Posts Tagged ‘North Korea’

Through North Korean Eyes

August 1, 2013

If you live in North Korea, chance are that you will never get a chance to travel abroad and learn what life is like in other countries. Fortunately the North Korean government is aware of this problem and is doing its best to educate its citizens on how ordinary people live in places like America. Since I do not speak Korean, I cannot vouch for the accuracy of the translation, but I think you will find it entertaining.

 

I would write more about this but it is time for me to go out and get my cup of snow to drink.

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More on the Cult

September 24, 2012

 

I read this article in Investor’s Business Daily about the Obama cult after I wrote this post on the subject. There isn’t much in the editorial about the creepiness of the cult that isn’t covered elsewhere but I did think the point at the end was worth noting.

But the question is, why are so many Americans so willing to voluntarily buy into Obama’s personality cult?

Remember that will.i.am video from Obama’s first campaign?

Or the equally creepy video of elementary school students signing Obama’s praises:

“Mmm, mmm, mmm!

Barack Hussein Obama

He said that all must lend a hand

To make this country strong again

Mmm, mmm, mmm!

Barack Hussein Obama.”

Or how about the endless news photos of Obama with his head centered in the middle of a circle in the background, giving him the appearance of being surrounded by a halo.

Anyone want to guess how many times a press photographer decided to snap a picture of Reagan like that?

In totalitarian countries, leaders can force their greatness on unwilling subjects because they own the press, they own the entertainment industry and they own all the schools.

It is true that totalitarian dictators can force public worship in their subjects but one truth that perhaps we don’t want to admit is that their subjects are not always unwilling to support the personality cult. Few, if any, regimes survive solely by the use of force. Most rulers, however tyrannical, do have a certain part of the population who actively support them, whether because they benefit from the regime, or they fear the alternatives, or they believe the propaganda. I have no doubt that if you were to take a public opinion poll of the German population around 1936, you would find Hitler was geniunely popular among the great majority of Germans.

Most people who have seen the videos of North Koreans mourning the death of Kim Il Jong in the most extravagant fashion assume that they are afraid of punishment. That is true, but it is possible that many of these people really did feel grief. After all, if you are told the Dear Leader is the most wonderful person in the world 24 hours a day, you begin to believe it, especially if you have no standards of comparison.

I suppose my point here is that tyrants don’t often force themselves on an unwilling people. Usually, at least some segment of the population welcomes that tyrant and is willing to give up their freedom for some benefit real or imagined. What this might say about the future of out country I am not sure but it isn’t good that a certain number of Americans are willing to subscribe to such a cult.

 

 

You Didn’t Lift That

August 4, 2012
English: Kim Jong-il, North Korean leader

He did the lifting

Somebody else made that happen.

Not that I am comparing President Obama to a crazy North Korean dictator, but I think this is an extreme example of the kind of thinking he showed when he made that famous statement.

North Korean Olympian Om Yun Chol joined an elite list of weightlifters to have lifted three times their weight during the men’s 56-kg, group B, clean and jerk weightlifting competition at the London Olympics, and he has credited his world-record feat to late North Korean leader Kim Jong Il.

Om won the gold medal in the process, and according to him, it was all thanks due to their late ‘great leader’.

The 20-year-old Om, who stands just a shade under 5 feet, also set an Olympic record when he cleared 168 kilograms (about 370 pounds) in the clean and jerk in the men’s 56-kilogram (about 123 pounds) category.

“How can any man possibly lift 168kg? I believe the great Kim Jong Il looked over me,” CBS quoted Om, as saying.

Double world champion and pre-competition favorite Wu Jiangbiao of China had to settle for the silver medal while European Champion Valentin Hristov of Azerbaijan got the bronze.

Om cleared 160 and 165 kilograms in his first two attempts and got the crowd even more riled up when it was announced he would go for the Olympic mark.

Om then confidently bent to grab the bar and, after securing it at his shoulders on the clean, executed a powerful and steady jerk above his head.

“I am very happy and give thanks to our Great Leader for giving me the strength to lift this weight. I believe Kim Jong Il gave me the record and all my achievements. It is all because of him,” Om said.

North Korean athletes habitually heap praise on their former leader, Kim, and when weightlifter Pak Hyon Suk won the women’s 63-kilogram division in Beijing four years ago, she said she was ‘overjoyed’ by the fact that she had brought joy to Kim.

