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Although the majority of North Korea does not have much in way of electricity at night, Kim Jong-il has no problem navigating the Internet.  (Source: Global Security)
Kim Jong-il claims to be the world's Internet expert; Al Gore jealous

North Korean leader Kim Jong-il met with South Korean President Roh Moo-hyun this week in the North Korean city of Kaesong. This meeting is only the second ever meeting between North and South Korean leaders.

One topic of conversation during the meeting put forth by Roh was a request that South Korean companies operating in an industrial park in the North Korean city of Kaesong be allowed the use of the Internet.

The response from the Dear Leader, according to Yahoo! News, was, “I'm an Internet expert too. It's all right to wire the industrial zone only, but there are many problems if other regions of the North are wired.”

Kim went on to say, “If that problem is addressed, there is no reason not to open [web access].” Kim did not elaborate on the "many problems" caused by opening Internet access to all of North Korea, though clearly the intention of Roh's suggestion is to increase North Korean exposure to South Korean and Western influence.

North Korea explicitly prohibits its 23 million citizens from accessing the Internet and mobile phones outside of government research groups. South Korea, by comparison, is one of the world's most digitally connected countries.

However, given the secretive nature of just about everything in North Korea, it's been difficult to even ascertain just how "connected" Kim actually is. Satellite photographs of North Korea at night reveal very few lights, indicating the country does not have a very high capacity for electricity, let alone computers or Internet.

What is known, is that Kim and the ruling party has a definitive taste for all things Western. Kim's son, Jong-nam, was arrested and expelled from Japan while trying to enter Disney Land in 2001.  Late last year, the U.S. imposed a ban on all luxuries originating from the U.S. destined for North Korea, including the Great Leader's beloved iPods.


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RE: Kim has a reason to be proud
By wordsworm on 10/6/2007 1:10:06 PM , Rating: -1
quote:
I mean all they did to get thrown in the camps was think or say something that kim didn't like.

Millions of Americans, their only crime was to traffic or take illegal drugs, yet they're in jail for it. What's the difference between being in jail for believing in God or smoking a joint? What's the difference between a priest and a drug dealer? Both of them are just trying to get you high.

I haven't been to N. Korea, so I really can't honestly say if the people believe in Kim or if they don't. I can't honestly say if they're happy or not.

I just don't like it when people judge him when the leaders of the 'free world' are busy imprisoning people because they want to take drugs. It's no different than imprisoning people for religion or for being vocal about politics. It's quite simply people being put in prison for going against the grain. As you put it, it's 'exactly the same'. Just to let you know, if you're a pro pot activist, you run the serious risk of having your life turned upside down by the US government.


RE: Kim has a reason to be proud
By clovell on 10/6/2007 1:36:03 PM , Rating: 2
I've been able to hear some pretty convincing arguements about pot, but to make such a statement about drugs in general is irresponsible at best.

Human rights violations are, in general, different from drug violations - very different. You have a point somewhere in that generalization, I'm sure.


RE: Kim has a reason to be proud
By Ringold on 10/6/2007 2:56:54 PM , Rating: 3
I've heard NORML guys, smelling of pot, make better arguments than that. If you think there's anything similar between an American prison and a foreign slave camp then you're a real tool. Here's a hint: Free food, limited entertainment, and often no expectation of labor at all, all on tax payer dime. Some even have libraries and internet access. Any argument for or against Gitmo ought to be based on which is more important: Maintaining liberties even if it means potential American and European lives, or allowing our constitution to lapse in pursuing freedom.

If the whole drug decriminalization movement was smart they'd try to join the Libertian Party, which has a similar goal but based purely on the idea the government has no business with what you do to your own body. Thank god, though, since the LP already has a weak enough image.


RE: Kim has a reason to be proud
By SavagePotato on 10/6/2007 5:27:20 PM , Rating: 5
Generaly I don't think I've ever seen the local catholic church do a drive by on the protestant church in a turf war. So comparing religion to drug trafficking, um yeah, kinda dumb, at least if your talking about American soil. Foreign religious conflict is another story, but then thats not what you were talking about.

I think the war on drugs is stupid as well in some respects, in that same sentence I doubt very much that theres any southern California hemp shop owners being beaten right now in Guantanamo bay.


