GraveTalk 18: North Korea

YES YOU READ THAT RIGHT!

Now I know what you’re thinking and yes I am mad, but I feel I need to right about the DPRK and compare with the rest of the world. Not that I condone or support North Korea’s actions but rather to see how they truly compare to other countries. Again, I know it’s North Korea and Kim Jong-Un (We will refer to him from now on as chubby little Chinaman with bad haircut. [Yes I know he’s Korean an that comes across as racist but that’s the joke! Live a little!].

For this GraveTalk I will be putting my big-boy pants on and actually try to put together a professional, serious article – no jokes. This may be quite sensitive to some people, but I feel the need to talk about the DPRK from a different perspective.

Okay let’s begin. Let’s get the elephant out the way first. North Korea detain and imprison (And possibly murder) foreign tourists. Thousands visit North Korea every year – how many people get detained and sent to prison? Probably not many, if you go by this Wikipedia page. [Look I’m actually using and sharing my sources like a professional… sorry, no more trying to be funny – promise!]

WARNING SENSITIVE MATERIAL AHEAD

If you do go by this Wikipedia (Wikipedia’s not exactly the most reliable source) they seem to have all committed a crime – Yes even that Otto guy (Pause for the moans, groans and complaints… ready? Let’s continue) who tried to steal a poster. Now you can say it’s not him, the video’s not clear enough. Well you have only seen a video of him taking the poster down not entering or leaving. What did he do afterwards? To be fair he did look like he was up to something, going by his smug, ‘arrogant’ US appearance. Look we don’t know what happened and we never will. People can speculate and make assumptions as to how he died – For all you know he could have fell into a coma on the flight back home? – There’s a lot less oxygen available when flying. The governments of North Korea and the USA as well as Otto Warmbier (I prefer cold beer, but each to their own). only know what happened and Warmbier is dead.

You can argue he was targeted just because he is, er, was American or that the CCTV was not clear enough but when his (Scouse) tour mate said to him “That’s he last we’ll see of you” (I can believe that because that is what any Scouser would say, so browny points to him) – That’s if he did say that – apparently Warmbier just laughed, what? If I had officials leading me away at an airport I would not be laughing at some joke, in any country much less North Korea? It’s a serious situation and he obviously wasn’t taking it seriously or he knew what he had done. Who knows? Those news reports could have been made just to make North Korea the bad guys? You can say learn the facts, but the facts are only North Korea, the US and Otto himself know ‘THE FACTS’ – So fact off!

WARNING SENSITIVE MATERIAL GONE

At the end of the day you go to foreign country YOU MUST respect their laws, rules and culture. You are just the visitor and don’t think because you are a ‘UK’ ‘US’ citizen you are exempt from other countries laws. If you act accordingly you will be fine, but if you want to be a dickhead then you will be punished.

The DPRK aren’t the only country to imprison (or kill) foreign nationals – Just look at the US, other Asian countries and the Middle East – in particular the Arabian peninsular.

There are plenty of countries who cover up murders. Countries who spy on citizens. Country’s like India have their own nuclear weapons but they don’t have any UN sanctions against them and locals live in polluted cities, bad water pollution and what about the crime rate in India? They receive billions in foreign aid, but their citizens still live in poor conditions. the nuclear weapons are there just to defend themselves from an invasion from other nations, i.e. the US.

The US dismissed the DPRK’s claims about the US pushing the Korean peninsular to a nuclear war; when they had three aircraft carriers sail close to the region in 2017. Why would they do that? Was it just a routine military exercise? Probably just the US trying to increase tensions and goad the North Koreans to take action. If they really wanted a war wouldn’t they have took action by now? The US won’t because they don’t want to be ’embarrassed’ again! I would say it’s another cold war but North Korea just want to get on and hope to unite both countries again (But the US are the biggest problem regarding this!).

Think about it. Pyongyang, like Berlin, was pretty much flattened and yet, again like Berlin, they have rebuilt it and turned it into a modern, clean city to envy most developed nations – yes there are power cuts, but maybe that’s deliberate to save on power? Maybe developed countries should do the same. Why have all these bright lights on in the early hours when hardly anyone is around? That’s just wasting electricity and increasing pollution.

