North Korea

Ten Reasons to Defect From North Korea

What would make someone want to flee "The Hermit Kingdom"?

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In Monday morning's news, National Public Radio reported that a colonel from the General Bureau of Reconnaissance, a North Korean spy agency, defected to South Korea. According to the newscaster, the reasons for the colonel's defection are, at present, "not known." Human Progress hates unresolved mysteries and humbly suggests 10 possible reasons for the colonel's defection. Here they are, in no particular order:

1. Life expectancy in the North is only 86 percent that of the South, 2013.

2. GDP per capita in the North is only 5 percent that of the South, 2008.

3. The infant mortality rate in the North is 679 percent that of the South, 2015.

4. Maternal mortality in the North is 322 percent that of the South, 2013.

5. Food consumption in the North was 63 percent that of the South, 2011. 

6. Democracy in the South is comparable to Belgium, but non-existent in the North, 2014.

7. Protection of the environment in the North lags behind that in the South, 2015.

8. Rule of law in the South is on par with Spain, in the North with Afghanistan, 2014.

9. Access to the internet in the North is…

10. Last, but not least, the colonel's chance of being murdered was almost six times higher in the North than in the South, including on the orders of this psychopath:

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  1. It’s funny how much he looks like Trump. Minus the orange skin.

    But of course, the question is, was the Korean war worth it? I once got into an argument with a fellow football fan over MASH, which claimed that South Korea/US were just as bad as North Korea, if not worse.

    But from a libertarian point of view, I’m not sure you can argue it was our business (given the cost in lives), even though clearly South Koreans are much, much better off.

    1. It’s not a matter of *was* the Korean War worth it, it’s a matter of *is*. The Korean War had little enough to do with Korea, just as the Vietnam War had little enough to do with Vietnam, it was the US v. China and you’re seeing round 3 shaping up right now in the South China Sea. This one might go a lot different since the earlier rounds were Democracy v Communism and let’s face it, we’re all communists now.

      1. I’d say we’re all fascists (or very close to it) now. The US and China are evolving into roughly the same form, and the proletariat ain’t ruling roost.

    2. The Korean war has to be looked at as a part of the cold war.There was legitimate fear of Soviet expansion in Asia and Europe.Half of Europe was occupied buy the U.S.S.R. The Soviets armed the north and Stalin gave the ok for the invasion with China promising troops and support if and when needed.The Soviet funded wars in Africa and South America in later years.Even using Cuban troops in some countries.It really was a war of civilizations.

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    5. “which claimed that South Korea/US were just as bad as North Korea, if not worse.”

      That’s a difficult claim, but if you have a more complete historical perspective, you’d have to add Japan into the mix, as the US has merely supplanted Japan’s old role on the peninsula. It’s no coincidence that the fervently pro-American president of South Korea is daughter of the old dictator, who was educated by in a Japanese officer’s academy and fought with them during the war.

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    1. Korean girls? Preferably underage?

        1. *cocks one eyebrow and says “Hmm…”*

  3. #9 isn’t a reason to defect.

    If you never had the internet and lived in a place where no one does, not having it is no big deal. I know people around here are trying to wire the internet directly into their brains, which may be why they’ve lost perspective on the matter.

    1. Yeah I was surprised that they didn’t have a chart showing kilowatt hour per the population. Electricity would be a big reason to defect. Although I would also think most of these reasons don’t affect the top men of Korea.

  4. The reason for the defection? He found out Donald Trump reads Ayn Rand.

    1. As in an audiobook series?

  5. Time to remove US troops from South Korea now that South Korea is such a success and have twice the population and multiple times GDP of North Korea.

    Put up the Mission Accomplished banners and bring them home.

    1. That raises an interesting question. We know North Korea is teetering on the edge of collapse. Jung Un does not have the degree of control Jung Il had, and even highly placed members of the administration are fleeing. When it falls, there is a high probability that there will be a lashing out, either by Kim loyalists, or by a warlord attempting to seize power in the vacuum. To what extent do we help our friends who made the mistake of putting their biggest city within artillery range of the border?

