Pyongyang College Students Probably Weren't Learning Anyway

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Kim Jong-Il will transfer power to his twenty-something son one day soon, but he's keeping things commie-classic with a new decree declaring that manual labor beats book learning. According to the University World News:

Diplomats in Pyongyang confirmed that students were being drafted into manual labor on the outskirts of the city until April next year to prepare for major celebrations to commemorate the centenary of the late leader Kim Il Sung's birthday. But they said this did not mean the closure of universities.

Apparently foreign students or those working on degrees in (probably) spying, kidnapping Japanese citizens or figuring out why it's so damn dark in Pyongyang at night are exempt if they graduate in the next few months.

But part of the motivation may come from fears of student revolution. Last week someone put a piece of graffito on the wall of a Pyongyang College which called the Dear Leader "a dictator who starved people to death."

For North Korea, this is more or less the equivalent of setting the White House on fire with a Molotov. Pyongyang was locked down (more than usual) for three days in a vain search for the culprit. Hopefully he or she is well-hidden, or followed the seven folks who triggered a border security crackdown when when they defected to the South a few weeks ago, joining the 21,000 other former North Koreans who have had that same great idea since 1953.

In another sign that the Hermit Kingdom can't deny the outside world forever, there are reports that the Associated Press (AP) plans to be the first Western media to open a permanent text and photo bureau in North Korea (they already have a video bureau.) Still unknown is how the AP intends to operate with any journalistic credibility in a country ranked second-to-dead-last in press freedom by Reporters Without Borders.

Reason on the world's most depressing joke/country.

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  1. I think you meant Molotov cocktail as just throwing some poor fool named Molotov at the White House is not likely to be effective.

    1. I keep saying that and nobody listens.

      1. If you weren’t such a flamer people might take you seriously once in a while.

        1. You guys are both pussies!

      2. Shutta you face an get in da catpult!

    2. Ah, Vyacheslav Molotov. He was such a toady to Stalin that when his own wife was about to be arrested for treason and he had to “vote” on the issue, he abstained….

      1. “he abstained….”
        And she thanked him!

      2. Actually he voted no. Then, after Stalin had her arrested anyway he wrote a groveling letter to Stalin for doubting his judgement.

        Then again, he died in 1986. How many people who were active in the Soviet government in the 30s lived through Stalin’s reign?

        1. Probably just an indication that he was such a mediocrity that no one was afraid of keeping him alive. It was the ambitious ones that got purged, and then photoshopped into oblivion.

  2. Pyongyang was locked down (more than usual) for three days in a vain search for the culprit.

    It shouldn’t have been that difficult. There can’t be that many connected enough to possess spray paint.

    Kim is a slow learner. If he had been paying attention in 2008 he would have seen American college students band together to force the Bush regime out of power. That should have immediately triggered his co-ed purge.

  3. What the hell kind of totalitarian hellhole is this if it doesn’t even have CCTVs in every room in the capital? C’mon, Kim. This isn’t amateur hour.

    1. The graffiti was done outside, in one of the areas comprising about 99.9% of the land mass of North Korea lacking any street lighting.

      At least in Orwell’s 1984, they could afford electricity to properly surveille the proles.

      I google mapped North Hamkyung Province to see how far away the word of this incident had spread, and found that North Korea is apparently the only country on earth with no information about it on Google maps. The entire country shows up as this empty white space on this app.

      1. There used to be info on Google maps, but I wonder if they removed as a symbolic protest? There’s still some NK data in Google Earth.

      2. They don’t want you to see how beautiful and full of happiness it is. They want you to believe the western media lies.

      3. Bing maps has it. It’s the northernmost part of N Korea and borders Russian Siberia and China. Pretty far from Pyongyang, actually.

  4. In another sign that the Hermit Kingdom can’t deny the outside world forever…

    Just join the IMF/BIS system already. They can make you rich beyond measure. Just do it. You know you want to. They have lots of big fat loans waiting for you. All you have to do is turn control of your central bank over to them.

    1. And their leaders can rape your chambermaids! Or not.

      A smiling Dominique Strauss-Kahn was sprung without bail Friday after red-faced prosecutors conceded his accuser is a serial liar with credibility problems.

      They detailed how the midtown hotel maid told bald-faced whoppers to investigators and the grand jury, even shedding crocodile tears – making her a nightmare witness.

      The staggering turn of events in the sexual abuse case returned $6 million to Strauss-Kahn’s pockets and had his lawyer predicting the vilified Frenchman would be vindicated.

      http://www.nydailynews.com/new…..se_cr.html

    2. And once you open your economy to the Globalists/ IMF/World Bank then all those nasty comments about you being a dictatorship will fade away. Just ask China, Vietnam or Saudi Arabia. Dictatorships are fine in the New World Order, just as long as you play the game.

      1. I’d rather live in any of those countries than N Korea. The IMF is pretty crappy, but I’d be thrilled if N Korea joined it (if only because it would indicate a movement towards at least some limited movement in the direction of liberty).

  5. The nice thing about North Korea is that, however evil its leadership, however ruthless its security apparatus, however hopeless and desperate its unfortunate slave-citizens, we can still have a good laugh over it.

      1. Ha ha! Look at the funny midget pretending to be a benevolent colossus! He’s so ronery. Slaves? What slaves? Look at the midget in his jumpsuit!

    1. Also, it’s a useful counterpoint to SOMALIA!

  6. students were being drafted into manual labor

    This sounds familiar. Wasn’t there some other drably garbed Asian supreme dictator who tried this? I think he may have put the professors to work, too. To better their understanding of the proletarian struggle.

    1. The (minimal) difference being that this appears to be in explicit retaliation for the audacity of even one person to defy the Dear Leader.

      “Some student dared call me names? Send all the little bastards out to perform manual labor until they have a proper appreciation of my benevolence.”

      1. Let them eat bark!

      2. THE BEATINGS WILL CONTINUE UNTIL MORAL IMPROVES!

        1. Sometimes the solution to poor morale is to just fire all the unhappy people!

          (In this case I mean line them up against a wall and scream “READY! AIM! FIRE!”)

      3. More “Lil” Kim:

        “Deyre bweaking my bawls!”

  7. Still unknown is how the AP intends to operate with any journalistic credibility in a country ranked second-to-dead-last in press freedom by Reporters Without Borders.

    Wow, who the fuck is Eritrea and what is going on there?

    1. This was my very question.

      1. p.s. can we call you “Steigy?”

        1. Also, could you see if Bob Errey can do the friday funny?

          His now famous ‘3 ass= 1 goal’ pic has got to be better than anything Payne could do.

          1. Definitely, and I’ll see if I can put through the proper paperwork for an Errey request. The comments at least need some awkward Canadian commentary.

            1. Sweet, eh.

              Here’s the video for the uninitiated.

              Lucy, if you’re related to Paul tell him that this pittsburgher thought his Hobey Baker joke was funny.

              1. Over the line, Cap. That joke was TOO SOON!

              2. What was funnier was Paul’s inability to stop laughing at his own joke.

                But according to Keith Olbermann, this was just another sign of the deep genetic defect Steigerwalds suffer from.

                Thanks, though. It’s a rough town with all sorts of Mike Lange fans lurking.

                1. I’ve grown to appreciate having Lange on the radio as I can’t watch all the games on teevee. The Steigy/Errey goofball announcer thing has grown on me as well.

                  1. Bob Errey is a poet. I love that guy.

                    1. Errey’s puns can be hilarious. I love how the two of them play on words all the time.

                  2. I love Lange on the radio, but Steigy and Errey are perfect TV announcers.

    2. Eritrea is some pretty bad news. Have a look at foreignpolicy.com on that place, for starters.

      It’s a good bet you live in a shithole when your country is featured as a global trouble spot in one of Tom Clancy’s video games.

      1. Yeah, pretty much

    3. Eritrea manages to have zero foreign correspondents.

      North Korea has some catching up to do.

    4. Eritrea may be ranked last in press freedom but it is an infinitely better place to live than North Korea.

      1. Only because it borders Somalia.

        1. Asmara is a beautiful, diverse city.

  8. Wisconsin could learn something from Pyongyang about how to deal with pesky public-sector unions. And aside from a food taster for Kim Jong-Il, the North Korean food industry isn’t hampered by a lot of silly inspection regulations. From the Libertoid perspective, North Korea is a mixed bag.

