The Modern Totalitarian Regime of North Korea
“Kim [Jong Il] runs a Stalinist police state, with political prisons housing tens of thousands, many of whom, survivors have testified, are either beaten or starved to death.”- Bill Powell from Times
The Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) is an isolated, defiant state that strives to be acknowledged as a military power and an independent nation in the international society. North Korea is “the only unreformed Stalinist-style command economy left in existence” as the country is left in complete dictatorial control by its supreme communist leader, Kim Jong Il (French, p.1). Contradictory to the “Juche” self reliance theory which undermines the North Korean regime, North Korea has been heavily dependent on international aid to feed its people and prevent economic collapse. Most of the 23 million citizens under Kim Jong Il’s leadership are struggling to survive and make it through each day with limited resources of food and other necessities. The government is in complete control over every aspect in the citizens’ lives. This means that many individuals are unaware to what’s happening outside their country. They are subjected to the exact opposite image of their leader perceived by the world. North Koreans are exposed to information through media that is filtered by its government. “TV and radios are fixed-tuned to the state channels since reception of foreign television is forbidden. Radios must be registered at police stations and are delivered sealed to prevent retuning” (BBC News “People”).
North Korea relies strongly on its military which accounts for 25% of its Gross Domestic Product (BBC News “Military”). Most of the government’s money is spent on military to keep the country in full defense and power. Its highly militarized spending thus deprives the suffering North Koreans of its resources. For many years, North Korea has been experiencing famine and food crisis due to “acute food shortages caused by natural disasters and economic mismanagement” (BBC News “Overview”). Living under such harsh and politically corrupt environments causes thousands to flee each year and seek refuge in its neighboring countries such as South Korea, Russia and China.