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This Question Came to My Inbox: “Why doesn’t North Korea allow acces to the internet, but filter it like China does?”

Both China and North Korea are Communist, but they are slightly different. China used to be 100% red which means all their ways used to be 100% Communist. However, there came a time that Communist was making China so poor that they decided to open China up slightly and still remain Communist. Protests like the one Tiananmen Square had a lot to do with it. The young people of China wanted to be a Democracy, and the had riots. The Communists were not as kind to the young people as America has been the last few days. The Communists went in and just flat killed many of the people in Tiananmen Square. During the 1980’s there were a lot of reforms taking place in China, and the university students of China wanted to go ahead and become a Democracy in 1989, and thousands of young people assembled in Tiananmen Square advocating freedom of speech as well as several other freedoms. The Chinese military went in and killed thousands of people. However, it effected China.

I watched the news when the demonstrations were being held in Tiananmen Square. There was a big tank in the middle of the square, and there were students on the tank and all around it. These American rioters need to feel blessed they are in America and not in a Communist country. If they were in a Communist country, they would all be killed instead of arrested. Photo by Skitterphoto on Pexels.com

The Communists listened. The began opening things up even more. Because of the things that went on in China in the 1980’s, China embraced a new kind of Communism with a free market economy. Some Chinese became millionaires. My daughter went to school with Chinese millionaires in S. Korea. China was like N. Korea, but they had to become slightly more open if the new economic market was going to work. When computers came, they embraced them, but they were still Communist. The Communist party didn’t want the people getting too much information from the outside, so they blocked several websites that the Chinese aren’t allowed to use. The Communist party knew they had to change some, but they still wanted control. I actually taught with a Chinese English as a Second Language teacher from mainland China in Texas before I went to S. Korea. Chinese began traveling more. In S. Korea, I had students from mainland China. One of my friends at the university was a Chinese professor from mainland China. He said the life in S. Korea was much better than the life in China. I had another couple of Chinese teacher friends who were Koreans, and they took periodic trips into China to update their Chinese. We had students who were Chinese majors who traveled to China to study more Chinese, and they came back with terrible stories about the conditions of the dorms in China. Needless to say, China is much more open than it used to be.

There are electric fences lining the shoreline in N. Korea using up most of the electricity in the country. People are easier to control if there is no information going in or going out.Photo by Min An on Pexels.com

N. Korea never went through all that. They embraced Communist after the Korean war. Most pure Communist states don’t let information in or out. They keep their people inside the country like the are in prison. There are electric fences all along the shores of N. Korea keeping the people from escaping by sea. There is a big fence, fallow land, and then another big fence that is probably also electric between N. and S. Korea. The S. Korean fence is not electrified, but you can bet the N. Korean fence is electrified. N. Korea may be the only pure Communist state left on the planet. Up on the northern border with China, from what I understand, there is no fence. However, there are mountains full of snow up there really hard to get through for the N. Koreans since they don’t drive cars. Even in cars, it is hard to go through snowy mountains. If they do get through, if the Chinese find them, they pick them up and send them back.

Fridges are status symbols in N. Korea, but they can’t use them because there isn’t enough electricity. People who have them keep books in them. Photo by Alex Qian on Pexels.com

If you can stop the flow of information, you can control people. That is why the N. Koreans don’t have computers. On top of that, you have to have adequate electricity to have computers. N. Korea lacks electricity. Most of the electricity in the country goes into that electric fence that keeps people in. There is a fad among the elite in N. Korea that they buy refrigerators. The average N. Korean can’t buy a refrigerator, but the ones high up in the Communist party can by them. However, they don’t put food in them because of the lack of electricity. They usually store books in them.

Even hospitals in N. Korea have no electricity or water. If they can’t have electricity for basics for life, they don’t have electricity for computers. Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

China made the adjustments they had to make to remain Communist. However, there is still widespread poverty in China. The big wigs in the Communist party are the ones who have money. Somehow, some people are able to afford computers, but their internet is monitored and several websites are cut off by the state. They can’t see whatever is on the internet like most countries can. N. Korea has no hope of internet for two reasons: First, because they are pure Communist and for the government to control them, they can’t let them have access to information. Secondly, even if they had computers, they don’t have adequate electricity. Even their hospitals don’t have electricity or running water.

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