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caliboy93
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How would a North Korean react to being in America

Fri Dec 20, 2019 7:12 am

Imagine if someone in a small North Korean town fled successfully and arrived to an American city. What would be his reaction at seeing all the people, skyscrapers, technology, etc?
 
TSS
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Re: How would a North Korean react to being in America

Fri Dec 20, 2019 8:00 am

Running around in circles yelling "Wahoo!", and pausing occasionally to flip a double bird accompanied by a pelvic thrust in the general direction of North Korea? Either that or curling up in the fetal position on the spot with hands over ears due to sensory overload. Hard to say, really.
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Airstud
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Re: How would a North Korean react to being in America

Fri Dec 20, 2019 8:23 am

caliboy93 wrote:
What would be his reaction at seeing all the people, skyscrapers, technology, etc?



They have those things in North Korea as well.

I think most likely he would greet it all with suspicion & paranoia. I doubt North Korean citizens have time for much else.
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Bongodog49
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Re: How would a North Korean react to being in America

Fri Dec 20, 2019 8:54 am

Airstud wrote:
caliboy93 wrote:
What would be his reaction at seeing all the people, skyscrapers, technology, etc?



They have those things in North Korea as well.

I think most likely he would greet it all with suspicion & paranoia. I doubt North Korean citizens have time for much else.


My thought are much the same, they would be awed by the ability to walk into shops and buy whatever they wanted, but taken aback by seeing and hearing people criticising the goverment and president openly on the streets.
It would be little different to someone who had gone into isolation about 50 years ago walking back into society.
 
ltbewr
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Re: How would a North Korean react to being in America

Fri Dec 20, 2019 12:45 pm

They don't have to go far, just to South Korea to have similar experiences. Some who have escaped NK have serious physical and mental health problems, they have difficulty with the freedom they have and adjusting to life from one that is very rigid.
 
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SheikhDjibouti
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Re: How would a North Korean react to being in America

Fri Dec 20, 2019 1:10 pm

ltbewr wrote:
They don't have to go far, just to South Korea to have similar experiences. Some who have escaped NK have serious physical and mental health problems, they have difficulty with the freedom they have and adjusting to life from one that is very rigid.

Plenty of prisoners (in the US and other countries) have difficulties adjusting back to normal life upon release, to the extent that some immediately re-offend just to get put back inside where they feel comfortable.

Hence the need for re-habilitation programs (aka social integration), both for prisoners, and for our "lucky" North Korean

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Social_integration
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extender
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Re: How would a North Korean react to being in America

Fri Dec 20, 2019 1:12 pm

Biggest "wow" when relatives come from Cuba are the grocery stores. They think it is an elaborate ruse, until they go to a few. Similarly, they are looking over their shoulders and covering their mouths as they speak. Pretty certain someone coming from DPRK would be the same.
 
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stl07
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Re: How would a North Korean react to being in America

Fri Dec 20, 2019 1:36 pm

https://www.google.com/search?q=pyongya ... 5ZOnQ50X-M:
As stated earlier, North Korea has cosmopolitan cities. I do agree that mental issues would be a challenge.
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einsteinboricua
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Re: How would a North Korean react to being in America

Fri Dec 20, 2019 1:41 pm

If we're talking about refugees:

South Korea has a program to train North Koreans on their way of life. They are given an allowance to help them get settled into society. Usually, North Koreans that arrive already know their southern neighbor is richer and much more advanced, but there's definitely some adjustment that needs to happen.

If we're talking about official delegations (like trade officials and Olympians):
I think they too know that what the North spews out is unlike the real world and just play the part. My guess is that the government has leverage (family members back in the country in particular) where the slightest slip-up means harsh punishment to all.
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Aesma
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Re: How would a North Korean react to being in America

Fri Dec 20, 2019 2:03 pm

Airstud wrote:
caliboy93 wrote:
What would be his reaction at seeing all the people, skyscrapers, technology, etc?



They have those things in North Korea as well.


Soviet style buildings they have, not shiny and elegant glass clad skyscrapers. Not that most cities have them around the world.

What technology exactly ? CRT TVs ?

