korean citizen even has the whole picture. So what do you want? None of us know authoritatively what North Korea is really like. It's not like any old outsider can visit and rent a car and drive off the beaten path. We can only suppose based on what we know from nations who have behaved similarly in the past. But you call that "propaganda". So what would satisfy you? An actual visit would get you nothing more than what's in that video, unless you were foolhardy enough to try and slip away on your own. You can post your complaints here all you want, but maybe the problem is in your own mind. Open it up a little. Not enough so that people throw garbage into it, but is it really so hard to believe that a secretive, repressive government can make life miserable for the little people? What would the purpose of such propaganda be, now that the Cold War is decades past?
2013-01-03 06:02:17 AM  
3 votes:

Summoner101: FourBlackBars: Summoner101: FourBlackBars: The US has winners and losers and there is nothing wrong with that.  The DPRK only has winners and the starving.

Photo when US faced similar conditions to NK:
[0.tqn.com image 462x600]

Not even close. The total systemic cataclysm of North Korea can only be compared to the inequities of America by a grasping mind. Its like comparing a hunger strike to a famine.

The Great Depression and the Dust Bowl weren't systemic cataclysms? Cause that's the time when that photo is from. It's one of THE iconic photos of that period, in fact.


And it still has absolutely no comparative value. Those were bad times in America, to be sure, but were they self-inflicted by a totalitarian government? Did tens of millions starve because they government refused to provide for them? Is there an entire generation of Americans who are a foot shorter than everyone else due to years, perhaps even decades, of unending famine brought on by a repressive government? If someone wanted to leave America during the Dust Bowl or the Depression, did any American government agency forcibly stop them?

Seriously, some of you, stop it. If you are genuinely unable to tell the difference, and think that this is some sort of media propaganda (for what purpose?), all I can do is pity you, but at least stop alerting the rest of us to your ignorance.
2013-01-03 03:51:08 AM  
3 votes:

randomjsa: I still think the nighttime satellite images of the region are more telling than anything.


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 don't mean to spoil the surprise, but North Korea still looks a lot like Mongolia, despite having ten times more people in a tenth the land. Perhaps they're just very assiduous about preserving dark skies for their amateur astronomers.

(Unrelated, but check out the Nile and the Indus Rivers. They look neat.)
2013-01-03 03:39:24 AM  
3 votes:
i.imgur.com
2013-01-03 03:20:59 AM  
3 votes:

Devil's Playground: Yeah! 'Cause it's so much better here in the civilized world, right? Right?


There are poor people everywhere, but n Korea is a nation of beggars
2013-01-03 03:11:51 AM  
3 votes:

timelady: Wanebo: Funny. There's nobody obese in any of those until you see Dear Leader.

Not funny haha.

That's the bit that strips I me. That and the eroding sorrow and hardship etched into the face of the farmers.


Yeah, even the soldiers look like they'd be better for a few solid meals. When the best off class still looks hungry....dude, your country is really f*cked.
2013-01-03 02:58:47 AM  
3 votes:
I still think the nighttime satellite images of the region are more telling than anything.
2013-01-03 02:23:36 AM  
3 votes:

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?
2013-01-03 01:58:06 AM  
3 votes:
North Korea is both creepy and compelling.

My father served a couple of years on the DMZ during Vietnam as a medical supply officer.  He said it was ridiculously cold and boring.

They'd get intelligence reports along the lines of, "soldiers with two oxen towing an artillery piece in the DMZ."
2013-01-02 10:47:35 PM  
3 votes:
Funny. There's nobody obese in any of those until you see Dear Leader.

Not funny haha.
2013-01-03 10:39:43 AM  
2 votes:

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


Said while spending over 4 1/2 hours posting on Fark
2013-01-03 09:47:58 AM  
2 votes:

RidersOfLohan: why is this crap sad? It's perfect. Perfect to send to all the idiots who were "edgy" and being leftie in college.


Uh, no.

While there is probably a lone kook or two who want Stalinist/Maoist/Juche type politics and economics, the western leftists look towards Scandinavia for proof that socialism (but not Communism) works. Most modern leftists see Communism as being debunked and obsolete, just like most modern Consevatives don't really want a return to the days of Robber Barons and company towns.

