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Politics & Current Events Discussion on political views, the war and world events here. Strictly moderated forum, so use your better judgement when posting.

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Unread 05-25-2012, 11:55 PM   #1
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North Korea Horribleness

Report: N. Korean officials executed in staged traffic accidents | The Lookout - Yahoo! News

The article:
A new Amnesty International report paints a gruesome picture of summary executions, torture and ill-treatment in North Korea as Kim Jong Un succeeded his late father, Kim Jong Il, as the country's ruler last December. The country used firing squads or staged traffic accidents to execute 30 officials involved in talks to unite North and South Korea, according to the 2012 Amnesty International report released Thursday. It also notes that the country had been questioned about another 37 reported executions between 2007 and 2010 for "financial crimes."
As the ruling authority shifted to Kim Jong Un, the country's State Security agency detained another 200 North Korean officials, some of whom are now feared executed or in prison camps, the report notes.
Credible reports estimated that up to 200,000 prisoners were held in horrific conditions in six sprawling political prison camps, including the notorious Yodok facility. Thousands were imprisoned in at least 180 other detention facilities. Most were imprisoned without trial or following grossly unfair trials and on the basis of forced confessions.
Men, women and children, who were kept in the prison camps, were tortured and forced to work in dangerous conditions, according to the report. Many of the prisoners die or get sick while in custody due to the horrendous conditions, beatings, lack of medical care and unhealthy living conditions.
Meantime, the North Korean government denies the existence of the political prison camps.
[Related: North Koreans in rice belt starving to death]
Amnesty International also reports that hunger is widespread in the country, as 6 million urgently need food and the country is unable to feed its people. The country earlier this year reportedly requested its embassies to appeal for international aid. While the the European Commission has helped, the United States has not provided aid to North Korea, "reflecting concerns over the monitoring of its distribution," according to the report.
[Related: Gov't moving ahead with reactor plans]
North Koreans do not have freedom of speech, and criticism of the government and its leaders is forbidden. Few people have access to the Internet, and there are tight controls on mobile phones and phone connections, according to the report. Citizens' movement inside and out of the country are tightly monitored. People who escape to China are often returned to North Korea, where they are often detained and beaten by the government.












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Unread 05-26-2012, 01:36 AM   #2
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That fat little .... Kim Jong Un needs to be taken out back and beat to death by all the people he is supposed to help out as their leader. If all government authorities in N. Korea suddenly disappeared I don't think a sole would give two shits.
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Unread 05-26-2012, 02:26 AM   #3
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Not sure how anyone can handle this. It would take the United Nations and many not with the UN to agree on a very direct threat for them to quit the shit they've done/intend to do/are doing. I suspect that he is being harsher both because he is still in the early transition phase and fears opposition and is also born into a position of power which based on those I know means he has a skewed view of the world/environment and is also pampered. (try talking to someone born into wealth and I usually have to stop the conversation, they are arrogant and in some, not all cases, rude. I suspect a similar effect here to an obvious extreme.) If this is accurate I'm curious what the reaction will be since WWII got no reaction until the invasions started, while everything was contained within the borders not much weight was being thrown around. (from my limited knowledge of WWII history )

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Unread 05-26-2012, 02:38 AM   #4
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The UN rarely do anything useful until after the fact so wouldnt look to them. I am secretly hoping the US and South Korea will get sick of them and invade. Shame there is no oil there.

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Unread 05-26-2012, 09:34 AM   #5
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The UN rarely do anything useful until after the fact so wouldnt look to them. I am secretly hoping the US and South Korea will get sick of them and invade.

...because that worked out so well last time?
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Unread 05-26-2012, 11:03 AM   #6
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Foreign interventions in other countries do have an astonishing track-record...




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Unread 05-26-2012, 11:23 AM   #7
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^for financially ruining countries that attempt them as well as those that are already impoverished?
Yes. Yes they do.

I don't like the situation at all either, but it's not the US's job to nanny the world. If it looks like WWIII is on the horizon, I'd expect us to make an attempt to stop it through diplomacy, but until our own borders/allies are threatened/attacked, it's not our place to dictate the policies of sovereign nations, no matter how much we might detest them. Decry and condemn them, sure. But that's the furthest we can go. And with Iran and N.K. developing weaponized uranium along with the means to launch it, invasion is kind of a dumb tactic anyways. What would keep them from just launching that shit at either us or South Korea? The latter are a more likely target since they are closer and less of a threat than the US, plus N.K. and S.K. are still technically at war.
If anything happens to them though, you can bet we'll be dragged into another McShitfight.
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Unread 05-26-2012, 11:42 AM   #8
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...because that worked out so well last 2 times?
Fixed

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Unread 05-26-2012, 01:58 PM   #9
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I'm sure almost every single nation would back anyone doing something against NK.

