A community organized for slavery, want, and death 1

We strongly recommend a book on life in North Korea: Nothing to Envy by Barbara Demick .

Her highly credible account shows that most of the population goes hungry most of the time.

Here is a quotation, describing, as a common event, the death of a prisoner who has been worked and slowly starved to death. Prisoners are needed to work as slaves in the mines and other industries, so people are arrested on flimsy excuses:

[The prisoners were] mostly “economic criminals” who’d gotten in trouble at the border or the market. The actual thieves among them had stolen nothing more than food. One of them was a forty-year old rancher who had worked on a collective farm raising cattle. His crime was that he had failed to report the birth of a dead calf, instead taking the stillborn home to feed his wife and two young children. By the time Hyuck [who relates this story to the author] met him, he had served five years of a ten-year term. … The rancher was gentle and soft-spoken, but one of the senior guards took a strong dislike to him. His wife and children came twice to visit, but were not allowed in to see him or to send gifts of food, privileges allowed some of the more favored prisoners.

The rancher died of starvation. It happened quietly; he went to sleep and didn’t wake up. It was a common occurrence that somebody would die in the night. Often it was obvious in the close sleeping-quarters, because the dying man would evacuate his bladder and tiny bubbles would appear on his lips as fluid seeped out of the body.

As in all collectivist systems, the community of North Korea is organized for slavery, want, and death.

  • Johnny Bravo

    Ah, yes, one more account. Given your topic title, I was particularly wary, under the previous South Korean Roh administration, of the joint appeasement venture of South Korean chaebols about into Kaesong, North Korea….. I think the SK conglomerates paid the workers something like 48 dollars a month (with who knows how much skimmed off by the lucrative dear leader…). Strange mix of appeasement and greed in labor-racked South Korea. Hmmm….. Thanks!