Escape from North Korean prison camp

[I realize this story is already ancient history (about 4 days old) but I just came across it and have to mention it.]

According to the video only one man is known to have ever escaped a Nork prison camp and made it out of the country, and this is his story.

More about the escapee:

He is a thin, short, shy man, with quick, wary eyes, a baby face, and sinewy arms bowed from childhood labor. There are burn scars on his back and left arm from where he was tortured by fire at age 14, when he was unable to explain why his soon-to-be-hanged mother had tried to escape. The middle finger of his right hand is cut off at the first knuckle, punishment for accidentally dropping a sewing machine in the garment factory at his camp.

And we think we’ve got problems. And yes, I know who has enabled and nurtured this utopia.

The Discussion: 20 Comments

I know who has enabled and nurtured this utopia.

You have to realize Japan and Western powers essentially made parts of Asia desperate for Communist psycho leaders. The people of NK and China didn’t wake up one day and say “Hey, lets embrace uneconomic insanity!” and destroy their countries.

December 16, 2008 @ 9:49 am | Comment

I am sure there is plenty of blame to go around. But most countries in Asia chose not to go the demented route of North Korea. And most countries chose not to nurture and support and fight for such a demented regime. North Korea exists solely because China chose to allow it to exist. (And I know, too, that this can lead to counter-arguments – rational and irrational – that Al Qaida exists only because the US chose to nurture and then abandon its founders. Whether such arguments make sense or not, they don’t lessen China’s role in creating the nightmare of North Korea.)

December 16, 2008 @ 12:21 pm | Comment

yourfriend’s comment is an interesting approach to an old topic. Usually, you see the anti-Westerners blaming “the West” while still revering the CCP leadership cult. Now we have someone who thinks the leaders of the past were failures, but still blames “the West” for bullying China and other Asian countries into choosing crappy despots simply because they were too beleaguered to make a better choices. Bravo! Perhaps a sneak peek of what Chinese nationalism might become sans CCP.

Welcome back Richard!!!

December 16, 2008 @ 8:52 pm | Comment

Good points, Andy! I believe yourfriend is our old friend Ferin. Just a hunch.

December 16, 2008 @ 10:04 pm | Comment

NK leaders and the economic sanctions make NK so miserable IMO. Does it have anything to do with China? Yes China has trades with NK. But it mostly for basic necessities-food and oil, such as humanitarian programs. So what can China do? Invade NK?

December 17, 2008 @ 12:38 am | Comment

Just send again a corp of volunteers ๐Ÿ˜‰

December 17, 2008 @ 4:07 am | Comment

I think a more appropriate word would be: Dystopia

“A dystopian society is one in which the conditions of life are miserable, characterized by human misery, poverty, oppression, violence, disease, and/or pollution.”

I just recently watched a fascinating documentary entitled Inside North Korea (youtube)… And to say the least, it’s the modern version of an horror house in the world, only, it’s no Disney Land, don’t mistake it for it.

And thank god for Hu Jin Tao and Wen Jia Bao, China came very close to this… Praise the lord as we say.

Not much progress on the Obabush term yet… 2009… Will be a great and very educative year. Keep your eyes open or stay tuned as we say…

How are the news headlines doing btw, catching up yet, any updates in this?

Welcome back Richard….

December 17, 2008 @ 4:13 am | Comment

But most countries in Asia chose not to go the demented route of North Korea.

Oh really now? Mongolia, Cambodia, Vietnam, Burma, etc etc aren’t Asian countries now? India was never socialist?

North Korea is the way it is for a lot of reasons, and if you think China “nurtures” NK, it seems like SK/Japan and the US also give food aid and whatnot. The only difference is that one party gets blamed more than another.

Blame China for NK, you blame Russia for China, Germany for Russia, France for Germany and England for France. Those fuckers.

December 17, 2008 @ 5:43 am | Comment

but still blames โ€œthe Westโ€ for bullying China and other Asian countries into choosing crappy despots simply because they were too beleaguered to make a better choices.

Choosing? Choosing? Are you out of your mind? Do you not remember that China had a long and bloody civil war to “decide” this? And who “voted” for Mao Zedong? I like how you spit on China by mocking war with Japan and between the Communists and Nationlists. If there is going to be a “new face of Chinese nationalism” it will be created by the likes of your dumb comment and that of other ignorant American retards.

Blame the West? The West is to blame for a lot of things. The CCP is every bit a creation of “the West” as the DPRK is a creation of the CCP.

So that kinda makes you Kim Jong-il’s granddaddy.

Moral of the story- don’t preemptively derail your own threads by dragging China into it.

December 17, 2008 @ 5:51 am | Comment

@yourfriend — Wait, you mean you can’t just point to one side and say they’re right or wrong? What’s wrong with you?

I like you.

December 17, 2008 @ 6:49 am | Comment

You have to realize Japan and Western powers essentially made parts of Asia desperate for Communist psycho leaders.

I don’t think that was the case with North Korea. Basically the Russians “liberated” the top part of Korea, stuck one of their mates in charge, refused to have the elections they promised and it went from there. It’s not like the North Koreans ever had a choice, even if perhaps many bought the propaganda that marked the first couple of decades after WWII.

December 17, 2008 @ 7:44 am | Comment

Russia is still Western to us ๐Ÿ˜‰ Even though they aren’t in their opinion. Well, sometimes.. they are Western if you’re asking in Moscow on Hitler’s birthday.

