What A Relief! I’m in North Korea!


The next time you’re discussing whether it’s a good idea to cut back civil liberties if we’ll be safer from terrorism, trot out this little fact. According to the Global Terrorism Index, the country safest from terrorist attack is… North Korea.

Graphic credit: Khary

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One thought on “What A Relief! I’m in North Korea!

  1. Your oh-so-brief post was intriguing. My first reaction was “ha-ha! Good one, Pig!” but then I began to wonder WHY just about everybody would get the joke, whether or not they followed the news about North Korea. Like, how many of us have ever actually BEEN there, or known anyone who has and could give a first person report of the lives of the average citizen? Hey – maybe they’re just fine, thank you. Our collective impression is that North Korea is a terrible place to be, with brutal leaders and citizens scraping the dirt to find a blade of grass to eat. Having followed reports by respectable human rights organizations, I’m quite sure the “brutal leaders” impression is correct. They most likely ARE evil leaders of the Axis of Evil as Pres. Bush, says about terrorist states. But what about the average guy? These days, there aren’t too many news stories about what life is like for the folks who live there. Are there any happy families proud to be North Koreans, any moms and dads who have hopes for the future for their kids? Has life improved since millions of people died of starvation in the 1990’s? Or gotten better for the forced laborers in detention camps? The U.S. government has gotten some dirty laundry lately, but the majority of us are not starving to death or fear being thrown into a rat hole prison cell arbitrarily. So I did a bit of research about life in NK.According to Amnesty International, NK ranks last out of 159 in terms of citizens’ freedom. The annual mortality rate for the hundreds of thousands of inmates in detention camps is 20 – 25%, from starvation, rape, beatings,forced abortions and use as test subjects for chemical weapons. NK began to recover from the severe famine of the 90’s, thanks to massive international aid, but The World Food Program reports that famine conditions are imminent as leaders direct efforts to building the nuclear programs rather than food production. (A little glimmer of hope could be found in the open-air farmer’s markets that are emerging in certain areas.) All things considered,it sounds like my hypothetical average man on the street is looking at a bleak future. And given that the government is implicated on terrorist attacks upon its neighbors, one could surmise that the neighbors might respond in a not-so-friendly manner, adding yet another worry to the innocent citizen. Guess I won’t be moving there to be “safe.” I think I’ll consider Estonia first. Check out the 2006 State of the World Liberty Index at http://www.stateofworldliberty.org

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