Seriously, put the strawman down. Look at the Nordic Model nations (Sweden, Norway, Iceland, Denmark and Finland) for countries that combined socialism, democracy, freedom and prosperity. Link
2013-01-03 08:47:08 AM  
2 votes:

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 08:46:55 AM  
2 votes:

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 08:30:20 AM  
2 votes:

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 08:01:43 AM  
2 votes:

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 06:20:49 AM  
2 votes:

UCFRoadWarrior: Looks like what Barack Obama will have America looking like in a few years...except for the wood-burning truck


See, folks? You don't have to be a "leftist" to make intellectually dishonest comparisons!
2013-01-03 05:40:30 AM  
2 votes:

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
2013-01-03 04:59:43 AM  
2 votes:

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'?


No, I'm sure they prefer the examples set by Denmark, Sweden, Norway. Dumbass.
2013-01-03 04:51:10 AM  
2 votes:
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.
2013-01-03 04:01:35 AM  
2 votes:

muck1969: lulz

[i40.tinypic.com image 703x269]


God I miss that game. I played it so much that I can tell you pretty much where every mission is on the world map, the bugs that could cause the campaign to stop, and the exploits to pull off.
2013-01-03 04:00:33 AM  
2 votes:

RidersOfLohan: why is this crap sad? It's perfect. Perfect to send to all the idiots who were "edgy" and being leftie in college.


The above suggests that the poster is glad that there are places like NK. Apparently he/she doesn't think the situation there is sad, maybe you'd have to be a leftie for that.
2013-01-03 03:47:23 AM  
2 votes:

Dinjiin: buckler: he could reach the switches to change channels, and began watching SK television

I've read that North Korea actively jams foreign radio signals.  So unless he was near the border and was using a very directional antenna, I'm not sure how he could pick the stations up unless reports I've read about jamming are overhyped.


Jamming may be only partially effective due to a mix of technical inability and apathy on the part of those tasked with carrying it out. You have to keep in mind that the system is very broken. I'm sure you've heard of Soviet factories churning out defective goods but reporting up the line than everything is hunky dory? That sort of thing is endemic to these regimes and it probably goes on here too. Not to say that they have no capability, and I'm sure that there are more than a few in the gulags because they've been caught, just that it may be spotty.
2013-01-03 03:42:28 AM  
2 votes:

Anthracite: Why would you want to read a book there or go to an amusement park. I thought no one had money over there.


Nobody does. Things like the bookstore and amusement park exist only so they can be photographed, and shown to the outside world as 'proof' North Korea is just like the rest of the world, while actual North Korean people live in the middle of nowhere and starve.
2013-01-03 03:35:10 AM  
2 votes:
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'?
2013-01-03 03:33:17 AM  
2 votes:
The US has winners and losers and there is nothing wrong with that.  The DPRK only has winners and the starving.
2013-01-03 03:30:56 AM  
2 votes:
Number 16 is tragic. I've never seen such a sad, pathetic bar.

For the person who asked if the people near the border get tv, it is possible, but they have to disable the device in all North Korean televisions that disable outside signals, and then they have to put it back before the state TV inspector randomly stops by to check that it is still there and functioning. I wish I was kidding.

For anyone who wants to read more about North Korea:

Nothing to Envy: Ordinary Lives in North Korea
The author conducted interviews with defectors living in the south. Fascinating view of the lives of ordinary people. My favorite anecdote is a former Pyongyang university student (keep in mind only the elite are allowed to attend) who manages to get hold of a very illegal copy of Orwell's 1984. He says the book hit him like a ton of bricks and that in his opinion, perfectly describes the NK regime.

Under the Loving Care of the Fatherly Leader: North Korea and the Kim Dynasty
A more formal history, this book outlines how Kim Il Sung took control of the country. There is much discussion of real history versus the offical NK version of events. Jong Il's rise is also described. There are also many interviews with defectors, although here they mostly describe the horrific labor camps, but there is one very interesting account of someone who was in the army.

