NORTH KOREA: It’s Not What You Know, It’s Who You Know

RYAN LIPPERT WRITES – In today’s world, connections are everything. Knowing the right people can get you job offers and admission into prestigious schools. Or it can get you a prison sentence in North Korea.

Forty performers were arrested and imprisoned in North Korea just for knowing Jang Son Thaek, the late uncle of Supreme Leader Kim Jong Un, a bit too well. Jang was executed in December, and shortly after the execution, his supporters in the armed forces and the government were removed from their posts. Now it appears that entertainers with ties to Jang have joined them.

Some of the prisoners include members of the Mansudae Art Theater, the Chosun Art Film Studio, and other well-known North Korean groups. Some of the more notable prisoners include the Moranbong Band’s Ryu Jin Ah, who had an intimate relationship with Jang, and Li Yik Seung, who allegedly played a role in conscripting young women to serve as sex slaves for Kim Jong Il.

Kenji Fujimoto, who served as a chef for Kim Jong Il from the late 80s to the early 2000s, asserts that Jang was also involved in acquiring young women for Kim’s harem, and that he possibly had sex with them. Fujimoto argues that this may actually have been one of the reasons for Jang’s execution.

Do we sense a theme here? Women who have appeared in pornography are executed. Those who may have supplied Kim Jong Il with a youthful selection of women are imprisoned. Why is the rule of Kim Jong Un so anti-sex?

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