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Thread: My Journey Down the Rabbit Hole that is DPRK

  1. #21
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    Wow. Crazy to think how drastically different some parts of the world are. Really makes you think...

  2. #22
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    the political prisoners eat cow pooh because there is more nutrients in the poo than the prisoners' food, on account of the cows feeding the upper classes.

  3. #23
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    Believe the guy in grey clothes is "political supervision". From 2:30.

    If you don't find this vid appropriate, delete.

  4. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by matej.polak View Post
    Believe the guy in grey clothes is "political supervision". From 2:30.
    If you don't find this vid appropriate, delete.
    . . ."plays" with the chalk at 3:50 . . . wtf

  5. #25
    AKA Tony Arkitect FFF's Avatar
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    I just finished The Aquariums of Pyongyang: 10 Years in a North Korean Gulag

    Again it was an emotionally moving and barbaric story. The production wasn't on par with Dear Leader, the narrator was too monotone, and didn't have the same emotional inflection, but it made up for it with the content itself. It was an interesting contract between the two. One was a high ranking party Cadre, the other was a political prisoner in a labor camp, yet both fled the country for similar reasons: A book about South Korea being shared with a friend vs. two friends listening to South Korean radio together. Although both told of escaping the boarders of North Korea, the majority of Dear Leader was spent discussing day to day life on the run and the hurdles they face, where in Aquariums... it was almost an afterthought, and it didn't seem nearly as difficult a journey as the other. Some big differences between the defections:

    -Simply making a run across the Tumen river vs. hiring a guide into China and paying off boarder guards to look the other way
    -Reaching the South Korean embassy vs. paying off a merchant marine to smuggle them on a ship into South Korea
    -Being heavily sought out by the DPRK government after defection vs. not being on the radar almost at all

    Some similarities:

    -Being amazed at how wonderous and free China was
    -Being looked down upon by Chinese locals and shunned
    -Being told "Good luck" by the South Korean consulate
    -Being interrogated for 6 moths upon arriving in South Korea
    -Being made into some what of a celebrity in South Korea

    In both instances the characters in the stories had money and some influence to help them in their travels. In Aquariums... even though he had spent 10 years in a prison camp, he was some what well to do for himself after his release. He had wealthy family in Japan that he got in touch with when he integrated back into civilian life, and he was able to go to college, and get a decent job for himself. Without this important piece of the puzzle he wouldn't have the money or gifts to bribe his way out of the country and into safety in both China and South Korea.


    I'm going to shift the focus of my studies now to the Korean war and learning a little bit more about how that region was developed. Again, if anyone has any interest in the audio books please let me know.
    Currently reading: Field of Blood by Karen Armstrong

    Just finished reading:Slaughter House-Five by Kurt Vonnegut

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  6. #26
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    This has been extremely interesting!! Thanks for taking the time to write your thoughts and what you read!!

  7. #27
    AKA Tony Arkitect FFF's Avatar
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    Ha, it's probably more for me than for you guys! You know that feeling, where you watch at TV show or listen to an album and you just need to talk to someone about it! But for real, the topic is becoming more and more important to me, and I would love to shed some light on this topic. The people of North Korea are suffering, and it's just fucked up man. If I can play even a small part in making change, that would be worth it to me.
    Currently reading: Field of Blood by Karen Armstrong

    Just finished reading:Slaughter House-Five by Kurt Vonnegut

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  8. #28
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    FFF, I'd like to grab the audiobooks if you have a Dropbox link or somesuch you could PM me!

  9. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by FFF View Post
    That would be much appreciated.

    Speaking of futbol, my readings have finally touched (briefly) upon athletics. The book I'm currently working through Aquariums of Pyongyang: 10 years in a North Korean Gulag discusses the 1966 World Cup Team. Apparently after their first win against Italy in the final round, the team hit the town and partied pretty hard. Two days later they dropped a 3-0 lead against Portugal and lost 5-3. Everyone on the team was sent to a prison camp upon returning home, with the exception of one team member who didn't go out the night of the party because he wasn't feeling well. The author of the book met one of the team members while in a camp, apparently the former soccer star had a knack for surviving the "sweat box" a punishment device that claimed quite a few lives, but the futballer managed a 3 month stint in one...


    There's a picture, I'm the white kid. The guy on the right was sort of our handler within the camp (We had many others for whilst at the hotel place) and dealt with alot of the setup for our meal timing / "excursions".

    Only me and 4-5 people in that picture were actually on one of our two teams (The rest pretty much just bribed/paid their way into the trip)

    I'm pretty sure I have 2 more pictures somewhere but haven't had time to find them (AKA don't wanna go through boxes of old crap)
    Last edited by Zayah; 12-30-2015 at 08:43 PM.

  10. #30
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    I've had a fascination with North Korea since my sophomore year of college (2008). There are a bunch (there were, anyway) of documentaries on Netflix and YouTube to give you a glimpse inside the country.

    One of the more bizarro ones is called "Crossing the Line", which follows a US solider that defected there in the 60s and has been living there ever since.

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