Perception is an invisible force, one that lives in our minds. But the effect of our perceptions are anything but invisible, since they determine what we think, say and how we act. In this way, this invisible force of perception has influenced the course of history. In the 18th Century, we believed that Africans were less than human, and we made them slaves and denied their human rights. Our perceptions were wrong, they were based on lies, and innocent people paid the price. In the 20th Century, we failed to respond to the plight of millions of people because international politics and the media defined North Korea by high politics, rather than the North Korean people. Our perception was determined by the political rhetoric of the Cold War, and has been that way ever since. North Korea is a regime arming with missiles and weapons of mass destruction. States like these and their terrorist allies constitute an Axis of Evil, arming to threaten the peace of the world. If you live in North Korea the big news you would have learned today is you have a new first lady. Put it another way, Kim Jong-un is off the market. This perception has allowed the atrocities of the regime to go unnoticed. While we are talking about nuclear weapons and treating the Kim leadership as tabloid news, the North Korean people are starving, isolated, and denied fundamental human rights in a zero-tolerance system enforced by a network of political prison camps, reminiscent of the Nazi concentration camps. The regime aims to isolate its people by trying to control all information going into and out of the country, and punishes anyone who attempts to learn about the outside world. This is not history. These are the incredible challenges that the North Korean people face today. But the world has neglected this, instead allowing politics to define North Korea. In order to survive, the North Korean people have created illegal markets to provide themselves and others with food and goods that the government can no longer supply. These markets have undermined the power of the regime and are also serving as hubs for the spread of new information and technologies like DVDs and cell phones which are modernizing and opening up North Korean society from below. Together, these people-driven events are spreading new ideas and creating new pressures for change, challenging the regime’s ability to keep the people isolated. Shift is happening in North Korea. This is what we should be talking about. This is what the media should be reporting on and this is what politicians should be focused on. Why? Because more attention on the nuclear weapons stalemate or the North Korean regime is not going to lead to solutions. Shifting the way the public thinks about North Korea allows for far more progress to be made. The North Korean people can be supported, we can help empower their efforts to push for change and increasing freedoms, and their stories can be told wide and far until North Korea is defined by its people. If we, in the outside world, shift our focus from the high politics to the people, and come alongside them in their struggle, then liberty in North Korea will not be impossible. It will be inevitable.

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About the Author: Sam Caldwell


  1. At least in the end i travelled there, so I can know. You didn't. You obviously think I am ignorant, because indeed, you are ignorant. People like you do make me sick, world is dangerous and intolerant because of people like you. You are a waste of space and resources

  2. ПРЕВОДИ ВАРНА Aгенция за лицензирани преводи “САСИТ“От 2001 година насам извършва висококачествени специализирани преводи на 20 езика и легализация на клетвена декларация за верността на извършения от тях превод и декларация за конфиденциалност, гарантираща неразпространение на информацията

  3. They are not wanting some help kits…they just want you to share the word.
    They are giving 25 cents for each view. Bloody hell

  4. Even if we do provide $ and tech to the NK ppl, then what? It won't be like the Arab spring. The police in NK are alot worse, THEY HAV CONCENTRATION CAMPS. theres gruesome torture. This fear of imprisonment alone is enough to suppress thoughts of rebellion. Yes, NK's govt is crazy and heartless but smuggling in phones so ppl can record their torture will do little. We must remember we're playing with their lives, if they get caught… it's a painful death. We must change our diplomatic plans.

  5. A movement of people have opened their eyes to all the different kinds of injustice and horrors that surround us today. To remain silent about the injustice going around in our neighboring countries, our neighboring PEOPLE!!! means that we are SUPPORTING these horrible INEQUALITIES. Don't refer this as another KONY video. This video is an attempt to make a change. A SHIFT from wrong to right. And we CAN make a difference. So for all you haters out there, thanks for giving your $0.25 cents.

  6. Read the news. There are more than a million cell phone users in North Korea. And there are lots of people in North Korea who wear clothes that have icons or designs from the "outside world". This is caused by cross border trade between North Korea and China.

