Friday, June 03, 2005

Are the "little things in life" improving for N. Koreans?

Recently, a Chinese journalist (who wishes to remain anonymous) returned from a trip to North Korea and reported his/her observations in a Christian Science Monitor Article. Despite the fact that millions are starving due to a food crisis, the reporter stated that the economic reforms and increased trade, over the past couple of years, have definately changed North Korean society and that the "little things in life" seemed better. Examples cited were increased vendors on the streets, more stylish clothes imported from China, new colorful double-decker buses, more consumerism, more privatley owned cars. The little things may be improving, but the food crisis and other human rights violations seem to overshadow this type of progress. Are people's lives really improving and are things becoming more tolerable? As the article states, it is hard to tell since North Korea is so isolated. However, it seems to me that if there are massive amounts of people being sent to the countryside to combat a serious food shortage, life for a lot of North Koreans is still pretty bad.

1 comment:

simsima325 said...

All of these improvements may be helping the 3 Million living in Pyongyang, but the starvation problem faces the millions who dont live in the major cities of North Korea. It seems like a small improvement that appears (to me) to be trivial when compared to the larger problems that get next to no attention.