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InvisibleEdame
gone

Registered: 01/14/03
Posts: 1,270
Loc: outta here
Inside North Korea
    #1781559 - 08/05/03 02:18 PM (13 years, 4 months ago)

I thought some of you might be interested in this. It's an article by an American living in S. Korea who decided to take a visit to North Korea. I found parts of it to be really fascinating, and he also took a fair amount of photos. Reading some of his observations, it was hard for me not to draw an instant parallel to Orwell's most famous work (his arguement with a guide in the DMZ was particularly telling).

http://1stopkorea.com/index.htm?nk-trip1.htm~mainframe

I'll post part of the first page to give you an idea of the article:

Quote:

Journey into Kimland
by Scott Fisher


When was the last trip you took where:

* the guide wouldn't allow you to keep your passport?
* you weren't allowed to use the local currency?
* criticism of the place you traveled could get a guide into serious trouble?
* on your return you felt you had to be careful bringing back books, pins and T-shirts because they might be illegal?

All this and more can be yours with a trip to the DPRK, the Democratic Peoples Republic of Orwellian Country Names, better known as North Korea. In an age where you can get Starbucks on Thai islands, Baskin-Robbins in Saigon, Coke and McDonalds just about everywhere, it's nice to finally visit a place lacking even the knowledge of such things. The most end-of-the-earth Chinese villager knows of Michael Jordan. In North Korea our big city Pyongyang guides had no clue who he was - until we pointed out his name on an autographed basketball in the Gifts to Kim Jong-il Museum. Then they were sure he must be someone really important. A mere basketball player? No way!

But I get ahead of myself. My goal here is to present the story of a trip into what can best be described as 'Kimland'. A country totally dedicated to the Great Leader Kim Il-sung, his Juche ideology and his son the Dear Leader, Kim Jong-il.

To get started I'll go back to the beginning. From where I sit typing this in Seoul the border is about an hour away. Should I want I could get up right now and go to a restaurant, watch the news, use the Internet, drive, or go to the airport and get a flight anywhere in the world. My guess is you can do about the same things from where you're sitting.

Across that border up there though it's a different story. There are no restaurants for me, or for you, outside of those select few specifically approved for foreigners. The only news is state news, on both channels. The Internet is something you access via satellite from a diplomatic compound. To leave, the city or the country, you need government approval stamped into your passport or travel document.

This isn't a developmental issue. Third World countries don't shoot missiles over Japan or try to launch satellites into space. No, in the case of North Korea the differences are all by choice. What I or most others on the planet can do; like heading over to the next town to meet a friend or tuning in a radio station, are banned or tightly regulated. The DMZ is not a border between two countries. It's the edge of the known world butting up against a nation of people trying desperately to keep it away.

With all this, why go to North Korea? Why go someplace so purposely unappealing to foreigners, especially Americans? For me (1), after living, working and studying in South Korea for the better part of a decade, North Korea had become a forbidden fruit. I'd tried to go several times but had always been prevented because of my nationality.




--------------------
The above is an extract from my fictional novel, "The random postings of Edame".
:tongue:

In the beginning was the word. And man could not handle the word, and the hearing of the word, and he asked God to take away his ears so that he might live in peace without having to hear words which might upset his equinamity or corrupt the unblemished purity of his conscience.

And God, hearing this desperate plea from His creation, wrinkled His mighty brow for a moment and then leaned down toward man, beckoning that he should come close so as to hear all that was about to be revealed to him.

"Fuck you," He whispered, and frowned upon the pathetic supplicant before retreating to His heavens.


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OfflineAzmodeus
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Registered: 11/27/02
Posts: 3,392
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Re: Inside North Korea [Re: Edame]
    #1781743 - 08/05/03 03:10 PM (13 years, 4 months ago)

Didn't read it all, but what i did was interesting...



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"Know your Body - Know your Mind - Know your Substance - Know your Source.

Lest we forget. "


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OfflineCornholio
A liberal guy(on hiatus)

Registered: 01/13/03
Posts: 845
Loc: Austin, TX
Last seen: 13 years, 20 days
Re: Inside North Korea [Re: Edame]
    #1781996 - 08/05/03 04:15 PM (13 years, 4 months ago)

Wow, sucks to be from North Korea. Sounds like they are a LOT worse off than the Iraqis were.