I don't recall which book it was in, but another anecdote for you- a defector describes making it across the Yalu river (border with China) and being desperately hungry and cold stumbled upon a bowl of rice and meat outside a house. It was only as he was eating it that he realized it must have been left out for the dogs, and it was better than he had eaten in years.
2013-01-03 03:20:04 AM  
2 votes:

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?


One book I read about NK defectors mentioned one guy who picked up SK television. Apparently, although the NK televisions are tuned to the NK government channel, they're still standard TV's, able to pick up any channel. They have channel-changing buttons on the circuit board, but the holes where the exterior buttons would go are covered by a government seal, which is periodically inspected. This guy found that by poking a needle through the seal, he could reach the switches to change channels, and began watching SK television; he was boggled and flabbergasted at the lives the SK citizens led, which helped bring him to the decision to defect.
2013-01-03 01:45:54 AM  
2 votes:
Obligatory Oatmeal comic: (hotlinked)
s3.amazonaws.com
s3.amazonaws.com

It's a shame the North Koreans suffer while South Koreans enjoy a GDP of over $1 trillion US
2013-01-03 01:18:50 AM  
2 votes:
I wish the U.S. would get something right for once and assassinate that fat pugsley of a leader.
2013-01-04 01:24:13 AM  
1 vote:

itazurakko: Then you are not the people I was addressing.


Fair enough, although I don't believe I've seen anyone else post that everyone in NK is 100% starving either. I think most of us recognize there are nuances, and of course the sources that are geographically closer are more likely to produce more enlightening information.

What I have seen in this thread are several outright apologizers (not you), and I think that's unacceptable. At the very least, the people of any nation should be able to freely come and go (relatively, of course I understand wanting to keep paperwork and passports in order). If everything else about NK were the same, except that its people could freely leave, I wouldn't say a word. That way, if they didn't like it there, they could just leave. It's the fact that they're kept there, no matter the conditions, that bothers me.
2013-01-03 07:11:46 PM  
1 vote:
Never in the history of fatfacedom has there ever been a more punchable face. I bet it feels like punching a wet sandbag.
o.onionstatic.com
2013-01-03 02:54:55 PM  
1 vote:

Loadmaster: Devil's Playground: Yeah! 'Cause it's so much better here in the civilized world, right? Right?

At least Obama doesn't put political dissenters in jail.

Unless maybe you count Nakoula Basseley Nakoula.


No. He doesn't count. You don't get to be a criminal, then afterwards yell "help! Help! I'm being repressed!".

He had already pled to Federal bank fraud (an identity theft scam involving stolen SSNs, bogus accounts and bouncing checks), because of this (and a prior conviction for meth manufacturing) he was sentenced to 21 months in prison and 5 years Probation. Two main terms of his probation:

1. He couldn't use any aliases.
2. He couldn't use a computer without explicit permission of his probation officer.

As soon as he got out of prison, the first thing he did was to start work on The Innocence of Muslims, under an alias of "Sam Bacille" and using a computer to edit and distribute the film.

You can be a hateful Islamophobe and it's perfectly legal, see Terry Jones (the "burn a Koran") preacher. Being on Probation for a felony like fraud then explicitly and deliberately breaking the 2 rules that were keeping you out of Federal Prison and saying you are a political prisoner because while you were breaking the terms of your release because you were making a political/religious statement in the process.
2013-01-03 02:51:34 PM  
1 vote:

Eponymous: jso2897:
The orientation is unimportant. The issue is totalitarianism - what happens when people are not allowed to vote on who runs their country, and how.
So the next time you read some post that extolls the virtues of voting restrictions to keep "poor and stupid" people from voting - remember these pictures.

Such a pretty strawman you built there....so anyone that wants someone to have a valid ID to eliminate voter fraud (non-citizens, absentee fraud, dead chicagoans voting, pay for votes, etc) is now in favor of totalitarianism?


upload.wikimedia.org

Speaking of strawmen, voter fraud in the USA is a sham.  "Voter fraud" is a dogwhistle for  disenfranchising voters who would likely vote for Democratic candidates.  This was all over Fark around election time.  Seriously, read up a little before you mock other people.
2013-01-03 01:52:57 PM  
1 vote:

karmachameleon: Now, why would you believe that the information we have about NK is "propaganda" intended to fit a "narrative"?