The DPRK only receive help from China and Russia – two of the three countries it borders. They trade with a handful of countries only because it would be quite impossible for them to be truly self-sufficient. Is that a bad thing? Why can’t just get on with their own thing?  At least you know where you stand with them, unlike other places.

In North Korea, the government give everyone a free home (including those in the countryside), free electricity and water (The water quality may be poor, but so is water in Mexico, India, parts of the US and others – even parts of the UK, even! Check out this video about Jaywick near Clackton-on-Sea) and they pay no taxes. The government try and give their citizens a good life. You say they live in poor conditions, but Pyongyang is a clean city – Is it all just put on, ‘staged’? So people are only allowed out for tourists? If you believe that good for you, we’ll put you in the ‘big boy seat’ – Of course the people of Pyongyang aren’t staging their lives.

When you go into the countryside and you don’t see concrete buildings, you think that’s the real Korea? No it’s just like the UK. You go out of the city and into the countryside you see farmland. That is what the countryside is. Farmland, green fields not built-up areas. Yes the UK is more developed with more built-up areas but seeing the North Korean countryside isn’t that strange. You just want it to be, because you hear North Korea is bad and people live in poor conditions. Jesus Christ, they had a famine in the 90’s and people still think the country is still like that. Country’s go through hard-times. Africa has countries with starving citizens and some of their countries are far less developed, but North Korea continues to get this bad reputation.

Countries around the world have had famines but no one still says they are starving and suffering – Ireland excepted!

North Korea is a lot more free than people may think. Don’t listen to US ‘Propaganda’. North Koreans, unlike Americans, can actually cross the road without ‘a green light’ and not get arrested (They really do need to scrap the jaywalk crap! What ‘free’ country arrests you for simply crossing the bloody road?).

Granted you can only visit through a tour and yes you only see what they want to see (Which is quite a lot), but isn’t that what guided tours are like anyway? The tours allow you to take in a lot in a day and you can travel around the country. Yes, you need a guide with you to leave the hotel, but let’s be honest the guides also help with translation and will help get you around the city – If the guide weren’t there how would you talk to people or get around? They also stop you from getting into trouble. You can interact with your guides as well as having a few drinks with them, just like Ibiza holiday reps – their just basically guides, except they just act like it’s a free holiday. Apart from parties and drinking (Something I can do perfectly well without them) why would you need a ‘rep’ in Ibiza? The reps in Turkey, for example, do help to organise trips, keep you safe, etc… just like in North Korea – just with free-roaming.

As for taking passports away, maybe they haven’t got the systems in place at the airports/train stations to check passports there and then or it could be a way of getting you through customs quickly? Let’s be honest when you go through passport control you wait for ages, then some officers take the piss and take ages checking your passport. In North Korea the guide sends your passports off you (You get them back a few days later), officers check your bags and you’re quickly through. Again, as I’ve stated before, if you haven’t got anything to hide what’s your problem? Obey the laws, be honest with officials and you will have a safe and enjoyable holiday – That goes for any country!

Change of topic but let’s talk about ‘The Interview’ film. I haven’t seen it and I have no plans to (because the actors in it aren’t the best. They’re quite overrated), however, I do think the plot is completely out of order and I do support North Korea’s efforts to wanting the film pulled.

The film is based on the assassination of a living, real world leader. Now the US don’t seem this is a problem, but what if a film was brought out about the assassination of Donald Trump (Okay bad example) – Take 2. What if a film was released about the assassination of a living, real US President (Better) the US would want it pulled. Actually they would probably just change it portray the ‘US President’ as a hero who would foil the assassination attempt. Like Air Force One – The president single-handily foils and kills a terrorist group whilst being locked in a bloody plane and then manages to land the plane – How desperate are they to make their leader look great? (Yes it wasn’t a real leader, but some may interpret it as a US propaganda film showing their leader as strong and fearless! You could say ‘The Interview’ is a propaganda film against North Korea. I would be okay with the film if they didn’t use a real life leader. Like I mentioned earlier, what if this film was a way to provoke North Korea into a war, letting them make the first move – like the warships? They are certainly trying to antagonise North Korea!