I've seen large avenues with not a single car in sight.
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falstaff
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Re: How would a North Korean react to being in America

Fri Dec 20, 2019 7:27 pm

One thing that would amaze them pretty much anywhere in the civilized world is that there is electricity 24 hours a day.
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NIKV69
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Re: How would a North Korean react to being in America

Fri Dec 20, 2019 7:47 pm

TSS wrote:
Running around in circles yelling "Wahoo!", and pausing occasionally to flip a double bird accompanied by a pelvic thrust in the general direction of North Korea? Either that or curling up in the fetal position on the spot with hands over ears due to sensory overload. Hard to say, really.


I think you had it right with your first one with the Wahoo.
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Dutchy
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Re: How would a North Korean react to being in America

Fri Dec 20, 2019 8:20 pm

caliboy93 wrote:
Imagine if someone in a small North Korean town fled successfully and arrived to an American city. What would be his reaction at seeing all the people, skyscrapers, technology, etc?


if you truly want to know, just look at a number of documentaries about North Korean refugees in South Korea.

If a North Korean successfully has fled to an American city, he or she has passed through many non-American cities, something to think about.
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Braybuddy
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Re: How would a North Korean react to being in America

Fri Dec 20, 2019 9:07 pm

They usually find going outside the DPKR overwhelming and bewildering. I'd say probably frightening as well. We are used to sensory overload, they are not.
 
anrec80
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Re: How would a North Korean react to being in America

Sat Dec 21, 2019 11:18 am

caliboy93 wrote:
Imagine if someone in a small North Korean town fled successfully and arrived to an American city. What would be his reaction at seeing all the people, skyscrapers, technology, etc?


Arrived as a tourist or as an immigrant? Those will be two entirely different stories.
Last edited by anrec80 on Sat Dec 21, 2019 11:27 am, edited 1 time in total.
 
anrec80
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Re: How would a North Korean react to being in America

Sat Dec 21, 2019 11:22 am

Airstud wrote:
caliboy93 wrote:
What would be his reaction at seeing all the people, skyscrapers, technology, etc?



They have those things in North Korea as well.

I think most likely he would greet it all with suspicion & paranoia. I doubt North Korean citizens have time for much else.


They have all those things in NK as well. Just look at Pyongyang recent pictures. Even modern Apple products are certainly being brought there (both legally and not). They are accessible to too few - this is right, but to say that nobody in NK has ever seen a Macbook Pro - this is just not true.
 
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Re: How would a North Korean react to being in America

Sat Dec 21, 2019 5:14 pm

anrec80 wrote:
Airstud wrote:
caliboy93 wrote:
What would be his reaction at seeing all the people, skyscrapers, technology, etc?



They have those things in North Korea as well.

I think most likely he would greet it all with suspicion & paranoia. I doubt North Korean citizens have time for much else.


They have all those things in NK as well. Just look at Pyongyang recent pictures. Even modern Apple products are certainly being brought there (both legally and not). They are accessible to too few - this is right, but to say that nobody in NK has ever seen a Macbook Pro - this is just not true.


What good is an Apple product when internet access is hugely restricted if at all?
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Dutchy
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Re: How would a North Korean react to being in America

Sat Dec 21, 2019 5:47 pm

If you can afford - aka allowed to buy - an Apple product in North Korea, the internet isn't that much restricted to you
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910A
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Re: How would a North Korean react to being in America

Sat Dec 21, 2019 6:37 pm

Article in today's Washington Post about North Koreans going abroad to work.
https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/as ... story.html
 
anrec80
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Re: How would a North Korean react to being in America

Sun Dec 22, 2019 12:01 am

Dutchy wrote:
If you can afford - aka allowed to buy - an Apple product in North Korea, the internet isn't that much restricted to you


North Korea lately does allow a sort of private business activity - where, say, mines or factories managers are given freedom to make their decisions and have foreign economic relations, and possess some foreign currency. There is growing class of people who are able to buy all sorts of modern stuff.
 
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Re: How would a North Korean react to being in America

Sun Dec 22, 2019 12:15 am

Braybuddy wrote:
They usually find going outside the DPKR overwhelming and bewildering. I'd say probably frightening as well. We are used to sensory overload, they are not.


