The Situation in North Korea

Cady Escobrar, Staff Writer

North Korea is a country that is located in East Asia; however it is not like every other country, its beliefs and government expectations are different than that of the United States. The biggest difference between North Korea and the United States is that North Korea is a Communist form of government, and can serve presidency in a family timeline, unlike the U.S. the president can only serve for 4-8 years. Before traveling to North Korea, you should do your research and learn about what is and is not allowed in the country. Not only tourists but North Koreans as well have been killed or seriously for doing something like talking bad about President Kim ll-sung. There are other laws such as women are not able to drive, people aren’t allowed to wear jeans, or even listen to foreign music. Many people have wanted to escape North Korea, but it does not go as planned so they have to face the consequences.

On Wednesday, November 24, 2021, there has been a report that someone smuggled in the Netflix series ‘Squid game’ and allowed some high schoolers to watch it. North Korea has a law called the “Elimination of Reactionary”, prohibiting films, music, and any other cultural material. It was made to stop the spread of social media into North Korea; however, the smuggler broke the law and has received a life sentence. Not only was the smuggler punished, but also the high school students who watched the series, teachers, and administrator, According to Variety an RFA reported that the six people who watched the show were sentenced to five years of hard labor, and the school administrators were fired and were put to work in remote mines. This is the sad reality of North Korea, even though the laws cannot be changed or broken, this tragedy could have been prevented. 

There are people in North Korea, who do not like the lifestyle but know there is nothing they can do; however, there are people who do not give up, and they try everything to get out of it. This process is not easy at all due to the fact that the family of the person escaping is tortured and killed, which makes many not even try to escape. Thae Yong Ho, deputy ambassador who escaped North Korea claimed, “Even though I am physically and mentally free in South Korea, I still can’t get rid of this nightmare of my family members.” The people who flee North Korea have to find someone in which they truly trust and won’t report them to the authorities, the people helping may also be punished.  Reports say that the number of people who have escaped North Korea decreases every year because the border controls of China and North Korea have increased. A person would think that China would help the people who have escaped and provide them refugee; however according to THE WEEKChina does not grant North Koreans refugee status, and defectors who cross paths with the Chinese authorities are frequently arrested as illegal migrants. Many are deported back to North Korea, “where they are met with almost certain punishment”, CNN reports.’” 

North Korea is proven to be one of the worst countries to live in, due to all the punishments and rules. People in the U.S. should be grateful to be in a country where we have opportunities and rights. As humans, we should be able to have our own opinion and freedom,  which North Korea has not provided to its citizens. There is nothing we can do except hope, everything gets better in North Korea.