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#3667

North Korea is the best country on Earth

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The debate is finished. The distribution of the voting points and the winner are presented below.

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After 1 vote and with 3 points ahead, the winner is...

RationalMadman
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7
1706
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560
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Description

In this debate I will argue that Democratic Peoples Republic of Korea, widely known as North Korea, is the best country on Earth.

Some might think that this is a difficult position to defend. To me, it will be easy. Even if I dont win the debate, I will still consider that I am right and that I should have won.

As for the definitions, to each their own. I am not going to define what other people should consider as the best.

Since I have the disadvantage of not having the last word, I will take as my right to also debate in the comment section if I see that it is necessary.

Round 1
Pro
#1
After taking a look at other debates of RationalMadman, it would be a mistake not to pay respect to his debating style. This debate will be my chance to convince him that he should give his support to North Korea and North Korean people.

"Great ideology produces great times" - Kim Jong Il

"The oppressed people can only liberate themselves through struggle. This is a simple and clear truth confirmed by history." - Kim Il Sung

"Everything is decided by persons thoughts. If he is ideologically motivated, there is nothing he cannot do" - Kim Il Sung

"The days are gone forever when our enemies could blackmail us with nuclear bombs." - Kim Jong Un

"Our nuclear weapons are a guarantee of peace" - Kim Jong Un

"One can live without candy, but one cannot live without bullets." - Kim Jong Il

“Our Party's Songun-based revolutionary leadership, Songun-based politics, is a revolutionary mode of leadership and socialist mode of politics that gives top priority to military affairs, and defends the country, the revolution and socialism and dynamically pushes ahead with overall socialist construction by dint of the revolutionary mettle and combat capabilities of the People's Army.” - Kim Jong Il

From the quotes above, it is clear that North Korean leaders know that developing the military will secure the existence of North Korea and prevent US aggression. North Korea had to invest highly in military and develop nuclear weapons to avoid the faith of Iraq, Libya, Afganistan, Syria, Ukraine, Palestine, Somalia...ect.

North Korea has a capability to strike any location in the world with nuclear force. This means any country will suffer greatly if it decides to attack North Korea.

The ability to defend itself from any country makes North Korea safer from wars. A lot of countries in the world have very weak military and rely on others to protect them. North Korea can protect itself and doesnt depend on anyone.

From the quotes above, we can see that North Korean leaders place imortance on ideological struggle too. This means that entire nation is educated ideologically from early childhood to serve the Songun Juche cause. This makes it less likely that there will ever be US sponsored civil war in North Korea.

Safety is on high level in North Korea. But what about the quality of life?

In the richest capitalist countries average person has just enough money to have a small place to live, have a family of no more than two  children(even that costs a lot), have a car(by going into debt), phone, and access to internet. Because everything is so expensive, people are forced to either only buy basic things or go further into debt.
Even the richest capitalist countries have average wages that barely cover the basic expenses. The rent cost alone takes almost half the average monthly wage. The price of education for children is also very high, making it economically impossible for an average person to have more than 2 children and not be in debt. Healthcare is also very expensive, but I think thats general knowledge. Also, average wage is not the same as minimal wage. So if the average wage has all these problems, minimal wage has even bigger problem. Also, we are talking about the richest capitalist countries. Do I even need to mention what happens in the poorest?... It seems that when taking into account the prices of food, rent, utilities, child care and education, and healthcare in any capitalist country, you simply cannot end up in a noticable surplus with average wage. You can often end up in debt instead. And I was taking into account if a person lives in a small 1 bedroom apartment outside of a city centre.




I would post more capitalist countries, but pretty much all results are similar. They all have sky high prices of rent and education. I just posted these 3  countries because they are usually mentioned as "rich", "free","advanced" and other nonsense.
It seems that in these countries the mere monthly cost of kindergarten for 2 kids takes out the entire average monthly wage. But to have a sustainable society, average family has to have at least 2 kids. With 2 wages in one family, it still barely covers the cost of basic things family needs leaving almost no surplus. It seems that people have to satisfy themselves  with just the basic things hoping that no surprising expense will occur, or to work 12 hours a day which lowers the quality of life.