Yes, at first it’s all overwhelming and bewildering - while you are a tourist. But then you need to actually start taking care of yourself and supporting yourself. And all of a sudden our new refugee finds himself on the very social bottom, with absolute zero guidance and help to get up, and all sorts of shady dudes who want to take advantage of him or her, in any possible way.

See, freedom and theoretical opportunities that are somewhere out there don’t help to keep roof above one’s head and stomach full.
In virtually any professional field, there is cut throat competition with locals who know ins and outs of the game, only a small minority of migrants ever make it into the profession.

I know this matter very well, since I know plenty of people from x-USSR who have been in this boat, and I had a similar experience myself. And my advice to soon-to-be deflectors - if you are educated, in a profession, have established life in North Korea - think 25 times before you go to the local immigration authorities.
 
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seb146
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Re: How would a North Korean react to being in America

Sun Dec 22, 2019 12:22 am

I wonder how the average North Korean citizen would react to the subtle tracking of Americans? There are cameras everywhere. Some of them are public, like on state transportation web sites. There are other cameras that we have no idea what they are for. There is speculation on shows like NCIS and Criminal Minds and so forth.

I have watched several videos on social media explaining day to day life as tourists are shown in DPRK. Like statues are only allowed to be photographed from certain positions and military are never allowed to be photographed. I wonder what they would say about our selfie world?

And things like Doordash and Grubhub and Postmates and Uber Eats. Food on demand and how that looks to a citizen from a country where food is a luxury.
You bet I'm pumped!!! I just had a green tea!!!
 
anrec80
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Re: How would a North Korean react to being in America

Sun Dec 22, 2019 12:55 am

seb146 wrote:
And things like Doordash and Grubhub and Postmates and Uber Eats. Food on demand and how that looks to a citizen from a country where food is a luxury.


Let’s just be honest on this one - Doordash, Grubhub and the likes are luxury for majority on the West too. And so is quality food.
 
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seb146
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Re: How would a North Korean react to being in America

Sun Dec 22, 2019 3:21 am

anrec80 wrote:
seb146 wrote:
And things like Doordash and Grubhub and Postmates and Uber Eats. Food on demand and how that looks to a citizen from a country where food is a luxury.


Let’s just be honest on this one - Doordash, Grubhub and the likes are luxury for majority on the West too. And so is quality food.


Just that food delivery is a thing here while I have heard reports of people in DPRK harvesting lawn just to put something in their stomach.
You bet I'm pumped!!! I just had a green tea!!!
 
BN747
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Re: How would a North Korean react to being in America

Sun Dec 22, 2019 4:05 am

I'd have to be something like what saw on day while spending a day shooting at SFO.

I was in the old International Terminal (Terminal 2 D-gates), the one after of the International rotunda (Pan Am) was replaced.

A CAAC 747-200 arrived, you could peer over a balcony like position and witness arrivals...I remember this one middle age Chinese man in awe of the structure, his head craned upwards just marveling at the structure and architecture. Beijing Capital Airport had not completed it's 1st renovation a that time.

But having lived in Taiwan, I was very aware of the political state of affairs of the day. This sight held my attention for some time wondering thru my mind what were these people thinking of their first impressions pf America. A few of them were fully donned in Chairman Mao jackets, I'm sure they were not poor farmers, but they could have easily been gov't officials - which were nowhere near 'loaded' as we see Chinese today ..not even close.

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VSMUT
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Re: How would a North Korean react to being in America

Sun Dec 22, 2019 6:47 pm

You don't need to be a North Korean to get an idea of how they would react. I have had experiences slightly in that direction too. Coming back to the west after a prolonged period in a third world country, I tend to feel overwhelmed by the extreme excess for a few days. People are notably busier and more stressed, shopping takes forever because the selection of goods on the shelves is so massive. There is 24/7 news, media and entertainment available. And that is just returning to Germany or Denmark. I know the UK and US are even more excessive/"noisy" in those regards.

seb146 wrote:
Just that food delivery is a thing here while I have heard reports of people in DPRK harvesting lawn just to put something in their stomach.


While I don't doubt that there is a grain of truth involved, exactly how likely do you think it is that people with no food would have a lawn? Especially in a communist country, where high rise concrete blocks are all the rage.
 
