Interesting if true:
One day one of supervisors got drunk and cursed at some laborers taking a break. It caused an explosion of suppressed anger on the part of the laborers. A laborer named Cho Dong-Soo (alias) challenged the supervisor, “How come you people fill your stomachs with alcoholic beverage and pork while idling away time and yet shout at us? We feel so hungry and weak in this hot weather. Don’t we deserve some rest?” The supervisor’s response was, “Who do you think you are talking back to?” and he slapped the face of the laborer. It triggered a big fight between two supervisors and laborers. The supervisors were beaten badly by numerous laborers. The local headquarters found out about the fight, held a meeting and made a decision to punish the laborers. The laborers involved in the fight were criticized in public and placed in isolation for a week. The laborers felt that they were wronged because the supervisors caused the incident. The angry laborers protested for two days with work stoppage. [Good Friends, Sept. 25, 2009]
The same dispatch reports two other episodes of defiance against the authorities — one by a group of vendors at a market in the miserable corner called Onsung, and the other by a group of orphans press ganged into a labor unit.
I suspect there are a lot more incidents like this one that happen in North Korea that we never hear about, and I’ve certainly noted plenty more like it here and here. The problem with incidents like this is that North Korea’s internal isolation makes it like an ice cube tray — news can’t travel from region to region, or at least not before the authorities have already suppressed whatever has broken out. I have made and would make again the argument for arming and training the North Korean people to resist and ultimately replace the existing state, but at least initially, we’d likely get far better results by finding a way to saturate North Korea with cell phones than with AK’s.