What about children in orphanages in capitalist countries? Do they even stand a chance at life in capitalism? Or are they just kicked out into the world?

But in Socialist North Korea, everyone has a chance to have a good life. In North Korea, housing is free. Education is free. Child care is free. Healthcare is free.
All the things that take over 90% of two monthly wages to be payed in richest capitalist countries, all those things are free for everyone in North Korea.
Even children who have no parents and no one to take care of them, in North Korea they are cared for by the state. They get free house, job, healthcare, education all provided by the Socialist state.

Free apartments:

Interview with North Koreans, how orphans in North Korea are treated:

In North Korea, there is a unique transport system, but some people have cars too.
Some people in North Korea have internet. I dont know what number exactly, but I have found some North Koreans on the internet.







Also, it seems to be desired by the great leader that every child has a computer and a smartphone. In many videos, I see very young children in North Korea having access computers and gaming consoles.


This is only the beginning. There is no doubt that North Korea will become even richer in the future.

Also, take notice that I dont speak North Korean language. So I can only rely on translated videos as proof.
Some videos, like these ones, dont have translation:



Also, their channels often have names that make them tricky to find. Not to mention that sometimes the name of a channel is in Korean.

There are plenty of videos that show North Korea in a bad light, such as this one:


But even some of these videos seem to show good life, despite being followed by rude and unnecessary reporters comments.

In North Korea, people get a lot of free things. But they also get rewarded if they work more.

The example of that is scientist street in Pyongyang, made for scientists:

This unique Socialist way of life has no match anywhere in the world.

Does your leader care enough to inspect the quality of your life? Kim Jong Un spends a lot of time inspecting stores, schools, hospitals, factories, farms, he even inspects socks and bags! He does everything to improve the quality of life of ordinary people.





In this video, at 16:40, he inspects socks:

In just 75 years of Socialist Juche leadership, North Korea was transformed from a poor feudal country into a nuclear superpower with the largest military in the world all while being undefeated by the sanctions which were in place for a very long time.

North Koreans seem to be convinced that their country is the best in the world. Rightfully so! Their Juche ideology of self-reliance in building Socialism, in their nuclear self defense, and in their food production has placed them on a path that allowed them to create a safer, better, more peaceful life while respecting the nature and humanity in general. North Korea gives a chance to every individual to have a good life by giving a lot of free things to everyone. Certainly same cannot be said about capitalist countries who lustfully eat the entire wage of the working class.

Con
#2
What to judge a country by?

Let's perhaps look at several categories and see where DPRK (called NK in this debate but its official name is ironically Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK).

Now, for ECONOMY

Reliable information on the performance of the North Korean economy usually has been lacking. Outside observers have concluded that the country has consistently failed to meet its stated goals and that production statistics released by the government often have been inflated. Thus, although North Korea has made strong efforts to transform an essentially agrarian economy into one centred on modern industry in the post-Korean War years, it is generally believed that the country has been only partially successful.

North Korea’s economic goals have always been linked to the general government policy of self-reliance (juche, or chuch’e). The country shunned foreign investment, although it accepted considerable economic aid from the Soviet Union and its satellite eastern European countries as well as from China. Despite its stated policy of self-reliance, North Korea routinely found it necessary to import such essential commodities as fuels and machinery as well as grain.

By the early 1990s, North Korea had begun to experience severe economic hardships. The Soviet Union had collapsed, and the communist regimes of its eastern European allies had fallen, depriving North Korea of most of its trading partners and much of its former aid. China reduced but did not completely cut off its provision of materials to North Korea, but in 1992 it began to demand cash payments in place of grants-in-aid or credit accounts. In addition, in the mid-1990s the country suffered a series of natural disasters, including floods and drought. Serious grain and food shortages resulted, and starvation and malnutrition were widespread throughout the country.

North Korea’s economic freedom score is 3.0, making its economy the 177th freest in the 2022 Index. North Korea is ranked 39th among 39 countries in the Asia–Pacific region, and its overall score is below the regional and world averages.

