For the last week or so, a British YouTuber named Louis Cole has been uploading dispatches from North Korea. Rather than focusing on the state’s constant surveillance, arbitrary arrests, and murders of its own citizens, Cole is focusing on the positive aspects of the North Korean experience, such as the water parks.
University of Virginia undergrad Otto Warmbier has been sentenced to fifteen years in a North Korean labor camp after copping to an attempted heist of a DPRK propaganda poster. If this sounds like the kind of thing a college kid would try in order to look cool back at UVA, that’s because he says it was.
In 2008, Ryu En Nam, a North Korean defector, was extradited from Russia and executed. He was tied to the train going back to North Korea. “It was horrible. The train started moving and for as long as he could, Ryu En Nam ran with it,” human rights lawyer Lubov Tataretz said, recalling what a Korean diplomat’s son had told her, a few years after she tried and failed to prevent Ryu En Nam’s extradition. Under a recently signed treaty, the few asylum seekers who manage to escape the hermit kingdom and make it to Russia will be forcibly repatriated, to a country where prison inmates have to burn bodies of those who starve to death and use the remains as fertilizer.
North Korea, famed for its unicorns and its non-Photoshopped, totally real missiles, has done it again. The DPRK’s extremely reliable state-run media agency reports that homegrown scientists have found the cure for HIV, various cancers, heart disease, impotence, bad skin, Ebola ... everything, really. Turns out the cure was fertilizer all along. Why didn’t actual scientists think of that?
After releasing photos on Friday showing Kim Jong-Un and his advisers reviewing plans to attack major (and some not so major) American cities, mayors of those cities have responded to the possible (eh, not very possible) threat. Austin Mayor Lee Leffingwell has released a statement, reassuring residents that they do not face imminent demise: