More from Gareth on how wonderful North Korea is

September 5th, 2013 at 10:11 am by David Farrar

NK News reports:

From there, the Morgans got the chance to appreciate the scenic and personal beauty of the international pariah at harvest season.

“There could be problems in the country where we didn’t see,” Joanne said. “So we can’t comment on anything we didn’t see. But what we saw, it was fantastic.“

“The country is beautiful,” Garth said. “The country is just fantastic, the farms are perfect. They have no pollution.”

It’s a paradise! Perfect farms. No pollution!

“You look at their personal gardens, and they have got sunflowers, pumpkin growing over their roof, they (have) tobacco, huge pride in their personal space as well as their communal farms,” Joanne said. While the standard of living is clearly lower than in the South, they said it probably is not much different from South Korea a couple of decades ago, and that those they witnessed were not malnourished or lacking in necessities in clothing or shelter.

Never occured to them, that of course they don’t get to see the areas where three million people starved to death.

“Frankly I don’t see the DPRK regime through any different lens than I see China, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Malaysia – even Singapore at times – authoritarian regimes all of them,” he added.

Yes, is just like Singapore. Absolutely.

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28 Responses to “More from Gareth on how wonderful North Korea is”

  1. Chuck Bird (4,890 comments) says:

    I bet there are no cats. They probably all get eaten by the staving population.

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  2. GJKiwi (175 comments) says:

    His review seems reminiscent of GB Shaw’s visit to Russia. All was just perfect, despite the millions of deaths in the Ukraine, the Gulags, the political assassinations. I wonder what Gareth and his wife make of Kim Jong-un’s ex being executed for watching porn? Wow, suppose that would happen in Saudi Arabia, but that wouldn’t mean I would agree with it. What a hugely naive assessment of the situation there. I wonder, did he get to see any of the 4th largest military force by any chance? China also had its mass starvations and mass imprisonments. They have now moved on somewhat, both economically and politically. Justifying the conditions in North Korea by comparing it to other regimes doesn’t cut the mustard with me. I do agree with him about cats in New Zealand though, but not because I dislike cats, or weasels or stoats in particular, but only because they cause destruction of our native species, which don’t have anywhere else to live. Without rabbits, possums, weasels, stoats, deer and other introduced pest species, New Zealand would be a better place to live. We wouldn’t then need guns, so a lower murder toll.

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  3. Jim (358 comments) says:

    Astonishing. Object lesson in how to lose your credibility.

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  4. metcalph (1,366 comments) says:

    Even looking at the Wikipedia article shows the no pollution claim to be total bollocks.

    North Korea’s bid to become an urban nation has seen it sacrifice the tranquil environment of the country. Wildlife is scarce in the country, and “[t]he landscape is basically dead”, according to Joris van der Kamp, a Dutch scientist who visited the communist nation after being invited to. This situation is described as “so severe it could destabilize the whole country”.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Environmental_issues_in_North_Korea

    I wonder if Gareth is drinking the water?

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  5. pedrogarcia (53 comments) says:

    I visited North Korea in 2004 – unless it has undergone a magical transformation since then (which I doubt) it is nothing like those other countries. Even as a tourist we could tell it was like no other country – no cars on empty highways, shops and restaurants obviously only opening for tourists, it was more like a military camp than a country. Crossing back into China was like stepping forward 100 years. The people did seem happy and aren’t oblivious to the rest of the world, but there’s certainly more below the surface than Gareth makes out.

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  6. beautox (409 comments) says:

    What a twat. Perhaps he’s been fed a bunch of crystal meth :

    http://edition.cnn.com/2013/08/30/world/asia/north-korea-drugs

    There’s plenty of reports that huge numbers of the population are methheads.

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  7. LabourDoesntWork (292 comments) says:

    Banally inoffensive – to the police state, that is.
    They would have been watched and bugged during their entire time in the country. Good to know every comment was vetted by the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, lest anyone end up against a wall and then it be reported that a tragic motorcycle accident has occurred.

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  8. bhudson (4,741 comments) says:

    Hmm. So Gareth sticks it to our 100% Pure message and then goes to DPRK and claims it’s so wonderful based on some staged pantomimes.

    http://garethsworld.com/blog/enviroment/kissing-clean-and-green-goodbye/

    Clearly he thinks credibility is a negative and to be avoided at all cost.