North Korea’s economy is estimated to have shrunk by 8.0 percent in 2020 and by a further 5.0 percent in 2021. Commercial and business activity is severely repressed, and the country has been ranked lowest in the world every year since the inception of the Index in 1995. Chronic structural problems beset one of the world’s most centrally commanded and least open economies. In a country that lacks even the most basic policy infrastructure of a free-market economy, individuals and businesses lack any economic freedom whatsoever, both in principle and in practice.

There are 195 countries on Earth and NK is ranked as 177 economically.

~~
Now, how about EDUCATION?

A lot of the education in North Korea is propaganda meant to indoctrinate students into the system as early as kindergarten. For example, when children learn about time, they learn it is based on Kim Il-sung’s birth year, 1912, also known as Year 1 in North Korea. Every classroom in North Korea must have a picture of Kim Il-sung and Kim Jong-Il. Children learn about “revolutionary history,” involving music, storybooks, novels and artwork related to the Kims. A report published by the United Nations’ Commission of Inquiry states North Korea’s education program has two goals: to instill the utmost loyalty and commitment toward the supreme leader and to instill hostility and deep hatred toward the United States, Japan and South Korea.

The education system violates international law by restricting freedom of thought and expression in its people. The December 2018 U.N. report concludes North Korea is committing “systematic, widespread and gross violations of human rights.” Their findings cite torture, “inhuman conditions of detention,” rape, public executions, the death penalty for political and religious reasons, and political prison camps. In addition, it cites pervasive restrictions on freedom of thought, religion, expression, assembly and movement. Consequently, North Korea “totally rejects” the U.N. resolution.

Education in North Korea is political
Sadly, you will quickly realize this as you read this article, but everything in North Korea is about politics, even its own education.
Education is used to uphold socialistic conformity, and the country makes sure no one stands out, and never with true freedom of speech.
 
There are reeducation camps in North Korea
Not only are there education institutes like schools in North Korea, but there are also “reeducation” camps.
These camps are where prisoners go to perform hard labor. Whenever someone breaks the law, they are at risk of being sent to one of these horrible places.
 
North Korean reeducation camps are simply cruel
From people crossing borders to others causing slight disturbances, none of them wanted to be sent to a reeducation camp.
Prisoners are forced into severe circumstances like hunger, and rarely make it out alive. A North Korean denuclearization diplomat was recently sent there.
 
The North Korean education system violates international law
You probably already know it, but North Korea being a dictatorship is a huge issue regarding international law.
Because freedom of thought and expression is severely restricted in the country, the education system violates human rights. Obviously, North Korea rejects the United Nations and ignores their complaints.
 
Education is basically propaganda in North Korea
Believe it or not, North Korean students are being indoctrinated through their education as early as kindergarten.
The system as a whole is just a way of making sure everyone respects the law and devotes their life to the Supreme Leader.
 
The year is different in North Korea
If you go to a North Korean school and ask children what year it is, their answer will surprise you: for them, year 1 is the birth year of Kim Il-Sung, which is 1912.
A truly different way to talk about time.
 
North Korean classrooms decoration is… not very stylish
When it comes to decoration in North Korean classrooms, well, there simply isn’t any.
Every classroom in the country must have a picture of both Kim Il-Sung and Kim Jong-Il. This is a way to make sure that the “Eternal President of the Republic” stays alive in the minds of future generations.
 
The North Korean education system is not all about being loyal to the Supreme Leader… but also hating other countries
No one can deny it: education in North Korea is simply propaganda, with the goal to instill the utmost loyalty towards the Supreme Leader.
However, there is even more to that. The United Nations have reported that the program has another goal: instill hatred towards countries like the United States, South Korea and Japan.

Higher education in North Korea is not for everyone
Not only is the North Korean education system violating human rights like freedom of expression, but there is nothing like equality of opportunity when it comes to higher education.
Only students who come from royal families and have good grades can sit for entrance exams to the most prestigious tertiary education institutes of the country.
 
