Jeffrey YanCLN4U1Ms. Heim12/1/2018Sufferings of North Koreans under Dictatorship RuleThere have been many dictatorships throughout history. A dictatorship is a form of strict ruling over a country where one ruler takes full control over every aspect of the activity of citizens. The formation of Dictatorships have always led to conflict and damage towards its citizens and to the global community. An evident example was Adolf Hitler’s formation of Nazi Germany which lead to World War 2 and the death of approximately 50 million people worldwide. Although the number of dictatorships have decreased over time, North Korea is a dictatorship that does not seem to be weakening and is becoming stronger day by day. North Korea was formed at the end of World War 2 where Korea was separated into two with the Soviet Union influencing the North. North Korea is a representation of extreme modern dictatorship and needs to be stopped. Under the ruler, Kim Jong Un, citizens are constantly under extreme monitor and control. They are living a miserable life in North Korea and many tried to escape. The North Korean Dictatorship imposes an authoritarian rule that violates the human rights of its citizens and it has led to their physical harm, poverty, and isolation from the rest of the world. To begin with, physical harm was done to the citizens of North Korea. North Korea is known to impose strict punishment to those that break their strict rules. One of North Korea’s infamous punishment is labour camps. Citizens of North Korea are placed into such camps when they violate laws such as practising a religion, protesting against the NK dictatorship rule, attempting to escape and so on. When these “crimes” were prosecuted, not only the violator gets punished; if the crime is severe, the criminal’s family up to two generations will all be sent to the labour camps which are scattered across the country (Smith, 2017). Prison guards of the labour camps are in charge of punishing, forcing labour and sometimes execution. Kang Cheol-hwan is a North Korean defector that was imprisoned in Camp 15, a camp for “enemies of the state”. He is now the president of the North Korea Strategy Center. Kang did not personally offend any crime, but it was a member of his family. Hence, he was sent to a labour camp as a child. He was forced into hard labour such as pulling heavy wood for long distances(Smith, 2017). Another defector, Jun Heo, described the concentration camp he was placed in after he was caught escaping the country into China (McKay, 2017). He described that prisoners over the age of 17 are required to work from 6:30 am until at least 8:00 pm (McKay, 2017). In terms of living conditions, approximately 20 people were stuffed in a small cell without the proper supply of food and many were forced to starve (McKay, 2017). Jun Heo also mentions that being beaten constantly was a routine and prisoners always hear sounds of women being raped at midnight (McKay, 2017). Capital punishment, also known as the death penalty, is banned in many countries in Canada. Capital punishments are permitted in North Korea and the methods used are inhumane and very painful. Cases include being gunned down by anti-aircraft guns, mortar fire, tortured to death in labour camps, publicly executed and even poisoned (“North Korea dictator”, 2017). Article 5 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights state that no one shall be subjected to torture or to cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment. Overall, actions demonstrated by the Korean dictatorship indicates that Article 5 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights were severely violated and that North Korean citizens and prisoners are tortured by their rulers. Poverty is a common problem in many countries but it is a major problem in North Korea. According to The Borgen Project, a non-profit organization that fights for poverty and hunger, forty percent of the North Korean population is below the poverty line (“10 Facts About Poverty in North Korea”, 2017). The percentage translates to approximately 24 million people. North Korea’s GDP is estimated to be about $1000 which is about 1/28th of South Korea’s GDP (Beauchamp, 2017). Most workers in North Korea only earn $2 to $3 per month (“10 Facts About Poverty in North Korea”, 2017). These facts reveal how poor North Koreans are and shows that they are not able to earn enough money to even sustain themselves. This is evident with health care. Health care in North Korea is claimed to be free while reports indicate that many doctors denied treatment unless able to pay for the high price of medicine with their low income (“10 Facts About Poverty in North Korea”, 2017). Even those that manage to pay for treatment are attended with poor infrastructure and lack of equipment and medicines (“Aid agencies row over North Korea health care system”, 2010). Such health care is not enough to combat the diseases and sickness coming from food shortages. North Korea has always relied on international aid for food resource dating back to the 1990s (“10 Facts About Poverty in North Korea”, 2017). However, food aid has been on a decline since 2009 and the citizens suffer the consequence. North Korea’s local farms are not able to sustain the population. The North Korean dictatorship tried to increase the amount of product produced by introducing the human feces program in 2014 (“10 Facts About Poverty in North Korea”, 2017). Human feces were used as fertilizers to improve crop turnout in local farms. This method caused suffering in the citizens as using human excrement has an inherent risk of spreading worms and parasites (Lockie, 2017). 