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  9. liarbors a joke (1,069 comments) says:

    These greenie types are like your grandmother. Great for the occasional piece of moral advice but you wouldn’t put them in charge of anything other than lunch.

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  10. Yoza (1,926 comments) says:

    The people did seem happy and aren’t oblivious to the rest of the world, but there’s certainly more below the surface than Gareth makes out.

    You filthy communist sympathiser, how dare you suggest anyone is happy in North Korea when we are in the process of crucifying Gareth Morgan for suggesting people living in North Korea have the temerity to resemble human beings.

    The reflexive denunciations of disobedient nation states by large swathes of the commentariate in the West really is no different to the regimented denunciations of Western imperialism that descend from the ‘Dear leader’ in North Korea.

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  11. Fletch (6,517 comments) says:

    Sounds like he was shown infamous “Potemkin villages”.
    In actuality, some North Koreans resort to cannibalism, they are so hungry.

    Sung Min Jeong, 44, claims that in Chongjin – a city at the tip of the North Korean coast – a shopkeeper serves up human meat.

    “One of his strongest thoughts is … if he didn’t take steps to leave North Korea, he would’ve become a North Korean who ate human flesh,” an interpreter for Mr Jeong told news.com.au.

    The thought that he would have to one day eat a fellow human being is what drove Mr Jeong to leave his homeland behind and to escape to Sydney in March 2011.

    It is not the first time reports of cannibalism have emerged from the secretive state.

    Fears that famine-stricken North Koreans are being forced to eat human flesh heightened earlier this year following claims a man was executed for murdering his two children for food.

    “While his wife was away on business he killed his eldest daughter and, because his son saw what he had done, he killed his son as well. When the wife came home, he offered her food, saying: ‘We have meat,'” a source told The Independent.

    “But his wife, suspicious, notified the Ministry of Public Security, which led to the discovery of part of their children’s bodies under the eaves.”

    Renewed reports of cannibalism came after a human rights group accused North Korea of operating a system of secret gulag-style prison camps, according to reports.

    Fears of cannibalism in the country surfaced in 2003 too, amid testimony from refugees who claimed poor harvests and food aid sanctions had resulted in children being killed and corpses cut up for food.

    According to reports, requests by the United Nations World Food Programme to access “farmers’ markets” where human meat was said to be traded, were turned down by Pyongyang, citing “security reasons”.

    Those caught selling human meat face execution, but one source told the North Korean Refugees Assistance Fund: “Pieces of ‘special’ meat are displayed on straw mats for sale.

    “People know where they come from, but they don’t talk about it.”

    http://www.express.co.uk/news/world/392610/North-Korean-reveals-cannibalism-is-common-after-escaping-starving-state

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  12. Harriet (5,199 comments) says:

    “…..You look at their personal gardens, and they have got sunflowers, pumpkin growing over their roof, they (have) tobacco, huge pride in their personal space as well as their communal farms,” Joanne said….”

    Tobacco – and speaks like it’s a good thing? I thought feel-good nutters like these two would be opposed to smoking.

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  13. scrubone (3,097 comments) says:

    The pollution comment is funny because I know someone who has actually experienced the pollution over there. It’s disgusting.

    Of course, it’s not everwhere, but where it is, it’s bad.

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  14. GJKiwi (175 comments) says:

    I suspect we’ll have a different view of things once he leaves the “Promised Land”

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  15. queenstfarmer (782 comments) says:

    Gareth has truly jumped the shark.

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  16. scrubone (3,097 comments) says:

    Tobacco – and speaks like it’s a good thing? I thought feel-good nutters like these two would be opposed to smoking.

    Don’t worry, I’m sure the army confiscates that too.

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  17. OneTrack (3,347 comments) says:

    Yoza, when are you and Gareth moving to the North Korean nirvana?

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  18. unaha-closp (1,067 comments) says:

    Gareth & Jo Morgan are amateurs playing at diplomacy, with little inherent standing (apart from managing what the Norks think is a potential investment fund) they need to say these pleasant things to be allowed by the Norks to do more diplomacy. They think what they are doing is for the greater good.