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Offlinewingnutx
Registered: 09/25/00
Posts: 2,268
Last seen: 5 years, 5 months
Re: Inside North Korea [Re: Cornholio]
    #1782004 - 08/05/03 04:17 PM (13 years, 4 months ago)

Both are/were severly fucked.


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Offlineshakta
Infidel
Registered: 06/03/03
Posts: 2,633
Last seen: 12 years, 6 months
Re: Inside North Korea [Re: Cornholio]
    #1782017 - 08/05/03 04:19 PM (13 years, 4 months ago)

I don't know about that man. The Iraqis had plenty of problems. Especially the 300,000 we have dug up from mass graves. Anyway, NK is definately a bad place to live. I just hope a diplomatic solution can be reached. They seem hell bent on destroying themselves. Luckily the rest of the region does not see it the same way they do. The Discovery Channel is supposed to have a special about life in NK very soon.


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OfflineCornholio
A liberal guy(on hiatus)

Registered: 01/13/03
Posts: 845
Loc: Austin, TX
Last seen: 13 years, 20 days
Re: Inside North Korea [Re: shakta]
    #1782121 - 08/05/03 04:49 PM (13 years, 4 months ago)

Quote:

shakta said:
The Discovery Channel is supposed to have a special about life in NK very soon. 


I just looked it up.  It's on tomorrow night (Wednesday 6 Aug) at 10:00pm.  Thanks for the heads up.  :thumbup: 

Edit:  Actually, it's on at 9:00pm in my timezone (Central).


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Edited by Cornholio (08/05/03 04:53 PM)


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Offlineshakta
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Registered: 06/03/03
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Re: Inside North Korea [Re: Cornholio]
    #1782139 - 08/05/03 04:54 PM (13 years, 4 months ago)

Sweet. Thanks for not being lazy like me and looking it up. I will be watching it. Should be good discussion material here for the day after.


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OfflineCornholio
A liberal guy(on hiatus)

Registered: 01/13/03
Posts: 845
Loc: Austin, TX
Last seen: 13 years, 20 days
Re: Inside North Korea [Re: shakta]
    #1791214 - 08/08/03 08:15 AM (13 years, 3 months ago)

I taped the program and just now watched it. Very interesting. Here's a summary:

Korea was a Japanese colony for 35 years. After WWII, they gained their independence from Japan. Unfortunately their independence didn't last long, as Soviet troops moved in, which prompted the US to draw a line at the 38th parallel, claiming the Southern half of the country as a US occupation zone.

North and South Korea were both upset about the division of their country, as friends and family on both sides of the line were permanently separated from each other by the new border. Both sides immediately began hoping for reunification.

North Korea's leader Kim Il Sung felt that he could achieve reunification by invading South Korea. Unfortunately, he didn't get the support of the Soviets that he hoped for, while South Korea got more support from the US than expected. The Korean war ended with 2 million Koreans dead, 37,000 Americans dead, and virtually no Soviets dead. The border never changed.

Then the program talked a lot about the tremendous loyalty of the North Koreans due to brainwashing, and it talked about many of the problems North Korea had, such as famine.

After the fall of the Soviet Union, North Korea became increasingly concerned for it's safety, and started a nuclear weapons program. When Clinton learned about this, he began to prepare for a possible strike and/or invasion of North Korea. But the more the US threatened North Korea to end their nuclear program, the more defiant N Korea became. Luckily for Clinton, Jimmy Carter was able to negotiate a deal with Kim Il Sung where the United States would give them oil, two light water reactors, and the normalization of relations in exchange for ending their nuclear program.

Kim Il Sung died in 1994 around the same time Republicans took over the US Congress, and his son, Kim Jung Il took over the country. The Republicans didn't agree with the deal Carter made with North Korea because they perceived it as being too soft on North Korea, and they reduced the promised oil shipments and slowed the development of the reactors. They predicted that Kim Jung Il wouldn't last very long as the new Korean dictator.

North Korea felt betrayed. They soon launched a rocket over Japan, proving that they could strike any part of Japan at will, and that their missiles could soon reach the US .

Clinton sent Madeline Albright to Korea, and she laid the groundwork for a deal where North Korea agreed they would stop the development of their missile program.

But when Bush was elected into office, he ignored the deal Albright struck in favor of a new strategy. Instead, he threatened North Korea by saying they would be "held accountable" if they developed weapons of mass destruction "that will be used to terrorize nations." But rather than backing down to Bush's threats, North Korea decided to relaunch their nuclear program. They did this in part because they didn't want to submit to US demands, and in part because they felt the US might invade North Korea even if they did end their program, much like what they believe happened in Iraq.