As for North Korea changing history and giving false facts; it’s not as if the US doesn’t try to change history or give out fake facts. America teaching kids from a young age that the US was born great and – isn’t that propaganda?

Now I am not supporting DPRK nor am I against them, however, they are a country just trying to develop, whilst keeping their traditions alive. You can say that they are brainwashed and told things about their leader. Well what about Boris Johnson? We get told that Johnson is a match for anyone on a tennis court. Really? Just like he’s a match for anyone on a rugby pitch! Go to North Korea and ask those questions to your guide. I don’t think they do get told ridiculous things about Kim Jong-Un (And let’s not forget about the stupid things said about Donald Trump) – The US may not have had a woman president, but they are the first country to elect a ‘special needs’ person as president!).

I’ve watched a few videos on North Korea – From Michael Palin, random YouTubers – including a Chinese YouTube channel, who are trying to produce a North Korean documentary through videos of their trips. North Korean’s have a sense of humour, drinking culture (American’s don’t). After watching these videos, North Korea doesn’t seem that bad or any different to other Asian countries. So you need a guide everywhere you go. This is for tourists safety and to break down the language barrier. You are ‘only shown places “they” want you to see’. Well why would you want to visit a place and see it’s downside? Tours in other countries do the same thing. In Liverpool, tours don’t take you around rundown areas like Toxteth or Speke – the same in the US!

They exaggerate facts? So does the UK and the US (More than any country). What about this coronavirus situation?  As soon as news broke, North Korea closed it’s borders with China and yet they are being classed as falsifying data when they say they haven’t had any cases. If their borders are closed at the start of the outbreak, then it is very likely they haven’t had any cases – Hell, they have made sure anyone entering country undergoes a 2 week isolation.

Any country that uses Windows XP can’t be evil – can they! XP was AND STILL IS the best OS going! I’ve still got a Windows XP computer (Okay I only use it occasionally, but I still prefer it to Windows 10!) North Korea do have Windows 10 available, but most of their public computers run on XP and that is great!

North Korea spy on you? Well South Korean hotels spy on you and I know! The Royal Seoul Hotel, you get complementary soaps, and supposedly, a razor – Yet when I was waiting to leave some Chinese fucker – sorry Korean fucker, started speaking a load of gibberish to me. Unbeknownst to me, he was asking for the razor that I took (thinking it was complementary) as a souvenir as proof I was in Seoul – As it was a one night stop-over between Sydney and London). How would they know so quickly if they weren’t spying? I highly doubt North Korean hotels are bothered about a bloody razor!

I may have waffled a tad, but I will now start to wrap this up. North Korea has that typical Asian way of life, they even use the Berlin ring trains on their underground. Okay they have technology from the 60’s and 70’s, probably because new technology is expensive, but they do have modern technology. You can use the internet and make international calls, however, they are expensive. There are plenty of countries where you internet and phone access is limited so North Korea are not on their own. You can request who want as a guide (Whether you get the guide you want depends on whether they are already booked). They even have the draggable baskets in their supermarkets.

If you get the chance you should definitely visit North Korea, just to see the country for yourself rather than having others tell you what it’s like through ‘Western propaganda’. (Have the American’s not realised that from North Korea, they are in fact the Eastern country?). I will be looking to go to Pyongyang in the next few years and I am sure it will be a great, fun experience. Check out SAO Documentary’s YouTube channel (There is a Chinese one as well as an English one. It is worth taking a look but it’s like the blind leading the blind. Their English isn’t the best and that shows in the subtitles – they’ve added themselves).

And that’s it! Hope you enjoyed it. This may have been a little controversial or sensitive in some areas (Only to Americans) but I have tried to take a non-biased, non-skeptical view on a country that gets such a bad reputation. Again, I am not a supporter or a hater of North Korea, but I will take opinions from both views onboard – like I have here.

The next GraveTalk will be a lot more fun, after this serious edition.

Thanks for reading and if you if you agree, disagree or just have some random shit to write, why not leave a comment!

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