    They genuinely seem to see a two state solution in Korea as a peaceful solution to the conflict. With North Koreans being able to travel as freely as the East Germans, Lithuanians, Ukrainians, Albanians, Yugoslavians or Hungarians were in the last few moments before the collapse of those repressive communist regimes. They think that the Norks are going to adopt a policy that has preceded the collapse of communism in every instance it has been tried previously.

    They are amateurs who will certainly fail. Hopefully they will fail soon, because if they blunder on they risk being moderately successful and convincing some faction of the Norks that this vision is achievable. That faction will then need to be expunged (probably killed) to ensure the survival of the North Korean state.

    If they continue with this project Gareth & Jo Morgan will likely get some North Koreans killed.

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  19. The only red for me is that of Manchester United (62 comments) says:

    No pollution on the farms. That’s because there’s no tractors Gareth you plonker. The farmers still use ox and plough.

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  20. metcalph (1,366 comments) says:

    The farmers still use ox and plough.

    Still is incorrect. Up until the fall of the Soviet Union, North Korea had an industrialized farming sector. But when the subsidized fuel ran out, they were forced to leave the tractors behind and returned to the ox and plow. There’s also the related issue that in order to increase food production to pay for the money to buy fuel, they chopped down numerous forests and used the land for agriculture – a policy which turned to shit when the resulting soil erosion caused numerous devastating floods in the 90s.

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  21. Alan Wilkinson (1,933 comments) says:

    No doubt the peasants have eaten all the cats. Gareth would be happy if they hadn’t eaten all the birds first.

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  22. pedrogarcia (53 comments) says:

    Another thing I noticed in North Korea was that they have New Zealand dairy products. We had anchor butter every day. It was probably the only thing they served us with nutritional content.

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  23. Rich Prick (1,750 comments) says:

    I’m guessing Gareth and Joanne skipped the side excursion to Yodok then.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Yodok_concentration_camp

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  24. backster (2,194 comments) says:

    I guess that the South Koreans must be desperately trying to migrate North. Maybe such a delightful caring Nation might like to help Aussie out by accepting some of their refugees.

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  25. Fletch (6,517 comments) says:

    Don’t know whether you saw this in the Herald from Sunday. News has just been revealed that Kim Jong-un had his ex-lover executed.

    She was first identified as Kim Jong-un’s old flame 13 months ago, in July 2012. The poised, coiffed and elegantly dressed companion of North Korean dictator Kim Jong-un was filmed sitting next to him at a concert in Pyongyang, then ascending the stage with him to applaud the performers.

    One month later, she vanished from the scene as abruptly as she had arrived. On Friday came the shocking news that Hyon Song-wol, one of the most popular singers in the reclusive state, had been executed by machine gun.

    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/world/news/article.cfm?c_id=2&objectid=11117647

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  26. hj (7,139 comments) says:

    “So, hopefully, we just make a little dent and the people can make a difference.”

    Of course National Realestate will be listening to his tax policy ideas?

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  27. BlairM (2,340 comments) says:

    FFS, I don’t care how crazy Communist you are, or how crazy Left wing you are, if you defend or sympathize with North Korea in any way, you are a fucktard.

    Any genuine Leftist should despise the DPRK for sullying communism’s “good name”. People who want to turn the issue into some bullshit rant about “American imperialism” need their head read. Anywhere else in the world you can state your case with that view, but there is no way the DPRK can be used for that purpose. They are gangsters without merit and should be recognised as such.

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  28. maringi (16 comments) says:

    I can comment with a bit of authority as I have been to DPRK as a journalist (travelling undercover obviously).
    The Morgans have been sucked in by a blatant ‘guided tour’ which shows all the best carefully selected parts of the country. They would not have been left alone outside their hotel rooms or sanitised areas with carefully schooled residents. Their rooms would have been searched frequently, and their guides questioned carefully. They would not have been allowed any unscripted contact with locals.
    The tourist ‘management’ is so obvious I find it impossible to believe that any well-travelled person would not have seen it for what it was.
    The only possible conclusion I can draw is that they spent their entire visit wearing red-tinted glasses.

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