What do you think of when you hear the word “famine”? Do you think of natural disasters, of unpredictable tragedy, of innocent lives lost? Tragedy and death are inherent to the concept of starvation on a large scale, but the nature of some famines may have as much to do with politics as it does with the environment. What I expected to uncover as I began my research on the 1994-98 famine in North Korea was food shortages on a massive scale as a result of terrible growing conditions, extreme climates, unpredictable and unpreventable circumstances, for the most part. Admittedly, my knowledge of famine was limited to what I knew of the countryside of pre-communist China, where the most sustenance provided by the land the bare minimum was, and any number of external changes negatively effecting growth of or access to crops could equal devastation for entire regions. With that as my frame of reference, I was surprised by the uniquely political circumstances behind the famine in North Korea. The famine that killed 2-3 million in the 1990's was more closely tied to its independence from the southern half of the Korean peninsula it had once shared, to the fall of communism and the Soviet Union, than to any singular natural disaster. The millions that died did so as a result of their government prioritizing its independence over their survival, its budget over their sustenance. North Korea's famine was born of 1950's conflict, fueled by 1990's politics, and sustained by human error and hubris from within. North Korea is notorious as the “Hermit Kingdom”. Defensive and secretive to the point of paranoia, its history as well as its present conditions remains shrouded in mystery. What little we do know can be murky at best. The central govern... ... middle of paper ... ...ntal to the disaster. Climate, conflict, isolation, and corruption culminated in millions of lives lost, surely with no small amount of pain and suffering endured. Though international intervention can only help to the degree that authorities in North Korea will allow it, we are not left entirely without recourse. It is too late now to undo the damage of the North Korean famine, and although power has since changed hands, the country remains famously isolated. If, however, we tell the story as best we can, and deny ourselves the comfort of closing our eyes when faced with such a colossal tragedy, then perhaps in the future we find a solution. Silent are the Koreans who perished, and silent still are the authorities that chose seclusion over security. If we wish to prevent this from happening again, we must not let their silence be our silence as well.
Salter, Christopher L., and Charles F. Gritzner. "Introducing North Korea,." North Korea. 2nd ed. New York: Chelsea House, 2007. . Print.
1984 demonstrates a dystopian society in Oceania by presenting a relentless dictator, Big Brother, who uses his power to control the minds of his people and to ensure that his power never exhausts. Aspects of 1984 are evidently established in components of society in North Korea. With both of these society’s under a dictator’s rule, there are many similarities that are distinguished between the two. Orwell’s 1984 becomes parallel to the world of dystopia in North Korea by illustrating a nation that remains isolated under an almighty ruler.
The documentary Crossing the Line, encompasses the life of James Joseph Dresnok, an American who defected to North Korea in 1962 and has made the totalitarian state his home. His dreadful childhood and the hardships he faced in life seem to be the driving factor in his decision to defect to North Korea. Director Daniel Gordon takes a neutral stand on Dresnok’s decision and this enables Dresnok to share his view of North Korea. Although this documentary does not provide a clear cut understanding of the unitary nation, as Dresnok has a very biased view of it, it is enough to conjure up prevalent political themes that are present in this documentary. Totalitarianism and realism, propaganda, and corruption, are significant political themes depicted
Relations between North and South Korea have seen a spectrum of phases. From a once unified kingdom, to being under colonial rule, to the division created after WWII, the Koreas have endured all different types of stresses that have resulted in two very different and often hostile nations toeing the line of war. In this literature review, we will see that scholars have argued about various situations and factors that could result in an unknown future, including one that could potentially lead to nuclear attacks in regards of effectiveness of the Nuclear Non-proliferation Treaty (NPT). We will look at the scholarship regarding the history that has shaped the Asian region, particularly the Korean peninsula, and what is happening now and why. Also, we are going to evaluate whether the NPT is effective or not and what that means for security implications in the Asian region and the world.
