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Talk:North Korea

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If the place is so bad...[edit]

... Why does it say this on its website?:

"The Democratic People's Republic of Korea is a genuine workers' state in which all the people are completely liberated from exploitation and oppression. The workers, peasants, soldiers and intellectuals are the true masters of their destiny and are in a unique position to defend their interests.

Answer that Uncle Sam. Scherben (talk) 20:30, 18 April 2013 (UTC)

This made me laugh way more than it should have. ClothCoat (talk) 19:12, 10 February 2014 (UTC)


In the article it says:

"Add to that the fact that the annexation of North Korea could be the single largest humanitarian crisis in history, and there is a strong disincentive for NATO to go to war. South Korea keeps up appearances, but taking on millions of unfed, untrained peasants may well destroy its economy for decades."

And in the note for this assertion it says,

"Reunification of the Koreas is a noble ideal, and might be seen in our lifetimes, but trying a repeat of West and East Germany will be downright impossible."

I'd like an actual citation for this. It seems to me that there would be an outpouring of support from around the world for newly-annexed North Korea like there has been for other humanitarian crises. Why, exactly, is it that "trying a repeat of West and East Germany will be downright impossible"? In what sense will it be impossible? The Moose (talk) 18:47, 10 February 2014 (UTC)

Because both Germanies were industrialized countries. Even so, the wealth difference was so large that reconstruction of the East basically absolutely crippled the German economy for an entire decade or more, and even now prosperity standards in East Germany are considerably lower. And yet, seen from a global perspective, the two Germanies were basically on the same economical level. North and South Korea just aren't. North Korea is a piss-poor agrarian state with repeative bouts of starvations. Could a reunited Korea manage to keep all those people fed? Probably yeah. But bringing up North Korea to a comparable economical level than South Korea would absolutely, completely destroy the South Korean economy. It would be a money drain the world hasn't seen before.
Reason 2: Communist propaganda in East Germany was inefficient. Nearly the whole country had access to West German media. They all knew what was going on. This is not true in North Korea, the most isolated country in the world. From what we can tell, people inside North Korea (at least in rural areas) honestly believe the state propaganda, honestly see the Kims as something akin to gods - simply because they have no alternative input of information available to them! The North Korean government can basically control what they know and what they are to believe to near-100% levels. Now, how do you deprogram a population of over 20m people? How do you integrate such a population, most of them with zero education, too, into a democracy?
In short, it would be like trying to unite Canada and the Democratic Republic of Congo - that would ruin Canada both economically and politically. The same is true here. Octo8 (talk) 18:56, 10 February 2014 (UTC)

Not Communist[edit]

North Korea is not a Communist country, and hasn't been for decades. The US just labels any undemocratic dictatorship as "Commie". NK is actually pretty right-wing. Kim Il-Sung is the only Communist leader to have handed power over to his son - Kim Jong-Il was not Communist and therefore doesn't count. I must say, for a Wiki with the name "rational" they really are outdated as Hell here (should we have a section specifically pointing out how the country isn't Communist?) - (talk) 16:45, 3 November 2014 (UTC)

We know that it's not Marxist, but it is a definitely a kind of command economy, and rather than have this no true Scotsman debate, I'll just say that self-identification is moderately important for these things. Ikanreed (talk) 16:59, 3 November 2014 (UTC)
A Communist country is a country where there is no class, and where farmers get paid the same as doctors, or where shop workers get paid the same as miners, etc. North Korea does not work like that, so it is in no way a Communist country. (talk) 22:08, 5 November 2014 (UTC)
This is the special definition by which no communist country has ever existed, nor will exist. WéáśéĺóíďWeaselly.jpgMethinks it is a Weasel 22:34, 5 November 2014 (UTC)
It is true that the private sector is (unofficially) growing, but as long as the central planning apparatus continues to exist the label will as well. North Korea is somewhat unique in communist history. Osaka Sun (talk) 22:46, 5 November 2014 (UTC)
It seems like in this case communism is another one of those meaningless, good-for-nothing labels where it would be better to just describe what you mean, in this case "totalitarian with centrally controlled economy". Nullahnung (talk) 23:05, 5 November 2014 (UTC)
The whole point of Communism is that everyone is exactly the same, regardless of your job or class. In NK, that is not the case. NK is actually a pretty right wing country. It is, to put it as simply as I can, not Communist. (talk) 21:37, 6 November 2014 (UTC)
Do you have any examples of places where that is the case? ΨΣΔξΣΓΩΙÐWeaselly.jpgMethinks it is a Weasel 21:53, 6 November 2014 (UTC)

