Last modified on 7 April 2015, at 01:36

North Korea

You made us believe, Comrade Kim Jong-il! We cannot live without you. Our country cannot exist without you! ~ No Motherland Without You

North Korea, also known as the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) is a state located in northeastern Asia. It is one of the two states (along with the South Korea) that developed from the partition of the Korean Peninsula by countries that defeated the Empire of Japan. North Korea's attempt in 1950 to conquer South Korea by force ended in a stalemate. Since the collapse of the Soviet Union it has been a focus of international tension, which increased with its development of nuclear weapons.

QuotesEdit

George Orwell's 1984 was published at about the time that Kim Il-sung set up his system, and it really is as if he got hold of an early copy of the novel and used it as a blueprint. ~ Christopher Hitchens
The DPRK presents itself to the outside world as a misunderstood country seeking integration into the international community. It presents itself to its own citizens as a rogue state that breaks agreements with impunity, dictates conditions to groveling U.N. officials, and keeps its enemies in constant fear of ballistic retribution. ~ Brian Reynolds Myers
Sorted alphabetically by author or source
  • Citizens shall have freedom of speech, press, assembly, demonstration, and association. The state shall guarantee conditions for the free activities of democratic political parties and social organizations.
  • I'm getting a little fed up with hearing about, oh, civilian casualties. I think we ought to nuke North Korea right now just to give the rest of the world a warning.
    • Ann Coulter, quoted in an interview with George Gurley in The New York Observer (10 January 2005).
  • Unification, as I have mentioned, can be a euphemism for conquest, a gloss for winning the war.... The south's disagreement [against North Korea's proposal for confederation] is in part due to the fact that they believe that the nation and state must be one, that a confederation is not unification, and that North Korea must be totally absorbed into the south, its state destroyed, and its people assimilated.
    • Roy Richard Grinker, in Korea and Its Futures: Unification and the Unfinished War (1988), St. Martin's Press.
  • In North Korea, every person is property and is owned by a small and mad family with hereditary power. Every minute of every day, as far as regimentation can assure the fact, is spent in absolute subjection and serfdom. The private life has been entirely abolished. One tries to avoid cliché, and I did my best on a visit to this terrifying country in the year 2000, but George Orwell's 1984 was published at about the time that Kim Il-sung set up his system, and it really is as if he got hold of an early copy of the novel and used it as a blueprint.
  • We went over there and fought the war and eventually burned down every town in North Korea anyway, someway or another, and some in South Korea too.
    • Curtis LeMay in Strategic Air Warfare: An Interview with Generals (1988).
  • Korean schoolchildren in North and South learn that Japan invaded their fiercely patriotic country in 1905, spent forty years trying to destroy its language and culture, and withdrew without having made any significant headway. This version of history is just as uncritically accepted by most foreigners who write about Korea. Yet the truth is more complex. For much of the country's long history its northern border was fluid and the national identities of literate Koreans and Chinese mutually indistinguishable. Believing their civilization to have been founded by a Chinese sage in China's image, educated Koreans subscribed to a Confucian worldview that posited their country in a position of permanent subservience to the Middle Kingdom. Even when Korea isolated itself from the mainland in the seventeenth century, it did so in the conviction that it was guarding Chinese tradition better than the Chinese themselves. For all their xenophobia, the Koreans were no nationalists.
  • Unlike Soviet citizens under Stalin, or Chinese under Mao, North Koreans learn more about their leaders than from them. It is not in ideological treatises but in the more mass-oriented domestic propaganda that the official worldview is expressed most clearly and unselfconciously. I stress the word domestic. Too many observers wrongly assume that the North Korean Central News Agency's English-language releases reflect the same sort of propaganda that the home audience gets. In fact, there are significant differences. For example, where the DPRK presents itself to the outside world as a misunderstood country seeking integration into the international community, it presents itself to its own citizens as a rogue state that breaks agreements with impunity, dictates conditions to groveling U.N. officials, and keeps its enemies in constant fear of ballistic retribution. Generally speaking the following rule of thumb applies: the less accessible a propaganda outlet is to the rest of the world, the blunter and more belligerent it will be in its expression of the racist orthodoxy.
  • You made us believe, Comrade Kim Jong-il! We cannot live without you. Our country cannot exist without you!
  • North Korea is strengthening its defense because it has strained relations with certain states. But the militarization of economy is also the most effective way of managing the state. It provides a chance of modest feeding of great number of people.
  • As South Korea grew into one of the economic 'Four Tigers' of East Asia and left behind decades of dictatorship for democracy, North Korea developed into one of the nastiest and most psychotic tyrannies in history.

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