  7. Some things are prohibited and some things are not. For example, there are more than a million cellphone users in North Korea using North Korea networks. But at the same time, there are also many North Koreans who have Chinese cellphones. We don't give it to them, but they get it because they see the need of trading with the Chinese from across the border and so on. And that's the point of the video. North Koreans are slowly opening up the country. And we should focus on that, not the politics.

  8. So u believe in the news instead of the real world? do u at all know how manipulating the news can be? they can brainwash u. if the government tells them to do one thing, they do it. also, even if this WAS true. the north koreans have NO way of using the cell phones. theres no cellphone networks there, theres no one to call or text. they are getting this crap for nothing.

  9. LiNK doesn't give North Korean people phones. LiNK helps North Korean people who are hiding in China get to safety and relocation. They also spread awareness of what like is like in North Korea. Our government isn't going to do anything until we care. And the only way for us to begin to care is to know about it.

  10. Oh wow i didn't know that. my bad. If LINK is trying to help the refugees than that's a totally worthwhile cause that we should be fighting for. sorry i misunderstood this whole thing :p

  11. THANK YOU LiNK! For anyone who DOESN'T know what LiNK is, it is a non-profit that helps North Korean refugees that are hiding in China to get to safety and be relocated in either the US or South Korea. THANK YOU LiNK FOR SAVING LIVES!

  12. Please watch this interview (YouTube): North Korean prisoner escaped after 23 brutal years. Yes, this is from the media, but it is an interview with the actual Korean (don't remember name) who lived through this.

  13. It's ok. That's generally the problem when a non-profit puts up a YouTube video. No one seems to get that the video does not represent everything that non-profit does. Happy Holidays.

  14. If we help the people of North Korea–who is to say Kim Jong's son won't retailiate and come after us? If we have to rise against evil–then war is inevitable–just because the will not go down without a fight! We need to understand not everyone are peace loving hippies in this world–there are evil and sick people who will destroy other human races because of what they believe–be careful–I don't want war–but if it will bring down the dear leader–lets go!

  15. War will not be inevitable we are living in a new age and war is the last thing on peoples mind sure they throw the word around a lot but it's not going to happen. This world will blow itself up if we do go to war again. Instead help them out so they can contribute to the world instead of being helpless in a sense.

  16. This is all just war propaganda , designed so that people will be more comfortable with the idea of the US bombing the shit out of north korea.
    Most of these morons have no idea of the history of this country,
    Like the UN imposing crippling sanctions on the north or the korean war when the south murdered thousands of innocent people at the bodo league and piled them all into mass graves.

  17. This is such a well-made video, and it's a well designed campaign, I support.

    but for some weird reason, I get a odd after-taste of the Kony-video, and I get a negative association with it. is anyone else feeling this?

  18. Then are you saying any well-made/well-designed videos are the "after-taste" of the Kony campaign? Do a little research on Link if you have a negative view on it.

  19. That is not at all what I'm saying, and I found this video through the website. In fact I'm huge fan of well-designed campaigns and videos; it's actually something I aspire to create. I'm being extra critical and sensitive to the choice narrator voice, and overall narrative which I think is effective, but

  20. I figured out in the end that I was being over-conscience of the fact that this may remind people of Kony2012 (which I supported) and that it MIGHT work against the campaign.
    The reason I asked the question in the beginning was to see if that was true.

  21. And you dude, how do you separate news and "real world" ? How did you get the "real world" informations you lay down here ? Have you been to NK to know so much about "the real world" ? If not, why are the informations YOU are giving more valuable than the informations in this video ?
    This country is so closed we have very little information about it. Most of the things we know is from refugies, and associations trying to spread their voices. So don't make statements about your "real world" info.

  22. So if you've been there, tell us how different it is from the video ? Have you been tottaly free to go wherever you wanted, and say whatever you whish ? Did they let you have a tour in the concentration camps ?

