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The Rosett Report

North Korea Does the Sochi Olympics—Without Athletes

February 13th, 2014 - 6:29 pm

Like many activities related to North Korea, the Sochi tour of this aging totalitarian functionary and his retinue (presumably at least one of them was also his minder) has its streak of dark comedy — grist for some Orwellian standup routine. But it’s not actually funny. It is dangerous, and tragic.

Dangerous, because Russia has a long record of abetting sanctions violations that benefit rogue states. It is worth asking whether Kim and his team were hoping to get more out of this Olympic tour than simply a chance to wave hi from Sochi to the folks back home, and look in on winter games featuring none of their own athletes.

Tragic for the obvious reason that the Korean people living under the jackboot of the Pyongyang regime deserve so much better. However obvious that is, it cannot be said enough — until Pyongyang’s totalitarian, missile-building, nuclear-testing and child-stunting-and-starving regime comes to an end. To see what life could be like for the people of North Korea, all you have to do is look to thriving and democratic South Korea, where the face right now of the Olympic team is not an aging envoy bound on pain of death to render absolute loyalty to a bloody-handed tyrant, but 24-year-old speed skater Lee Sang Hwa, who on Tuesday won gold in the ladies 500 meter race.

Also read:

North Korea’s Official News Service Tweets Incredibly Important Story

(Artwork created using multiple Shutterstock.com images.)

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Top Rated Comments   
More people in prison? Perhaps a population more than ten times the other country can create such a statistic. To cite it suggests you are reaching.

If your doppelganger in NK were to write such a comment, he would likely have a visit from Pyongyang's Finest PDQ.
23 weeks ago
23 weeks ago Link To Comment
Oops, I hit Like when I meant to hit Reply.... I wish we had some way to Undo a Like in this commenting system....

Anyway, the point I wanted to make was that, unlike North Korea, if you don't like it here, you are free to leave. You can go anywhere, including North Korea, if you think you'll like it better there. Of course, you may find that you are actually less free in North Korea. I wonder if you will even find a blog where you can make comments, let alone comments that are negative about North Korea? If you do, I assure you that you won't make TWO negative comments: the authorities will be down on you in a flash and you will likely find yourself in the North Korean gulag before you can say "kimchi", let alone "I'm an American and I demand to see my ambassador!".

And if you do go to North Korea, forget about leaving again. They are pretty strict about that. And don't worry about media choice there: North Korean TVs have only one channel. The only viewing choice you'll have is On or Off.

But aside from that, you'd probably love North Korea, especially if you're fond of eating grass as a major part of your diet.
23 weeks ago
23 weeks ago Link To Comment
How about we worry about the jackboot in our own country, before telling other countries what to do?

We actually have more people in prison than N. Korea. We are constantly being spied on, we have no privacy. Our police are more militarized than many militaries, and police can apparently kill without facing any consequences. Beat homeless people to death, shoot people coming to ask for help after being in a car crash, running over people while driving wrecklessly (not on call), the police are above any law, apparently.
23 weeks ago
23 weeks ago Link To Comment
All Comments   (10)
All Comments   (10)
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The biggest outrage is that the free world allows NK to exist as it does. An entire nation as gulag.
20 weeks ago
20 weeks ago Link To Comment
North Korea is the most Marxist country on earth. Russia has become Marxist capitalist, which is still a form of Marxism. Russia is uniting with its Marxist buddies.
23 weeks ago
23 weeks ago Link To Comment
A year or two back, a commenter at PJM responded to one of my comments by saying that North Korea was not Marxist any more. He said they had formally renounced Marxism. This may have been during their experiments with market reforms.

I believe that individual was mistaken.

I just found something that refutes the idea that communism is no longer the pre-eminent vision of North Korea. According to this website, http://nkleadershipwatch.wordpress.com, the charter of the KPA (Korean People's Army) includes this little gem (item 48(d)) as part of the army's mission:

To promote and strengthen the educational program for party members of the KPA, officers and soldiers whose main subjects deal with the Juche ideology, the party [Korean Workers Party] charter, the glorious anti-Japanese revolutionary tradition and the class struggle; and, in the process, to instill the virtues of communism and socialist patriotism in the minds of party members of the KPA, officers and soldiers and also consolidate their strength around the party by forging them into the revolution conscious working class;

That is solidly orthodox Marxist verbiage there. I don't see any sign whatever that they've renounced Marxism or even watered it down. Of course, that is also the main reason they are such a basket case, both economically and in terms of freedom.
23 weeks ago
23 weeks ago Link To Comment
Great story and had a great laugh reading it.
23 weeks ago
23 weeks ago Link To Comment
Might these visits be cover for some other "business transactions"?

Not that they would need to provide a cover story.
23 weeks ago
23 weeks ago Link To Comment
How about we worry about the jackboot in our own country, before telling other countries what to do?

We actually have more people in prison than N. Korea. We are constantly being spied on, we have no privacy. Our police are more militarized than many militaries, and police can apparently kill without facing any consequences. Beat homeless people to death, shoot people coming to ask for help after being in a car crash, running over people while driving wrecklessly (not on call), the police are above any law, apparently.
23 weeks ago
23 weeks ago Link To Comment
Was that name DisoJerk?
23 weeks ago
23 weeks ago Link To Comment
More people in prison? Perhaps a population more than ten times the other country can create such a statistic. To cite it suggests you are reaching.

If your doppelganger in NK were to write such a comment, he would likely have a visit from Pyongyang's Finest PDQ.
23 weeks ago
23 weeks ago Link To Comment
Oops, I hit Like when I meant to hit Reply.... I wish we had some way to Undo a Like in this commenting system....

Anyway, the point I wanted to make was that, unlike North Korea, if you don't like it here, you are free to leave. You can go anywhere, including North Korea, if you think you'll like it better there. Of course, you may find that you are actually less free in North Korea. I wonder if you will even find a blog where you can make comments, let alone comments that are negative about North Korea? If you do, I assure you that you won't make TWO negative comments: the authorities will be down on you in a flash and you will likely find yourself in the North Korean gulag before you can say "kimchi", let alone "I'm an American and I demand to see my ambassador!".

And if you do go to North Korea, forget about leaving again. They are pretty strict about that. And don't worry about media choice there: North Korean TVs have only one channel. The only viewing choice you'll have is On or Off.

But aside from that, you'd probably love North Korea, especially if you're fond of eating grass as a major part of your diet.
23 weeks ago
23 weeks ago Link To Comment
too bad death camps aren't a sport this year - North Korea would be bringing home the gold.
23 weeks ago
23 weeks ago Link To Comment
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