The North Korean curriculum is all about the Kim dynasty
The Kim dynasty is the first communist dynasty of the world. There are currently 3 Kims that controlled North Korea at one time: Kim Il-Sung, his son Kim Jong-Il, and his grandson and current Supreme Leader, Kim Jong-Un.
In school, students’ curriculum is focused on this dynasty.
 
The gender gap is still real in North Korean schools
Even though education is accessible to women, and even though North Korea did not officially release official information about the wage gap between men and women, the wage is usually fixed, making men earn more.
On top of that, women will very often quit their jobs after marriage.

The literature North Korean students can read is strictly censored
Books can change people, minds and even countries. Because of this, North Korea is strictly censoring all the literature that its students have access to.
The only books that are accessible are supporting the country, and sometimes show the failure of western politics.

This is a shambles with the only plusses being that they have a self-proclaimed high literacy rate and some gender equality (it's actually woman favoured if anything as the men are sent off early for mandatory military service).

Brainwashing aimed primarily at women seems to be the theme...

What exactly happens to the rebellious people who are freethinking no matter what they're brainwashed into?

Let's see more about the 'reeducatin camps'...


SYSTEM of JUSTICE & 'RE-EDUCATION' CAMPS

“It is more important than ever to ensure that the fate of everyday North Koreans trapped in the unyielding gulag systems remains at the forefront of our efforts and the efforts of the international community,” he said.

No. 1 camp, known as Kaechon, in the South Pyongang province of North Korea. (Courtesy of Google Earth/ )
“A lot of the people in these prisons are there for crimes that would not be crimes in another country,” said David Hawk, an expert on the North Korean gulag and the author of the new report.
Hawk married the satellite photos to testimony he has been collecting for years from prison camp survivors who have escaped from North Korea.
Prisoners in the “reeducation” camps are forced to do hard labor such as mining in near-starvation conditions. People deemed to have committed serious economic crimes — making too much money in the markets, for instance — can end up in them, as can those who have tried to escape from North Korea.

Horrific interrogations and torture have been reported in these camps as well as in those for political prisoners, who have typically been convicted of demonstrating or speaking out against the regime. Political prisoners are sent for life, often with three generations of their families accompanying them.
There are also short-term forced-labor prisons for misdemeanors in the North Korean system, where people might be held for less than a year but also in appalling conditions.
A U.N. Commission of Inquiry concluded in 2014 that the prison system amounted to a crime against humanity. About 120,000 North Koreans are thought to be held in the camps.

North Korea has repeatedly refused to allow outside monitors, either from the United Nations or the International Committee of the Red Cross, to visit the camps. But the satellite ­images can go some way to counter­act the government’s attempts to keep the system secret.
The close-up photos reveal the tell-tale identifying characteristics of prison camps: security enclosures with gated high walls and barbed-wire fences, guard towers, dormitories, and workshops or mines located within or near the prisons.

One of the oldest reeducation camps, No. 1 in Kaechon, north of Pyongyang, is easily recognizable as a large-scale penitentiary, Hawk wrote.
Another prison, No. 4 on the outskirts of the capital, has a clearly visible limestone quarry just outside the penitentiary walls. There is a conveyor belt to transport the limestone rocks into the prison camp. Prisoners were assigned to crush the rocks while others loaded them into large kilns, according to testimony Hawk collected.

As many as 6,000 prisoners, including, 2,000 women, are thought to be held in the Kaechon camp and are forced to work making leather goods such as shoes and belts, a dangerous job because of the toxicity of the glues used.

"Prison hygiene was reportedly appalling and food rations were inadequate, leading to high rates of death from malnutrition-
related illness, particularly for those prisoners whose families did not or could not bring them food," Hawk wrote.

This was standard for the prison camps, according to testimony from former guards and former detainees. The conditions were so bad that many prisoners died.
“The brutal and arduous labor, grossly inadequate diet, and lack of medicine lead to a dreadfully large number of deaths in detention,” the report said.

