((North Korea ask blog.))
Have you read escape from camp 14?
((Yes I have! ( I realized I forgot to put it on my recommended reading list, oops) It was quite hard to read honestly. There’s a lot of things in there that you don’t really want to believe are true, not just regarding the camps, but what refugees have to go through once they reach South Korea. Apparently their unemployment rate is like four times the national average because hiring defectors is seen as risky in South Korea, half of them who restart schooling drop out, the suicide rate among them is really high (forget the exact statistic on it though), and they are often targeted by scammers who trick them out of their $20,000 settlement pension from the South Korean government and leave them high and dry. It’s really terrible.))
((I haven’t! My local library doesn’t have it and I couldn’t find any more NK books at the bookstore when I checked (but I’ve seen them carrying that one in the past). But I’m currently reading Kim Jong Il’s North Korea and this other book on the Korean war.))
How can you expect me to sleep with that racket going on across the border?
((In the past, the US and South Korea have blasted things like Yankee Doodle and K-pop across the border, so it wouldn’t surprise me if North can hear some stuff today especially.))
I’m already training to be stronger than America, so there’s no way he’ll get stronger than me.
Nothing to Envy — Barbara Demick
This book is a compilation of North Korean defectors’ accounts of their lives and escapes from North Korea. Really nice if you’re interested in the day-to-day life of North Koreans, and lots of cultural tidbits. It’s definitely a nice change from all the nuclear talk (it’s rarely mentioned in this), and shows the more human side of the country.
Only Beautiful Please: A British Diplomat in North Korea — John Everard
This one is full of the personal experiences and observations of a British Diplomat who spent several years living in Pyongyang, North Korea. This thing is absolutely FULL of cultural stuff that I never would have known otherwise. Of course, it’s the account of one guy who only really interacted with mid-level officials, but it’s still a great view into the lives of North Koreans nonetheless. There’s also a pretty long section on North Korea’s history and how that’s affected how it is modern day. Really useful.
Eating with the Enemy: How I Waged Peace with North Korea from my BBQ Shack in Hackensack — Robert Egan
If that title doesn’t have you interested, I don’t know what to tell you. Personally, this is my all time favorite book, ever. It covers the experience of author Bobby Egan, a restaurant owner from New Jersey, who takes it upon himself to befriend the North Koreans at their UN mission in New York. This book is full of funny recollections and some pretty hard political topics that an ordinary American tries to answer. You’ll laugh, you’ll get mad, and you’ll probably cry. Definitely a heartfelt story about how human interaction changes everything. 10/10, would recommend.
The Secrets of Inchon: The Untold Story of the Most Daring Covert Mission of the Korean War — Eugene Franklin Clark
If you were ever interested in how the Incheon invasion came about, this is the book for you. It’s a first hand account of how everything went, from the planning to the invasion itself, all from the UN/ROK point of view. I personally found it a little tedious to read, but that’s because it covers literally EVERYTHING, including downtime in HQ
The Orphan Master’s Son — Adam Johnson
This one’s fiction, but it’s still North Korea related and impressively well researched, so here it is. I don’t really know how to describe this one without giving too much away, to be honest, because it’s a rather complex story. Sort of like a North Korean James Bond story, I guess. It won the Pulitzer Prize though, so you know it’s gotta be good and I encourage you to check it out for yourself!
muse would just deny camp 14 exists but
Yes, mun read Escape From Camp 14 last summer! I actually have a whole North Korea reading list if anyone wants it. And suggestions on what to read next are welcome! C:))
It was just like it was for everyone else. Terrible.
Pablo Picasso - Massacre in Korea
“In 2008 the South Korean Truth and Reconciliation commission found 1,222 instances of mass killings, with at least 215 of these involving U.S. troops or airplanes massacring unarmed civilians. At Cheongwon in central Korea, up to 7,000 people were slaughtered.”
The U.S. committed an uncountable amount of acts designated as “war crimes”, including widespread use of chemical and biological weapons such as the plague, and intentionally destroying hydroelectric dams that provided drinking water for 75% of the population. In total around 5 million Koreans lost their lives.