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Unread 05-26-2012, 01:59 PM   #10
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I'm sure almost every single nation would back anyone doing something against NK.
Not Cuba or China, and therefore any nation that deems it appropriate to not mess with China. I doubt that Venezuela would do anything either...




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Unread 05-26-2012, 07:16 PM   #11
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As much as I think North Korea needs a thorough sorting out, I wonder if all the bloodshed that would come from such a thing would make it worthwhile? I think this is an issue best left for the East to deal with, and backup given if they decide to take any drastic actions.
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Unread 05-26-2012, 10:21 PM   #12
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And that is the crutch of my 'secret' wish. Any action taken against them would be condemned by China (and Russia might chime in) and it would be 1950 all over.

In terms of diplomacy though, one wonders who would be the best country to be carrying it out? The N. Korean rulers are portrayed as capricious suzerains who have falling outs with everyone they can. Clearly China have some pull with them but even they got snapped at two years ago, and what with the fisherman being held for ransom a couple of weeks ago (which was really quite sad) even this relationship looks like it is heading for a little tiff.

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Unread 05-27-2012, 12:24 AM   #13
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China won't allow us to get involved simply for proximity reasons alone. I'm sure they wouldn't like a military that close to them even if they were on the same page.
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Unread 05-29-2012, 01:17 AM   #14
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It may be because I have no personal experience with the culture of that part of the world, but if I was SK I don't think joining up with NK would be on my to-do list.
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Unread 05-31-2012, 09:19 PM   #15
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Quote:
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...because that worked out so well last time?
If you mean the Korean War, it did work out well to some degree. The North invaded the South and took pretty much all of the Peninsula, apart from Busan and its surrounding areas in the southeast, and those likely would have fallen to the North too, had the US not come in at that point. With the help of the US, the South was able to push back and regain a large amount of their territory. Did they win the entire peninsula? No, so in that sense it wasn't a complete success. However, South Korea is more than just Busan today, so it wasn't the failure everyone seems to remember it as. Hell, it would've been more successful if not for the same primary reason the world isn't really doing anything about NK now: They didn't want to poke the hornets nest that was China. I've talked to a few older men here who have told me how greatful they are that the US came and helped when they did.

If you meant Vietnam or Iraq, though... I'll uh... erm... leave those alone .

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Unread 06-05-2012, 02:29 PM   #16
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If you haven't checked out the Vice doc where they went to the North Korean labor camps in Siberia you probably should. You'll see first hand why that entire region won't get involved. If what they say on the doc is true, most desk wood on earth comes from these forests and labor camps.
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Unread 06-05-2012, 02:41 PM   #17
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This has all been going on for ages. Those camps didn't appear overnight. There's a few incredibly depressing documentaries on Netflix Instant alone, highlighting how awful the situation is, there. Their blindness rate is off the charts due to how malnourished the people are..

Meanwhile, we don't hear about this in American News Media because we're too busy trying to make health care look like a crime against humanity.

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Unread 06-11-2012, 01:38 AM   #18
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So I was asked what the hell I was thinking when I said that the US should stop nannying the world. Okay, I'll bite.

Simply put, imperialism has no place in the 21st century. We cannot impose our beliefs on a sovereign nation, no matter how morally correct those beliefs may be. We end up on a slippery slope where we just start invading countries just for the hell of it under the guise of "liberating" it's citizens. (have people forgotten Iraq already!?)
Consider Iraq. We see a dictator treating it's citizens in a way we deem unfit, so we start false rumors about wmds. (I watched it live.on CNN as Colin Powell made the case to the UN and at the time, he made a convincimg case)
Now after 10 years of fighting, just how "free" are the people of Iraq? They are evem more impoverished than before the war, and there are even more religious factions killing off it's own citizens. Life is even worse than when we started. I feel that any US intervention in NK will yield the same results. There's also the nuclear aspect to think of. We have a merciless dictator who actually HAS an active nuke program. Any intervention could set off a nuke war, and then how do you think those citizens would feel as they are either incinerated or melted by radiation as the country is turned into a goddamn parking lot of blackened glass?
I'm not a fan of the 'head in the sand' approach, but the consequences are pretty damn grim. Then of course, I think of the American people. We just cannot afford another war. We're barely floating above the water ourselves and one more war could be enough to drive the economy to total insolvency. Another consideration there is that China and Mexico own most of our debt. China will back NK against us. China is one of those countries you just don't .... with, least of all since financially speaking, they own a good chunk of the US.

NK has us by the balls on this one and they know it. If there's gonna be change, it HAS to be from NK's citizens overthrowing the government. The middle east was able to do it, and I fail to see why it can't happen in Asia...
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Unread 06-11-2012, 01:47 AM   #19
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^ because their culture is totally different
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Unread 06-11-2012, 03:25 AM   #20
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^ because their culture is totally different
How so? This intrigues me. Are they just raised to be more trusting of authorities or is it something else?
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Unread 06-11-2012, 08:54 AM   #21
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Well in NK they are a lot better at excluding outside information and squashing political dissonance. Like China except to the Nth degree so it isn't that they are raised to respect authority it is that they are raised not knowing anything other than what they know and the moment they start thinking something different someone makes them stop if it is public.