Again, this is a No true Scotsman argument. Their government is self-declared to be communist, they were allies of every other communist country, their core economic design is a command economy. Being "right wing" doesn't make them unable to be communist. They don't have to be good communists to be communist. They don't have to comply with marx to be communist. It'd be like arguing that the US isn't a free-market economy because of the various things that aren't free market(lots). Ikanreed (talk) 21:52, 6 November 2014 (UTC)

Didn't they drop uses of the word communist in favor of Juche worship? --Miekal 22:37, 6 November 2014 (UTC)
Their constitution, as of 2009, describes them as a "Juche-based socialist fatherland." That still sounds communist to me, albeit with a little extra flavoring. MarmotHead (talk) 22:41, 6 November 2014 (UTC)
It isn't a "no true Scotsman" matter. North Korea is not a communist country, it does not call itself a communist country, and people only believe it's a communist country because they think "anti-American dictatorship = communist". The constitution was rewritten in Kim Jong-Il's reign to remove all references to communism. ConCass (talk) 08:58, 25 January 2015 (UTC)
Uh, right; certainly the Democratic People's Republic of Korea, a state that self-identifies as communist (or "socialist," as the Reds phrase it, thus to exploit the resulting ambiguity), is ruled over by a party that maintains membership in international communist conferences and an unreformed Soviet-style command economy, is not a communist country. We may similarly conclude that the Pope is not actually a Catholic, but is instead a member of the Free Presbyterian Church of Ulster. Mjollnir.svgListenerXTalkerX 09:30, 25 January 2015 (UTC)
North Korea's Juche Communism seems ultimately closer in its ideology to some form of quasi-Fascism, but I'd still object to not calling North Korea Communist due to its self-designation as such. Kim-styly socialism seems closer to National Socialism than to the various types of Socialism/Communism of the former Eastern Bloc (e.g the "real socialismWikipedia" of the Soviet Union from Brezhnev onwards), not to mention the (other) surviving flavours of Communist regimes in Havana and Beijing. ScepticWombat (talk) 15:01, 25 January 2015 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── Actually, the 2009 DPRK Constitution that Marmothead linked to has very little recognisable Communism in it. Apart from mentioning socialism as a mantra (but often with the emphasis that it's Juche socialism), the main classical Communist buzzwords are:

  • The lauding of farmers & workers (alongside soldiers & "working intellectuals") in several articles.
  • Invoking democratic centralismWikipedia (Article 5).
  • Instead of the workers owning the means of production, the "working popular masses are the masters of everything" (Article 8), which in reality means that "the means of production are owned by the state and social cooperative organizations" (Article 20 - this sounds more like "classic" Soviet Communism). However, this sounds very odd when combined with Article 37: "The state shall encourage joint ventures and business collaboration between the organs, enterprises, and organizations in our country and foreign corporations or individuals, as well as the establishment and operation of various forms of enterprises in special economic zones."(?!?)
  • Instead of the dictatorship of the proletariat, the DPRK state is based on "the class line and strengthen the dictatorship of the people's democracy" (Article 12).
  • Rather than a new and universal Socialism/Communism (e.g. the New Soviet manWikipedia), DPRK wants to have its cake and eat it too: "the state shall oppose the cultural infiltration of imperialism and restorationist tendencies, and protect national cultural heritages, and inherit and develop them in conformity with the socialist reality." (Article 41).

