Wednesday, July 22, 2009

The Dear Leader

I had an interesting meeting with an expert on North Korea. North Korea doesn't publish any economic data although the Bank of South Korea publishes estimates and it reckons that the GDP per capita is 15 times lower than that of the South. North Korea needs 5.2m tonnes of grain to feed its population and last year the harvest was good and it produced 4.5m t. 75% of family income comes from black market activities and there is a great deal of smuggling over the border with China, particularly in mobile phones, video recorders and tapes and dvd players and dvds. The people love watching South Korean films.

Most of the 24m population is completely ignorant about what is happening outside North Korea. The regime is hyper-Stalinist. To leave the country is very difficult and requires permission from the police.

The fact that some information has leaked into North Korea about elsewhere, particularly South Korea, has led to a marked change in government propaganda. South Korea is no longer described as a "poor, starving American colony." The word "poor" has been removed and it is now described as a spiritually impure place, polluted by alien races, a place where the Korean essence has been compromised.

Of course, the most worrying fact is that the Dear Leader, Kim Jong Il is very sick and then who will control its nuclear weapons?


Blogger Ellee Seymour said...

A friend of mine went to an IT meeting there, they are certainly very hot on computer technology.

11:34 am  
Blogger Angus said...

In his new book the Emeritus Professor of Politics at Oxford, Archie Brown, quotes the N.Korean constitution on Kim Il-Sung :
'superior to Christ in love,superior to Buddha in benevolence,superior to Confucius in virtue and superior to Mohammed in justice'. Clearly superior to everyone in modesty!

5:12 pm  
Blogger Welshcakes Limoncello said...

Nice regime!

11:33 pm  
Blogger Winchester whisperer said...

May I ask which company your friend works for, Ellee?

Brilliant, Angus - that sums him up!

Yes WL - like a villain in a Bond film.

7:50 am  

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