Tuesday, August 16, 2005

News from North Korea

Just found this site (via Winds of Change), and I'm bookmarking it because it's just a HOOT! It links news from North Korea via the KCNA - propaganda straight from the Madman in Pajama's mouth - with comment by the site's author. Try this one out for size:

”Mr. Roh, tear down this wall!”

Not content to let Western democracies corner the market on outrage over nation-splitting concrete walls, North Korea has angrily demanded for years that South Korea tear down a 240 km, 10 m high concrete wall that transverses the entire width of the Korean peninsula, running just below the DMZ. This demand would be exceedingly difficult for South Korea to meet, however, for the following reasons.
Dissembling the wall would take quite a bit of time
It would cost a lot of money
It would remove a deterant against a North Korean invasion
The wall doesn’t really exist
Of these, I happen to think that point #4 is the biggest obstacle, though no doubt others would disagree. The phantom wall was not-built in 1979, is 10-19 metres un-wide at bottom, 3-7 metres un-wide on the top.

I can't keep copying stuff from the site, but I just want to include this little factoid- when reading through the "news" (I learned the scarequotes trick from the New York Times), the word Juche pops up. So, what the HELL is Juche?

"Juche” is the North Korean ideology of extreme national self-reliance, first developed in the 50’s by a high-ranking official (who later defected), but heavily emphasized by the regime starting around the early 70’s. It is used in part to justify shutting the country off from the rest of the world.

Numbering years by Juche is the North Korean equivalent of the western (Gregorian) “A.D.” or “C.E.”, except that it starts from the year of birth of Kim Il Sung (1912) rather than Jesus Christ. The idea, obviously, is that Kim Il Sung was such a monumental demigod that time should be centered around his birth. For more on this, visit the Gregorian-Juche Era conversion tool.

Interestingly enough, this “year zero” philosophy was also practiced by Pol Pot and the Khmer Rouge in Cambodia, who reset the world’s timeline according to their revolution. They thought their ideology was so perfect and complete, in and of itself, that whatever came before it in the river of history was irrelevant and could be discarded.

If the leader of your own country ever implements some kind of “year zero” policy, I suggest getting the hell out of Dodge.