Found 4 comments on HN
>effectively shut down the entire city

So.. you guys were carefully corralled in the city? N Korea is mostly rural, with most of its population barely able to get enough calories to eat. Pyongyang is a propagandist show-room and is full of connected party types. Your average N Korean doesn't live that lifestyle. This is all fairly well documented by various sources, mostly via the oral histories of defectors:

If you care to discredit these works, I will argue with you on a point to point basis. I have read both and other sources that describe the regime and everyday life in North Korea. Perhaps we can also get Dennis Rodman in here too but clearly you both are on the same page.

Sadly, I find North Korea cheerleading often to be a biased political position tied to the usual pro-China HN crowd that finds fault with everything the US/EU do, thus anything the US/EU are critical of, must be good and any criticism of these regimes must be "western propaganda."

chroma · 2015-01-19 · Original thread
Your line about nuclear proliferation is a total non-sequitur. The US of 1945 is not the US of today. Our ethics and standards have risen significantly in the past 65 years. You might as well call the US hypocritical for backing UN resolutions against racism because of segregation up to the 60's.

> Along the lines of your argument, DPRK citizens shouldn't be learning physics, chemistry, mathematics, aerospace engineering, mechanical engineering, civil engineering and medical or any subject because they all can be used as "weapon" for nefarious purposes.

Except for medicine, probably yes. See my other comment for why I think that is the case.[1]

> Keeping the population of a country uneducated because you don't agree with the government running the country is discriminatory and racist. No person irrespective of race or belief or country of citizenship should be denied education.

How is it racist? I have no ethical issues with South Koreans or North Korean defectors learning these things. I'm simply pointing out a concrete example of how, in some cases, education can be harmful on net. Simplifying it to, "Education is good." won't steer you wrong often. But when it does, the consequences can be horrific.

And to say one doesn't agree with the DPRK is putting it far too mildly. Read Nothing to Envy: Ordinary Lives in North Korea.[2] The stories will make you thankful to be in whatever country you live in. For many people, North Korea truly is hell on earth. It's far worse than anything Orwell wrote about.

If the leaders of the DPRK could get away with it, they would rain fire on South Korea and the US tomorrow. The only thing stopping them is lack of ability. Educating their citizens helps them gain technology that will most likely be used to achieve the goals of the DPRK's leaders. That will almost certainly lead to more harm than good.



If anyone is interested, this is an excellent book about the lives of people inside North Korea, told through the eyes of several defectors:
ggreer · 2013-09-04 · Original thread
My favorite book about the DPRK is Nothing to Envy: Ordinary Lives in North Korea (

I'm hopeful that the DPRK is moving toward modernity, but if the stories from that book are anywhere close to the truth, they are still by far the most evil regime on the planet.

Get dozens of book recommendations delivered straight to your inbox every Thursday.