North Korea is a living Hell. Suffice to say, there are probably few countries more depressing to live in or write lists about. Given the choice, you’d probably take writing the list. In any case, pack a couple of Vicodin and a bottle of whiskey, because we’re off to Best Korea! You’ll need all the booze and drugs you can carry for this one. Here’s why:
10. Propaganda Village
If the North Koreans know about the village of Kijong-dong, then they probably won’t be making the obvious penis joke inherent in the name. And neither will we. Dangling Kijong-dong in the faces of the North Koreans would be a cruel gesture. The village near the Demilitarized Zone boasts one of the tallest flagpoles in the world and even electricity—unlike most rural North Korean villages. The problem is that unlike her southern twin village Taesong-dong, the northern dong has no little soldiers.
Not even citizens live there, though according to state propaganda, there are 200 happy families going about worshiping the Juche necrocracy.That is a lie. This is a false-dong. Only the occasional maintenance worker patrols the streets of Kijong-dong, bravely subjecting himself to the near-constant Korean opera, marching songs, and speeches that are broadcast at the South Koreans, no doubt mocking their decadent habits of wearing shoes and not starving to death or being shot for having the wrong haircut. Listen, this list is going to be horrible. Let’s just get it out there: The people of North Korea have to have the worst time imaginable when their best village is built to flip off their neighbors. And we’ve only just begun!
9. Kidnapping Film Directors And Forcing Them To Make A Communist Godzilla
Say what you like about North Korea (and we will), but they do have an original method of making cinema. First, make sure that your script is unique, not some weak allegory about the horrors of nuclear war like those effeminate Japanese. No, in the DPRK, they have giant socialist lizards smashing the bourgeoisie, because it would be a shame to have to execute a giant lizard on-screen for not being communist enough.
Fortunately, Pulgasari the giant Commie Gojira was 100-percent on board with the movie. Unfortunately, directors and good actors are hard to come by in North Korea, which has something to do with everyone being so poor that they don’t know what cameras are, not to mention the relentless, soul-crushing lifestyle leaving everyone with just a shade more acting ability than Shia LaBeouf.What do you get for the wannabe dictator/producer who has it all? Why, kidnapped movie stars, of course! Choi Eun Hee and her ex-husband, a noted South Korean director, were snatched on separate operations in late 1970s Hong Kong.
They spent years in captivity making many movies you will never see. They eventually escaped to Vienna after tricking Kim Jong Il into thinking that everything was cool and that they definitely did not want to escape a country where cockroaches are food. North Korea has acknowledged that it kidnapped 13 people in the 1970s and 1980s.
Five of them were returned to Japan in 2002, but Pyongyang says the other eight died, though Japan doesn’t believe this. Professor Andre Lankov of Kookmin University in South Korea reckons that nearly 500 South Koreans have been abducted. “The vast majority of them are fishermen who were imprudent to come too close to the North Korean coast but this figure also includes a number of known victims of covert operations,” he says. Maybe they got jobs inside the rubber lizard; who knows? The probably just got executed, though, and that is sad.