« | »

North Korea Classifies Its Citizens By Loyalty

From the Associated Press:

In autocratic N Korea, inequality assigned at birth

June 7, 2012

WASHINGTON (AP) — In the supposed workers’ paradise of North Korea, inequality is assigned at birth, a study by a U.S.-based human rights group says.

Education, job, access to scarce food and health care, and even whom you marry all hinge on how loyal your forebears are viewed to have been to the Kim dynasty that took power six decades ago.

The study released Wednesday by the Committee for Human Rights in North Korea says all adults in the socialist state are categorized as one of three classes: loyal, wavering or hostile.

The nongovernment human rights group says it amounts to a caste system.

Thank goodness we don’t have this kind of caste system in our socialist state.

Despite the emergence of informal markets since the late 1990s challenging state control, the study says the class system persists and is behind the discrimination and abuses faced by the lowest echelons of the North’s closed society.

"Throughout its 64-year existence, the Kim regime has claimed that North Korea is an egalitarian workers’ paradise," said the committee’s executive director, Greg Scarlatoiu. "Yet, inequality is assigned at birth, perpetuated throughout a person’s lifetime and cruelly enforced by those in power to benefit themselves and their supporters."

The North Korean government denies such a discriminatory class system exists.

The study, titled "Marked for Life," is based on interviews with 75 North Korean defectors, including as recently as 2011. It also cites a 1993 manual issued by North Korea’s Ministry of Public Security to guide its officials on how to investigate a citizen’s socio-political classification, or "songbun," which translates in Korean as "ingredients."

The ministry maintains a file on everyone from the age of 17 that is updated every two years, the study says

They are almost as bad as Google.

The songbun system has its origins in social class restructuring enforced by the North’s communist founders, led by Kim Il Sung, that began even before the state’s formal creation in 1948, to elevate peasants and laborers at the expense of landlords, businessmen and religious leaders…

Moving up a songbun category is rare and requires a lifetime of devotion to the Kim family regime and ruling Workers’ Party of Korea. But songbun can be downgraded for political or criminal offenses or failing to cooperate with authorities.

Just ask Corey Booker.

When an individual is sentenced to the North’s gulag of political prison camps — estimated to hold 150,000-200,000 people — family members are considered guilty by association and generally accompany them, the study says.

Today the loyal class, which makes up about a quarter of the 24 million population, still dominates the powerful military and the Workers’ Party. They alone are entitled to live in the relatively prosperous capital Pyongyang and monopolize the prestige universities and best jobs, the study says.

Thank goodness that could never happen here.

Marrying someone with poor songbun likely would exclude that individual from party membership, causing severe consequences for employment opportunities and quality of life, it says.

Many in the hostile class inhabit the most impoverished northeastern provinces, often in isolated mountain villages where they perform hard labor at mines and farms. They have been most vulnerable to failures since the 1990s in North Korea’s public food distribution system and resulting malnutrition.

Roberta Cohen, co-chairman of the rights group, says money, bribery and corruption recently have begun to erode the songbun system because of the emergence of informal markets and the scope for paying officials for favors. But she said songbun’s main elements remain in place, "guaranteed by a complete absence of political freedom."

The study says a slang has developed around the songbun system, wherein the loyal class are referred to as "tomatoes" that are red on both the inside and outside, so are good socialists. Those of the wavering class are "apples" that are only red on the outside, and the hostile class is known as "grapes" — considered politically unredeemable

Maybe they mean ‘sour grapes.’ In any case, none of this should be any too surprising if you know anything about the supposedly ‘classless’ societies in Communist or Socialist countries.

Speaking of which, in this entire 815 word article the word ‘communist’ is only mentioned one time. And the word ‘socialist’ is only mentioned twice. Why is that?

Maybe the AP doesn’t want to remind us that socialism has caused most of the real ‘social injustice’ in the world.

This article was posted by Steve on Thursday, June 7th, 2012. Comments are currently closed.

