One response to “North Korea

  1. As you suggest, Pyongyang is not even close to a representative example of the rest of North Korea (NK). Two very good books on the current state of affairs in NK are, Dear Leader, by Jang Jin-sung, and North Korea – A State of Paranoia, by Paul French.

    Each province in NK, for instance, has a Corpse Division, the sole task of which is to go around the cities in the province and pick-up the corpses of those who have died of starvation or untreated medical conditions (Dear Leader, pages 48 & 49). Also, there is a huge government department (part of the United Front Department, or UFD) in Pyongyang consisting of over 1,000 people who write newspapers and books using the newspaper mastheads and book publisher logos hijacked from South Korea. These writings are nothing but government and Kim Jong Un propaganda, but the readers in NK think these are publications from the free world, and that all the world is like NK. That is, all the world suffers from hunger and lack of life’s other necessities.

    The NK citizens who populate the military and the key government departments in Pyongyang participate in a less austere life than the average NK person. All food stuffs are rationed, but the privileged in Pyongyang receive more frequent rations and the ration packages contain more food and a great variety of food types. The rationing is based on where the individual sits among the Pyongyang government hierarchy.

    It’s an amazing place and the fact that the citizenry tolerates the many and callous injustices is just as amazing. But hey . . . ignorance is bliss.

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