The North Korean regime also appeared to be building a new forced-labor prison camp near the political-prisoner Camp 14, in the center of the country. Satellite images show a 5.6-square-mile enclosed area with clearly visible security perimeters, guard barracks and positions, and checkpoints. There are two self-contained high-security areas within the encampment, as well as mines.

Imagery suggests construction of the camp began in 2006 or 2007.

The committee also published an English translation of the North Korean Criminal Code, which was most recently revised in 2012, the year after Kim took power. It lays out how North Koreans are denied basic human rights and shows a system of punishment “manifestly intended to keep the citizenry in line,” the report said.

The code includes clauses under which a North Korean who, “with anti-state purposes,” takes part in a riot or demonstration can be punished with a life sentence of “reform through labor” or the death penalty. Anti-state “propaganda and agitation” carries at least a five-year sentence, but also carries the threat of death.

So, it is not a re-education camp it is turning would-be freethinkers into slaves.

North Korea is using forced labor from its network of prison camps to mine coal and other minerals to boost exports and earn foreign currency, using the cash to support its nuclear weapons programs, according to a South Korean human rights group.

report by the Seoul-based Citizens' Alliance for North Korea Human Rights said an intricate network of government ministries and other entities relies on prison labor and other illicit operations to bring in money to the isolated Asian country.

Pyongyang continues to operate "a large financial pyramid fraud" relying on "mafia-type operations" to get people held in prisons camps to mine large quantities of coal, lead, zinc, magnesite and other materials, the report said.

Satellite images and testimony from witnesses shed light on North Korea's expansion of its prison camp network to overlap with the location of several mines, according to the report, which is titled "Blood Coal Export from North Korea: Pyramid scheme of earnings maintaining structures of power."

The country exports goods using "a shady network of foreign trading partners," in China, Myanmar, and Russia, who often receive North Korea's coal shipments produced by citizens in prisons, according to the report.

The findings provide a deep analysis of how prison camps help North Korea supports its military operations. The U.N. has banned commodity exports from the country in an attempt to stifle funding for the nation's missile programs and to stop human rights abuses from these camps.

The expansion of prison camps comes as North Korean leader Kim Jong Un's regime has worked to boost the nation's nuclear weapons programs.

President Biden's administration is still forming its policies toward North Korea, but it's likely to take a harder line than his predecessor. Former president Donald Trump held three summits with Kim that ultimately produced no denuclearization and hardly touched on the country's dismal human rights record.

According to Reuters, a State Department spokesperson said the Biden administration planned a new approach to North Korea, which will include a full review with allies "on ongoing pressure options and the potential for any future diplomacy."

Prison labor economics
Life inside these prison camps is brutal, according to the report and other accounts. Starvation, torture, beatings have all been reported as regular occurrences at these camps. Entire families, including children, are often tasked with working nearly every day to mine coal and other products.

The State Department has said the number of people held in the prison and detention system is estimated at 80,000 and 120,000. It said conditions "were harsh and life threatening due to food shortages, gross overcrowding, physical abuse, and inadequate sanitary conditions and medical care."

The total coal ore reserves in North Korea are estimated at 18.6 billion tons, and they're valued at more than $3.4 billion, the report stated. Coal shipments to China, Russia, Myanmar and Syria brought in around $200 million in 2017 alone. That should satisfy domestic demand, but there are still nationwide shortages, according to the report.

Despite previous reports that the prison camps were closing or downsizing, the report cited satellite images showing that Kim's regime has only ramped up mining operations.
One satellite image shows the shaft and open pit mines in Bukchang and Kaechon are clearly overlapping with the area encompassing major known political prison camps in North Korea. These camps have been in operation since the 1970s, when the country's system of political prison camps was expanded.

Newly expanded southern perimeters of the camp in Bukchang have been marked by new guard posts, and new buildings beyond the old boundaries of the camp. Witnesses have also observed more changes in some of the mine buildings. Recent satellite images show coal trains near coal loading stations, as well as larger cargo trains.

It is important to understand that NK's travesties against human rights are not only a problem in the sense of morality but even strategically it has stifled the willingness of other nations to trade with it and negotiate with it. The country, as is, is actually so far from being the greatest country on Earth that this debate is mere satire/comedy in most people's eyes even if Pro is sincere in their meaning.

