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The people of North Korea have it all. Or do they?

Matt Paish

North Korea has developed the ultimate collegiate dream: hangover-free alcohol.


Here’s Kim, discussing the chemical composition of Koryo. This bevie features 30 to 40 percent alcohol with a taste that displays both ginseng and rice.Fancy!

Over the years, Kim and his crew of scientists have developed a long list of miracle cures including:

            1) AIDS

            2) Ebola

            3) Cancer

            4) MERS

            5) Um, Erectile Dysfunction

If only Kim and his batch of talented scientists could whip up a cure for North Korea’s disastrous economy.  

Kim’s world might be funny if the situation weren’t so serious.

The people living in North Korea face immense challenges and are plagued by poverty. Here is a rundown of the challenges they face:

1) The average person makes  2 to 3 dollars a month in pay from the government, with their annual income maybe reaching, $1,800. All while contending with 100 percent inflation. 

skeptical woman NK shop.jpgshop worker in Pyongyang
Image: Matt Paish

2) The population is borderline, if not completely, malnourished. In 2013, the United Nations' Food and Agriculture Organisation, found that 84 percent of households have "borderline or poor food consumption," and that ⅓ of children were stunted, according to the World Food Program.

3) 24.9 million North Koreans have homes that lack reliable heating, lighting and indoor plumbing. Also, basic necessities like cooking fuel are regularly rationed.

4) North Korea’s life expectancy is 69 years, but that is declining. While North Korea’s medical system provides free healthcare, patients must first find a doctor and come up with the money for their medicine.

5) Education is rare, and an expensive investment.  Unless families can come up with the cash for desks and building materials to build a school in their area, their children largely work producing goods for the government.

Students of NK .jpgImage: Roman Harak

In light of the immense gap between the claims North Korea is making about their advancements and the reality faced by its people, here is an open letter to Kim Jong-un.

A Message to Kim Jong-un:

Dear Kim,

I am delighted to learn of the magnificent scientific discoveries coming out of Pyongyang.  As a committed global citizen, I am part of a movement devoted to eliminating global poverty by 2030. I am hoping you will join with us. To do this I suggest you to reallocate the five billion you have in assets spread across 200 foreign banks to something other than:

  1. your elaborate car collection
  2. your lavish skiing trips to Switzerland
  3. your tripped out yatch parties with former NBA player, Dennis Rodman

This money would be better used to lift the 24.9 million people that currently live in North Korea out of poverty.


A concerned global citizen

I doubt Kim is going to write back….but pressuring leaders who are prospering while their people suffer is part of the duty of a global citizen.

Kim Jong_Un Mural.jpgImage: Thierry Ehrmann

Share this with other global citizens to give North Korea a reality check and help raise pressure to lift its people out of poverty.