      1. A capitalist opportunity. I’ve been waiting for NK to implode for twenty years. Did I mention that pot is legal and no fat chicks?

    2. “Put up the Mission Accomplished banners and bring them home.”

      That’s crazy talk. Do you want to abandon Germany, too, even though we’re a mere 30 years away from the fall of the Soviet Union?

  6. That is NOT a face I’d want pointed in my direction if I were a North Korean. I wonder if the photographer had to change his underwear.

    1. Having had nothing to eat for days made it easy to retain bowel control.

  7. Given the other 9, I’m sure that “protection of the environment” is a top 10 concern of all North Koreans

    1. Try to explain to a Lefty that it’s the poor countries — not the capitalist “over-consuming” countries — that are worse for the environment. It’s hard to care about those trees over there when you don’t know where your next meal is coming from.

      1. Or heat for your house. North Korean kids hope that they get coal in their stockings for Christmas.

    2. Given the other stats there I can assure you that no one in NK gives half a fuck about ‘the environment’.

  8. I’m actually thinking of defecting to North Korea, mostly because I have a penchant for Maoist onesies. How’s the real estate market look in Pyongyang?

    1. How’s the real estate market look in Pyongyang?

      So now we’re using euphemisms for sex as well as masturbation?

  9. this article should be required reading for bern-feelers

    1. I have seen interviews with true-beleiver socialists here in the states where they swear that what we hear about NK and Venezuela are all lies. Those places are socialist paradises and the lies are to keep Americans from going there and finding out the real truth about how great socialism is.

      1. Do tehy also believe that Jim Jones’ Guyana colony is still going strong?

        1. Certainly! Care for a refreshing beverage?

          /derp

          1. Only organic.

            1. You’re in luck! Arsenic is totally natural!

      2. Suthenboy|4.12.16 @ 8:32AM|#
        “I have seen interviews with true-beleiver socialists…”

        “…Brooks, who declined to say how many members his party has, had no doubt when asked if he thought North Koreans had a good life.
        “Oh yes. They have free education, everyone has a job. I think everyone has housing and so on. It has, in my view, a very high standard of living,” he said. “One of the proofs of the pudding is the longevity. The average lifespan is 74, 75.”…”
        http://worldnews.nbcnews.com/_…..ssion?lite

        1. Asked if he’d rather live in the U.S. or North Korea, he said “oh, North Korea, it goes without saying for me, absolutely.”

          Is there any doubt whatsoever, by those of us with a brain, that if he acted on this preference he would quickly come to regret it?

      3. considering how good governments generally are at keeping secrets I find that very believable!

  10. Seeing Rachel Dolezal interviewed on TV now. According to her she has had to engage in some ‘creative non-fiction’ to explain her blackness to others in a way that makes sense. She doesnt understand questions about her being born white but now ‘identifies’ as black.

    Have any other progs accused her of cultural appropriation? You would think they would be howling. A guy who cooks Tex-Mex in his cafe is guilty of cultural appropriation, but she isnt?

    For progressive fruit-loops cognitive dissonance is a way of life.

    1. I identify as Trump’s love child. That should be good for a couple of million.

      1. Can I identify as Salma Hayek’s husband? Just for a day or two?

        1. I currently identify as her husband every night before I go to sleep.

  11. Where the North triumphs over the South is her independence. North Korea is arguably the most independent state in the world today, while the South remains a vassal of the USA, and was a vassal of Japan before that. The South doesn’t even have control over their own military. The top commander is and has been a foreigner.

    1. North Korea is arguably the most independent state in the world today

      Yes, they’re not a client state to the Chinese, upon whom they are wholly dependent for their continued existence. But regardless, the important thing about a state is how “independent” they are, not how many millions of people they enslave and kill.

      1. “…a client state to the Chinese”

        I know you are simply parroting what you hear on CNN and Reason etc, but it is not true. North Korea’s nuclear and missile programmes exist in spite of Chinese, American and UN Security Council sanctions. North Korea has these programmes because they want them, not because they are following the orders of a foreign power.

