To the Editor
‘The Leveller ‘
Dear Sir or Madam,
One of your readers drew my attention to the article titled ‘More South Korea than north ‘ in the issue of the ‘Leveller ‘ dated 15th of April 2023.
Firstly , at the risk of being pedantic there is no such country as ‘North Korea ‘ , the correct title is the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea , DPRK for short . I like to call it People’s Korea or Juche Korea or Socialist Korea.
Secondly , it seems curious that an article on local issues in Somerset including the workings of the Somerset County Council , seems to include a gratuitous and cheap attack on the DPRK and defamation of its system .Doubtlessly this approach is rooted in the demonisation of the DPRK by the mainstream media and the hostility of the mainstream media to the DPRK.
Thirdly , the article implies that asking a question of a local authority in the DPRK is somehow difficult . In fact in the DPRK ordinary working people exercise power at the local level through People’s Assemblies and People’s Committees at district , city ,county and provincial level .Moreover ,Article 69 of the ‘Socialist Constitution of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea ‘ states that ‘ Citizens are entitled to submit complaints and petitions. The State shall investigate and deal with complaints and petitions impartially as stipulated by law’ . This is backed up by a separate law on complaints and petitions of the DPRK.
The very title of the article makes a negative comparison between the DPRK and south Korea , implying that south Korea is some kind of liberal human rights paradise . In actual fact south Korea is occupied by US troops and is a fascist state .It also has one of the highest suicide rates in the world , the longest working hours and a declining birth .
As to the quoted statement of Somerset County Council leader Mr Bill Revans that ‘ we are lucky not to live in north Korea’ , I would point out that the DPRK abolished taxation in 1974 and yet is able to give its citizens free health care, free education, even free housing, low-cost food and cheap transport ( a ride on the Pyongyang Metro costs the equivalent of 3p ), who is ‘luckier ‘ the citizens of the DPRK or citizens of Britain?
Dr Dermot C Hudson
Chairman Korean Friendship Association of UK