In a groundbreaking short documentary, two Australian men set out to find the truth behind the North Korean myth. To do this, the men first break down the nation, myth by myth, and even visit North Korea to obtain a haircut to find out where propaganda ends and the truth begins.
Of course, in recent months we have all heard the various buzz words typically brought up before war with a totalitarian regime: concentration camps, human rights violations, nuclear armament, prison camps, isolationist, etc., etc. However, how true are these myths, really?
First, Sydney students Aleksa Vulovic and Alex Apollonov explore how Korea was separated into two separate nations. During the first half of the 20th century, Korea was under the brutal control of the Japanese government. However, after world war two, the nation obtained independence and elected their own socialist government, and for all appearances, were content with the change.
Unfortunately, that soon changed, as the two major power players that had won the second world war decided to make their presence known in the area and divided the nation into two nations: North Korea and South Korea. The South came under U.S control and the North was under the control of the communist Soviet regime. While socialist practices that had been adopted before continued to flourish in the North, in the South, the U.S brought back the Japanese government. Anyone who had any qualms with this was forced to flee to the North.
Then, the North and the South went to war against another. Due to U.S control over the South, the U.S invaded the North, and in typical U.S fashion began bombing North Korea.
“We burned down every town in North Korea. We killed off twenty percent of the population.” -General Curtis LeMay
Over 1.5 million civilians were killed as a result of the invasion.
Now, in modern times, the mere reference to Kim Jong-un’s name sparks interest throughout the world, due to the various myths surrounding the nation. But really, exactly how much of a tyrant is he?
One of the myths that most of us have heard due to the mainstream media, is that all North Korean citizens are forced to have the same haircut as their leader Kim Jong-un. However, when you begin delving into the various news sources that back this claim, they end up going nowhere fast. In order to explore this myth for themselves, our friendly documentary makers travel to the nation and request the oh-so-famous amongst Westerner’s pompadour haircut.
And…..oddly enough, no questions asked, and a few minutes later, the haircut is finished and looks nothing like Jong.
However, what about the other myths? Well, in order to touch on all of them, it would take an entire book. But what about the nuclear weapons? As we have all heard for years, North Korea has been testing nuclear missiles left and right. Yet, the fact that the U.S tests nuclear weapons left and right are never brought into the picture.
Furthermore, the fact that testing isn’t even truly necessary considering the fact that the U.S KNOWS their advanced weaponry works, by looking at their past advances in Hiroshima.
And how many nations has North Korea invaded compared to the hundreds of nations the Western world has?
But what about the prison camps? A totalitarian regime just wouldn’t be the same without “prison camps.” Of course, the Western world has a prison system that is just magnificent. It isn’t overcrowded at all, the conditions are oh-so-humane, and prisoners are treated wonderfully. (I hope you can sense my sarcasm here….) Not to mention the massive prison population in the United States. Thank heavens we don’t have to live under such tyranny. (If only there was a sarcasm font.)
Once again, we could honestly go on and on, but the point of all of this is deciphering the difference between truth and propaganda. After visiting, the men explained that acted the recently escalating tensions between the U.S and North Korea, the major takeaway is that we need to change our perspective. “It’s really spinning out of control. I think it could be different if people changed their perspective.”
Continuing, “We see them as this crazy country that wants to blow up the world for no reason. A lot of time, it’s taken out of context. It’s pretty unfortunate.”
And while neither nation is completely innocent of tyrannical practices, North Korea may indeed own their fair share of human rights violations. However, we mustn’t forget the United States violations either. Instead, she should look at both nations and the conflict at hand with an unbiased eye, to truly understand what is taking place.