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Thursday, June 29, 2006
North Korea
I am in Korea (south) for a couple days this week. I must admit that this place has grown on me a bit. It is SO much better than China, it is close to Japan (flights from Haneda airport), and the workout room at the hotel is nice. I should spend more time here.

I had an interesting dinner conversation last night. This person visited (Korean) visited North Korea for the first time in his life last month. I really do not think that people in the US (I know I didn't) understand the magnitude of what is going on in Korea right now. Firstly, the split between North and South Korea is fundamentally no different than the East/West Germany thing. If anything, the people in North Korea are more oppressed. People in North Korea cannot travel anywhere (even within the country) without government approval. There are no airplanes operating in Korea. The population in North Korea thinks that they live like the rest of the world. They have NO IDEA what goes on outside their borders. They do not know that the 8th largest economy in the world (South Korea) is just next door. Lastly, you cannot take a film camera into North Korea, because the pictures you take cannot be identified. However, you can take a digital camera. They will just erase most of your pictures before you leave.

The North Korean soldiers (according to my dinner companion) are all tiny, primarily because they are being starved/malnourished. There are still South Korean POW's in North Korea from the Korean War(one escaped a few months ago). Note: That was in the 50's folks. It is also believed that there are still American POW's in North Korea.

What a nightmare. Even more amazing is that Seoul (where I was this week) is just 30 miles from the border. All that crap I describe above is a mere 30 miles away...and the people in North Korea have no idea what is happening across the border.

It seems that all of the nuclear threats from Dr. Evil (this one, not this one...although note the similarity in their clothes) overshadows the human tragedy that exists inside that country.

The only hope is that this, like all other things, cannot go on forever. Somewhere, somehow the people in NK will get the message of what the rest of the world is like...which should be the beginning of the end.
posted by Rob @ 6:48 AM  
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