So near, yet so far

Only a thin road separates the north and the south. It has been over 50 years since the end of the Korean War. North Korea’s doors remain as guarded as ever and only a small number of tourists and reporters are allowed in each year. ‘What really happens inside the North?’ many ask.

North Korea and South Korea are worlds apart in many things, such as economy and behaviour. South Korea’s economy is much more advanced than that of North Korea, there is a wide market and South Koreans enjoy the latest technology. On the other hand, North Korea remains shut to the world, as mysterious as ever. South Korean pop music has gained extreme popularity in the last few years; it also has one of the biggest markets in the world for cosmetic surgery procedures. Millions of tourists visit South Korea every year. North Korea does not welcome tourists, and the few tourists that visit the North are only allowed to go around the capital, Pyongyang City, along with two guides.

North Korea holds a record to be the country with the least human rights. Citizens rarely get to decide or vote. Furthermore, being deprived of contact with the world, North Korea earns little profit to meet their country’s needs. North Koreans are no strangers to the food shortages.

Despite all these, the North sustained itself for more than half a century. Furthermore, it has a huge army and many developed nuclear weapons. Maybe this is just the appearance, or maybe it is doing well on its own. Nobody knows.

 

Reference: ‘Nothing to Envy’ by Barbara Demick and Wikipedia

-Lim See Mun(2P)

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