        1. North Korea’s nuclear and missile programmes exist in spite of Chinese

          Do these nuclear missiles generate the food and minimal amount of external commerce necessary to provide the most basic amenities to North Korea, or is that more China?

          North Korea has these programmes because they want them, not because they are following the orders of a foreign power.

          I hear Kim Jon Un tied his own shoes without being told to do so by Bejing, ergo, North Korea doesn’t rely on anyone! The existence of a nuclear program does not mean North Korea isn’t wholly dependent on China for their continued existence.

          1. “Do these nuclear missiles generate the food”

            No, these missiles do not generate the food. They are weapons, not food generators.

            “The existence of a nuclear program…”

            …means they can have an independent foreign policy. I promise you that North Korea embarked on the nuclear path on their own, without China’s aid or bidding. I can’t understand why this is so hard to accept. (Other than it goes against everything CNN/Fox has been telling you for years.)

    2. And leaving out that they’re a puppet of China, they’ve never taken hundreds of millions of dollars in food and energy aid from South Korea or the US. Nope they would never do that.

      Independence, I think not.

      1. “And leaving out that they’re a puppet of China”

        I know you are simply parroting what you hear on CNN and Reason etc, but it is not true. North Korea’s nuclear and missile programmes exist in spite of Chinese, American and UN Security Council sanctions. North Korea has these programmes because they want them, not because they are following the orders of a foreign power.

        1. You’re tiresome. Independence and military adventurism are two different things.

          Yes, they have been “independent” on this one item regarding their nuclear program, and that has been only as of late(since about 2006 when they tested a nuclear device).

          Outside of that, China has been their biggest trading partner and ally. China flooded the North with troops at the Korean War, and propped up Kim Il Sung, Kim Jong Il and the North Korean government politically and economically for most of North Korea’s existence. Aid from China, the US, and South Korea has been massive. North Korea would not survive without that aid, so they are hardly independent.

        2. God help me for responding to you, but for the sake of anyone passing by without an agenda the North has been dependent on China for aid and defense since the Korean War. Chinese trade represents 57% of North Korea’s foreign trade. China provides basically all of its energy and half of its food. These are numbers from the Council on Foreign Relations, but you can confirm them elsewhere as well.

          I suppose you’ll accuse me of “parroting” sources, but you’ll have to include all serious IR scholarship since the 50s, publicly-available information from the world’s major intelligence and diplomatic services, economic data, various treaties currently in effect, and the behavior of North Korea in relation to China and other nations.

          North Korea has a nuclear program because China lets it. North Korea is China’s enfant terrible, and China lets the leash loosen every now and again just to reify the Chinese role in keeping North Korea from upsetting the status quo in the region.

          1. “the North has been dependent on China for aid and defense ”

            This is simply untrue. The US and South Korea have both donated food aid to the North, as have many other nations. Japan is a very large source of funds through their large Korean community, at least those whose sympathies lie with the North. North Korea does not depend on China for defence. There is no alliance between them, and China has actually sanctioned North Korea over her nuclear programme along with the rest of the UN security council.

            “North Korea has a nuclear program because China lets it.”

            Straight out of CNN. North Korea alone is responsible for her nuclear programme.

            “North Korea has a nuclear program because China lets it. North Korea is China’s enfant terrible, and China lets the leash loosen every now and again just to reify the Chinese role in keeping North Korea from upsetting the status quo in the region.”

            More CNN. Or is it Fox? With respect to North Korea, they are identical. Why would the Chinese want to maintain the status quo in the region? What region are you talking about?

            1. I’m just going to drop this here:

              Sino-North Korean Mutual Aid and Cooperation Friendship Treaty.

              Specifically, Article 2 of the treaty declares the two nations guarantee to adopt immediately all necessary measures to oppose any country or coalition of countries that might attack either nation.

