North Korea crisis no laughing matter

Published by adviser, Author: Will DeShong - Editor Commentary, Date: April 4, 2013

North Korea is in the news again with more threats of nuclear activity and hostile attacks on either the United States or South Korea.

While these threats are likely just empty threats, as many experts on the region believe the nation’s leader, Kim Jong Un, is simply trying to emphasize his power to both his country’s civilians and the world, the issue is still of great importance.

But yet it’s gotten to the point where many people in our country are laughing at it. Memes are all over the internet poking fun at various aspects of the country, including their seemingly ancient military equipment or the creepy propaganda videos finding their way out of the country.

I’m not opposed to comedy, especially at a person, and I use the world liberally, like Kim Jong Un’s expense. But we shouldn’t lose track of the real issues going on in the country. No, not the looming threat of nuclear war by a country backed by our biggest trading partner and world superpower in China. Like I said, the likelihood of that happening is pretty small.

The real issue is what is currently going on in the country of North Korea.

The citizens are living in constant fear and often times unlivable circumstances. While there is very little media to escape the country, as North Korean officials do not allow its citizens to freely walk around with a camera, nor do the citizens have access to the internet, we do have some evidence of what the living conditions are like under the dictatorship.

The political prisoner camps are likely the worst aspect of the culture. People can be sent there for any reason deemed fit by police, such as not properly honoring Kim Jong Un when they speak of his name. Once there prisoners are subjected to hard labor in starving conditions. Children as young as six years old are forced into work. Anyone can be killed at any time for any reason. Reports have shown military officers would kill prisoners simply because they didn’t want to escort them around the camp, or because they were in a bad mood at a given time.

The treatment of women in these camps is disgusting. Women are often raped by the military officials then executed if they happen to get pregnant. It’s horrendous.

Yes, Kim Jong Un deserves to be made fun of at any moment, but let’s not lose track of the serious human rights tragedies currently happening in the country.

Because we don’t even know half of the brutal lives many of the nations citizens are forced to endure.


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