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North Korea Sentences U.S. Citizen Kim Dong Chul to 10 Years of Hard Labor

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Another chapter in our ongoing series, "Holy Jesus why are people still going there????"

PYONGYANG, South Korea — North Korea on Friday sentenced a U.S. citizen of Korean heritage to 10 years in prison after convicting him of espionage and subversion, the second American it has put behind bars this year.


Kim Dong Chul had been detained in the North on suspicion of engaging in spying and stealing state secrets. He was sentenced to 10 years in prison with hard labor after a brief trial in Pyongyang. North Korea's Supreme Court found Kim guilty of crimes and espionage and subversion of under Articles 60 and 64 of the North's criminal code.

North Korea Sentences U.S. Citizen Kim Dong Chul to 10 Years of Hard Labor - NBC News
 

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All the same thing on repeat. Going to North Korea means suspending all of your rights, and putting yourself in the most of danger. It is asinine and there is no one to blame but yourself for whatever happens while you are in North Korea.
 

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Another chapter in our ongoing series, "Holy Jesus why are people still going there????"

North Korea Sentences U.S. Citizen Kim Dong Chul to 10 Years of Hard Labor - NBC News

Yes going there is a risk.

But this is more a sign of the North Koreans desperation in my view, extortion is the name of the game.

The nuclear tests, the missile tests, the arrests, it's all a ploy to get the US to the negotiating table, another major famine is on the horizon if not already underway that will be a huge challenge for the government to maintain order.

On top of that The government of North Korea is built on the idea that it is protecting its populace from American imperialism and aggression, it requires this song and dance of propaganda showing "active" attempts to undermine the country by "American Agents" to boost its own legitimacy.

The whole thing is just one big game.

But the North Koreans are very poor at playing it because of their own internal power struggles, within the elite, it appears the only way to gain legitimacy is to antoganise and use calculated (or in some cases un calculated) aggression against its enemies.
 

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Yes going there is a risk.

But this is more a sign of the North Koreans desperation in my view, extortion is the name of the game.

The nuclear tests, the missile tests, the arrests, it's all a ploy to get the US to the negotiating table, another major famine is on the horizon if not already underway that will be a huge challenge for the government to maintain order.

On top of that The government of North Korea is built on the idea that it is protecting its populace from American imperialism and aggression, it requires this song and dance of propaganda showing "active" attempts to undermine the country by "American Agents" to boost its own legitimacy.

The whole thing is just one big game.

But the North Koreans are very poor at playing it because of their own internal power struggles, within the elite, it appears the only way to gain legitimacy is to antoganise and use calculated (or in some cases un calculated) aggression against its enemies.

Going there is a bit more than a "risk." It's pretty much evolved into a Darwin Award.
 

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Going there is a bit more than a "risk." It's pretty much evolved into a Darwin Award.

Nearly gone myself, I'd say 99% of all people who go never have a problem.

And in a number of cases, the offense was stupid by our standards, but the person did actually do something stupid.

One guy left a bible behind in his room, that kid did actually sneak into a staff area and rip something off the wall, another American kid ripped up his passport in passport control when he landed because he wanted to get arrested, the NK takes advantage of these situations for the reasons I listed, but they're not as... Arbitrary for lack of a better word as they appear.

NK is probably one of the safest and strangest vacations a western person can embark on... But having said that pickpockets are the least of your worries.

As long as you're careful about what you do and say, it's really not a problem to go there :shrug:
 

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All the same thing on repeat. Going to North Korea means suspending all of your rights, and putting yourself in the most of danger. It is asinine and there is no one to blame but yourself for whatever happens while you are in North Korea.

Exactly.

Any time you travel outside your own country, you are subject to the juristiction of local authorities and all the laws and customs of the country.

It's called personal responsibility, I still believe the citizens government should assist in a reasonable capacity, depending on the circumstances.
 

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Nearly gone myself, I'd say 99% of all people who go never have a problem.

And in a number of cases, the offense was stupid by our standards, but the person did actually do something stupid.

One guy left a bible behind in his room, that kid did actually sneak into a staff area and rip something off the wall, another American kid ripped up his passport in passport control when he landed because he wanted to get arrested, the NK takes advantage of these situations for the reasons I listed, but they're not as... Arbitrary for lack of a better word as they appear.

NK is probably one of the safest and strangest vacations a western person can embark on... But having said that pickpockets are the least of your worries.

As long as you're careful about what you do and say, it's really not a problem to go there :shrug:

Your examples aren't exactly pushing me away from my Darwin Award comment. I'm reminded of that kid who traveled with his family to Singapore and went on a vandalism spree, and everyone in the United States was shocked...shocked!...when he was subsequently arrested and whipped with a bamboo rod. But here's why Americans' outrage was ridiculous: unlike your examples, vandalism is illegal EVERYWHERE. There is no place on earth you'll travel to where the authorities will say, "Oh sure, go ahead and ruin our ****. Vandalism is totally legit here." Also different is that Singapore's government, corrupt and awful as it may be, does not regularly amuse itself by pissing off foreign governments.

But having said that pickpockets are the least of your worries.

Yeah, I'll bet. They're probably all serving life sentences in labor camps.
 
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