Because coverage of the place from elsewhere (including from people with NK relatives) is different and has more subtle details usually.

karmachameleon: And it still has absolutely no comparative value. Those were bad times in America, to be sure, but were they self-inflicted by a totalitarian government?


They were largely brought about by the bad side of capitalist business cycle, actually. One of those times where a bit of central planning and forethought might have avoided some of the worst of it.

Mind, I am definitely NOT saying that the NK economic policy is the way to go. But the dust bowl in the US didn't "just happen" either, not by a long shot.

Fissile: What's wrong with #12. Child labor was legal in the US until 1938. The average GOP supporter would cream himself to see such a scene in Murica.

[mrclark.aretesys.com image 450x320]

/Don't get so smug.


Child labor is legal is much of the modern capitalist world, and even where it officially isn't, it's often overlooked. If you want suffering, it's not only limited to Communist countries. Complete lack of any meaningful social mobility is also not limited to those countries.

...which is really the point of being skeptical. I don't see anyone saying they're just dying to go live in NK, and there's plenty about the NK political system that sucks balls, no denying that. It's a family-run dictatorship for heaven's sakes. Plus due to many factors, it's poorer than poor. They don't have to "officially try not to have infrastructure" - hell no, it's a poor failed state, they can't have fancy infrastructure right now even if they wanted to.

But as others pointed out upthread, coverage in the US often goes completely overboard the other way - they will say that the buildings on the north side of the DMZ are false storefronts (completely wrong), they will say that no one in NK has computers or any sort of modern technology at all (wrong again), that absolutely everyone is eating rats (no), etc. The various problems with poverty/child labor/sanitation will be covered as if surely they only happen in communist countries, etc.

As far as the internet goes though, it's telling that the official NK government websites are all hosted in Japan.
2013-01-03 12:37:15 PM  
1 vote:
Esn: It makes sense in its own way - if you can be open to the idea that the individual person is not the only level of consciousness that can deserve rights, that a larger group of people may form a super-consciousness. We already skirt around the edges of this idea even in our very individualistic society, when we talk about special treatment for certain groups of people (be it as broad as "women"). Advertisers are more than aware of it. But it's an idea that we try not to think about too much, while the North Koreans have fully embraced it (even more fully than the Soviets before them.

Did you choose your words really, really poorly, or are you seriously arguing that equal rights for women are "special treatment"?
2013-01-03 12:27:46 PM  
1 vote:
img268.imageshack.us
2013-01-03 11:50:23 AM  
1 vote:
What's wrong with #12. Child labor was legal in the US until 1938. The average GOP supporter would cream himself to see such a scene in Murica.

mrclark.aretesys.com

/Don't get so smug.
2013-01-03 11:07:34 AM  
1 vote:

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.


Apparently you don't have time to read a comic book. No one gives a shiat about your law school. You've gone on and on in multiple posts saying " oh, I wish I knew the true story of north Korea, not propaganda." Someone gave you that in a short form, and still you biatched at tl;Dr, claiming you don't have time. In that case, remove yourself from the conversation. You're the child here.
2013-01-03 10:04:33 AM  
1 vote:

Apos: [msnbcmedia.msn.com image 850x579]
"Pyongyang Elvis", mingling with doe-eyed devotees


Newest Leader: "I will make fark to several of them who show best promise of pleasing me."

