North Korean Cannibalism

While searching through the news today I happened to find this interesting piece which I decided to post to see what people think. Some people wonder where I get some of my impressions from:

http://news.yahoo.com/north-koreans-reportedly-turn-cannibalism-due-hidden-famine-122128957.html

Will be interesting to see how long this article stays in circulation despite the somewhat ambigious sources.

I'm wondering what everyone thinks about the situation? Good, Bad, True, False? Either way it's probably the most screwed up thing your liable to see this week (and it's only Monday).

I'm thinking 'Too unreliable to be taken seriously'. The article itself even states how notoriously unreliable information on North Korea is, not to mention we have to take any negative report on North Korea with a spoonful of salt due to it likely being tainted by politics and mild propaganda. It's like the cold-war all over again.

I'm really at a loss for what can be done about North Korea. I feel like the only way to ensure any kind of success is if there is support for a new government within, through the people. But since we're so in the dark as far as knowing how much the people know about the outside world and how much they actually desire a new government, there is no way to know what their reaction would be to "liberation." It's obvious for all their huffing and puffing about nuclear weapons tests and trying to bully South Korea they wouldn't stand a chance if any other country acted against them militarily. They have no allies and no ties in the rest of the world's economy.

So we could squash their military like a bug quite easily, but again it's a matter of knowing where the people stand. Liberation sounds fine and dandy to us, but if there is even an ounce of truth in reports like this then it's obvious there is some serious brainwashing that has permeated every nook and cranny of their society, and bogged them down so far it will be a long trip back. And the last thing anybody wants right now is another war to give "freedom" to a people who don't want the brand of "freedom" we're offering.

Realitycrash:
I'm thinking 'Too unreliable to be taken seriously'. The article itself even states how notoriously unreliable information on North Korea is, not to mention we have to take any negative report on North Korea with a spoonful of salt due to it likely being tainted by politics and mild propaganda. It's like the cold-war all over again.

I agree. But at the same time I totally wouldn't put it past them, the country hasn't been able support itself basically since the fall of the USSR and it's only gotten worse with China taking their distance and Japan & South Korea more and more refusing to send food after "rocket misfirings".

I doubt it. Generally, people starve to death before eating their own children. Especially the part about digging up a corpse and eating that is ridiculous.

Remember the report about Saddam Hussein's forces murdering babies? Also turned out to be propaganda. Don't forget most of that stuff goes through Sout Korea for translation and stuff, and they have a motive to lie, much like someone from Kuwait has about Iraq at the time.

To soon to tell whether it's reliable or not, the story is only making the rounds on the less reputable sources as of right now. However, the background information that the famine is happening and people are dieing of it are true.

I feel like there should be an information campaign where South Korea says it has aid packages ready to deliver to the people if there was no danger from the government. That would start a sizable riot if I had a guess.

Lilani:
I'm really at a loss for what can be done about North Korea. I feel like the only way to ensure any kind of success is if there is support for a new government within, through the people. But since we're so in the dark as far as knowing how much the people know about the outside world and how much they actually desire a new government, there is no way to know what their reaction would be to "liberation." It's obvious for all their huffing and puffing about nuclear weapons tests and trying to bully South Korea they wouldn't stand a chance if any other country acted against them militarily. They have no allies and no ties in the rest of the world's economy.

So we could squash their military like a bug quite easily, but again it's a matter of knowing where the people stand. Liberation sounds fine and dandy to us, but if there is even an ounce of truth in reports like this then it's obvious there is some serious brainwashing that has permeated every nook and cranny of their society, and bogged them down so far it will be a long trip back. And the last thing anybody wants right now is another war to give "freedom" to a people who don't want the brand of "freedom" we're offering.

Got to agree, the fact that theyre starting nuclear missile tests also scares the crap out of me.

As much as i hate north korea theyve got the whole dictatorship thing down to a fine art. Usually a free media would have a huge role to play in spreading democracy, especially with the internet but since theyre not even allowed that the a rebellion in n. korea just seems impossible right now, and all we can do is shrug and say "sucks to be them".

Im fairly cynical to this news story and it sounds a lot like propoganda to dehumanise the dictatorship even more. Not that a dictatorship like that needs any help dehumanizing itself but the point still stands.

This "news" report is really too unreliable. Something tells me that's it's propaganda, but on the other hand we know that there's a famine going on in NK. If a slightly less outrageous form of cannibalism was going on, I wouldn't be surprised.

I'll wait for the uptick in cases of prion diseases before coming to any premature conclusions.

This isn't the first time the nation's been thought to have mass cannibalism. While it is surprisingly easy to legally get into the nation, your taken on a ludicrous scripted tour of the "nation", seeing events that try to make it seem like they have food (it is easy to tell they are putting out the food for you alone to see), "modern technology" (that looks like it dates from the 90's at BEST), and great engineering (such as the Nampo Dam, which has caused flooding in the little usable farmland of the country). You never get to meet anyone you were not scripted to. God help you if you leave your tour guide/secret agent.