Basically, it seems like the remainder of Socialism consists of mentioning it a lot, but without much in the way of actual ideological commitment beyond one-party rule (or rather rule by the Kims) and a command economy. ScepticWombat (talk) 15:41, 25 January 2015 (UTC)

This is, presumably, an example what they mean by "joint ventures and business collaboration." Also this.
As to the nationalistic character of the current constitution, it simply reflects the history of communism in East Asia — it developed in tandem with anti-colonial efforts, which, like so many other causes, were hijacked by the Reds and branded by them "wars of national liberation," which resulted in very nationalistic flavors of communism across the whole region.
...but without much in the way of actual ideological commitment beyond one-party rule ... and a command economy. So, just like every other communist country in the history of the world... Mjollnir.svgListenerXTalkerX 06:29, 26 January 2015 (UTC)
The question is how much Communism "is left" and how it stacks up against the über-nationalism of the DPRK which frankly sounds more like Hitler than Stalin (or even Mao).
A combination one-party rule and a (more or less) command economy is far from unique to Communism (think of Franco, Salazar, Trujillo or the Ba'athist regimes in Syria and Iraq etc. etc.).
Finally, as I mentioned before, I'd still call the DPRK "Communist" as an easily understandable shorthand and due to its self-designation using "some of the right buzzwords" - I simply wanted to join in a discussion of how much actual Communist ideological content is inside this "rhetorical wrapping". ScepticWombat (talk) 08:13, 26 January 2015 (UTC)
Concerning internationalism, I would have compared against Lenin or Trotsky rather than Stalin or Mao; Stalin was, after all, the one who wrote the book on "socialism in one country," and Mao was even better known for his fervent nationalism (following the pattern of East Asian communism).
Question: What would North Korea look like if it had some more "actual communist ideological content"? Mjollnir.svgListenerXTalkerX 05:36, 29 January 2015 (UTC)
Yes, Stalin and Mao were both more nationalist than Lenin or Trotsky, but nevertheless they kept a far more solid core of Marxist inspired ideas (albeit with Mao's innovation of emphasising the peasantry, rather than the industrial workers) than the DPRK. Some form of reference to class struggle, historical materialism or similar core Marxist concepts, rather than notions that frankly seem to imply that (North) Koreans are a chosen people and that the Kim's are divinely ordained leaders, would certainly strengthen the impression of a Communist rather than some form of mysticist Fascist regime. ScepticWombat (talk) 08:59, 29 January 2015 (UTC)

Actually, North Korea quietly removed any references to communism from their constitution in 2011. Communism and command economy are not necessarily the same thing. —вιgℓʝвιgℓ (ᴛᴀʟᴋ/sᴛᴀʟᴋ) 15:47, 24 August 2017 (UTC)

Well looks like it finally happened[edit]

North Korea essentially declared war on the US yesterday. Lets see how this goes. Bubba41102The place where you can scream at me 01:25, 30 July 2016 (UTC)

I doubt anyone will remember they did when the actually war games happen.--Owlman (talk) (mail) 01:56, 30 July 2016 (UTC) 01:56, 30 July 2016 (UTC)
You think North Korea would actually try to go to war with the US? A country with a shitty navy with no functioning missiles, poorly-trained crew, an air force made of aluminum foil, and no land border with the US. Plus nuclear missiles that can't go long range and are most effective in short-range artillery. Come on. Pretty soon North Korea is going to pretty much release its full invasion plan of South Korea, how it plans to actually capture Seoul, etc. and NOTHING WILL HAPPEN. It has ALWAYS been this way, and it always will. A coup or peaceful reunification is more likely than a war. PBfreespace (talk) 02:28, 30 July 2016 (UTC)
Uh, they do that kind of thing a few times a year. We've technically been at war with them since 1950, since a peace treaty was never signed. (Well, kind of, since the U.S. never formally declared war in the first place. So, legally, is there actually a state of war? Good essay question for an international law exam.) --Ymir (talk) 03:32, 30 July 2016 (UTC)

Silver; the only medal NK would win[edit]

I endorse North Korea! The article, not the country. Corrode (pester) 20:06, 22 March 2021 (UTC)

Please unprotect this web page[edit]

Please unprotect this web page. Or to put it another way, "Mr. RationalWiki, tear down this wall." AdamG2022 (talk) 14:21, 5 November 2022 (UTC)

@AdamG2022 Done. Christopher (talk) 15:55, 5 November 2022 (UTC)