              1. Signed how many decades ago? Let me fill you in on more recent history. During the past decade North Korea had so much confidence in China’s promise to have their back that they went on to develop their own independent ability to launch nuclear missiles into space, a feat managed by only a dozen or so other nations on the planet. North Korea doesn’t let China boss them around. It’s not a puppet state of China. To understand peninsula, you have to get beyond the caricature presented by your media.

                1. I was just considering how accurate the statement:

                  mtrueman:

                  There is no alliance between them

                  is.

                  1. If there are any other things that got you to considering, don’t hesitate to do your bit and share them.

                    1. And if there’s anything else you don’t have to say, don’t hesitate to not say those, either.

                    2. The idea that North Korea is a puppet of China is a lie, cooked up to let the US off the hook when it comes to dealing with them directly. Let’s be frank. The Americans are used to bribing oil sheiks and dictators. They’re at a loss for what to do with an adversary like North Korea where they don’t come out on the losing end. They’re desperately hoping that China’s holds the key to preserving the treasured status quo.

                    3. So, let’s assume that our desperate leaders worst fears are realized, and the status quo changes. What happens?

                    4. Yankee go home? Peace with North Korea would bring the troops home. That shouldn’t scare the Libertarian in you but many here of an Imperial bent would see this as a retreat.

                    5. OK, let’s assume the Yankee’s don’t go home. So, now we’re depending on the Chinese to preserve the precious status quo.

                      What happens?

            2. mtrueman|4.12.16 @ 4:18PM|#
              “the North has been dependent on China for aid and defense ”
              “This is simply untrue.”

              You
              Are
              Full
              Of
              SHIT.

              1. China doesn’t dictate North Korean policy. Neither does anyone else. You heard it here first.

                1. You
                  Are
                  Full
                  Of
                  SHIT:
                  “mtrueman|5.4.15 @ 12:59AM|#
                  “[?] What you haven’t fathomed is that I’m so morally depraved that my deserved rep here doesn’t bother me or interest me in the least. I post for myself; your feelings about me are of no concern.”

                  Trueman is bereft of cites, since truman has learned history from comix, and they make poor cites to those of us who have read history. Trueman is full of shit, and nothing trueman posts is worth engagement.
                  Trueman is here to see his name in a place with far greater gravitas than his pathetic blog; trueman is full of shit.

                  1. “Trueman is bereft of cites…”

                    Enough of all this North Korea discussing. Let’s get on to something interesting.

  12. “so they are hardly independent.”

    They have received aid, from numerous sources, and they are members of international organizations like the United Nations. So they are not independent. What I wrote was that they are arguably the most independent nation on the planet. If you know of a better candidate, like South Korea for example, let me know. At least you’re no longer aping CNN with idiotic assertions that North Korea is a puppet of China. Best not to sound off about matters you know nothing of.

    1. Clearly I know something about this – you acquiesce to my point. My apologies for the tiresome reference, that was uncalled for on my part. With respect to your argument, I might offer Switzerland, but we will have to determine the ground rules for what defines “arguably most independent.” That seems to take us far afield from the article, so with that, I will agree to disagree, politely.

      1. “but we will have to determine the ground rules for what defines “arguably most independent.”

        If you think South Korea is more independent than North Korea, make your case. Switzerland and Israel come to mind as rivals to North Korean independence. Switzerland is not noted as an aid recipient, while Israel is, on a scale that dwarfs North Korea. Don’t worry about my being tiresome. You’re not the first to find me tiring, and I don’t take it as anything you need apologize over.

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    1. $100-2K per week?
      Not if you live in North Korea.

  14. It is so amusing to look at those obviously biased graphs. They are sheer propaganda which purports to show that socialism is INFERIOR to capitalism. Any right thinking person knows socialism is vastly superior to free(r) economies. No one can take those obviously made up graphs seriously.

    1. Yes, they are totally inferior to your complete lack of evidence or data of any kind… /s

  15. Propaganda. NK is a puppet of SK and China. They use it as a a sex and labor colony. And then say, “Oh KJI – he so crazy!”

  16. Other than that, Bernie should be proud!

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  20. Ten Reasons to Defect From North Korea

    11. They don’t have Starbucks anywhere.

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