This isn't the first time the nation has been accused of cannibalism. We just don't know because nobody can go out and see the slums "other cities" besides the capital.

Blablahb:
Especially the part about digging up a corpse and eating that is ridiculous.

Not as ridiculous as you would think, as it has happened before elsewhere (Siberian Cossack host). Not to say it is happening in NK, just that it isn't that far fetched for graves to be dug up in times of famines.

in the last 12 months in one province alone they estimate 200,000 people have died from starvation, 45% of children under 5 are malnourished and as of 2011 people were provided around 700 calories a day by the government depending on your job and loyalty to the government.

its quite possible that its happening in places with starvation and that level of deaths. especially when you realise north korea is trying to feed 24 million people with pre industrial agriculture.

wombat_of_war:
in the last 12 months in one province alone they estimate 200,000 people have died from starvation, 45% of children under 5 are malnourished and as of 2011 people were provided around 700 calories a day by the government depending on your job and loyalty to the government.

its quite possible that its happening in places with starvation and that level of deaths. especially when you realise north korea is trying to feed 24 million people with pre industrial agriculture.

Fuck, I thought maybe kim jong the younger would make a difference. Sickens me the money they spend on the military to guarantee their own claim to power while watching their people starve

Lunar Shadow:
Not as ridiculous as you would think, as it has happened before elsewhere (Siberian Cossack host). Not to say it is happening in NK, just that it isn't that far fetched for graves to be dug up in times of famines.

Maybe, but eating rotting dead human flesh seems to be an excellent way of committing suicide. That's one reason why I doubt the accuracy of the report, no matter how big a famine they have down there.

IIRC, during WW2, soviet police forces in some of the besieged cities had to form special units dealing with cannibalism.

So, hardly impossible, but no way of telling for sure.

Considering the fact North Korea tends to get huffy and puffy when they get desperate and their recent tantrums this actually seems like it might be true. Any hope of Kim Jong Il's death leading to the North becoming less.....crazy...have definitely gone up in smoke at this point.

I wouldn't be surprised if there was cannibalism in North Korea. People are starving and those that live have poor health. They end up being several inches shorter than they should be, have blindness at young ages, and have weak bones. Some people even chase after mice and rats in the hopes of a decent meal. Although we cannot confirm cannibalism occurring( due to the high level of security), it would be a safe bet to say they are eating each other. If there were a list of places to never go to for any reason North Korea would be at the top along with Somalia and Iran.

Where there's starvation, there's cannibalism. People are made of meat, after all. If someone's dying/dead of starvation anyway, it's easier to justify getting some use out of them. Most of us are lucky enough to live in countries where stuff like this only happened a long time ago, if ever.

thaluikhain:
IIRC, during WW2, soviet police forces in some of the besieged cities had to form special units dealing with cannibalism.

So, hardly impossible, but no way of telling for sure.

Another one from the USSR.

One trick to get out of prison would be for about three military detainees/life sentenced murderers to bring along a fourth political prisoner, with a promise of freedom. Once they are clear of the prison (which were often far from civilization) the three military guys would rip the fourth apart as food source till they can get to a village.

Not G. Ivingname:

thaluikhain:
IIRC, during WW2, soviet police forces in some of the besieged cities had to form special units dealing with cannibalism.

So, hardly impossible, but no way of telling for sure.

Another one from the USSR.

One trick to get out of prison would be for about three military detainees/life sentenced murderers to bring along a fourth political prisoner, with a promise of freedom. Once they are clear of the prison (which were often far from civilization) the three military guys would rip the fourth apart as food source till they can get to a village.

I don't know if there were ever any "confirmed" cases of cannibalism in the USSR during world war II, but let's just say that during the Siege of Leningrad, an awful lot of bodies showed up at the morgue with missing bits and pieces.

from same article:

RELATED: North Korea Has Found a Secret Unicorn Lair, Apparently

probably same level of accuracy.

my grand father once told me that once you get hungry enough you can eat anything, at the time i thought he just meant really rotten fish, oh lord I wish that was the extent that people would stop at.

if this is true then I am wondering whether anyone should invade or not, sure the Koreans may not agree with the war but people wont die of famine and have to eat each other if we just invade and give them food, dont even need to give them freedom just send some fucking food over there.

Sleekit:
from same article:

RELATED: North Korea Has Found a Secret Unicorn Lair, Apparently

probably same level of accuracy.

Amusingly enough that story seems to be accurate - the Korean Central News Agency (the state news agency of NK) featured that story a while ago and it already made it's rounds among Western news websites. I guess you could call that a very nice example of Poe's Law. But one should expect something like that: with a state as isolationist and mired in control of a ruling party information is notoriously unreliable and trying to ascertain what really happens pretty much amounts to what was once called "Kremlinology".