The country is such a joke that the only press it gets that doesn't make it look bad is press that makes it look like a clown fiesta, just please observe Kim Jong-Un trying to flex his nukes and make other countries 'respect' him with this latest propaganda:


^ this is not satirical or a remake,

It's even posted here on a different news source:

He actually released this in 2022 believing people will see it and take it seriously and respect NK. This is how out of touch this isolated slavery-based nation is from the rest of the world.

Many countries and multilateral organizations have criticized North Korea for its alleged human rights abuses.[citation needed] Since 2005, the United Nations General Assembly has adopted a resolution every year to condemn the human rights situation in North Korea.[150]

Multiple countries have been critical of the allegations made against North Korea. China's delegation to the United Nations said that North Korea has made considerable progress in protecting human rights. Sudan's government said that instead of criticizing the country, there should be support by the international community for North Korea's efforts to protect human rights. Venezuela's delegation to the United Nations asserted that the allegations made by UN observers against North Korea are based on flawed criteria and are not credible.[151] Cuba's delegation to the United Nations said that the body's claims made against North Korea are politically motivated and seek to impose isolation and pressure on the country, in violation of the Human Rights Council's stated principles.[152]

The U.S. and Japan have passed laws and created envoys in order to bring this issue to public attention. The U.S. initially passed the North Korean Human Rights Act of 2004 in October of that year, and reauthorized the law in 2008. It created an office at the State Department focused on North Korean human rights, run originally by Special Envoy Jay Lefkowitz.[citation needed]

The NGO Freedom House has ranked North Korea at the very bottom of its "Freedom in the World" ratings since the survey was first launched in 1973.[153] In Freedom House's 2013 survey, North Korea was one of nine countries that earned a 7 (its lowest rating) for both political rights and civil liberties.[154] Its current report on North Korea categorizes it as "Not Free", and states that there are virtually no organizations independent of state control.[155] North Korea has charged that those who make allegations about human rights in the country are interfering with the country's internal affairs and trying to force down their values.[156]

Other international NGOs have been established with the purpose of relieving the human rights abuses faced by North Koreans. The North Korea Strategy Center works to provide people living in North Korea with access to videos, music, and other external media that promotes human rights and democracy.[157] An organization called Liberty in North Korea collects charitable donations in order to perform rescue missions for defectors attempting to escape North Korea through China.[158] Still other organizations focus on assisting defectors after they arrive in Southeast Asia, South Korea, the United States, or other destinations. Saejowi, a Seoul-based NGO, aims to provide medical support to defectors in South Korea, because they are often unable to understand the treatment options available to them.[159]

With the exception of the international abductions issue regarding JapaneseAmericans, and South Koreans, which it says has been fully resolved, North Korea strongly rejects all reports of human rights violations and accuses the defectors of promoting only an anti-North agenda.[160]

On September 9, 2020, the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights in Seoul published a report stating that voices of citizens of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea, including women, are being curbed. It urged the United States and South Korea to raise concerns about North Korean human rights abuses, whenever the negotiations with North Korea resumes.[161]


When Kim Hyeongsoo, 53, got his degree in biology, he hoped to be part of a team that conducted research of global significance. But Hyeongsoo was born in North Korea, which had a different mission for him: figure out how Great Leader Kim Il-sung and his son Kim Jong-il could eat without getting fat.

The Kims “asked us to identify how they can excrete what they eat without any absorption of calories,” Hyeongsoo told me through a translator.

He and his fellow food scientists worked at a heavily guarded facility, where every project had to be approved by the regime, he said, and they had little access to international science. They tried to understand diseases such as hardening of the arteries, cerebral thrombosis, and cerebral hemorrhage, without the benefit of being able to build on knowledge that is widespread throughout the rest of the world. Hyeongsoo told me he worked at the Mansumugang (Long Life Health) Institute from 1990 to 1995, and that it employed 100 scientists and 30 assistants and animal caretakers at the time. The scientists studied life extension and weight management for the ruling Kim family, even as food was scarce for the average citizen.