    1. My first libertarians-support-theocratic-communist-dictatorships-troll! I’ll let you guys handle this.

      1. Don’t feed it.

        1. Ignore obsessive-compulsive bipolar anonypussy troll!

        2. But it’s so cute. Can’t I keep it?

          1. It’s not house trained. Probably can’t be.

          2. Please do.

    2. Wanna have a three-way with The Derider, Max?

    3. Even Kim is smart enough to realize that it’s a waste of money to have inspectors when there isn’t any food.

  9. From the libertarian perspective, Max is a colostomy bag.

    1. Just what are you driving at, Ms. Brooks?

      1. That you’re full of shit, but fortunately easily disposable.

        1. there we go again with the eliminationist violent rhetoric.

    2. That’s not an issue of perspective.

  10. While I’m quite sure that NK and Eritrea (which, by the way, is a country located on the Gulf of Aden that was formerly a province of Ethiopia) have totally earned their rankings in the Reporters Without Borders survey, I am at a loss as to what kind of criteria were used to place the UK ahead of the USA.

    In fact, I’m having a hard time seeing exactly what restrictions are placed on the press in the US that are not found in practically *all* of the countries that outrank it.

    My speculation is that like all of those “quality of life” surveys that give points for the generosity of the welfare state, this one gives points for the level of subsidies given to newspapers and special privileges for reporters.

    As much as the US has politicians, public scolds and other assorted nuisances bloviating about what can be printed they have no official power to actually censor anything. And legislators who do end up managing to pass restrictive legislation usually get shot down when the inevitable challenge reaches the SCOTUS. Many of the countries that are shown as outranking the US have actual formal legislation giving the government censorship powers that American busybodies can only dream about having.

    In typical leftist fashion, Reporters Without Borders apparently believes that true freedom is only reached when the incompetent are given money to accomplish what they can’t on their own.

    1. I humbly withdraw part of my foregoing rant.

      It appears that the questionaire used by, Reporters Without Borders apparently cover radio and television.

      Given the kinds of bogus restrictions that the FCC dreams up (most of which are very popular, not just in the US but almost universally) I can see the US getting quite a few points (the score appears to be like a golf score, getting points is a negative).

      While all other countries have some kind of broadcast licensing and powers to control broadcast content those powers do not seem to be exercised in the countries that outrank us as vigorously as they are here.

      Whether FCC abuses are enough to earn the US its position here I can’t say.

      Keep in mind, the restrictions placed by the FCC are mostly over “decency” issues rather than political ones; which tends to make us the laughing stock of those ever so sophisticated Euros most other countries have much more onerous restriction on what politicians can say in their campaign ads, or how many they can get as well as public subsidies for campaign to “level” the field. But I suspect that most of the respondents to the questionnaire see that as a plus.

      1. Two words: Faux News

        1. One word: MSNBC

      2. Thanks for posting this. I had exactly the same reaction when I saw the UK ahead of the US. But, even just focusing on TV and radio (wtf?), it seems that the lack of a first amendment, out-dated libel laws, etc., would mean that Britain is still a much less press-free place to be.

        1. True, England’s libel laws plus that whole “insult the Royals and go to prison” thing they got going are a pretty serious impediment to any kind of press freedom.

          I reckon that none of the Limey Reporters Without Borders members that filled out the questionnaire have had occasion to print stories on the sexual proclivities of the ruling class, or point out what a petty moron Prince Juggears or, for that matter, question the position of the Church of England in modern society,

          1. Still, theatrical movies shown on TeeVee are half an hour longer in Canada because they haven’t cut out all the scenes with boobies.

          2. While it may not be considered “press freedom,” I’m willing to bet you’re a lot less likely to have the shit kicked out of you and thrown in jail for the “crime” of videotaping a police officer in the UK.

            If I’m wrong, please let me know.

  11. Obama could take a lesson from North Korea and put millions back to work. How about a giant monument to Obama in every state capitol? Maybe a giant Sphinx with Obama’s head on it. It would symbolize his strength and courage. Of course those evil republicans probably won’t let us raise taxes on their rich friends to do it. Have they no shame? No shame at all?

    1. Don’t give ’em any ideas.

  12. Just thinking out loud in a “TEH ROADZ”, “SOMALIA” fashion.. would you rather take your chances in statist paradise North Korea or anarchic Somalia?