Remember No Gun Ri, Jeju, Yeosun, and the countless other instances of mass extermination by the U.S.
Reblogging this because most of my followers probably don’t know about this and this is important regardless of whether or not you’re Korean. SERIOUSLY, READ THIS. This is important if you’re an American (well, in my opinion, it’s important even if you’re not) and if you want to better understand why, aside from the obvious, the U.S. and North Korea don’t get along and why the DPRK hates the U.S so much.
I’m going to condense this into bullets and put the main points in bold because I know that if this is super long, you guys are definitely going all TL;DR and scroll past this post. Anyway, if you have any questions, feel free to ask and I’ll try to answer to the best of my limited knowledge:
- The U.S., not Korea, was completely responsible for splitting Korea into two, which everyone in Korea wanted to avoid. This happened in 1945 at the end of WWII with the surrender of Japan (not with the 1953 Korean War armistice which basically just reaffirmed things that were already in place).
- Yes, armistice, not treaty. Even though it’s been 63 years since the start of the war (and 60 since the armistice), the war has never officially ended. The two Koreas are technically still at war. This explains the South’s mandatory military service required of all their male citizens and why, if the North declares war, it’s a continuation of an existing war rather than a completely new one.
- The U.S. is also partially at fault for the Korean War happening. After WWII, they put those who were in power during colonial rule back into influential positions in the South, pissing off a lot of people in the North for a lot of reasons, namely that many of these people were Japanese sympathizers or collaborators. Basically, they put the old Japanese machinery back into place and if you know anything of the Japanese occupation of Korea, you’ll know why they were angry. It’s also why the North didn’t see the South’s government as legitimate. Yeah, somehow the U.S. thought it was a great idea to put people who supported their enemies during the war in power again.
- The American strategy during the Korean War was to wipe out all life in tactical locality. They carpet-bombed the North with bombs and napalm with next to no concern for civilian casualties.
- According to U.S. Air Force estimates, “the scale of urban destruction quite exceeded that in Germany and Japan.” Yes, you read correctly. Feel free to go “WTH?” especially considering how tiny North Korea is (46,541 sq. miles). It’s about the same size as Pennsylvania (46,055 sq. miles). Compare that to Germany (137,800 sq. miles) and Japan (145,925 sq. miles).
- More bombs were dropped in Korea by the U.S. than had been dropped in the entire Pacific theater in World War II. Also a huge WTH if you guys know how bad the war was in the Pacific.
- By 1953, at least 50% of 18 out of North Korea’s 22 major cities were obliterated.
- Nearly 10% of the Korean population died during the war, the majority from the North.
- The aerial bombardment of North Korea inflicted the greatest loss of civilian life in the Korean War by far.
So basically, the U.S. never talks about this. I never learned ANY of this growing up. All I learned from high school was that the North started the Korean War (only partially true; they did invade, but things had been going on before 1950 due to American actions and conflicts originating from the colonial era) and that the U.S. and South Korea (democracy! Good!) went against North Korea and China (Communism! Bad!). I was shocked when I learned all this last semester and basically, it makes it a lot easier to understand the deep seated hatred North Korea holds towards the United States today. I’m not saying the North wasn’t aggressive during the war; they were as were the South, but it’s kind of strange how while it was the U.S. that wreaked the most devastation during the war, the North is seen as the ultimate aggressor.
Like do you guys understand? The U.S. committed war crimes and NO ONE TALKS ABOUT THIS AND THIS IS SO IMPORTANT IN UNDERSTANDING WHY NORTH KOREA ACTS THE WAY IT DOES RIGHT NOW (not including the events that happen from 1953 and on with the collapse of the USSR, the 1990s famine, and basically just how the U.S. dealt and interacted with the DPRK in the second half of the 20th century).
Anyway, sorry this is disgustingly long, but I just think it’s really important for people to learn and know. :/
Thank you for adding that information. This information should be required reading for all humans.
that explains why North Korea acts so erratically to our eyes…