RE: Kim has a reason to be proud
By derwin on 10/8/2007 1:25:31 AM , Rating: 1
Thousands of people have died for being protestant, im not sure what part of history you are trying to erase, but just because we finally got over that problem, doesn't make these two disimilar.
Infact, arguments could be made that a large portion of the problems occuring in the mid east are due to people fighitng over religious differences, not far from a drug dealer protecting a territory at all.

There are no "hemp shop owners" in gitmo, but they are still in jail somewhere else.


RE: Kim has a reason to be proud
By wordsworm on 10/11/2007 7:30:37 AM , Rating: 3
quote:
Generaly I don't think I've ever seen the local catholic church do a drive by on the protestant church in a turf war
They happen in Ireland. There have been inquisitions, and crusades.


RE: Kim has a reason to be proud
By B on 10/6/2007 5:55:28 PM , Rating: 2
Quote
I haven't been to N. Korea, so I really can't honestly say if the people believe in Kim or if they don't.

No need to state the obvious, I'd be surprised if one person that visits this website has been to North Korea.


RE: Kim has a reason to be proud
By jedisoulfly on 10/6/2007 8:14:52 PM , Rating: 2
I don't see anyone getting thrown in prison for life along with their entire family for using drugs. (at least not anymore) ya I get caught smoking a joint and my mom dad grandma and the rest of my family are all thrown in prison for life. sorry but drugs are illegal. (at least in the USA) hey I like a good fatty myself but I know the consequences for using or possessing it. there is a reason hard drugs (cocaine meth heroin) are illegal. hard drugs are a forerunner to violent crimes and crimes against property like burglary and robbery to mention 2. people and their entire family's are not thrown in prison for life in the USA for saying something our government dose not like.


RE: Kim has a reason to be proud
By Obadiah on 10/7/07, Rating: 0
RE: Kim has a reason to be proud
By jedisoulfly on 10/7/2007 2:39:07 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
sorry but political speech is illegal. (at least in the Democratic People's Republic of Korea) hey I like a good debate myself but I know the consequences for talking about it. there is a reason free speech (marches, protests, sit-ins) are illegal. free speech is a forerunner to violent crimes and crimes against property like burglary and robbery to mention 2. people and their entire family's are not thrown in prison for life in the Democratic People's Republic of Korea for saying something our government dose not like.


democratic would imply a free election with more than one person on the ballet. you state political speech is illegal yet no one is thrown in jail for doing it. you are probably right they are probably just executed. I could be wrong but I never heard of the "free speech defense" for murder or carjacking someone. (or any other crime for that matter) oh ya btw if no one in north Korea has internet access and you (sorry if I am misinterpreting you) are from north Korea we must be chatting with kim himself lmao


RE: Kim has a reason to be proud
By derwin on 10/8/2007 1:36:47 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
democratic would imply a free election with more than one person on the ballet

Lol, yeah, you missed his point.

And yes, people are still serving extremely long sentences for drug use (ever hear of the 3 strikes policty in cali?)... Drug use

Drug use is not a precursor to violent crime, prohibition is a precursor to violent crime. Hard drugs are a precursor to early death, physical disability and addiction. Only one of those (addiction) leads to crimes seeking money (drug dealer v drug dealer or addict v citizen), and without prohibition, costs drop dramatically, rehabilitation takes a public turn, and drug dealers at least get a corporate umbrealla and have to follow the law and file taxes now. Crime is not the issue to be discussed in regards to drug use, only drug prohibition. If you really want to address the legality of drugs, try considering what harm they cause, what benefit the bring, and what balance of the two exists and what balance of the two would be acceptable, and lastely, what poliies would create this desired balance.

And lastly, the final step that Americans seem to have completely forgotten - the feasability (sp?) of such policies. "Just say no" doesn't quite cut it, if you know what I mean. The biggest issue I have with drug prohibition (as did most americans eventually aquire with alcohol prohibition) is that it just can never work. Drugs are too easy to grow, make, or find, and thus, buy. Without an orwellian style of surveilance, we will never catch even a majority of drug users, and without being able to prosecute somebody for a crime, the law criminalizing it becomes useless (see illegal imigration).


RE: Kim has a reason to be proud
By geddarkstorm on 10/8/2007 1:51:48 PM , Rating: 1
"Drug use is not a precursor to violent crime, prohibition is a precursor to violent crime."