Army Women: "Perhaps if I let him use all of my places he will seed me with his baby and then secretly provide me with foods."
2013-01-03 09:59:35 AM  
1 vote:
All that power and wealth and glorious leader still can only afford to use a spoon to cut his hair.
2013-01-03 09:24:29 AM  
1 vote:
www.spineuniverse.com
2013-01-03 09:00:31 AM  
1 vote:
Lazy:

coffeeandsleeplessnights.files.wordpress.com

Bootstrappy:

cdn.theatlantic.com
2013-01-03 08:41:07 AM  
1 vote:
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 08:26:40 AM  
1 vote:

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 08:07:18 AM  
1 vote:
Google's Eric Schmidt is going to Best Korea:
http://www.theregister.co.uk/2013/01/03/schmidt_visit_north_korea/
2013-01-03 08:06:52 AM  
1 vote:

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 08:00:12 AM  
1 vote:

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 07:51:40 AM  
1 vote:

Sobekneferu: My sister knew someone who had ended up going into North Korea (I didn't understand how, or whether it was even intentional.) He was caught, and apparently what they do when they catch a foreigner in the country is take him on a "tour" of the country to show off how great everything is. So they brought him to this park full of cheerful people passing the time. He noticed there was one guy a ways away who was painting a picture, presumably a landscape or something. He went to go see what the guy was painting, even though the guide seemed disinclined to want to do this. When he got over, he saw that this man was not actually painting anything: it was a blank canvas that he was just dragging a dry brush over.

And this Twilight Zone moment was when he realized the whole park scene was totally staged.


Ah yes, the ol' Potemkin village. Cuba did the same thing to Michael Moore, who in registering his visit to Cuba, believed he was going to get no better healthcare treatment than anyone else. His meltdown when John Stossel exposed him as a fraud is priceless.

jso2897: The orientation is unimportant. The issue is totalitarianism - what happens when people are not allowed to vote on who runs their country, and how.
So the next time you read some post that extolls the virtues of voting restrictions to keep "poor and stupid" people from voting - remember these pictures.


Irrelevant. People have the right to vote in all sorts of 3rd world backwater shiatholes. The common trend is an unrestrained government. If people in NK had free and fair elections, nothing would change since they raise people from birth to be subservient.
2013-01-03 07:30:55 AM  
1 vote:

Maul555: wtf.... a truck retrofitted to run on burning wood?


It is running wood gas which is partially combusted wood.  It has carbon monoxide levels that can kill nearly instantly.  It also has hydrogen and flames in the same area if that sounds like a good idea.

There is one TF that has been to NK at least 5 times and a few others that have been there once.  They all know about the same hotel.
2013-01-03 07:00:40 AM  
1 vote:

JudgeItoBox: jso2897: The orientation is unimportant.

Actually, it is important. And there's nothing intellectually dishonest about it: That list I gave might as well have been a summation of the talking points of the recent Republican primaries. You won't find any of those things (except the _____cracy's and nepotism, natch) in any platform that's even a skosh to the left of the ideology espoused by the current batch of tebagger nutbars.


My point was that it doesn't matter what assholes the people in power are if you can vote them out. Democracy is the key here - not some "oriented" political philosophy.
2013-01-03 06:27:07 AM  
1 vote:

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

Biogas


No, it's wood gas.
2013-01-03 06:16:45 AM  
1 vote:

JudgeItoBox: Child labor
Gun fetishism
Compulsory military service
Idolization of the military
Meritocracy
Plutocracy
Nepotism
Numerous examples of "Fark you, got mine" in action
Burning wood to make cars go

Looks like a Tea Party Republican's wet dream.


The orientation is unimportant. The issue is totalitarianism - what happens when people are not allowed to vote on who runs their country, and how.
So the next time you read some post that extolls the virtues of voting restrictions to keep "poor and stupid" people from voting - remember these pictures.
2013-01-03 06:12:10 AM  
1 vote:

Gyrfalcon: ALL the people are poor and destitute in North Korea.


Well, all except Kim Jong-un and his inner circle, just as it was with his father.
2013-01-03 06:10:04 AM  
1 vote:
Child labor
Gun fetishism
Compulsory military service
Idolization of the military
Meritocracy
Plutocracy
Nepotism
Numerous examples of "Fark you, got mine" in action
Burning wood to make cars go

Looks like a Tea Party Republican's wet dream.
2013-01-03 06:06:23 AM  
1 vote:

karmachameleon: Summoner101: FourBlackBars: Summoner101: FourBlackBars: The US has winners and losers and there is nothing wrong with that.  The DPRK only has winners and the starving.

