The Mystery of North Korea

An American soldier stationed in South Korea appears to have escaped into North Korea, effectively becoming a defector. It appears that he was involved in some fights in Seoul, and he had been previously arrested for assault. He was about to be arrested again or deported to the US, and that seems to be the reason why he wanted to escape. But going to North Korea is a bit of risky proposition. 

Yes, he’s African-American by the way. 

That raises a few interesting questions. First, about all those American soldiers stationed all over the world, and in particular in Asian countries. Many times they are involved in crimes and are resented by the local population. In Japan, there were more than a few cases of rape committed by American soldiers. And when it’s not rape, it’s general anti-social activity. And this seems to be common in South Korea too. 

But many times nothings happen to them, because they obey to a different legislation. They are under the jurisdiction of the U.S. law. In Italy, in the American base in Aviano, a drunk-driving female soldier run over a kid, killing him. She’s probably going to be sent back to the US and never prosecuted, as it already happened in a similar case before that. 

But in this case, well, the soldier went to North Korea, and of course they don’t have extradition treaties with the U.S., and it’s not sure what will happen to him there. 

North Korea is a very interesting and mysterious country. No one knows very well what goes on in there. According to the American propaganda, it is some kine of Communist hellhole where people are put in prison camps killed and tortured for no reason, but that doesn’t seem to be exactly the case. A few images that leak from there now and then show a more or less normal, if a bit old-fashioned, country. 

I’m not a big fan of Communism. I think it’s an awful political system, and I am not a big fan of authoritarian states in general. On the other hand, the modern liberal world isn’t that great either. In some ways, the rigidity of Communism worked as a time capsule to protect the population from the worst changes of the 20th and 21st century. Just look at Eastern Europe. The reason that they have less immigration and are in general more socially conservative, is really because they were under Communist occupation for a long time, and thus isolated from Western influence, money and propaganda. 

Just look at the way people dress. These are some pictures of women in North Korea. Aren’t they cute? They look nice with those uniforms or just more traditional clothes. In North Korea, people are not rich, they mostly ride bicycles to get around, but they still seem to dress with a certain elegance. Just compare it with anywhere in the West, or even with South Korea. 

South Korea is obviously more prosperous, but also much more Westernized.  

Now, it’s interesting to compare both worlds. On one hand, you have places like North Korea, or even China, where the state controls basically everything in society. Now, of course China is no longer a Communist country in any significant way. People can own property and there are even many Chinese billionaires. But it is still a very controlled system, where people are not allowed to do many things without authorization, there are bad policies such as the social credit system or some of the worst lockdowns in the world during Covid.

On the other hand, the West tried, at least for a while, “total freedom”. But it turns out that, when given total freedom, most people don’t really know what to do with it. They are just interested in watching Netflix or porn, doing drugs or eating too much, and being brainwashed by big corporations.

It seems to me that freedom, when lacking a coherent moral system as a frame around it, is not that great. You really have to have some kind of system where vices are punished or discouraged, and virtue is rewarded. It doesn’t need to come from the State. It can come from other institutions, such as the Church, citizen groups, or even society self-policing itself.

A big problem in the West is the mass media, which is constantly propagating bad behaviour and bad ideas to the people, and basically saying that bad is good, and black is white. Even most churches in the West today just regurgitate liberal propaganda. They are not that much different from Netflix.

Supposedly, North Korea s an Atheist state where religion is forbidden and religious people are persecuted. But I am not sure how much of that is true and how much is propaganda.

There is even a Catholic Church in Pyongyang, there are about 1000 Catholics in the city, and according to this state official, they have complete freedom of religion. Who knows who’s telling the truth?

This is from a previous video in a Catholic Church in North Korea. Look at that choir singing. Pretty nice. Today in the West, that’s very rare. Catholic Churches are completely modernized and usually empty. To find anything similar to that, you have to go to a small church that still does the traditional mass, but there are not many of those around.

So, yes, North Korea is basically a time capsule. Perhaps not the best place in the world to be. But probably also not the worst. And they do have some beautiful women.