Did you know how dangerous hope is?

Kim Jong Il with his stereo system
I control the music.Matthew Wilkinson / Foter

North Korea is so bad, no one wants the responsibility of fixing it in the case of a regime change. So one of the most brutal dictatorships in the world goes on while others collapse. But oppression, like anything, takes work, and the leaders of this country know an important trick: never give your people hope of a better tomorrow. The review of Victor Cha’s “The Impossible State: North Korea, Past and Future” words it thusly:

“Knowing well that the most dangerous moment for any tyranny is when it begins to reform, suddenly raising the expectations of previously downtrodden people, the Kims have carefully maintained the most oppressive, brutal and closed political system on earth, bar none.”

And that means “day-to-day survival remains the primary intellectual and physical preoccupation for most North Koreans.”

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