Whenever they came up with a food that could enhance the health of the dictators, Hyeongsoo said it was immediately sent to the Kims. Their work included studies on Italian olive oil, fiber, and a sweet Chinese fruit whose sugar content isn’t entirely absorbed by the body, the extracts of which were added to the Kims’ meals to improve the way they tasted. An entire team conducted research on alcohol and tobacco, “which the Kims really enjoyed,” he said.

Electric fences circled the compound, as the health of the Kims was a state secret. The scientists got free food once a week, but like all scientists in the country, Hyeongsoo said he and his colleagues were forbidden from discussing their work. “[I had a colleague] with a PhD in medicine who told his friends what he was studying. He was arrested as a political prisoner together with his family,” he said.

Kim Hyeongsoo, a North Korean defector who worked as a scientist in the country. Photo: Manchul Kim

Few findings from North Korean scientists make it in international journals, so the world knows little about what they do. What we do know comes from defectors and the few foreign scientists who have been invited to the country when the government deemed it necessary to get outside help, such as when Western volcanologists were asked to help monitor the potentially dangerous Mount Paektu.

I was introduced to Hyeongsoo through Teach North Korean Refugees, a nonprofit organization that prepares North Korean refugees for life in South Korea. He left North Korea in 2009 and now lives in Seoul, South Korea.

Hyeongsoo’s experience was similar to that of many researchers in North Korea: absurd, sycophantic, isolated, and stressful. And yet scientists in this country still manage to maintain a leading nuclear weapons program and make other strides, including developing an artificial knee joint, ultrasound machine, and CT scanner. Nuclear and chemical weapons get priority in North Korea, Hyeongsoo said, followed by research into the health of the ruling family. Isolation means North Korean scientists have a hard time getting access to the global knowledge base, much less specialized or expensive equipment. When they encounter a problem, the regime expects them to find solutions on their own, Hyeongsoo said. Chemists, for instance, find smugglers to sell them reagents brought in from China.

American scientist Robert Duane Shelton, who studied what North Korean researchers publish, said that scientists there often do more theoretical work than experiments, which implies that they have inadequate equipment. “In the fields of biological sciences, they had obvious access to laboratories,” Shelton said. “In the physical sciences, though, and engineering, it was more mathematical simulations rather than experimentation, which suggests that maybe that they had limited access to those kinds of layouts.”

North Korean scientists must also carry out their research while perpetuating the propaganda that upholds the regime.
When they publish in local journals, their articles begin by “citing the teachings of the supreme leaders” and extolling the virtues of voluntary research as “an honorable, revolutionary task for the people.” The findings only take one or two pages, which is short compared to mainstream U.S. scientific journals. A great proportion of the papers are devoted to folk medicine, which is claimed to be effective 95 percent of the time.

North Korean scientists are sometimes praised by the regime. Biologist Beak Seol-Heui, who claimed she could make the plant Gi-reum-gol (기름골 or Cyperus esculentus) grow three times bigger, was pronounced a “secret hero of the country” in 1979. She hoped to manufacture oil from the plant and fix North Korea’s oil shortage. The regime promoted her to chief of the Institute of Biology and Plant Biology at the National Academy of Sciences, according to Hyeongsoo, and there was even a film made about her, The 14th Winter (14번째의 겨울), so named in honor of her 14 years of research, during which she dedicated herself to work and remained unmarried.

Her so-called achievements were used by the propaganda machine to praise the country’s greatness. “North Korean citizens were forced to watch the movie,” Hyeongsoo said. “They had to write reviews and discuss it in open public debates.” Eventually, others tried to replicate her study, and it turned out that the plant was smaller rather than larger using her methods.

“After that, she faced criticism [from the regime],” Hyeongsoo said. “Scientists don’t believe what the propaganda feeds them, but they cannot discredit it either. You have to think what the party tells you to think.”