方玥雯[Fang Yue Wen] (2009). 北韓核武研發與東北亞安全：2002-2007. [The North Korea’s Nuclear Weapons and the Security in Northeast Asia: 2002-2007] in台灣[Taiwan]: 國立政治大學[National Cheungchi University] Retrieved 18 July, 2013 from http://nccuir.lib.nccu.edu.tw/handle/140.119/37029
Hunger is a problem worldwide. However with a quarter of North Korea’s population (six million people) starving or malnourished, with nearly one million of those cases being children under the age of five years old, the situation is especially dire (Cullinane 3). Throughout history the term “famine” has referred to a shortage of food caused by uncontrollable circumstances. Modern famines are relatively nonexistent because international aid, globalization, and modern domestic responses are all able to provide a safety net for those in need of assistance. In reality, mass-starvations today are caused by government decisions and improper food distribution. The North Korean government controls food delivery through a Public Distribution System (PDS), on which 62 percent of the population is entirely reliant upon for monthly or biweekly rations (Haggard et al. 17). To put this dependency in perspective, by the end of the 1990’s the PDS could barely support six percent of the population (Haggard et al. 28). In the 1990’s those who lived in the Northeastern Hamgyong provinces, a region historically rebellious due to mountain ranges and proximity to China, were cut off from the PDS (Nastios 109). With regime control of food distribution, crea...
Throughout history, tragic events or situation accrue that change the point of view of a country, its culture, and its people. In North Korea’s condition, it is a country regarded in a negative manner by most of the world. Most people view its government as inhuman and reluctant or resistant to change. North Korea is a failing regime and a country with many problems. It has limited natural resources and many of its people live in poverty and are confined from the outside world. In this essay we will briefly review North Korea’s culture, society, geography, climate, past military conflicts, economy, military, and government.
While in power, Kim Jong-il commanded a military-first political order centered on ideological principles such as juche (“self-reliance”) and gangseongdaeguk (“a powerful and prosperous nation”) that produced a heavily propagandized social discourse (Woo 2014, 118). Until his death on December 17, 2011, Kim Jong-il acted on the belief that military rule would produce an egalitarian democratic order for the people of North Korea. However, the fact that North Korean people continue to endure extreme suffering under the current rule of Kim Jong-un provides a case and point for understanding the global consequences of military autocracy disguised as
North Korea has long held one of the worst records of human rights abuses in all the world. Former President George W. Bush famously referred to North Korea as part of the “axis of evil” while former US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice named it an “outpost of tyranny.” Even with investigations carried out by independent journalists and various non-governmental organizations, we know little of the plight of the North Korean people due to the government’s strict control on information that flows in and out of the country. Most information comes by way of North Korean citizens who undertake the treacherous journey to emigrate out of the Hermit Kingdom to safer shores.
“Switzerland is a peaceful, prosperous, and modern market economy with low unemployment [rate], a highly skilled labor force, and a per capita GDP among the highest in the world,” -Forbes. A right-wing economy with a blend of governmental policy is the most evident choice for promoting business. This economy fosters individualism and competition while still having governmental regulations on public safety. The economy and quality of life are inextricably linked: a better economic system equates to a better quality of life.
North Korea is testing bombs to fire at the U.S. They are causing unhealthy environment issues. Further, cell phones cut off communicate and face to face conversation. Finally, teen suicide is a huge issue; Teens are ending their lives because they don't feel accepted.
Throughout the global media North Korea’s isolation and Harsh rule has become increasingly secretive, although some facts have been detected (“North Korea Profile”, 1). According to data collected from The Guardian, eighty-one out of one-hundred people in South Korea have access to the internet, yet in North Korea around .1 out of one-hundred people have access to the internet . Not only is the greater population of North Korea disconnected from outside sources, yet leaders in North Korea are also isolated from outside sources; putting themselves at a disadvantage. North Korea may launch a war, but they are unaware as to what they are up against because of its secrecy . Around one million are serving in the North Korean Army, but when South Korea’s army; combined with the U.S’s army (their ally), the ratio of the North Korean Army is signi...
July 27th, 1953 marked the official separation of Korea into its Northern and Southern parts. Since then, in the past 64 years, a hidden refugee crisis has been on the rise. From the end of the Korean War to now it is estimated that over 300,000 North Koreans have escaped the regime (McKay). None of those who have escaped North Korea have done so with ease nor legality as the politics surrounding this refugee crisis control the area with tight relations between nations and varying interpretations of who and when someone qualifies to be a refugee. From the inside of North Korea to outside of its border in China and beyond, this essay will look at those who choose to leave the regime and the legalities and legitimization of those who do. Through a history of
Four million children and a majority of that population has been taken advantage of and stripped from their chances of living life. Living has its benefits, but it also comes with a set of instructions that corrupt our visions.This vision says humans are considered free as soon as they are born, but living ain't free and at times pain is the check that pays. The North Korean government doesn’t give children the opportunities that we all under the UN are supposed to get. Children being treated like criminals for not even committing any source of crimes. The North Korean officials take children under custody to do labor, while in reality humans should be