Photo when US faced similar conditions to NK:
[0.tqn.com image 462x600]

Not even close. The total systemic cataclysm of North Korea can only be compared to the inequities of America by a grasping mind. Its like comparing a hunger strike to a famine.

The Great Depression and the Dust Bowl weren't systemic cataclysms? Cause that's the time when that photo is from. It's one of THE iconic photos of that period, in fact.

And it still has absolutely no comparative value. Those were bad times in America, to be sure, but were they self-inflicted by a totalitarian government? Did tens of millions starve because they government refused to provide for them? Is there an entire generation of Americans who are a foot shorter than everyone else due to years, perhaps even decades, of unending famine brought on by a repressive government? If someone wanted to leave America during the Dust Bowl or the Depression, did any American government agency forcibly stop them?

Seriously, some of you, stop it. If you are genuinely unable to tell the difference, and think that this is some sort of media propaganda (for what purpose?), all I can do is pity you, but at least stop alerting the rest of us to your ignorance.


Democracy does make a big difference. There are plenty of countries where the people can fire their government where they still have a crappy government - but nothing like the totalitarian morons that run NK. The party in charge there doesn't believe the common people should be allowed to vote for their leaders. Good thing we don't have any political parties here that want to keep people from voting.
2013-01-03 05:52:08 AM  
1 vote:

rynthetyn: Raithun: rynthetyn:

Cambodia and Laos are just as dark as North Korea.

And they're not exactly shining beacons of good governance, either, but at least they keep to themselves and seem to have plans beyond "rattle sabers until food appears".

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.


It's the only one I'm aware of that shows up that way intentionally. The fact that it borders such a rich nation just to the south speaks volumes. They could be the same - they could be one! - but they choose to live in poverty and behind the times, and starve together. Or rather, a small group of leadership who does not live behind the times and does not starve chooses that for the rest of the country, all in order so that that small group of leadership may live in luxury.

As I mentioned above, I've been to places that look a lot like North Korea (but dirtier - I'll give the NKs that, at least in the pictures we've seen, it all looks squeaky clean), and that were under similarly totalitarian rule at the time. It isn't "propaganda" that the people there generally are unhappy and would like something better - would like their freedom - though there are always those party members who think that the way things are is all for the best.

So, where have you been in the world? You mentioned these pictures not looking much worse than many other developing areas you've visited - where would those places be? And do those places, as a matter of government policy, intentionally strive to look the way that they do, or are they that way due to other reasons like poverty, lack of education, etc?

I visited Hungary and Czechoslovakia when they were under USSR rule, and stayed for weeks. The people I met were as fascinated about my Western lifestyle, music, movies, book, etcs as little children are fascinated with Santa Claus. They were generous and genuine people who shared with me all they had, which wasn't much - and these were "rich" people in their country. Probably the most educational experience of my childhood, it imprinted in me forever that I as a US citizen am privileged and fortunate, and to never take my fortune or my freedom for granted. Now, why would you believe that the information we have about NK is "propaganda" intended to fit a "narrative"? You sound like a genuinely inquisitive person, unlike the troll above, so I'd like to hear why you're so skeptical that people in the world might live under such a heavy thumb?

I too would love to visit there, but for reasons going back to experiencing what I once experienced in Eastern Europe. I don't doubt for a second that what NKans are experiencing today is something like that, and probably worse.
2013-01-03 05:51:45 AM  
1 vote:

rynthetyn: 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.


The Vice Guide was able to get visas and shoot a program there. Very eye-opening:

Link

North Korea is like China was thirty years ago in a lot of ways. It will probably become closer to China economically and politically over the next couple of decades as long as there are no wars or other crises to set the process back.
2013-01-03 05:18:17 AM  
1 vote:

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.
2013-01-03 05:12:05 AM  
1 vote:
NOTICE.... you never see Psy AND Kim Jong-un together at the same time!
2013-01-03 04:50:33 AM  
1 vote:

j.carsey: 42 million Americans are on food stamps

This article is a little bit of propaganda


Having food stamps is much better than needing them and not having them.
2013-01-03 04:41:38 AM  
1 vote:

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.
2013-01-03 04:37:18 AM  
1 vote:
If only the population had been allowed to own guns. Maybe then it'd be possible to mount some sort of resistance and fight for freedom rather than existing in some bizarro world where government leaders and military are one and are kings, while you merely exist in a predictable depressing shiathole of which there is no escape.
2013-01-03 04:31:28 AM  
1 vote:

Esn: 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.