Aside from that, Japan’s colonial government left Korea vulnerable. I’d say the Qing Dynasty also bears some responsible for their failures to modernize, but including what you said, that’s about it.

December 17, 2008 @ 8:01 am | Comment

Of Course I Support the North Korean Regime

This post will try to explain why I support the current North Korean regime. Of course, I speak from the interests of China. If I were to speak from the interests of USA, then of course I would not support the regime and this post will end here. But I am speaking from the interests of China, so this post will continue.

First let me define “rational behavior”. Rational Behavior is just Economic Behavior, meaning that a rational person would want to maximize his/her own profits. For example, if I can choose between eating broccoli and pork, I’ll choose pork because I like eating pork, and I would not care if others want the pork too. If someone likes pork too but offers me his pork, I’ll be very suspicious, because he may be asking me for other things later. If he gives me his pork without any condition, then I’ll be even more disturbed, because it means he’s an irrational person. Of course, if you are family or lovers or genuine friends, then that’s ok.

What is North Korea to China? Well N.K. is a “strategic buffer”. Without NK (ie the current regime), American troops would be stationed near China’s border (instead of only at South Korea like today). If American troops are patrolling every day near China’s border, I don’t believe Chinese living at DongDan (a city near the Korean border) will sleep very soundly at night. If a rational person wishes American troops to patrol China’s border, then I can only conclude that he has ill wishes toward China.

Now we know that NK’s regime wants to f**** America. Therefore, they are strategically helpful to us. This involves the question of rational behvaior. To judge whether something is beneficial to me is not dependent on whether I like that thing or not. For example, I hate getting shots, absolutely hate it. But if I’m sick and have the flu, I may have no choice but to get a shot in a hospital. If I refuse to get a shot just because I don’t like it, then I must be suffering from severe mental retardation. Therefore, I support the NK regime.

Sometimes, many people open their mouth and start to criticize the NK leader. I don’t know who the leader have offended. But at least to China, he’s very respectful and offended no Chinese. If he’s respectful to us, should we be respectful to him as well, out of common courtesy? If someone does not like the way NK is doing things domestically and wants to “help” NK change, then I must say he is practicing hegemonism. But China’s constitution is explicitly against hegemonism. If those so-called “democracy elites” insist on changing NK’s structure, then they are practicing hegemonism, and that is against China’s Constitution. But those “democarcy elites” always say the Constitution is very very important, if so, are they not contradicting themselves by disobeying the Constitution? In fact, there are other contradictions wtih democracy elites, but I’m too lazy to point out everything.

So if someone is a bastard, but if he treats me well, then I don’t care if he’s a bastard.

To borrow a famous quote, “He’s a bastard, but he’s our bastard.”

This, I believe, should be China’s attitude toward the North Korea regime.

December 17, 2008 @ 8:37 am | Comment

Glad to see the Peking Duck is back.
Also glad to see Math is still doing his satirical essays.

To borrow a famous quote, โ€œHeโ€™s a bastard, but heโ€™s our bastard.โ€

Maybe you could change that to “our bitch”? Anyway, what “famous” quote is that?

December 17, 2008 @ 4:11 pm | Comment

I’m also glad our most favourite troll is still contributing thoughtful and wise comments.

“Russia is still Western to us.”

Who is us? You and your fellow Americans? I didn’t know Russia is “Western” to Americans. Then again, it certainly is to people in Alaska. Sarah Palin has to look westward to “watch them”.

December 17, 2008 @ 4:15 pm | Comment

If someone likes pork too but offers me his pork, Iโ€™ll be very suspicious, because he may be asking me for other things later. If he gives me his pork without any condition, then Iโ€™ll be even more disturbed

I agree

Who is us?

East Asian people.

December 18, 2008 @ 2:52 am | Comment

East Asian people.

Does that include people from Vladivostok?

December 18, 2008 @ 3:41 pm | Comment

“if someone likes pork too but offers me his pork, Iโ€™ll be very suspicious, because he may be asking me for other things later. If he gives me his pork without any condition, then Iโ€™ll be even more disturbed”

Timeo danaos et dona ferentes.
(I fear the Greeks even if they come with gifts)

December 18, 2008 @ 7:13 pm | Comment

im just a undergraduate and my major is English so i got some information about western. Sure, there are alwayse lots of subreption in western countries. However, seeing is believing. CCP could lead China go through the economic crisis, so why should we doubt CCP? NK is a special one, while there are still other socialists and they do not have this kind problems. China kept NK? But in history, SK separated from NK. The poverty is not made by China. How can you blame all these on China? Ridiculous!

December 21, 2008 @ 10:45 am | Comment

Hi Evie, and thanks for commenting. First, I don’t think anyone would ever blame all the people in China for any of the decisions of China’s government. Second, China did play a major role in allowing North Korea to survive, just as the US helped many awful dictators like Saddam Hussein, the military junta that ruled Guatemala, the shah of Iran, Pinochet of Chile, etc. So China is not the only government that has done this. However, China does seem unique in going far out of its way to support some dictators who have gone above and beyond any of those I mention and consistently blocked votes in the UN Security Council to take action against an increasingly dangerous regime, one that was enslaving its own people. But Yourfriend makes some valid points, mainly that there is a lot of blame to spread around when it comes to aiding despots, and to say China is the only one who does this is hypocritical.

December 21, 2008 @ 11:11 am | Comment

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