Trapped Salmons in Stagnant Current: North Korea

by elizabethfcoates

Dear Salmons,

If you are reading this blog, congratulations. Despite all its faults, you are lucky to live in the Free World. Yes, there are costs to this freedom, such as phone hacking journalists and bigoted opinions blown out of proportion all being tolerated. But, ultimately, when we see people who lack this fundamental -freedom – we know deep down we have it good.

I watched a TedTalk on a young lady called Hyeonseo Lee speaking about her escape from North Korea (please watch here), and it’s quite difficult to transcribe the story, without belittling her story, because it’s as much as what she doesn’t say as what she actually said that is important to understanding her plight.

Least to be said, the last time my country (the U.K.) has experienced the conditions North Korea is currently subjected to, we had a bloody civil war, leading to the beheading of King Charles II, and putting our trust into an unelected meglomaniac with funny ideas on haircuts (Oliver Cromwell; fascinating bloke, look him up).

Even the U.S.A has never experienced anything to this level. Americans watch a film depicting the Nazis, the Japanese war junta, even the Soviet Establishment, but they understand it less than we do. Indeed, all English speaking nations don’t understand how we all follow the ramblings of one charismatic figure and believe everything they say.

Incorrect. We do. It’s just not as clear cut.

Kim Jong-Un, like his father and his grandfather, is looked upon as this mystical leader who will lead the North Korean people to greatness and glory in victory against the enemy; U.S.A, Japan and South Korea, with a little help from their friends in China (who is like your awkward friend who brought their rowdy friend to a previously jolly party).

The people are split into three classes according to their education and stay in that class for life; the intellectuals (university educated; represent doctors, lawyers, researchers, etc), the workers (those with a lower trade; represent factory workers, miners, mechanics, etc) and peasants,w ho represent the majority of the population.

North Korea is a curious country; it’s not all as it seems. When the government permit the media into the country, we see white streets, singing, hard workers and a subliminal message of “We have it so good. Are you jealous?”

Reminds me somewhat of Cribs. Look at my house! It’s so wonderful! Has anyone seen the episode of Justin Beiber’s house? It was full of white rugs, bad singing, hard (and downtrodden) workers and a subliminal message of “I have it so good. Are you jealous?”

Yet if you dig further, leaving the wealthier regions of Pyongyang and the west coast, heading north to the mountains, a different image arises. You travel through the rural districts, looking at the fields of crops, neat houses and hearing the sound of birds. You believe this place is beautiful.

But the beautiful salmon is starving. Bring some worms for the salmons, for they are inside those houses, incapacitated by famine. They are too weak to work, so they receive nothing from the government  for not working, therefore they can’t work. The government also refuse to help when the floods and droughts come. (Spare 20 or so minutes for a video here).

Justin Bieber is also a rotting salmon. All that fame, and he’s actually a bit of a twerp. He’s more of a Sleazy Salmon, charming prepubescent girls when he really is far too close to twenty to get away with it anymore. Even Take That have moved with their age group, performing to squealing 40-somethings, pretending to be teenagers again.

And the Anne Frank comments…? If you take the comments over the nuclear bomb testing from North Korea and align them in that party, they’re equally awkward. Both have an inflated idea of themselves, hiding their more sinister natures (as these two charming young men found upon visiting North Korea).

Compare the Beliebers and the North Korean Patriots. If I may assume most Beliebers are twelve and easily led on, I may assume of the foolish patriots are also easily led on (and do tend to be so at a similarly young age, but never grow out of it, sadly).

The following is obsessional. The pictures, the songs, the parades…and that’s just Bieber. Yet also not all prepubescent girls love Bieber, as not all North Koreans love the Dear Leader. We must understand this.


Happily, Justin Bieber has yet to reach the Michael Jackson stage…

Some of these salmons cannot express their displeasure. They are trapped in a river with no current, swimming wildly and frantically, unable to leave a box they have placed in.

How do we break this box? How do we release the North Korean people?


We do what we do to Beliebers, as we have done to McFly and Take That fangirls in the past.

We shatter their fantasies. We expose them to the truth. We show them that they had been abused, that the Dear Leader/Dear Bieber was not all that they imagined.

If you really need evidence of this working in the political world, look no further than the Berlin Wall.

The collapse of a communist state, and the reunification of a country, split by the ongoing Cold War between the U.S.A. and Russia, former Soviet Union.

Seems about right.