There's a good book from someone who spent a year in North Korea over here:
Link (can be freely read online)

The first thing that strikes me is the sheer lack of chaos. Everything is ordered. Everything is simple. It's almost like... well, like the people are cells making up a larger organism. The main reference through which decisions are viewed are not the individual, any more than one of your own cells would start going its own way. Unless it was a cancer cell. And that's exactly the way individuals who stick out are treated - like potential tumours who may become malignant and threaten the structure of the rest of the organism.

It makes sense in its own way - if you can be open to the idea that the individu ...


That was written in about North Korea in the '80s, it's not useful for looking at what North Korea is actually like  now. Back in the '80s things were a lot different everywhere in Asia than they are today. If I were to judge Thailand by travel accounts from the '80s, I'd think it was a backwater shiathole. China in the '80s was way more closed and authoritarian than the present.

I'm not saying that North Korea isn't a mess, but I'm just tired of dated information being presented as if it's anything other than dated. I want to go there and see what the situation really is before I take reporting without a whole shaker of salt. So much of what I was told about the Soviet Union when I was growing up was a mixture of facts and twisted half truths that skewed the reality that I'm not inclined to believe what I'm told about a place without seeing it myself. Not when I've been to as many places as I have where it turned out that reality didn't match up with what I'd been told by the press, and especially not when the American media can't even figure out that the "invisible cell phone" comment during the World Cup was a joke.
Esn
2013-01-03 04:10:24 AM  
1 vote:

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.


There's a good book from someone who spent a year in North Korea over here:
Link (can be freely read online)

The first thing that strikes me is the sheer lack of chaos. Everything is ordered. Everything is simple. It's almost like... well, like the people are cells making up a larger organism. The main reference through which decisions are viewed are not the individual, any more than one of your own cells would start going its own way. Unless it was a cancer cell. And that's exactly the way individuals who stick out are treated - like potential tumours who may become malignant and threaten the structure of the rest of the organism.

It makes sense in its own way - if you can be open to the idea that the individual person is not the only level of consciousness that can deserve rights, that a larger group of people may form a super-consciousness. We already skirt around the edges of this idea even in our very individualistic society, when we talk about special treatment for certain groups of people (be it as broad as "women"). Advertisers are more than aware of it. But it's an idea that we try not to think about too much, while the North Koreans have fully embraced it (even more fully than the Soviets before them).
2013-01-03 04:05:19 AM  
1 vote:

rynthetyn:

Cambodia and Laos are just as dark as North Korea.


And they're not exactly shining beacons of good governance, either, but at least they keep to themselves and seem to have plans beyond "rattle sabers until food appears".
2013-01-03 03:56:41 AM  
1 vote:

Raithun: randomjsa: I still think the nighttime satellite images of the region are more telling than anything.

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 don't mean to spoil the surprise, but North Korea still looks a lot like Mongolia, despite having ten times more people in a tenth the land. Perhaps they're just very assiduous about preserving dark skies for their amateur astronomers.

(Unrelated, but check out the Nile and the Indus Rivers. They look neat.)


Cambodia and Laos are just as dark as North Korea.
2013-01-03 03:39:35 AM  
1 vote:

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'?


You're brain damaged if you think any of that describes North Korea.
2013-01-03 03:38:01 AM  
1 vote:

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'?


Don't hurt yourself attacking that strawman there chief.
2013-01-03 03:37:44 AM  
1 vote:

FourBlackBars: The US has winners and losers and there is nothing wrong with that.  The DPRK only has winners and the starving.


Photo when US faced similar conditions to NK:
0.tqn.com
2013-01-03 03:37:40 AM  
1 vote:

Hobodeluxe: Gyrfalcon: timelady: Wanebo: Funny. There's nobody obese in any of those until you see Dear Leader.

