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What would make someone want to flee "The Hermit Kingdom"?

Ten Reasons to Defect from North Korea

By Marian L. Tupy @HumanProgress

In Monday morning’s news, National Public Radio reported that a colonel from the General Bureau of Reconnaissance, a North Korean spy agency, defected to South Korea. According to the newscaster, the reasons for the colonel’s defection are, at present, “not known.” Human Progress hates unresolved mysteries and humbly suggests 10 possible reasons for the colonel’s defection. Here they are, in no particular order:

1. Life expectancy in the North is only 86 percent that of the South, 2013.

2. GDP per capita in the North is only 5 percent that of the South, 2008.

3. The infant mortality rate in the North is 679 percent that of the South, 2015.

4. Maternal mortality in the North is 322 percent that of the South, 2013.

5. Food consumption in the North was 63 percent that of the South, 2011.

6. Democracy in the South is comparable to Belgium, but non-existent in the North, 2014.

7. Protection of the environment in the North lags behind that in the South, 2015.

8. Rule of law in the South is on par with Spain, in the North with Afghanistan, 2014.

9. Access to the internet in the North is so low that the United Nations does not even include the country in its internet access data.

10. Last, but not least, the colonel’s chance of being murdered was almost six times higher in the North than in the South, including on the orders of this psychopath:

Photo Credit: KCNA

This article first appeared in Reason.

Marian L. Tupy is a senior fellow in the Cato Institute’s Center for Global Liberty and Prosperity and editor of HumanProgress.org.


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