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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 sinful on 10/6/2007 2:15:55 PM , Rating: 3
quote:
A few of my students mentioned that a unified Korea would make S. Korea stronger. Its entire military might is basically held by the US. So, if the US leaves, it would leave S. Korea virtually helpless. Unified with N. Korea, it would have fairly impressive defenses. This opinion came from 3 S. Koreans.


I hope your students are in gradeschool, because their reasoning skills are pretty poor.

North Korea is strong militarily because they devote nearly every resource they have into defense, much like the the old soviet union. Yes, they have tanks, but food is in short supply, medicine is non-existant, and even basics like running water and electricity are scarce.

Unifying South Korea would make S. Korea stronger militarily, but the cost would be to divide all S. Korea's resources in half.
In other words, if the government stepped in, took 1/2 of all your assets, and spent that on your military, you'd be FAR better off than unifying with a country with zero resources but a strong military.

So either way you look at it, basically if you crippled your economy you'd have great military!

Of course, your military would eventually become backwards and 3rd rate because of a crippled economy, but who needs food when you have tanks, right?


RE: Kim has a reason to be proud
By B on 10/6/2007 6:17:11 PM , Rating: 2
By the way North Korea recently reduced the heigth requirement for its soldiers. It turns out nutrition is important to the developement of children.

Foreigners who get the chance to visit North Korea — perhaps the most isolated country in the world — are often confused about the age of children. Nine-year-olds are mistaken for kindergartners and soldiers for Boy Scouts.

“They all looked like dwarfs,” said Kim Dong Kyu, a South Korean academic who has made two trips to North Korea. “When I saw those soldiers, they looked like middle-school students. I thought if they had to sling an M-1 rifle over their shoulders, it would drag to the ground.”
Source www.dprkstudies.org

The North Korean military had so much difficulty finding tall-enough recruits that it had to revoke its minimum height requirement of 5-feet-3. Many soldiers today are less than 5 feet tall, defectors say.
Source www.dprkstudies.org


RE: Kim has a reason to be proud
By 1078feba on 10/9/2007 11:32:05 AM , Rating: 2
I have been to S. Korea numerous times, and done quite a few joint exercises with them. What they may in fact lack in terms of sheer numbers vis-a-vis the N. Koreans, they more than make up for in terms of esprit-de-corps and full-on nails hardness. Their Marines are, by any measure, complete badasses.

Jong knows this, and it scares the piss out him.


RE: Kim has a reason to be proud
By wordsworm on 10/11/2007 7:36:41 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
What they may in fact lack in terms of sheer numbers vis-a-vis the N. Koreans
S. Korea has a population approaching 50,000,000 with every able bodied male trained for combat in compulsory 2 year stints. N. Korea has about 23,000,000. I don't see how it could possibly have numbers over S. Korea.


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