Actually, that is totally wrong. Plenty of studies show direct correlation of drug use with violent crimes. See http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_m2248/is_n12...
http://www.ncrel.org/sdrs/areas/issues/envrnmnt/dr...
http://www.whitehousedrugpolicy.gov/publications/f...
http://www.sciencedirect.com/science?_ob=ArticleUR...
and http://www.aihw.gov.au/publications/phe/soduia06/s... (to show this is not just something in the USA only. Go down to section 9 for the crime section if the rest doesn't interest you)

This is only to be expected. Anything that impairs mental functions and rational judgment will obviously lead to an increase in criminal tendencies and accidents. Pay close attention to the statistics in the third link relating violent crime to attempts to get money for drugs--you'll notice the percentages there are lower (especially in the homicide/murder and sexual assaults catagories) than the overall violent crimes due to drug use showing that this is a drug use induced event not a prohibition induced event.


RE: Kim has a reason to be proud
By elgoliath on 10/8/2007 4:52:31 PM , Rating: 2
Actually, imo you are wrong. The problem is that you are trying to find correlations between the wrong things. History on the other hand speaks for itself- when was alcohol related violent crime at it's worse? During prohibition. The problem is as has been stated above me- the few select in government overstepping their bounds and making us criminals for doing something to our bodies that is inherently private. Will violent crime stop if we legalize drugs? No (I'll bet you it will go down). Will some of the violent criminals also be drug users? Yes (so what?). It appears you seem to think that they are violent BECAUSE they use drugs (there are exceptions to every rule, I know). Have you ever thought that these people have something else in common?

Let me ask you this: would violent crime related to drugs go down or up if it was legalized? If it were legalized and the local Rite Aid started selling marijuana and cocaine, do you think the Rite Aid employees are going to hope in a car and do a drive by of the nearest Walgreens?

Drugs are expensive (relatively speaking) BECAUSE they are illegal. Make them legal, tax them a bit (to pay for rehab when necessary- or just reroute the millions and millions we have/are spending to fund the war on drugs) and you would probably be surprised at how drug related violent crime goes down. Hell if it's more affordable, then those people pretty far gone would have to do less violent crime to pay for them even. Win/win if you ask me.

My biggest question tho is how is it legal for the government to police our bodies and private lives? Whomever can give me an acceptable answer to that wins a cookie-


RE: Kim has a reason to be proud
By rcc on 10/8/2007 7:23:52 PM , Rating: 1
quote:
My biggest question tho is how is it legal for the government to police our bodies and private lives? Whomever can give me an acceptable answer to that wins a cookie-


Because your right to do drugs ends at other people's realities. All the class act druggies on the way home from Rite Aid causing accidents, etc. If all they did was sit at home and not bother anyone, it probably wouldn't be an issue. As soon as something comes to the publics attention in a negative manner, someone will legislate restrictions.


RE: Kim has a reason to be proud
By elgoliath on 10/8/2007 8:11:24 PM , Rating: 2
Not sure I get what you mean by other peoples realities, but I understand and agree that my rights end when they infringe upon other peoples rights. Regarding your second sentence, oh jeez- you do realize how ridiculous that comment is, right?


RE: Kim has a reason to be proud
By Myrandex on 10/12/2007 1:09:35 PM , Rating: 1
fuck no, I don't want to pay taxes for stupid a$$ drug users doing rehab. I want the drugs to be legal, and I want to tax the hell out of them to make up for deficites later, and if some junkie gets all screwed up because he decided to do drugs in the first place, then it is his own fault and I wouldn't want any "free" health care being waste on him.

In fact my whole problem with "free" health care is that people that I feel don't deserve free health care would be getting it. I have no problem if someone who can barely make a living working at a walmart falls and breaks her arm and gets fre helth care to cover it, but if that same person decided to smoke 3 packs a day, gets lung cancer, and suddenly free health care has to cover that, hell no. It wasn't like she accidentally smoked all of those cigs all of her life. I don't care what people do to their own bodies, just as long as it doesn't affect someone else (whether financially, or medically like 2nd hand smoke, or other methods).


By jedisoulfly on 10/6/2007 8:53:45 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
I haven't been to N. Korea, so I really can't honestly say if the people believe in Kim or if they don't. I can't honestly say if they're happy or not.


they don't have a choice in liking him. if they say they are against him or are even displeased with any part of the government they are either executed or thrown in a camp. (not just them but their entire family) remember no one voted for him he took power only cause his father died. I cant say if they are happy or not either but at least most people in the world have the right to free thinking.


"Mac OS X is like living in a farmhouse in the country with no locks, and Windows is living in a house with bars on the windows in the bad part of town." -- Charlie Miller

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