Bush then cut off all discussions with North Korea, saying that giving them any concessions was the equivilent of blackmail. He said he would not reopen talks with North Korea until AFTER they ended their nuclear program. North Korea, on the other hand, insists the US should enter discussions BEFORE they end their nuclear program.

Bush is now considering a naval blockade of North Korea, and tensions are as high as ever. The new South Korean President has stated that he is more afraid that Bush will start a war in his country than he is afraid North Korea will invade his country.

Both countries still dream of reunification.


This summary is based on my best recollection of the documentary. I think it's accurate, but if anyone sees any errors, please let the group know.


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Invisibleluvdemshrooms
Two inch dick..but it spins!?


Registered: 11/29/01
Posts: 33,723
Loc: Lost In Space
Re: Inside North Korea [Re: Cornholio]
    #1791224 - 08/08/03 08:27 AM (13 years, 3 months ago)

Quote:

but if anyone sees any errors, please let the group know


Does that include spelling errors?

Kidding.


--------------------
You cannot legislate the poor into prosperity by legislating the wealthy out of prosperity. What one person receives without working for another person must work for without receiving. The government cannot give to anybody anything that the government does not first take from somebody else. When half of the people get the idea that they do not have to work because the other half is going to take care of them and when the other half gets the idea that it does no good to work because somebody else is going to get what they work for that my dear friend is the beginning of the end of any nation. You cannot multiply wealth by dividing it. ~ Adrian Rogers


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OfflineCornholio
A liberal guy(on hiatus)

Registered: 01/13/03
Posts: 845
Loc: Austin, TX
Last seen: 13 years, 20 days
Re: Inside North Korea [Re: luvdemshrooms]
    #1791240 - 08/08/03 08:35 AM (13 years, 3 months ago)

Haha!  I just caught a few.  Thanks.  :smirk: 


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Invisibleluvdemshrooms
Two inch dick..but it spins!?


Registered: 11/29/01
Posts: 33,723
Loc: Lost In Space
Re: Inside North Korea [Re: Cornholio]
    #1791249 - 08/08/03 08:42 AM (13 years, 3 months ago)

Crap, I forgot I was gonna say nice summary.

So, nice summary.


--------------------
You cannot legislate the poor into prosperity by legislating the wealthy out of prosperity. What one person receives without working for another person must work for without receiving. The government cannot give to anybody anything that the government does not first take from somebody else. When half of the people get the idea that they do not have to work because the other half is going to take care of them and when the other half gets the idea that it does no good to work because somebody else is going to get what they work for that my dear friend is the beginning of the end of any nation. You cannot multiply wealth by dividing it. ~ Adrian Rogers


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InvisibleInnvertigo
Vote Libertarian!!
Male

Registered: 02/09/01
Posts: 16,296
Loc: Crackerville, Michigan U...
Re: Inside North Korea [Re: Cornholio]
    #1791262 - 08/08/03 08:53 AM (13 years, 3 months ago)

I missed it..i really wanted to see it too. I did however read your summary.


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America....FUCK YEAH!!!

Words of Wisdom: Individual Rights BEFORE Collective Rights

"The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants." -- Thomas Jefferson


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Offlineshakta
Infidel
Registered: 06/03/03
Posts: 2,633
Last seen: 12 years, 6 months
Re: Inside North Korea [Re: Cornholio]
    #1791288 - 08/08/03 09:18 AM (13 years, 3 months ago)

Good summary. I watched it. I think it showed very well why we should avoid war with NK. The people think they live in the best place in the world because they have no idea what other places are like. There is something I wonder about. Albright struck up that deal in 98. What did they do for the next two years until Bush took over? Did something change in that time period to make Bush change the policy so drastically, or did he make a mistake? I do not know, and I thought the program left that part out. Did NK do something to change the policy? Anyway, it seems like multilateral talks are going to happen soon, so hopefully this whole thing can be resolved.


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OfflineCornholio
A liberal guy(on hiatus)

Registered: 01/13/03
Posts: 845
Loc: Austin, TX
Last seen: 13 years, 20 days
Re: Inside North Korea [Re: shakta]
    #1792355 - 08/08/03 04:01 PM (13 years, 3 months ago)

Thanks LDS.

Shakta, you're right about them not talking much abuot the Albright deal. Maybe there's some stuff on the Internet, but I don't have time to look it up at the moment.


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