The Funny Thing About North Korea…

…is that there is really nothing funny about North Korea.

Dear ReaderI used to think there was, but earlier this summer I read this book, Dear Reader: The Unauthorized Autobiography of Kim Jong Il, and it changed my perspective.

They are not funny, they are brutal and ruthless. If I bought into the “we need to protect them” narrative that is often used to justify foreign intervention (I don’t, but if I did) North Korea would be first on the list.

The people of the PDRK have been systematically repressed for decades. Even if we were to somehow liberate them today if would generations before they could recover. The ruling family is not crazy, there is a logic and rational to everything that is done. It is evil, pure and simple.

Read the book, it is like reading a slow train wreck, too horrifying to continue reading, too fascinating to stop.

2 thoughts on “The Funny Thing About North Korea…

  1. Ed – I, too, recently read up on N. Korea and experienced something like morbid fascination with this country. I feel awful for these people but also experience the power of gratitude for what I have. All my blessing result entirely from circumstances beyond my control. Among other things, my best worrying had no impact on the country in which I was born.

    Escape from Camp 14 by Blaine Harden details the life of the only escapee from a N. Korean gulag known to have been born and raised in the camp. I also read Nothing to Envy by Barbara Demick. Each book details the lives of fear experienced by everyone in the country, including, presumably, the Dear Leader himself who surely spends every day of his life looking over his shoulder.

    Always a glutton for punishment, I am now reading Full Force and Effect, a fictional book about N. Korea espionage. Although a breeze by comparison, it still serves to remind me that I am much better off when I spend more time thinking about what I have than thinking about what I want.

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