By David Codrea
“Portly North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un, whose hostile actions have brought crippling international sanctions to his impoverished nation, has a new message for the Hermit Kingdom’s starving masses: Get ready to eat plant roots,” The New York Post reported. Use of the word “portly” emphasized a main point of the story, that a gluttonous Un is packing on the pounds while the people endure another famine.
“Even if we give up our lives, we should continue to show our loyalty to our leader, Kim Jong Un, until the end of our lives,” the state-run propaganda “newspaper” Rodong Sinmun declared, preparing readers for yet another “arduous march” on the “road to revolution.” Citizens are being forced to hand over rice to the state and farmers must turn over crops to the military.
Meanwhile, the sociopathic totalitarian—and those from his inner circle he has not seen fit to purge—wallow in luxury, and they’ve even created another tier of elites, evidently for show as much as anything. Carefully-steered tourists see department stores, supermarkets and fast food restaurants in Pyongyang, with women in heels and men with mobile phones, Time reports. Never mind international calls are blocked, as are calls with foreigners living in North Korea.
That’s still a world apart from the rest of the country, where most of those expected to eat roots or starve will never even visit the capital. With that as backdrop, the Un government is reportedly building up its nuclear arsenal and increasing the accuracy and range of its missile delivery systems, all the while making bellicose threats against the West.
So why don’t the people do what they did before, when ruled by the Japanese? Why don’t they rise up and wage a real “cultural revolution”?
First, it’s mindset. Generations have been raised in a Stalinist personality cult of ignorance, fear, submission and deprivation. Purges have been successful at removing not just potential rivals, but any not sufficiently subservient. And even if you could find leaders who have not been compromised, or whose spirits have not been broken, there’s one other reality the Communist regime has been successful at imposing in its closed society: What “progressives” here call “common sense gun safety laws.”
“In North Korea, the right to private gun ownership is not guaranteed by law,” GunPolicy.org advises, with characteristic understatement. “In North Korea, no civilians may lawfully acquire, possess or transfer a firearm or ammunition.”
The group, headed by anti-gun academic Philip Alpers, is “a global project of the Sydney School of Public Health… Accredited to the United Nations small arms Programme of Action.” Even so, it provides accurate and invaluable summaries of gun laws “across 350 jurisdictions world-wide.” And in this case, it links researchers to the North’s Firearms Control Act of 2009 so they can further flesh out how dictators maintain a monopoly of violence.
Naturally, they couch their intent in benevolent terms. And just as expected, it encompasses more than just a “No guns allowed” statement.
“The law, which comprises… five chapters and 42 articles, ‘aims to contribute to the guarantee of social safety and the protection of the people’s lives and property by setting up the strict system,’” the synopsis states, directing readers to a 2012 report in The Korea Times citing data obtained by South Korea’s Yonhap News Agency.
And to guarantee that safety, they have rules for “registering, storing and using firearms,” which is pretty much what our domestic gun-grabbers say they want. Still, it leaves open the question of who is permitted to have guns to register, store and use in the first place.
“Under the regulations, guns are allowed only for its [sic] ‘primary purposes,’” the summary explains. And those appear limited to “executing [interesting word choice] official duties such as keeping guard and training.
“Institutions, businesses, groups and the public are prohibited from possessing or transacting firearms according to the law, which also banned lending, smuggling, destroying and self-producing firearms,” the explanation elaborates. “Those who violate the rules, resulting in ‘stern consequences,’ are subject to administrative and criminal liabilities.”
By “stern consequences,” think execution. This is a regime that publicly executes people for watching South Korean movies and possessing South Korean Bibles. By “stern consequences,” think public executions, like being machine-gunned to death in a stadium. Think being hanged or decapitated, and in one reported incident (involving the nephew of an uncle by marriage the portly Un also had executed), by being burned alive with a flamethrower.
The 2009 law was enacted by the North’s Supreme People’s Assembly, which is a bit of Orwellian Doublethink, considering the government is supreme and the people are denied the egalitarian power sharing that is at the heart of communism’s perpetually-broken promise. That parliament was just a front for the will of Un’s father, Kim Jong-Il, who, following a 2008 stroke, felt compelled to prepare for his son’s dynastic succession to power. The object, of course, was to further tighten control, and “maintain strict order.” The object was to keep an iron grip on totalitarian power that’s only possible with subjects.
So it’s no surprise that North Korea’s Central News [!] Agency makes a point of publishing propaganda attacking US gun ownership (especially noting their patron state, Red China, has referred to our firearms freedoms as “a human rights violation.”
“[G]un-related crimes are like a malignant tumor hard to cure as they are rampant in the society as a trend,” KCNA claimed to anyone who would believe them. “Due to ceaseless gun-related crimes, people are exposed to constant threat to their safety. They are not free from uneasiness and horror.”
“The US law that allows citizens to keep and bear arms shows the corrupted American way of protection of human rights,” North Korea’s state-directed Korea Central Television echoed. “The man-hating ideology and widespread law of the jungle in the US has turned its people into violent executioners where one may live by killing another.”
Minister for Foreign Affairs of North Korea Ri Su Yong doubled down on the attack on US gun rights when he addressed the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva and defiantly vowed to “never, ever be bound” by resolutions critical of its human rights record. Instead, he feigned indignation over “systematic racial discrimination” in the United States, and cited “deplorable human rights violations” linked to gun violence.
After an arduous march of their own, the Founders of this nation established a true people’s republic tasked “to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity.” Necessary to their vision was an armed populace. Power-hungry control freak collectivists who would try to force us to a state of disarmed tyranny would do well to remember one thing: The last time that was tried the resulting cultural revolution didn’t turn out so well for the gun-grabbers.