Not funny haha.

That's the bit that strips I me. That and the eroding sorrow and hardship etched into the face of the farmers.

Yeah, even the soldiers look like they'd be better for a few solid meals. When the best off class still looks hungry....dude, your country is really f*cked.

by and large (pardon the pun) they're healthier than most in the US I'd bet.


They aren't, but I'd hate to stop your America hating.

Can't you do even a little bit of research?

naughtyrev: Ok, so is #2 a designated hotel for photojournalists? Because I've seen that shot before.

[www.worldpressphoto.org image 777x518]


NK controls where journalists can go.  They all joke about it because they only see the same sites.  They aren't allowed to take pictures from the train from city to city.
2013-01-03 03:35:19 AM  
1 vote:

buckler: he could reach the switches to change channels, and began watching SK television


I've read that North Korea actively jams foreign radio signals.  So unless he was near the border and was using a very directional antenna, I'm not sure how he could pick the stations up unless reports I've read about jamming are overhyped.
2013-01-03 03:25:22 AM  
1 vote:

randomjsa: I still think the nighttime satellite images of the region are more telling than anything.


Hopefully they stfu the folks posting pics comparing poverty in America to absolute destitution in best Korea.
2013-01-03 03:18:39 AM  
1 vote:

JerkyMeat: I wish the U.S. would get something right for once and assassinate that fat pugsley of a leader.


And then what?
2013-01-03 03:14:32 AM  
1 vote:
If I ever get to North Korea, I want to visit the Rungna People's Pleasure THE TENTACLES, THE TENTACLES!   Hokusai would surely approve.
2013-01-03 03:13:43 AM  
1 vote:
#30 - North Korean war veterans. Is that a 3 star general up front?
2013-01-03 03:13:34 AM  
1 vote:

Gyrfalcon: timelady: Wanebo: Funny. There's nobody obese in any of those until you see Dear Leader.

Not funny haha.

That's the bit that strips I me. That and the eroding sorrow and hardship etched into the face of the farmers.

Yeah, even the soldiers look like they'd be better for a few solid meals. When the best off class still looks hungry....dude, your country is really f*cked.


by and large (pardon the pun) they're healthier than most in the US I'd bet.
2013-01-03 03:08:58 AM  
1 vote:
Subby:

img543.imageshack.us

img6.imageshack.us

/is that how it's done?
//troll mode off
2013-01-03 02:25:28 AM  
1 vote:

Bathia_Mapes: JerkyMeat: I wish the U.S. would get something right for once and assassinate that fat pugsley of a leader.

IMHO, things wouldn't change much.


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.
2013-01-03 01:51:08 AM  
1 vote:
I wonder if the amusement park ride attendant sat awake the entire night before Kim's visit in utter terror thinking "What if Dear Leader doesn't fit into the ride restraints?"
2013-01-03 01:42:03 AM  
1 vote:
I served two years in South Korea. The continuing imprisonment of the North Korean people makes me sad still.

/My dad was in the Korean War back in the 50s.
//My grandfather was in the US occupation troops in Korea following Japan's surrender in 1945.
2013-01-03 12:47:21 AM  
1 vote:

Flint Ironstag: Forty-Two: #35: There's no heat in that bookstore.

It doesn't appear to be overly contaminated by books either.


You can pretty much count the books they have - that's not a bookstore, that's a propaganda distribution center.
2013-01-03 12:41:14 AM  
1 vote:
Ok, so is #2 a designated hotel for photojournalists? Because I've seen that shot before.

www.worldpressphoto.org
2013-01-03 12:30:25 AM  
1 vote:
#35: There's no heat in that bookstore.
2013-01-02 11:04:22 PM  
1 vote:
Why would you want to read a book there or go to an amusement park. I thought no one had money over there.
2013-01-02 10:57:29 PM  
1 vote:

Wanebo: Funny. There's nobody obese in any of those until you see Dear Leader.

Not funny haha.


That's the bit that strips I me. That and the eroding sorrow and hardship etched into the face of the farmers.
 
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