Thursday, June 22, 2006

Do they want to leave or is home truly in the heart?

The North Korean people, I have found, from the videos we have watched and through our readings, are somehow, for the lack of a better word "content" with their lives. To us, the WEST, it is shocking to admit this. For the way most North Koreans live, brings no guarenteed heat, food, or even electricity. Going one step further the class system that is irreversable except for a downward demotion, would be worse enough for me to leave my nation. Yet, the North Koreans have simply lived with this all their lives. Any attempt to recruit spies to inflitrate their system and overthrow their governemnt has proven difficult due to the stubborn nature of the North Korean people who are trained to be suspicious of the west, and seek to take care of any problem domesticly, without interational intervention. Essentially, they are a proud people and choosing to flee as a refugee because you disagree with a decision by the Kims or are un satisfied by the current status quo, it seems, in a cut and run mentality, would admit that the West is right, and that Korean Communism is wrong. In admiting this you are admiting that a purly Korean take on communism, will never work. In doing this, you pin your nation back to square one, enslaved and ruled by a foreign peoples ideals and cultural practices.
Finnaly as heard in class on thursday, many refugees in South Korea soon discover, that "we dont like being in the South, lets try somthing else". Perhaps it is the North that they really long for but with a better social standing. Who knows, but one thing is for certian, if given a chance to start anew, North Korea is always their home.


kat said...

Don't forget that the video we saw in class was monitored by the DPRK, so it's not going to show the "real" North Korea, with the famine, suffering, and starvation of the working classes.

Most of them have no choice but to be 'content' with their situation. They cannot leave - if they flee and are captured by the Chinese they will be returned and sent to labor camps where they will be tortured, starved, and executed.

In the book I read there were alot of interviews with refugees who escaped to China or the south. All of them were happy to be safe and free. Of course they miss their country but not the regime that is the cause of the suffering.

Remember in the Frontline video how excited the North Korean refugees were when they reached the Spanish embassy? I think that demonstrates what the people really feel about their government.

tkpark said...

Yes, I would have to agree with that. Also, as the article about the Crash Course was saying: "When they arrive here," said the center's director general, Lee Choong Won, "they realize they've been living like frogs in a well."
However, I believe that they are like frogs in a well, but they are also brainwashed since childhood (as was seen in the video).
Moreover, as the book Aquariums of Pyongyang notes, the North Korean defector said that more and more people in the North were listening to the radio and getting a hint of what was to live outside North Korea.
But for those unfortunate ones who still live in a well, they have to be satisfied because they have no idea of how it is to live outside the Socialist Paradise...