This is just too depressing to read, everything thats comes out of North Korea is too depressing to read.

Let me start this comment by telling you how fascinated, horrified, intrigued and angry I am by North Korea (NK)

There's a photo that does the rounds on the internet showing the country at night - Mainly dark, like the one place on earth we couldn't electrify. It looks silly in comparison to neighbours SK and China. You can Youtube videos of people that made desperate and daring escapes to get over the boarder - One man literally took his one opportunity by stealing a vehicle, getting it as close to the boarder with SK as he could and ran the rest of the way while being shot at and hit I think.

This is a country where the only news papers are behind glass screens in places like the subway - To ensure its citizens never have a copy and cant keep track of how the state changes its propaganda. A country that literally rents out its citizens labour, setting up camps in parts of Russia and other places of the world, to which the NK state benefits most. Leader's who have abducted film stars and forced them to make movies for the state

One of the more fascinating documentaries I watched on it recently was showing how things like pen-drives and other electrical items (Mainly battery powered I think) were being smuggled into the country and citizens are being exposed to films/media that the state has not sanctioned - This is not only a potential death sentence if uncovered by the law, but they see no reason to not punish entire families (3/4 generations) if such a traitorous act is committed. NK doesnt have prison's, it has death camps.

The collapse of the soviet union left NK in a terrible economic position. The huge famine in the 90's saw untold million's starved to death and the leader of the country then was allegedly causing/exacerbating the famine by NOT importing grain but instead using the state's money to invest in nuclear arsenal to basically threaten the world into sending aid, which they eventually did but of course, not enough. That's how fucking psychotic the leaders have been.

NK is a country that has absolute control of what its citizens know and what they don't know. Its Orwell's 1984 brought to life, a living nightmare for millions of people right now as you read this. These people are taught that America lost the war, that America and outside nations are the cause of there internal issues. Im pretty sure they have no idea about silly things like the reunification of Germany after the collapse of the berlin wall. Imagine having that much power to deny someone there human right to knowledge & wonder. It is a ideological government that has perfected the art of fear to the point where million's accept starvation, cruelty and mistreatment in exchange to live another day, even if its literal hell on earth. Its fascinatingly grim.

So on to the linked article

Its hard to get on my high horse of feminism when that countries treatment of 99% of its population is barbaric to say the least. Most of its citizens aren't well fed or looked after. If you look at the pictures of the soldiers (male or female) you can easily see through the uniforms they are skin and bone. They have no opportunity to leave. I think i even read/saw that the worker's cannot leave their villages without state permission - Practically serfism.

I think the women there are living some of the worst lives possible. I never suspected that sexual assault and rape would be so widespread but I slap my forehead after reading OF COURSE IT IS. Why would a country as backwards and batshit as NK NOT have a high SA rate? A country sharing the same geographical area of the earth as China and Japan - OF-FUCKING-COURSE !! I think part of me just couldnt/wouldnt believe that NK could sink any further but of course, it can.

I suspect the starvation of women has a lot to do with ensuring they dont menstruate on purpose. They only made the military service mandatory in 2015 though so that begs the question of why? Lack of sanitary products is understandable considering the countries economy but to have absolutely no fucking alternative at all? Wow, just wow.

Just two links from me:

Images of NK at night from space

Man escapes NK in military Jeep

Many people are making documentaries about NK as they are sort of opening the country up to tourism so I would highly recommend looking up some documentaries on it if your interested in this kind of thing.

Thanks OP!! I have never actually read anything specific about what the women of NK have to go through!!

Thank you for all that info. I think I had seen one of the photos of NK from space a while back but had forgotten about it. As you say, it really is the most striking visual statement of NK's isolation and backwardness. I did not realize how much starvation and malnutrition there was there; I had thought that a small amount of low-level private market-gardening and trade had improved people's health in the last few years, but presumably the effect is small and limited in extent. Those poor women. Treated like dirt, tortured, starved, assaulted...

I thank the Great Goddess every day that I was born a woman—but born a woman in a developed country with free education (at the time), free health care at point of service, freedom of religion, free movement, votes for women, reliable food supply, media not controlled by the state, and a generally impartial police force and judiciary—with obvious, painful limitations, but nothing like NK, Albania, or the USSR. For all its faults, Britain in the 60s-70s, compared to the situation of, say, 90% of the world's girls and women, gave me a really good place to grow up, and I certainly did not come from a wealthy background, which is what made all these factors vital to me. I say this as someone who survived the three day week, the Winter of Discontent, stagflation, constant strikes, and 70s fashions.

Thank you again for the info and those links.

Honestly I’ve only rocked together other peoples experiences of NK through there own filming and commentary, the bbc have been there once or twice too - I mention this as I was unaware of any private market for gardening but with that said, the current leader (who is probably unhinged) has sort of made some reforms… but he was educated in the west (think he might have done some university in Scotland at one point, will have to double check that fact) so I imagine he wants a country that’s slightly more relatable to him - and maybe he feels a little embarrassed about the country he rules as it’s so far behind.

I forgot to mention in my OP how the propaganda states the leaders are literal gods with magic powers lol and there calendar starts from there day of “ “independence” so they’re like 71 years old lol

You’re so right though, this has been a blessed country to grow up in when compared to other places though. I can only imagine what it’s truest like for the women of NK.

I hope some how they find a way to topple the regime but even if they did, imagine how the rest of the country would be infested with mental health issues due to the traumas.

And the PRC would not be happy with the huge influx of Koreans from there into China if freedom of movement is ever restored. The economic burden on South Korea would easily match that on the GDR when Germany was reunified in 1990. NK is certainly more backward in just about every way than the DDR was.

There was a deeper problem there that had been concealed by the dividing of the country and that came to the surface again after reunification, viz. the stronger national/ethnical sentiment in the east, where many Germans were descendants of emigrants from Germany into previously non-German lands over the previous 100 years or so (and not just under Hitler). This led to a sense of "being surrounded by foreigners", and is one reason for the rise of far-right politicians in the former DDR. I do not know whether there is anything comparable with regard to NK, but it seems unlikely—Korea is an old country and ethnically fairly homogenous, leaving aside the influence of Chinese culture and the impact of Chinese immigration.

I think I heard about the loosening of restrictions on private growing, buying, and selling of food and (to a lesser extent) other consumer goods, such as clothes, from a BBC documentary.

Have you read Nothing to Envy by Barbara Demick? It doesn't focus exclusively on women but instead shows what daily life is like for people in NK. She interviews 12 NK defectors on their experiences. It's one of the best non fiction books I've ever read.

No I have not but that is going on my Wish List for sure!! Thank you!

I wish there was a way we could safely exchange books w one another without the risk of doxxing. I'd send you my copy in a heartbeat.