If you are not responsible for your own successes, than the state must be, and since the Dear Leader is the embodiment of the state it is only right to credit him.

Exotic Vacations

June 4, 2012

If you want to go on vacation somewhere away from all those tourists, Yahoo travel may have just the destination for you. In this article, they present ten exciting locations where you can really get away from it all, maybe permanently.I actually would like to visit a few of these places like Iran and Iraq. Both countries have wonderful historic and archeological sites to visit. Iraq is still somewhat unstable but I think it would be safe enough with some obvious precautions, such as staying with a group and not wandering around Baghdad alone. Iran is also a bit unsettled but the population is not as hostile toward Americans as one might think. President Obama missed a huge chance when he didn’t openly support the protests in 2009.

Antarctica is almost completely unspoiled by human contact and unlike many of these destinations is completely safe, at least from war and terrorism. Still, I think it might be a little too cold for my liking. Cuba and Myanmar have fantastic natural scenery and Cuba was a popular vacation spot before Castro took over. I think, though I would prefer to wait until after the Castro brothers die or are overthrown. The same sentiment goes for the military junta in Myanmar. I would also prefer to avoid actual war zones like Libya and Afghanistan. I really wouldn’t want to get in the way of our troops in Afghanistan. They have a hard enough job without having to mess with stupid war tourists.

Chernobyl would be interesting. The population was evacuated after the disaster in 1986 and the town has remained untouched ever since. It would almost be like visiting a time capsule or a contemporary version of Pompeii. There is still a danger of radioactive contamination but I think if you followed the rules, the risk should be minimal.

Then there are the destinations that I have to wonder about. Places that no sane person would want to go to, like North Korea or Saudi Arabia. Why would anyone want to go to North Korea?

Nick Bonner of Koryo Group (which has been running North Korea tours for almost 20 years) says, “By visiting North Korea and interacting as much as you can, you have a positive impact on engagement. You are bringing civilians into contact with Westerners and providing job opportunities.”

No you’re not. They don’t let you talk to anyone.

Tourists in the country must stay with government minders at all times, and there are strict rules about what they can photograph and see.

Security personnel may also view any unauthorized attempt you make to talk to a North Korean citizen as espionage. North Korean authorities may fine or arrest you for unauthorized currency transactions, for taking unauthorized photographs, or for shopping at stores not designated for foreigners. It is a criminal act in North Korea to show disrespect to the country’s current and former leaders, [Kim Jong-un], Kim Jong-il, and Kim Il-sung. Hotel rooms, telephones, and fax machines may be monitored, and personal possessions in hotel rooms may be searched. …Persons violating the laws of North Korea, even unknowingly, may be expelled, arrested, or imprisoned.”

And Saudi Arabia?

Strict conduct rules govern visitors and locals alike. For example, women visitors must be met by a sponsor upon arrival into the country, can be arrested by the mutawain (religious police) for improper dress, and are not allowed to drive. Tourists are required to abide by local laws, as violations (including homosexual activity and adultery) may be punished with lashings or the death penalty.

There is nothing to see there except sand. Well, there is Mecca and Medina, but they don’t let you in there unless you are a Moslem, and I am not sure if I could fake it.

I think I will just stay in the US for now.

 

The Great Successor

January 13, 2012

You probably know that Kim Jong-Un is the newest leader of North Korea, having inherited the position from his father the Dear Leader Kim Jong-il. What you may not know is that the young Kim is a genius with super mental powers. Here is the information in the Washington Post.

Kim Jong Eun, according to propaganda described in a recent Chinese magazine article, learned to drive at age 3. By 8, he could safely maneuver dirt roads at 75 mph. As a teenager, he mastered four foreign languages. He is now learning three more.

The emerging biography of North Korea’s new leader, considered fictitious in nearly every country but his own, portrays him as the ultimate quick study, a poet and a marksman, an economics whiz and a military strategist.

North Korea is lucky to have a great man like him as their leader. Of course he is not an enlightened being like our own Dear Leader.

Here’s where it gets gooey. Many spiritually advanced people I know (not coweringly religious, mind you, but deeply spiritual) identify Obama as a Lightworker, that rare kind of attuned being who has the ability to lead us not merely to new foreign policies or health care plans or whatnot, but who can actually help usher in a new way of being on the planet, of relating and connecting and engaging with this bizarre earthly experiment. These kinds of people actually help us evolve. They are philosophers and peacemakers of a very high order, and they speak not just to reason or emotion, but to the soul.