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seb146
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Re: How would a North Korean react to being in America

Mon Dec 23, 2019 3:09 am

VSMUT wrote:
You don't need to be a North Korean to get an idea of how they would react. I have had experiences slightly in that direction too. Coming back to the west after a prolonged period in a third world country, I tend to feel overwhelmed by the extreme excess for a few days. People are notably busier and more stressed, shopping takes forever because the selection of goods on the shelves is so massive. There is 24/7 news, media and entertainment available. And that is just returning to Germany or Denmark. I know the UK and US are even more excessive/"noisy" in those regards.


I had also heard that state media is piped into all homes in DPRK and can never be turned off. Almost like in the States.

VSMUT wrote:
seb146 wrote:
Just that food delivery is a thing here while I have heard reports of people in DPRK harvesting lawn just to put something in their stomach.


While I don't doubt that there is a grain of truth involved, exactly how likely do you think it is that people with no food would have a lawn? Especially in a communist country, where high rise concrete blocks are all the rage.


In Pyongyang, they could go to any park. In the country, they could probably just cut whatever they see.
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VSMUT
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Re: How would a North Korean react to being in America

Mon Dec 23, 2019 9:51 am

seb146 wrote:
VSMUT wrote:
You don't need to be a North Korean to get an idea of how they would react. I have had experiences slightly in that direction too. Coming back to the west after a prolonged period in a third world country, I tend to feel overwhelmed by the extreme excess for a few days. People are notably busier and more stressed, shopping takes forever because the selection of goods on the shelves is so massive. There is 24/7 news, media and entertainment available. And that is just returning to Germany or Denmark. I know the UK and US are even more excessive/"noisy" in those regards.


I had also heard that state media is piped into all homes in DPRK and can never be turned off. Almost like in the States.


Did you ever consider that your side does plenty of propaganda as well? The country doesn't even generate enough electricity to be seen from space, but they all have TV sets running 24/7? What do you think is more likely?

But even if we play along with that concept, 24/7 state media is extremely mild compared to what we get bombarded by in the west. I doubt they have commercials on TV, the shops have a simple selection of goods, they don't receive advertisements in the mail every day, no internet full of distractions etc.
 
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seb146
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Re: How would a North Korean react to being in America

Mon Dec 23, 2019 6:24 pm

VSMUT wrote:
seb146 wrote:
VSMUT wrote:
You don't need to be a North Korean to get an idea of how they would react. I have had experiences slightly in that direction too. Coming back to the west after a prolonged period in a third world country, I tend to feel overwhelmed by the extreme excess for a few days. People are notably busier and more stressed, shopping takes forever because the selection of goods on the shelves is so massive. There is 24/7 news, media and entertainment available. And that is just returning to Germany or Denmark. I know the UK and US are even more excessive/"noisy" in those regards.


I had also heard that state media is piped into all homes in DPRK and can never be turned off. Almost like in the States.


Did you ever consider that your side does plenty of propaganda as well? The country doesn't even generate enough electricity to be seen from space, but they all have TV sets running 24/7? What do you think is more likely?


I have heard that DPRK has radio piped in to homes. I have seen videos of propaganda being blasted in the streets. I made a specific point to say we have 24/7 propaganda in the United States. Other than that, I never specified a side.

VSMUT wrote:
But even if we play along with that concept, 24/7 state media is extremely mild compared to what we get bombarded by in the west. I doubt they have commercials on TV, the shops have a simple selection of goods, they don't receive advertisements in the mail every day, no internet full of distractions etc.


I would imagine that, if one is wealthy enough to own a TV, there are probably no commercials on state run television. Just an endless cycle of how glorious the party is and how glorious Kim Jung Un is and all the wonderful things Kim Jong Un and his father and grandfather have given and so on. If one is lucky enough to own a radio, I imagine it is the same.
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Re: How would a North Korean react to being in America

Mon Dec 23, 2019 7:48 pm

extender wrote:
Biggest "wow" when relatives come from Cuba are the grocery stores. They think it is an elaborate ruse, until they go to a few.


There is a story about Boris Yeltsin visiting the US in 1989 and experiencing this. Supposedly it was a factor in the downfall of the Soviet Union.

https://www.chron.com/neighborhood/bayarea/news/article/When-Boris-Yeltsin-went-grocery-shopping-in-Clear-5759129.php

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