So while I'll not trust the article in the OP, I'd not discount the possibility. Especially since famines aren't uncommon in NK. To my knowledge even to such a degree that the bare minimum for large swathes of people on the countryside can usually only be reached by food donations from charity organizations or development help. While Kim-Jong Un as of yet has only consolidated his power among the military leadership and shunned reforms, his recent new-years speech might hint at something happening in the future that might alleviate this situation. But that's also just Kremlinology. We just have to wait and see I guess.

felbot:
if this is true then I am wondering whether anyone should invade or not, sure the Koreans may not agree with the war but people wont die of famine and have to eat each other if we just invade and give them food, dont even need to give them freedom just send some fucking food over there.

Invasion is pretty much the worst way, if simply for the fact that the second any military takes a step over the border all the big cannons aimed at vital parts of Seoul are going off.

It's not like they wouldn't take food if given. They survive basically on doing a military maneuver or firing a rocket dangerously close to Japan or the South, then reminding everyone they wouldn't mind some food. But if we just gave them everything a) they could and most definitely would claim that the capitalist devils have seen the superiority of the regime and are offering gifts to please the mighty nation b) they wouldn't change a thing and continue onwards in their crazy course.
While being done on the backs of probably mostly innocent farmers North Korea still needs to experience these self-inflicted famines and droughts, they aren't going to change a thing if everything runs smoothly for them.

if its true (and I equally doubt and dont doubt it is, because theres a fair chance it can go either way), thats rather horrifying. I mean, I get youre starving and self preservation and all that jazz, but I'd kill a transient before I killed my kids if it came down to that final solution, and then if it came down to family, Id probably off myself for my kids.

But still, thats fucked up. and unfortunately there's no way to hange this other than some high ranking official in N. Korea making a coup and trying to actually make lives better for his people.

... the most fucked up thing about this though is its actually easy to see a place like china going this way at some point in the future. farmers domestically get a rough shake and they could end up having this issue as well and no one would really report it because as open as china is now it still holds secrets. china's very poor for as big of an economic impact it has.

Sleekit:
from same article:

RELATED: North Korea Has Found a Secret Unicorn Lair, Apparently

probably same level of accuracy.

This was actually official propoganda by North Korea, which is filled with so many lies (an invasion tunnel was covered up as a coal mine, which they did by painting the walls black), impossibilities (Kim IL Sung had a celebration for his "two decades of leading the communists, which would of meant he lead them when he was 14), and double thinking (statements to the outside world are of celebrations of the communist "no race" ideal while official policy INSIDE the nation maintains Korean racial superiority that the Nazi would blush at).

I am not sure if it was funny or horrifying that they actually expected their people to believe that

My personal opinion is that a few well-placed JDAMs from the American B-2 fleet aimed at the presidential residence and military command centers would have an extremely positive effect on North Korea.

adamsaccount:

wombat_of_war:
in the last 12 months in one province alone they estimate 200,000 people have died from starvation, 45% of children under 5 are malnourished and as of 2011 people were provided around 700 calories a day by the government depending on your job and loyalty to the government.

its quite possible that its happening in places with starvation and that level of deaths. especially when you realise north korea is trying to feed 24 million people with pre industrial agriculture.

Fuck, I thought maybe kim jong the younger would make a difference. Sickens me the money they spend on the military to guarantee their own claim to power while watching their people starve

the last time there was a major famine there they allowed aid groups into the country to help, they interviewed one of the people on the ground organising the relief efforts and he was shocked that farming was almost entirely performed by animals because while they have an extensive military arsenal the country literally has no tractors

Ravinoff:
My personal opinion is that a few well-placed JDAMs from the American B-2 fleet aimed at the presidential residence and military command centers would have an extremely positive effect on North Korea.

Yeah. Because they'd finally have a reason to march into the South and get their own food.

Ravinoff:
My personal opinion is that a few well-placed JDAMs from the American B-2 fleet aimed at the presidential residence and military command centers would have an extremely positive effect on North Korea.

1. China still says they back North Korea's government if ATTACKED. Since blowing up a government building is aggressive warfare by all definitions, it could escalate to nuclear warfare VERY fast. Anything is preferable to that.

2. Even if China doesn't launch the nukes, it still could embargo the US, bringing the entire world economy to a sudden crash the likes of which we have never seen.

3. EVen if China doesn't cut trade relations, you would suddenly have a power vacuum, military/secret police civil war, and massive refugee crisis as citizen's flee in both directions away from the failed state. Very hungry, very weak, very desperate people. Would they be allowed over, costing a huge amounts of resources, educating them out of the Dark Ages, feeding them, providing all the medical care, or would they just be shot? I don't think the Chinese would be so kind.

 

Reply to Thread

Log in or Register to Comment
Have an account? Login below:
With Facebook:Login With Facebook
or
Username:  
Password:  
  
Not registered? To sign up for an account with The Escapist:
Register With Facebook
Register With Facebook
or
Registered for a free account here