Morale: Porn To Die For

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December 24, 2013: One thing China and North Korea have in common is growing corruption among government officials. But while China is mostly concerned with economic corruption, in North Korea possessing the wrong kind of information is a serious offense. Even senior officials are at risk for this sort of thought crime. In October North Korea publically executed eight people from the Kim Il Sung Political University for viewing forbidden images. This school trains students destined for senior military and government jobs and its faculty and students are considered the most reliable supporters of the dictatorship. The eight who were shot by firing squads were caught possessing videos from South Korea and China. Some of the videos were pornography while others were more mainstream entertainment (that is not available in North Korea because it is considered decadent).

China is mainly obsessed with images of naked men and women and has conducted several crackdowns on pornography, but rarely executes producers, much less consumers. Although East Asia has, over the centuries, produced a lot of pornography, this stuff was usually a (socially and culturally) forbidden pleasure restricted to the rich and powerful. That may still be the case, but in North Korea it is clear that faculty in the elite universities are neither elite, powerful nor bulletproof enough to enjoy their porn in peace.

 

 


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