    1. I don’t know man:)

      http://4.bp.blogspot.com/_L1y4…..wear03.jpg

    2. Wouldn’t exactly call Somalia a bastion of freedom. There are vast culture differences you have to consider.

      http://nazret.com/blog/index.p…..i_woman_fo

    3. I’ll take my chances with Somalia, because I can leave Somalia.

      It’s not truly a complete shithole until they have armed guards who will shoot you if they think you are even thinking of leaving their “paradise”.

      1. Not to mention that in Somalia a fresh out of the box factory sealed AK47 can be had for about the price of a Big Mac!

        (Good luck on finding a Big Mac, though!)

  13. AP has journalistic credibility?

    1. Ish?

    2. Yeah, to have real journalistic credibility, you need to win some awards from an incestuous regional association.

      1. Matt Welch and Katherine Mangu-Ward are fuck-siblings?

        1. Her name used to be Mangu Welch? Who names their kid Mangu?

          1. Mongo, just pawn in game of life.

      2. Hey, Max… wanna fuck?

  14. Krugabe sez, be afraid!

    But confidence isn’t the only thing at stake. Failure to raise the debt limit would also force the U.S. government to make drastic, immediate spending cuts, on a scale that would dwarf the austerity currently being imposed on Greece. And don’t believe the nonsense about the benefits of spending cuts that has taken over much of our public discourse: slashing spending at a time when the economy is deeply depressed would destroy hundreds of thousands and quite possibly millions of jobs.

    Korea will look like the Land of Plenty; they will have to build a fence to keep all the American refugees out.

    1. Failure to raise the debt limit would also force the U.S. government to make drastic, immediate spending cuts, on a scale that would dwarf the austerity currently being imposed on Greece.

      He says that like it’s a bad thing.

      1. If that’s the case, is there a way to lower the debt ceiling?

    2. In the very least Krugabe and his buds could stop calling it a “debt ceiling”. It isn’t a “ceiling” if it is raised every time you get close to it. Unless it’s in Hogwarts.

  15. OK, yeah you have to admit that is some funyn stuff.

    http://www.total-web-privacy.tk

    1. Awww, privacy bot, I thought you didn’t like my articles.

    2. some funyn stuff

      Funyans are deeeeeRISHous!

  16. Is there some new “weird name contest” for H&R contributors?

    Not that “Steigerwald” (forest climber?) is particularly weird. Not at all. Linnekin wins that one hands down. But I feel like since the vacation of Balko and Moynihan the newer generation seems to come from some kind of journalistic “weird names” pool.

    1. Moynihan isn’t weird, just Irish.

      1. Hey, watch it.

    2. I believe it’s climbing forest, but props to your mad German skills.

      I dunno about my weird name, only that Balko got his due to super powers.

  17. What I want to know is who the hell are these foreign students? Who in the world thinks “I want to go to college in a foreign country, and I think the best place for that is… North Korea”?

    1. Occasionally they’re the children of American defectors and kidnapped Japanese, other than that, good question.

    2. They’re majoring in totalitarianism.

    3. Once upon a time, it was a very popular second-tier choice for Communist and third-worlder students who were of a communist bent who weren’t good enough to go to Moscow or Beijing. It’s cut way back, but there’s still a trickle coming in.

      1. Quite correct. I once met a Cuban who had studied there in the 1980s who filled me in about a few things. I’m embarrassed to say I found some of them hard to believe at the time. BTW he told me that there was a dormitory for Burman students (as an ex-Marxist, he refused to use the term Myanmar) who appeared to be the dumbest organs of the student body.

  18. You can’t learn Krugabenomics at just any old school.

    1. It has to be a place where there aren’t any actual Americans, like Harvard

      1. That goes for a lot of universities unless you’re making them money on one of their sports teams.

  19. Thread jack off in a different direction: Secession movement in SoCal

    http://losangeles.cbslocal.com…..alifornia/

    Probably won’t amount to much but anything that might strengthen the meme…

    1. This would be absolutely wonderful if the proposal had come from a minarchist/constitutionalist/true republican/libertarian/even a run-of-the-mill classical liberal, but that supervisor guy sounds like he just wants government to do other things, not necessarily LESS things, which is sad. But let’s see what happens.