6 Responses to “North Korea Classifies Its Citizens By Loyalty”

  1. GetBackJack says:

    This is 100% Clearly What The Hussein Administration Seeks To Implement

    Remember Hussein’s Civilian Defense Force?

    The “Democrats” seek a Credit & Privilege Society, based on Party loyalty.

  2. Helena says:

    So they’ve got tomatoes, apples and grapes and we’ve got greens and blues and reds and a million sub-classifications in various forums. What the heck are we worried about? It can’t happen here.

  3. Anonymoose says:

    “Yet, inequality is assigned at birth, perpetuated throughout a person’s lifetime and cruelly enforced by those in power to benefit themselves and their supporters.” …

    And this is essentially what is wrong with Communism and Socialism. The thing the liberals never seem to realize is it’s all based on lies, and is nothing more than an aristocracy.

    Look at all the Communist “revolution” Russian and the civil war, China and the Great Leap Forward and the Cultural Revolution, Cambodia, even what is happening in South America. All in the name of “equality” industries and property are nationalized. All is supposed to be good.

    But what happens–the aristocracy is replaced by “The Party.” To get somewhere you have to belong to it; and you may not own “wealth” but have the resources of the party at your disposal. They round up the intellectuals, the wealthy, anyone who might be a threat to them. And results is what history shown us–starvation, destruction, and control.

    Socialism is just the realization people are more useful if they’re something more than workers in the field. let them have enough to live in a lower middle class lifestyle and be grateful how good they have it. They could be living on the street–remind them that perpetually. It’s all again for “equality,” and shame-shame-shame on you for wanting more. To deprive someone else of what they deserve.

    Everyone is “equal” but no one can succeed, no one can achieve. That would make you “better” than everyone else, and the state would see you as a threat–they want your money. What results is modern Europe: stagnation, decay, and the loss of industry and talent. “Success” comes from being one of the government employees or political hacks, at least until all the money runs out.

  4. Mithrandir says:

    This is what always ticked me off in college, the canned statements about communism:

    “It just hasn’t been tried properly.”
    When are people going to realize that communism is pure political NITROGLYCERIN! You just bump this stuff and millions of people die! You can’t harness it, you can’t control it, you can’t be “extra careful” around this stuff, it is a catastrophe waiting to happen, give up, move on, it’s too dangerous for human experimentation. Humans are too weak-minded to stop themselves from abusing/murdering their fellow man.

    “In its pure form, communism is ideal.”
    EVERYTHING in its pure form is ideal isn’t it. But humans are not capable of implementing purity, if they were, they certainly wouldn’t need communism, they would use something else.

    Three classes: loyal, wavering or hostile. This is liberalism for sure, they interview and question people just for the sole purpose of documenting in their ledger, their political status. –just to see if they are eligible for party member goodies like jobs, awards, government contracts. That’s all college is, to weed out those that are hostile to communism, give them low grades, preventing them from participating in society.

  5. wirenut says:

    Smok’n hot posts. If you can’t use the gifts that your Creator gave you. Then you will be a pawn for the powers that be. In a nation built on our founders devotion to freedom and to protect the individual, from government, we get this?
    Loyal = progressive.
    Wavering = independent.
    Hostile = Teaparty!
    This is the only nation that thew off the yoke of tyrany for it’s own. Let’s not go back!

  6. Helena says:

    Anon – “The thing the liberals never seem to realize is it’s all based on lies, and [Communism and Socialism are] nothing more than an aristocracy.”

    Word. In what way is Putin different from the Czars they overthrew?

    Take for instance Putin’s Palace on the Black Sea. Built a 20 mile road through the middle of a pristine wilderness, rumored to have cost over $1Billion, with four heli-pads. All on the back of the Russian taxpayer, or peasant as they called them in the Czar’s day. So the difference is….?

    HOUSE OF THE DAY: Putin’s Secret Billion Dollar Palace On The Black Sea – Business Insider

« Front Page | To Top
« | »