Ballpoint Pen a 'Luxury Item' in North Korea

Ballpoint Pen a 'Luxury Item' in North Korea

North Korea is home to “24.7 million people” who live in such poverty that a “ballpoint pen is considered a luxury item.”

A recent New York Post column highlighting the human rights infractions of the country now led by Kim Jong-un shows that the government controls the flow of knowledge to such a degree that “men make it to their mid-20s without knowing that women menstruate, or even what menstruation is.”

There is so little electricity in North Korea that it is “the only county in the world not illuminated.” Those with electricity have access to one television channel–the “state-run channel.” And those who watch DVDs smuggled in from the West do so only after “covering their windows with blankets” to keep government eyes from seeing. 

Those caught watching the DVDs are sentenced to “hard time in a labor camp.”

Girls are not allowed to ride bicycles–“it’s considered lascivious.” And any religion other than worship of the late Kim-Il sung “is banned.”

Travelers in the capital city of Pyongyang “are only allowed to move within a circumscribed” area and even then, “are chaperoned and surveilled by government officials.

Humans Rights Watch, Amnesty International, and the United Nations have all condemned “North Korea’s human-rights record.”

Follow AWR Hawkins on Twitter @AWRHawkins


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