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Let's Talk North Korea


What comes to your mind?

When You hear North Korea, do you think about this guy or his nuclear weapons? Did you know that North Korea is known as the Hermit Kingdom? It is the most lonely nation on the planet. As viewed from space, North Korea is the world's most secretive region. It is running out of energy, fuel, and money. You are not permitted to use the phone, own a pet, fly outside of the country, make telephone calls, wear blue jeans, take a hot shower at home, or even use condoms. Korea's democratic people's republic is anything but democratic; it's a perplexing mash-up of Confucianism, colonialism, monarchy, tyranny, empire, and broken promises.

A little history

Let's go back to 1945. After decades of Japanese protectionism, the fate of the Korean peninsula was left to the Soviets and Americans at the end of World War II. They split Korea into two regions, the north and the south, around the 38th parallel, with the south supporting the United States and the north supporting the Soviet Union.

The First Kim

They elected a communist rebel leader named Kim il-sung as North Korea's premier. He is the first of the four kims to appear. Kim Il-sung was born in Korea, raised in China, and fought the Japanese under the name Kim Seong zhu. According to reports, he also remained in Russia. He returned to Korea with a new name, Kim Il-sung, which means "Kim became the son," but what he really became was a tyrant. Kim Il-sung invaded the south three years after taking office, sparking a three-year war that ended in July 1953. After the fighting, an armistice was signed, and Kim Il-sung proclaimed the doctrine of self-reliance. The state assumed complete jurisdiction of the land and the economy, and North Korea heavily invested in mining and military construction. The country's economy grew rapidly, but it quickly stagnated, and North Koreans started to fall into poverty. Fast forward to 1994, when Kim il-sung died of a heart attack, taking with him the promise of self-sufficiency.

The Second Kim

Enter the second, Kim, Kim jong-il the son of Kim il-sung, instituted a new policy — military first, the ordinary citizens became all the more neglected and isolated. Famine struck North Korea in the mid-1990s, killing at least two and a half to three million civilians. The nation badly needed humanitarian assistance, but Kim Jong-il's policies were geared toward shutting all doors. Despite signing the nuclear non-proliferation convention, Kim Jong-il pursued his nuclear ambitions, and North Korea conducted its first underground nuclear test in 2006. Kim Jong-il died of a heart attack five years later.

The Third Kim

Enter the third, Kim, Kim Jong-un, who was only 27 when he took power by assassinating his uncle and poisoning his half-brother at a Malaysian airport, as well as silencing at least 300 top military leaders in his region. Around 2016 and 2017, Kim lost little time in advancing North Korea's nuclear programme, conducting three nuclear tests, including an atomic bomb, and 30 short and medium missile flights, including an intercontinental missile launch.

The Present

This is where North Korea stands after three dictators and 74 years of Kim dynasty rule. The United Nations, the United States, South Korea, the European Union, Japan, and Australia have all approved North Korea's international isolation. According to the UN World Food Program, this nation has a population of 25 million inhabitants, with at least 10 million of them malnourished. Most North Korean families can only afford two meals a day, and many survive solely on corn. The pandemic has intensified the crisis, as North Korea is largely reliant on China for nearly all of its external trade. Pyongyang sealed its borders in January 2020, the country was struck by heavy flooding between June and September, North Korea cut imports from China by nearly 75 per cent by August, and North Korea said in October that the Wuhan virus would spread by migratory birds, cattle, snow, and even yellow dust blowing into the country from China.

North Korea currently does not have enough food to feed its population. No one dares to oppose Kim Jong-un's actions, as he has banned all emergency assistance. North Koreans hero-worship their supreme leader, and people cry when they see Kim Jong-un. The psycho has paved the way for certain truly absurd practises, such as North Koreans being forced to give up their pet dogs so that they can be sold as restaurant meat. North Koreans have been instructed to manufacture 200 pounds of human manure every day to fertilise the soil and revitalise the country's economy, and Kim Jong-un banned pet owning in 2020, calling it a "tainted trend by bourgeoisie ideology."

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Kim Vs The Common People

There is a world of contrast between the life of an average North Korean and the extravagant lifestyle of its tyrant, who spent $33,000 on American alcohol and more than $95,000 on German wine in 2016. His caviar comes from Iran, and his coffee is flown in from Brazil.

While his people starve to death, Kim enjoys Kobe beef steaks, spends up to $3.5 million on lingerie for his pleasure team, owns an $8 million yacht, and a fleet of over 100 cars. Hmm... I'm curious where he drives them though. North Korea has a total of 25,554 kilometres of road, but only 724 of them are paved. It is against the law for parents to name their offspring- Kim Jong-un. He has authorised only 14 hairstyles for North Korean women, whereas men are not permitted to grow their hair longer than 5 centimetres.

Their Fascination with the US

This country has no equivalent in today's world; much of what North Korea is today stems from its fascination with the United States. Do you know that North Koreans refer to Americans as "big noses," that Kim Jong-il tried to avenge the Korean War, and that the Kim dynasty insists that perhaps the best way to prevent history from repeating itself is to instil fear? As a result of the nuclear programme, nukes are still Pyongyang's means of dealing with the rest of the world. Recent examples include the Singapore and Vietnam summits between Kim Jong-un and former US President Donald Trump, in which the US sought denuclearization of the Korean peninsula while Pyongyang requested sanctions be lifted. For a while, the world believed this was the start of a war, but in May 2019, North Korea resumed its short-range ballistic missile drill, and in June 2020, North Korea celebrated the second anniversary of the Singapore summit by announcing that it is strengthening its nuclear deterrence. North Korea launched two cruise missiles on March 21, 2021, with no turning back. Four days later, it launched two short-range ballistic missiles, which are prohibited under UN Security Council sanctions.

But how long will North Korea carry on like this? The pandemic was a golden chance for Pyongyang to unite with the rest of the world, and all Pyongyang had to do was welcome humanitarian aid, but Kim Jong-un had other ideas. Do you know what he does before making any major decisions? Kim mounts Pektu, North Korea's tallest mountain and an active volcano, on a white horse. Kim Jong-il is thought to have been born on Mount Pektu. The mountain even acted as a military base for the first Kim, so we know something is going on if we see him there. North Korea is trapped in a time machine, and the rest of the world has no idea what this region looks like as we go through our daily lives. North Korean factory production has dropped to its lowest level since Kim took office in 2011. The price of staples such as sugar has quadrupled, and the outlook is bleak.


Enter the fourth KIM

This is Kim yo Zhong, the fourth Kim in our storey; she is Kim Jong-un's sister and was once dubbed "North Korea's Ivanka." This follows her leadership of the North Korean delegation to the Pyeongchang Winter Olympics. She turns out to be more volatile than her brother, as she started issuing threats to Seoul after returning from South Korea. She recently warned US President Joe Biden to "not make a stink if it wants to sleep in peace for the next four years, it had the best refrain from causing a stink" on the very first move. She referred to South Korea's chief as a parrot a few weeks earlier. When reports of Kim Jong-un's illness/death surfaced, Kim yo Zhong became the new face of the Kim family.

Is she the future emperor of the hermit kingdom? The fourth Kim, too, seems to be intent on moving North Korea farther away from civilization and globalisation.

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.

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