But then you can’t have everything.

By the way, that was from a column written by a Mark Morford back in 2008. I wonder if he is embarrassed by what he wrote. Judging by his more recent columns, probably not.

Condolences to North Korea

December 22, 2011

All over North Korea, the people and even nature itself is mourning the loss of their Dear Leader Kim Jong Il. It is hard to know how sincere the expressions of grief that North Korean television has been showing actually are. It is possible that many North Koreans, living in an isolated country and knowing only what official propaganda has been telling them really do feel a great loss. If you hear that the Dear Leader is the most wonderful person in the world every waking moment, you might come to believe it. Then too, North Korea is a country in which the insufficient display of grief might well get a North Korean and his entire family sent to a prison camp.

With all that in mind, I can hardly blame the North Korean for their displays. I would be doing the same if I lived in North Korea. I would like to ask, however, what Jimmy Carter’s excuse is. This article from the Washington Times tells the story.

Former President Jimmy Carter has sent North Korea a message of condolence over the death of Kim Jong-il and wished “every success” to the man expected to take over as dictator, according to the communist country’s state-run news agency.

A dispatch from the Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) said Mr. Carter sent the message to Kim Jong-un, Kim Jong-il’s son and heir apparent.

“In the message Jimmy Carter extended condolences to Kim Jong Un and the Korean people over the demise of leader Kim Jong Il. He wished Kim Jong Un every success as he assumes his new responsibility of leadership, looking forward to another visit to [North Korea] in the future,” the KCNA dispatch read.

When contacted by The Washington Times for comment, the Carter Center provided an email contact to a spokeswoman who is out of the office until the New Year.

North Korea is routinely labeled as one of the world’s most oppressive governments under an eccentric personality cult surrounding the Kim family. Harrowing reports from defectors describe North Korea as a dirt-poor nation filled with concentration camps and Communist propaganda. Kim Jong-il ran the reclusive country according to a “military first” policy since the mid-1990s, after a famine that may have killed as many as 2 million people.

Mr. Carter has visited North Korea twice — including a 1994 visit for talks on nuclear issues that led to a deal in which North Korea agreed to dismantle its nuclear-weapons program in exchange for oil deliveries and the construction of two nuclear reactors. That deal collapsed in 2002.

The former U.S. president also downplayed a 2010 North Korean attack on a South Korean island and disclosure of a uranium enrichment facility, saying the acts were merely “designed to remind the world that they deserve respect in negotiations that will shape their future.”

I honestly don’t know if Jimmy Carter is really that stupid or if he is simply evil. He has spent the bulk of his post-Presidential career befriending every anti-American dictator in the world while opposing our allies,especially Israel, which he considers to bear the entire blame for the lack of peace in the Middle East. He discredited himself with his awful presidency and I don’t know why anyone would care what he has to say on any subject.

Kim Jong Il is Dead

December 19, 2011

 

English: Kim Jong-il, North Korean leader

Gone below

This is wonderful news to start off the day. North Korean dictator Kim Jong Il has departed this life and taken up residence in Hell. I wonder whether the seventh circle, first round (the violent and tyrants) would be appropriate for him, or the eighth circle, eighth pit (evil counselors).

Unfortunately, the evil regime in North Korea is still in power, for now. Kim’s son Kim Jong-un will be taking over as “Great Successor”. But, maybe the long suffering of the North Korean people is nearing its end.

US Citizen Detained in North Korea

April 12, 2011

Why in the world would anyone want to go to North Korea.

STOCKHOLM – Sweden’s Foreign Ministry says an American citizen was arrested in North Korea and that Swedish diplomats are representing the U.S. in the case.

Ministry spokesman Teo Zetterman says “an American citizen has been detained in North Korea. That’s all we can say.”

He told the AP on Tuesday that Sweden is dealing with North Korean authorities on behalf of the U.S. in the case. Zetterman wouldn’t give the name of the American citizen or discuss the circumstances or date of the American’s arrest, referring questions to the U.S. State Department.

The Swedish Embassy in Pyongyang represents the United States because the U.S. doesn’t have diplomatic relations with North Korea.

I mean, what’s in North Korea that anyone would want to see?


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