  20. Pyongang school cell phone footage. BEWARE
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-dVmwoR24rc

    1. Seriously, WTF?

      If you wanna spam the comments with the trailer to your shitty indie film, be honest about it.

      1. Thx for the warning, Mr. DNA.

        Also, since it’s a NK thread, actual NK video – the great Vice TV guide for those who haven’t seen it (part 1 of 3 – there are links to the others there) and a recent Australian report on just how shitty the country is.

  21. Sadly, they did some good larning over at Pyongyang University. One of my non-porn imprints is Asian lit in translation. Found a book, The Tale of Chun Hyang, that originated from the DPRK (early ’90s).

    This was an English translation of one of Korea’s national epics. Easily the finest book ever to be translated from that region–only a few errors, well-illustrated, and quite readable. Compared to, say, the Foreign Languages Press in Beijing, or Yonsei U. in Seoul (other outfits that did translation, often for propaganda reasons), we’re talking Columbia U. v. Peter Hessler’s Sichuan students in terms of quality for the Norkies.

    Figure the guy behind it no longer walks the earth, but that was a seriously hard worker, with an amazing grasp of idiom, and he’ll be missed.

    1. They imported British temporary labor to do cleanups of their translations before they exported them. It was kind of the equivalent of teaching English in NK.

  22. Adverts! Adverts! Adverts!

  23. Probably won’t amount to much but anything that might strengthen the meme.

  24. Just out of curiosity, does NK have an equivalent to TSA? Do they do pat-downs and such?

    Anyone hear ever travelled there?

    1. “Just out of curiosity, does NK have an equivalent to TSA? Do they do pat-downs and such?”

      Pretty sure they don’t have the equivalent of say “airlines” or say “airline fares”, so TSA really isn’t an issue.
      Judging from the banishment of university students to the harvest, probably a grope by a NK TSA agent would be preferable.
      Hell, I’d take it over starvation.

      1. Surprisingly, (domestic) air travel in the DPRK has much less security theatre than it does in the U.S.

        http://www.airliners.net/aviat…..in/175985/

        No pat-downs, no bothering to use the metal detectors, no hassling passengers to keep their seatbacks upright or fasten seatbelts while seated.

        The downside is that since passengers can bring liquids with them, you’ll have to put up with them bringing cooking oil on board.

        More photos and videos here.

  25. Diplomats in Pyongyang confirmed that students were being drafted into manual labor on the outskirts of the city until April next year to prepare for major celebrations to commemorate the centenary of the late leader Kim Il Sung’s birthday.

    Good idea! I shall include a similar program in my next stimulus package. You know, the one that’s REALLY gonna work.

  26. students were being drafted into manual labor

    Sort of like Americorps!

    1. Only instead of food stamps Norkcorps “volunteers” get leaves and sticks stamps!

  27. I paid $32.67 for a XBOX 360 and my mom got a 17 inch Toshiba laptop for $94.83 being delivered to our house tomorrow by fed3x. I will never again pay expensive r3tailprices at stores.I even sold a 46 inch HDTV to my boss for $650 and it only cost me $52.78 to get. Here is the website we using to get all this stuff, buzzsave. c0m.

  28. Seems to be pretty reasonable to me dude. Wow.

    http://www.anon-web-toolz.tk

  29. North Korea’s behind The Times, not only is the economy, and there were political

  30. Good idea! I shall include a similar program in my next stimulus package. You know, the one that’s REALLY gonna work.Here are some tips shared by http://www.goodluckbuy.com/ one of the worldwide B2C top sellers in selling the coolest gadgets with light-speed service and wholesale prices to all geeks/non-geeks around the planet. Appears to be coming directly from the Hong Kong suppliers with FREE SHIPPING!
    Goodluckbuy: Perfect Shop For Electronic Gadgets!

  31. I paid $32.67 for a XBOX 360 and my mom got a 17 inch Toshiba laptop for
    $94.83 being delivered to our house tomorrow by f3dex. I will never again pay expensive r3tailprices at stores.I even sold a 46 inch HDTV to my boss for $650 and it only cost me $52.78 to get.Here is the website we using to get all this stuff, BuzzSave.com.

  32. MATT DAMON!!!

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