By Austin Anderholt | NORTH KOREA
In 1948, the Korean peninsula was split from one Korean nation, into a capitalist Southern Korea, and a totalitarian Northern Korea. If we look at which Korea has done better since then, South Korea is a clear winner: They have a longer life expectancy, higher GDP per capita, better quality of life, and a higher population. It has a bigger military, is more free, and less corrupt than its northern rival. South Korea wins just about every statistic. North Korea has put Americans into harsh labor camps and comas. It provokes the United States about nuclear war on a daily basis! Many dictatorships have been toppled by the United States, but none of them have taunted them as much as North Korea Does. Even the most brutal dictatorships know that they must tend to the needs of their citizens, or revolution will ensue. North Korea, on the other hand, makes no effort to feed its starving population or help them at all. So how does North Korea stay strong? What has the Kim family done to not have been overthrown?
Right off the bat, let’s address the main way that many dictatorships have fallen: Revolution. The people get sick of a dictator. They aren’t given food, or rights, or something else that they need. They decide to take up arms and revolt! Many rebellions have even been backed by the United States. So why has there been no rebellion in a horrendous failed state such as North Korea? Heck, America hasn’t even attempted to back a North Korean rebellion! Why don’t uprisings ever occur in North Korea? Well, the first thing that their brutal regime does is block all connection to the outside world. They outlaw virtually everything that may give the masses a glimpse of the outside world: Western Fashion, internet connection, private the right to travel are just a few contrabands of the regime. The only media that the North Koreans consume is state-approved propaganda that glorifies their leader. The citizens don’t feel as bad that they are starving when North Korean State News tells them that Americans are forced to eat birds and snow. A brainwashed North Korean is taught in propaganda that, while life may be tough in North Korea, it’s much worse everywhere else. The North Korean government (however meager in its distribution) is the food source of the everyday citizen there. No one would be silly enough to bite the only hand that even rarely feeds them.
In 2011, the world watched as the brutal Libyan dictatorship of Muammar Qaddafi had come to an end. Many leaders and civilians rejoiced as pictures of his bloody corpse surfaced. What was Qaddafi’s mistake? He disarmed himself. In 2003, the Libyan dictatorship had the resources to build a nuclear bomb but stopped their nuclear program short due to exceedingly large manufacturing difficulties. Just 8 years later, his tyranny ended with his bloody body in streets. Do you think this makes the Kim regime more likely to disarm their nuclear program, or less likely? North Korea’s military at a small fraction of the size of America’s military, so the only way to ensure your safety is with the protection of nuclear bombs, which North Korea possesses. If we invaded North Korea, and they fired nuclear weapons at us, we would probably do the same to them. But then what? Would more countries launch a surprise nuclear attack? Would enough weapons be launched to end life on Earth as we know it? How many lives would be taken before the conflict would end? The possibilities are truly endless when one possesses nuclear power.
Every once and a while, we hear on TV “Kim Jong Un has ordered the execution of his Uncle, feeding him live to dogs.” or “Kim Jong Un has murdered his uncle despite keeping a low profile” Why does Kim Jong Un do this? Imagine that you’re playing chess, and your much better opponent is winning by a longshot. He can anticipate your every move. So what do you do? You act irrationally. You place chess pieces in random places that there would be no reason to do. Why? Because your opponent has no idea that you would do that! The chess master that you might be playing against is now no better than you! This is exactly what Kim does. He wants us to think he’s crazy. He doesn’t want us to be able to predict what he does, so every once in awhile, he kills someone randomly. When the west sees this, we ask ourselves, “Why on Earth would he do this?” That is exactly what he is looking for. He is using the element of surprise. He doesn’t want anyone to know what his next move could be. The North Korean autocracy may be disturbingly harsh, but it is absolutely masterful at staying in power.