As has now been well documented, the leftist media has not been able to contain their fawning admiration for North Korea. Some major outlets like CNN, The Washington Post, and ABC have raved that Kim Jong-Un’s sister (Kim Yo-jong is her name), and a group of North Korean cheerleaders, have “stolen the show” and grabbed “the spotlight.” NBC squealed that North Korea’s cheer squad (the “army of beauties,” as The New York Times referred to them) has been “so satisfying to watch.” Reuters claimed that North Korea has “won the gold” for “diplomacy” at the games. The Times, infatuated with Yo-jong’s smile, said that the U.S. has been “outflanked in diplomacy” by the communist regime.
Michael Moore proclaimed his “love” for the “F Trump” attitude displayed by the North Korean contingent. Yo-jong was dubbed “the Ivanka Trump of North Korea,” and many regular Twitter users reacted with glee when they noted the “side eye” and “shade” she threw at Mike Pence during the opening ceremony. A beaming Think Progress summed it up this way: “North Korea’s charm offensive is working.”
Rather than simply yelling at the media for being so gullible and stupid and morally deranged, I thought it may be more worthwhile to list a few important and terrible facts about the world’s most reclusive state. In case anyone else is at risk of being taken in by North Korea’s “charm offensive,” it may be wise to keep these things in mind:
1) North Korea has actual concentration camps that are as bad as, if not worse than, Nazi death camps.
Hundreds of thousands of innocent men, women, and children are imprisoned and enslaved in these hellholes. The stories told by the few survivors who have managed to escape are horrific. They are beaten, stoned to death, starved, raped, tortured, and mauled by dogs. Sometimes they are forced to kill each other for the amusement of the guards. Prisoners eat rats and insects in order to stay alive. Pregnant women are forced to kill their own babies. About a quarter of the prison population dies every year, either from disease and starvation or execution.
2) While Kim Jong-Un grows ever fatter, his people are starving.
Over 70% of the North Korean population is undernourished or starving. Rather than make sure that his famished subjects are fed, Kim Jong-Un spends a quarter of the nation’s GDP on his military and nuclear arsenal (North Korea has threatened many times to destroy the United States with said arsenal). And the starving citizenry must worry that its already meager rations will be stolen by marauding soldiers, who are given carte blanche to loot as they please. Meanwhile, as most of the country lives in literal darkness without electricity, the pudgy dictator invests more and more money into building resorts and amusement parks for himself.
3) North Korea is the world’s worst oppressor of religious minorities.
About a quarter of a million Christians have gone missing in North Korea over the years, and currently there are around 50,000 languishing in prison camps. Communist countries never have any tolerance for religion, and North Korea is far from an exception to this rule. Christians fare the worst because their faith is considered foreign to Asian culture, so the small community of believers in the country are forced to meet and worship in secret. If they are discovered, they face not only political imprisonment but summary execution, enslavement, torture, and rape. In some cases, Christians have been tossed off bridges, trampled, crushed by steamrollers, and crucified.
4) Kim Jong-Un enjoys creative execution methods.
Along with the methods already described, the crazed despot has also been known to perform executions via anti-aircraft missile. A defector reports that a number of musicians were killed this way. Other “enemies of the state” have been killed by flamethrower or mortar round. Jong-Un had his own brother assassinated with a banned nerve agent and his uncle shot to death by firing squad.
5) North Korean citizens were sent to prison camps for not being sad enough about Kim Jong-Il’s death.
After the death of the last Dear Leader, organized mourning events were held. Attendance was mandatory. Anyone who did not show up, or who showed up but appeared insufficiently distraught, was handed a prison sentence. This story sounds almost unbelievable, until you realize that this kind of thing is pretty par for the course in communist dictatorships. Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn told similar tales of life in the Soviet Union, including one about a guy who was given ten years of forced labor for being the first to sit down during a standing ovation for Stalin.
This is something to keep in mind when you see footage of the North Korean cheerleaders. Their plucky little routines are very likely being performed with a literal gun to the head. In fact, many Russian soldiers were imprisoned after WW2 because the Soviet government was afraid that they’d been corrupted by their exposure to westerners. One wonders whether North Korean cheerleaders and Olympians may suffer a similar fate.
6) North Korea tortured an American citizen to death.
Otto Warmbier was arrested and sentenced to 15 years of hard labor for allegedly removing a poster from a wall. He was brutalized for a year and a half while in government custody, and then sent home unconscious. He died within days of his release.
7) North Korea is a giant cult.
North Korean citizens believe their government discovered unicorns and invented the hamburger. They think the seasons and the stars changed when Kim Jong-Il was born. They also believe Kim Jong-Il never used the bathroom, made 11 holes-in-one during one round of golf, and was considered a fashion icon across the globe, among other things. We tend to laugh about this kind of stuff, but there’s nothing funny about it. These people have been kept in both a literal and figurative dark, all information and knowledge from the outside world cut off, and through this ignorance and fear an entire nation has been brainwashed. It’s horrific. All of this is horrific.
But, hey, at least Kim Jong-Un’s sister has a nice smile.