At 4/3/13 05:28 PM, Warforger wrote:
The only problem I have is that again North Korea doesn't have so much control as to stop the flow of information. ... The ROK is the preferred destination for North Koreans most of the time, ...
Actually...yes they do. They control the airwaves as well as the internet pipeline into the country. Defectors are either killed on sight when they return or sent to someplace such as Yodok Prison.
Airlift from Vietnam to S. Korea? Huh? I'm not really sure how that fits into the information flow.
And no...South Korea is NOT the prefered destination. With a few exceptions, the average NK defector plans on staying in China when they leave. Now, when they arrive in China they are exposed to news about SK and the conditions there. There is an underground railroad that tries to get them to either the US or SK after de-programing them about conditions there.
The problem with staying in China is that China doesn't protect them, it deports them back to North Korea where they're probably killed.
A few things:
That doesn't mean that Communist regimes didn't exhibit the same defects everywhere they were implanted. ... I fail to see how North Korea is any different.
Because you're not thinking about or addressing the factors I brought up. Also, those countries were unable to control their people's information about the outside world as much as in the DPRK. And this is where your first statement suffers from an erroneous assumption: that some of these defects are universal. See in Russia, China, and East Europe you have countries that had extensive contact with the West before the Commies took control.
In the DPRK, the Kim dynasty came into power over a peasant people whose history and culture had been largely erased by the brutal Japanese colonization. Hell, the Japs even tried to erase the Korean language! In many ways the Kim dynasty has returned the North back to fuedal times.
I'm actually not too familiar with high ranking Generals defecting. As for officials; these tend to be people who have run afowl of the regime and know that Yodok or some worse fate await them...and three generations of their families.Right, and their usual destination is South Korea.
Part of this is because they have access to information about the outside world. Some of these become disillusioned with their lives and defect. They have knowledge about the truth...they've been diplomats, military attaches, or part of economic missions outside the country.
Fundamentally different from the vast majority of defectors who tend to have either escaped from Yodok (which gives them experience getting through something like the DMZ) or border regions where they can see the lights from China at night.
In NK you have a mythology around the Kim familyYou had the same thing in Romania and Iraq. North Korea's regime is the same as those in the USSR or Romania it's just amplified the personality cult. Given the track record for these kinds of regimes I really doubt it has as much influence on the people as the North Korean government would have us believe. I mean Monarchies in general did that kind of thing i.e. infuse religion to justify their rule and they still fell like in Russia, Ottoman Empire, Britain etc. yet they are not around today in the same form. They were only able to capture a minority of people usually, more or less younger, Mao for example was like that and he knew how unpopular he was. He started a campaign where he seemed to have granted people free speech and allowed them to criticize the government. People unleashed scathing criticisms at everyone in the government. Mao then ended the campaign and cracked down on these people. What North Korea is doing is not unique and nothing seems to say that they aren't going in the same direction.
Nope...not the same thing at all.
There is a HUGE difference between a cult of personality and mythology surrounding a monarch. Afterall, monarchies lasted for centuries. It was only replaced whenever aristocrats rediscovered ancient Athenian philosophy and literature.
Secondly, in those other countries you had people who were aware that there were alternatives. In the DPRK you do not have that. Knowledge of other forms have been cut-off.
Finally, in China you have different ethnicities such as different Chinese cultures, Tibetans, Koreans, etc. Same thing in Russia: you have Russians, Pashto, Azerbaijani, Turkmeni, Chinese, Koreans, Japanese, Slavs, etc. In Iraq you have tribalism that has kept the country seperate since the first settlers in the Middle East. You do not have those ethnic tensions in the DPRK.
as well as people who have lived their entire lives in Plato's Cave.Um what? If you disagreed with Plato's conclusions about reality i.e. that what we think is real is actually an illusion and that there is a 2nd reality that is real and contains perfect forms, then you're in the cave. Anyone outside would be to us insane.
Okay...you do realize you actually made my point...right? The reality of the average N. Korean has been carefully crafted by the Kim regime. Yes, there are some fractures...but these are dealt with harshly and effectively.
War will either bring them victory and riches (in their mind) or death. Either way, things will be better for them.Again like in Iraq the army is largely conscripted or compelled to serve. North Korea has a larger military than Russia, and it can't even arm it fully much less feed them. I highly doubt that the North Korean military is that motivated to fight.
Many countries have conscriptions...including S. Korea. Now in Democratic societies where the community exists for the individual...conscription does not work. In Iraq, there was no national unity. Tribal factions undermined loyalty to the Saddam regime.
Now in the DPRK...you have a culture that is centered around filial piety and a collectivism that preaches (similar attitude in China, Japan, and S. Korea) that the individual exists for the community. While I do not completely dismiss the idea that the KPA will crumble...I do not think our experience in Iraq makes the same thing happening in the DPRK predetermined.