First off, we all know that North Koreans live miserable lives. Personal wealth, nonexistent. Internet, very strictly regulated. Freedom of speech, f**k that sh*t. Media freedom, f**k that sh*t too. Human rights, election, starbucks, Big Mac, etc, forget it. And most importantly, thou shalt not talk foul of the regime, lest thou be sent to the gulag.
A United Nations report released in May 2012 estimated that two-thirds of North Korea’s 24 million people continue to suffer from chronic food shortages and malnutrition. In Pyongyang, generally considered to be the most well-off city in the country, tourists have seen bonfires burning on apartment balconies at night, presumably lit by residents to keep warm. Other basic utilities such as elevators and water pumping system are lacking, too.
|The Visible Infrared Imaging Radiometer Suite, or VIIRS, on the Suomi NPP satellite captured this nighttime view of the Korean Peninsula on Sept. 24, 2012. North Korea is notable in its lack of lights. (Image: NASA Earth Observatory)|
|A woman operates a machine inside a fertilizer plant in North Korea. Image: pbs.org|
With due respect, I still think that Pyongyang is incapable of inflicting much damage to Seoul, much less to the U.S.
In March 2001, it threatened “thousand-fold revenge” on the U.S. for a “black-hearted intention” to scuttle its peace dialogue with the South. Eight years later in July 2009, after then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said the North was like a child seeking attention from a parent, its leadership shot back with this one-liner: “Her words suggest that she is by no means intelligent.”
North Korea promised a “retaliatory sacred war” in 2010 after being blamed for the sinking of a South Korean ship, which killed 46 sailors. In April 2012, the North claimed it would reduce Seoul “to ashes” as tensions between the two governments had escalated again. And during a debate in February 2013 at the U.N. Conference on Disarmament, a North Korean diplomat said of Seoul: “A new-born puppy knows no fear of a tiger. South Korea’s erratic behavior would only herald its final destruction.”--TIME.com
Who is the real tiger, I wonder.
Apart from its fragile economy, its natural ecosystem is also in a state of derelict. An international delegation of scientists invited by the government of North Korea and funded by the American Association for the Advancement of Science to attend a conference on ecological restoration in North Korea recently concluded that
From river’s edge to the tops of hills, the entire landscape was lifeless and barren. Villages were little more than hastily constructed shantytowns where residents wore camouflage netting, presumably in preparation for a foreign invasion they feared to be imminent. Emaciated looking farmers tilled the earth with plows pulled by oxen and trudged through half-frozen streams to collect nutrient-rich sediments for their fields.
|The reddish hue of exposed soil in North Korea indicates a lack of organic matter, which is vital for farming. Image: pbs.org|
“The landscape is just basically dead,” adds Dutch soil scientist Joris van der Kamp. “It’s a difficult condition to live in, to survive.”
Need I say more? The regime is so incompetent that even the animals in North Korea live miserable lives.
Pyongyang is in a state of no return now. Unless there is a change of government, the country will continue to suffer socially and economically.