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Unread 06-11-2012, 09:42 AM   #22
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How so? This intrigues me. Are they just raised to be more trusting of authorities or is it something else?
As reported, the camps exist primarily to quell resistance. Those who try to resist usually fail, and those who remain likely feel too weak and/or are completely indoctrinated by the propaganda they've spent their entire lives living under.

Just like there's a huge swath of America who believes we're #1 in everything because that's what we're taught growing up, there's a huge swath of North Korea who believes everything The Great Leader and his cronies tell them, despite any evidence to the contrary.

*edit*

I highly recommend this doc, which had an unprecedented level of access:
http://movies.netflix.com/WiMovie/Na...?trkid=2361637

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Unread 06-11-2012, 11:56 AM   #23
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Fair enough signalgrey, and I figure you'd understand the situation better than most here. I didn't expect a sudden great awakening or anything like that, but I was pointing out that north koreans are more likely to institute change than the US. I also feel that people are horrifically blind to history, even recent history, and want to charge headfirst into making the same mistake all over again. If anyone can show me a military operation/plan that costs nothing, will be done within less than a week , will have less than 1% losses with zero civilian casualties, and will bring about a permanent positive change in the treatment of NK's citizens; Ill consider showing support. Beyond that, the ball is in the citizen's court. I will say that we can give indirect aid to them though. If a lack of info is the problem, the I say we pump some into the country. Let them decide for themselves what they wanna do.
Even then though, it would take quite a bit of time for something to happen. Sorry to say that the best course of action to take in this situation is the one we've been taking; nothing. I hate it as much as anybody else because nobody should have to suffer like that, but we have no positive recourse.


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Unread 06-11-2012, 01:19 PM   #24
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I read somewhere that the way to deal with NK is to stop listening to their empty threats and send no more aids. They will not have the guts to fire any WMDs anyway because that'd guarantee total defeat for the regime. Their Potential Nuke cards are the only way for them to stay relevant and feared.

I studied briefly about international relations in college a few years ago and here 's my very broad summary: China as a sole Communist superpower have an incentive to let NK stay because it acts as a buffer zone to Japan and SK, both die-hard US allies. Meanwhile SK would not really benefit from reunification because sudden injection of 20 million hungry/backward people would collapse the economy. As it is, NK is destined to be left to rot.

Which brings us to the question of the degree to which we help the unfortunate. Syrian Rebels have been begging for ANYONE to intervene and topple Assad's regime. As you all know It's incredibly difficult to decide whether to set sail to "liberate them". I'm not even assuming that the US invades others primarily for national interests (USA and the world does benefit from a more stable region), but just talking about moral obligation is already a very big question.

Hey, I'm glad that there are so many Americans who oppose careless use of force. As a Thai, I witness significant public disdain for the US foreign policy even though my country is a long time US ally. Recent news of a deal letting the American Navy to use our deep water port as a base of operation (presumably countering Chinese power projection) sparks loads of "Them American Imperialists" complaints. But I'm sure there are better reasons why they did what they did.

Try reading this somewhat relevant article to see why the US became the world sheriff; You don't have to agree with the author but it's better than the usual hate speech.
Power and Weakness | Hoover Institution

I'm no expert in this matter, and sorry if I sound a bit fragmented, it's midnight over here.
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Unread 06-11-2012, 06:34 PM   #25
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Originally Posted by Loomer View Post
How so? This intrigues me. Are they just raised to be more trusting of authorities or is it something else?
If it's anything like South Korea up there, then yes, they pretty much are. Even their language has a pretty rigid built-in deference for authority. In every day life, you have to know things like how much older a person is or what societal/occupation position he holds compared to yours so you know what verb conjugation to use, let alone what to say and how to interact with him. There's just an ingrained deference to authority, and it tends to be followed without question.

A quick (if a bit silly) example is how the Korean teacherse I work with interact with the principal. If the principal asks them to do something that teachers in, say, America would literally laugh in his face about, like "everyone go outside to pull weeds around the playground," they just go do it. There's no "that isn't part of my job description," or "I have important school related tasks I need to complele," it's just "Okay." They might grumble about it under their breaths when he isn't around, but they wouldn't dare say anything to him about it, let alone defy him. Hell, the only reason I was playing the game of volleyball that lead to my knee injury was because the principal here requires ALL teachers and staff to play volleyball once a week.

This isn't to say there aren't protests or anything here in Korea. There are, and they're often very fervent, but as far as I know, they tend far more often towards the nonviolent side of the coin.

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