Rigorous Military Training Is Killing North Korean Students

[imText1]With Kim Jong-Il in power and the nation under the “Juche” ideology, North Korea became the poorest state on Earth.

Workers’ Party of Korea, government, and the citizens of North Korea are all used to the foreign aids, effectively rendering us to be professional beggars. The main reason why we depend only on foreign support is that no competent leaders exist in the country.

Foreign experts and media said that North Korea could not develop its economy because of the suppression of freedom or the monotony of the ruling ideology. These opinions are not misleading.

However, these reasons cannot justify the lackluster performances in the applied science and other scientific fields; ideology is, after all, not related to actual knowledge.

Six months’ of military training during college life

The standard of the intelligence is dropping lower and lower, because the students cannot study in their chosen fields properly.

From my view, North Korean students have the hardest time in the world during their college years. South Korean students can take the lectures for half of a year, and spend the rest of the time privately.

North Korean students, on the other hand, take a part in the farm supporting activity and national performance or events in addition to the military training.

Let’s look at the condition of colleges in North Korea. The formal course of a college takes four years and six months. Students put aside the six months of their college lives for military training. All sophomores must take the military training as reserve troops, whether they have already been discharged from the military or not.

“Learn to steal as soldiers”

Company commanders are soldiers that are in charge of the student training. The commanders make the training very intense and harsh, in order to make the students experience the life of the military and throw away their intellectual’s spirit. Summer trainings span from April to October; winter training from November to March. If the students are participating in summer training, they must work on the farm as well.

Students are in charge of mess halls. They are also in the charge of gathering the cooking materials on their own. What this means is that they must steal the materials from the neighboring farms. “Once you are in a military, you should learn to steal as soldiers,” commanders indicate.

The hardest part is the hunger during the training. Students often cannot eat much of the boiled cereals, because commanders usually hide the rations and sell them.

Villagers around the camp sell the food to students. If students were caught buying food and alcohol outside the camp, they are punished. However, they often go out to the neighboring villages to get something to eat even though the evening roll call is past.

To be continued

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