25-year-old defector named Oh was shot while escaping and a 10.6-inch parasite was found in Oh’s intestine while he received care (Lockie, 2017). With all the suffering of North Korean citizens, Kim Jong-Un has continued to spend most of his resources in military rather than his people. This shows that the North Korean dictatorship made little effort to dissolve poverty and are making poverty more serious and damaging to the North Korean Citizens. Not only does the North Korean Dictatorship cause physical harm, North Korea also caused mental harm by isolating its citizens from the world. In North Korea, news medias are government owned and the government controls what citizens can learn and comprehend. Citizens rarely have access to newspaper or television at home and they mostly rely on papers posted on news boards or TVs in public areas (Jerreat, 2017). Therefore, citizen’s source of news is very limited. To ensure that citizens remain loyal to the government, the North Korean government constantly release fake myths and news regarding North Korea and their enemy, the United States of America. Many myths are about how strong and god-like Kim Jong-Un is. Some of these myths include Kim Jong-Un invented the hamburger; Kim never needs to use the toilet; Kim is loved by everyone worldwide and many more myths (Blake, 2017). An example of a fake news was North Korea supposedly winning the world cup. The propaganda made by the government and news medias showed that North Korea made it to the finals in the last World Cup and won (Sanderson, 2014). The truth is that North Korea National Football Team did not even qualify for the world cup. The effect of these fake news and myths allow North Koreans to be loyal to the dictatorship despite the many sufferings within North Korean borders. Under Kim’s regime, the government tries to isolate as many American-related things as possible and hide everything from their Citizens. Eunhee Park, a 26-year-old defector realized that there are so many things she did not know while she was in North Korea (Oliphant, 2017). She wasn’t allowed to wear a pink floral dress and pink cardigan which she wore in a speech. People weren’t allowed to have highlights in their hair, or even drink coffee. Park didn’t even know where Australia was which is now where she resides (Oliphant, 2017). Eunhee’s experience showed that North Koreans are barely aware of anything about the outside world and many common objects in our lives are missing in theirs. Kang Cheol Hwan, president of the North Korea Strategy Center states that after all the censorship, once North Koreans escape and resettle, “It’s quite difficult for them to come to terms with the influx of information available to them.” (Jerreat, 2017). By interfering with the North Korean citizens’ lives, Kim Jong-Un caused psychological harm to the North Korean people and separated them from our global community and lifestyle. Some may argue that images and media released to the public show that North Koreans are really happy living there. There are many pictures of North Koreans with joy on their faces. They look well-dressed and in good condition. North Korea recently allow many visitors worldwide to travel to the country for sightseeing. Visitors report that people are very nice there and do not seem to be suffering at all. However, all these images, media, and visitor reports are untrue. Many images and media are released by the North Korean government, which can be forced and faked. An example would be the mourning of the death of Kim Jong Il. The mourning was televised and released to the world. The mourning showed teenagers, adults, elderly, and military all crying and shaking in shock (Sifton, 2011). Many are on the floor, slamming the floor while crying and yelling. The mourning was very dramatic and there are guesses that North Koreans were forced to put up such an act or be punished (Sifton, 2011). More importantly, visitor reports are not very reliable. The North Korean government does not allow visitors to take pictures at random (Alter, 2016). They are only allowed to remain on a designated tour path under constant surveillance of North Korean tour guides.(Urban, 2013). Therefore, visitors only see what the North Korean government allows them to see. They cannot see what lies beyond the tour path and cannot see the true experience of the North Korean people. Tour guides are not allowed to reveal anything to the tourist but “good” information about their leader and nation. With the recount of defected North Koreans, we can establish that all images and media released by the North Korean government and North Korean visitors are unreliable. In conclusion, Kim Jong-Un’s rule damages the lives of North Koreans by inflicting extreme pain on many citizens, disregarding the poverty of citizens, and disallowing North Koreans to be part of the Global Community. The actions and policies of Kim Jong-Un violate the human rights of North Koreans and puts many citizens in severe suffering. North Korea is a country that deserves to be free and North Koreans deserve to join us as global citizens and enjoy the life that we are given. For this reason, we should strive for their freedom and return them back into our society.