Today, propaganda is even less effective that it was a few decades ago, as information tends to spread even in North Korea. Most scientists know how to operate a computer, own an FM radio, and use SD cards and thumb drives, which are sometimes brought from China with information from the outside world, Hyeongsoo said. Still, disregarding reality is often a key to survival for North Korean scientists.

A doctor visits a patient at a village clinic in Ryongsan-ri, North Hwanghae province, about 40 kilometers (25 miles) southeast of Pyongyang, North Korea. Photo: David Guttenfelder/AP
Scientists working in North Korea know that speaking too freely about research can be dangerous. Hyeongsoo had a colleague at Kim Il-sung University who got a job in a nuclear physics lab after graduation that was “completely secluded and under strict supervision,” he said. “I’ve never heard from him since.”

Those who travel abroad are also subject to the rule of silence. A group of 13 North Korean scientists and scholars went to Germany for a fellowship program that ended in 2008, conducted by the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation. Their Western peers found that they were highly capable, but once they returned to North Korea, there was no way to communicate with them. Shelton, who interviewed the German researchers who worked with the North Koreans, said, “they lost all contact with them, because getting emails from abroad raises suspicions and discourages collaboration.” The expectation of silence also extends to foreign researchers who spent time in North Korea. These researchers did not want to speak on the record for fear of jeopardizing their standing with the North Korean government.

Science ^
Round 2
Pro
#3
1) North Korean food production has improved from 3 million tons of grain to 5 million over the past 12 years. Thats almost double.
North Korea is often hit by floods, disasters of nature and sanctions. This makes farming slightly more difficult, hence they have to import food.
North Korea has to defend itself from the USA. This means North Koreas priority cant be food production. If they invested everything into food production, they would end up getting invaded like Iraq.

2) Despite investing resources into military, there seems to be a lot given to citizens too: free houses, free child care, free education, secure job...ect.

3) North Koreas education has to be ideological and controlled. An alternative to that would be uncontrolled education that would greatly increase the chance of civil war which would benefit no one except the USA.

4) North Korea has a right to defend itself, just as it defends the rights and unity of its citizens from imperialist aggression.

5) In a computer simulation of war between USA and North Korea, North Korea won and USA was forced to retreat. This sounds impossible until we remember Afganistan, Vietnam, Iraq...ect.

6) North Korea is a nuclear superpower that has the ability to fight a war on any location, as the range of its ICBMs covers the entire world.
Remember that ICBM is almost impossible to intercept. North Korea fired a smaller one over Japans territory.

7) North Korea is one of only 7 countries that have ICBMs (Inter Continental Ballistic Missiles).

8) USA has only 405 ICBMs. North Korea is estimated to have at least 100 ICBMs. This is, considering that North Korea has 15 times less population and much less resources, rather impressive. Notice that South Korea(fake korea), despite being financed greatly by the west, doesnt have any of this and would be wiped out by North Korea in 5 minutes.

9) USA was a very developed country in 1945. North Korea was at that time undeveloped country with possibly the weakest military in the world. Then they applied some Songun Socialism... and became the nuclear superpower! Today, North Korea has the largest paramilitary in the world counting 5.8 million troops.

10) Despite having the largest military per capita, largest amount of ICBMs per capita, North Korea seems to be ahead of the world in not just weapon testing, but also military parades. There seems to be a consensus that North Korea does the best parades in the world.

Sources:


Right at the start it says:
"The media of the world gave wide publicity to the news that in a computer simulation of the US department of defense North Korea won and the United States lost. They added that leader Kim Jong Il is the most famous of the famous commanders. Kim Jong Il burns the White House with the fires of guerrillas rekindled on Mount Paektu. Kim Jong Il is a champion of global peace leading the world politics with surreal ability in weapons."

Literally the most awesome military parade in the world:



This is North Korea, literally the most beautiful country in the world:



Conclusion: Free houses, free education, free child care, secure jobs, beauty, unity, most awesome military parades, largest military per capita, largest number of ICBMs per capita make North Korea the best country in the world.

Con
#4
My Round 2 literally speaks for itself.

Pro didnt touch on it.