Saturday, June 04, 2005

Freedom...Pure & Simple

The first line of my last post says something that I hate to admit. It's true, but I hate that it's true. If you don't feel like scrolling down and reading, here is what I wrote: "I used to not pay much attention to stories like this, but now that I have a son in the military, it's personal." I hate the fact that I really never paid much attention to our military until I had a vested interest in it. Those of us not living in a military town or surrounded by military people tend to take all this comfort for granted. Shoot...we even have the audacity to complain if things aren't just so. Having lived in a free society all my life, it's hard to imagine living any other way. It's hard to think of our freedoms being taken away . So many things we consider as just parts of our every day lives, like cell phones and the internet, the people of North Korea are having to learn to live without because their government doesn't trust them to be free. Just imagine our military allowing this to happen in MY country...(from the article)

"Starting in April, the sources said Pyongyang blocked 90 percent of its international phone lines to hinder leaks of information to the outside world. Before April, the North operated 970 international phone lines, but the sources said a direct order came from the North's leader, Kim Jong-il, to cut the lines. The North Korean Foreign Ministry is now said to operate with just two lines, while the North's military operates another two and the Ministry of Foreign Trade possesses one.
In another measure, the sources said Pyongyang has also impounded 20,000 cell phones since May of last year after the North Korean authorities came to believe cell phone calls leaked news of a massive explosion at the rail station in the town of Ryongchon. North Korean citizens who paid $1,200 as a deposit on the cell phones are said to have been angered because the deposits are not being returned. [...]
The regime, the sources said, has also tightened its grip by severely limiting access to the outside world through the Internet. Only two government departments are said to have Internet links. The internal intranet that was previously available to North Korean colleges such as the Kim Il Sung University has also been shut down, the sources said."

Nuff said. I won't take my freedom for granted any more. Thanks to Lost Nomad for pointing this out.

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