  23. This association provides help to refugies, not to a dictator. How could this not be obvious to you ?! You are making a huge amalgam between the NK government and its people. It seems like the "manipulating brainwashing news" worked well on you.

  24. What would be the point of making a story about concentration camps ? There is no reason to invent that. But right, let's trust the "demonstrations" of a government who controls all citizens movements.

  25. Actually, the money raised by this organization is used to help North Korean refugees and spread awareness. It's obvious that an association who's goal is to help North Korean citizens wouldn't send money to the government that is oppressing them.

  26. The way that it's stylized gave me the same impression. However in it's defense it isn't encouraging some type of 'military takedown' or action from the US to directly get in there and 'shoot the bad guy'.
    The fact that it's encouraging the use of 'underground technology' is nice to see however it's a shame that this video seems to be mainly directed at a white US audience only using black history as one of the main examples as a large change in perception. Still.. I feel it's better than KONY..

  27. ok how are they going to help the NK refugees? are they just gonna get the money, and wat? pay the NK government to let them go free? lol, u people are stupid.

  28. lol and u believe them…north korea has just successfully completed a nuclear test. they can use this as an excuse to launch it at the U.S. You want that to happen? lol go ahead, try to help people whom u cant help, good luck.

  29. The only way to liberate N Koreans from starvation is driving Chinese government to punish N Korean government by stop sending supplies than the N Korean government will meltdown. Real problem is, many Chinese people literally think they need to use N Korea as a buffer no matter what they do. So, if you really want this to be fixed, ask your government to tell China to stop supporting N Korean government. And if you really think .25 cents make so much difference, you are naive as f*** -s korean-

  30. I'm glad that you care about North Korea, but I feel like this is an odd goal to be shooting for. I feel like for years (at least ten that I can remember) there have been many, many news stories about concentration camps and the things the N Korean people have been going through. And recently there have been some stories about the "new money" there. So I don't feel like the media is not reporting that.

    The reason they're focusing on nukes now is because they're showing a lot of agression.

  31. I am Korean. I am not South Korean or North Korean. I am simply Korean and I belong to one Korea. These Koreans that happen to be born there can not do anything but suffer the consequences. They aren't any more different than I am because they are Korean too.

  32. Dear all those with their own opinion,
    If you were in their shoes, what would you do? What would you do if you were living in concentration camp living conditions? What would you do if you wanted to pursue Western pop culture, but could be punished or tortured even to death? As a person in their shoes, it can be supposed they do care about their dictators' life events, b/c if they are not happy…the people are the individuals who suffer. We are so lucky to have freedom. Before you react, think.

  33. Oh great. Another flashy video that treats a developing country with the same paternalism with which we treat all of Africa.

  34. "Today thanks to a Youtube video the North Korean government has laid down its weapons and become a democracy. In other news that will never happen, liberals realise that multiculturalism is the root of most problems in society and that democracy is not the peak of civilization."


  35. I don't understand why there are haters, these people are trying to help people. So often people only think of themselves in this world and I think it's good that at least some people are doing something for others. What's there to hate?

  36. Hi there-
    It's donated to a non-profit called LiNK, which organizes rescue teams to help refugees once they cross the border in China from being sent back to North Korea by the Chinese govt and tortured/executed for trying to escape.
    For more info google Liberty in North Korea

  37. I think this video is very silly. The reason there is reporting about north korea's military is because kim jong un is threatening to launch nukes…. Everyone knows the people live in poverty but it can't go unnoticed when an unstable country like that is threatening war.

  38. It is devastating to see what is happening to these poor people, both on a physical level, and on a metal level. And the most devastating thing is, we have not learned from WWII, from the Holocaust, and we continue to try to 'stay out of it' – allowing millions of people to suffer, be tortured, and die. May G0D bless the North Korean, I pray for their freedom.

  39. um how is "it" "not" about politics? how can you claim to be 'shifting' public perception when you are just heaping more crap on the fantasy of democracy shit pile? this 'shift' campaign is very much part of the wider Western campaign to annihilate the radical difference that North KOrea is made to represent. Democracy, bla bla blah, so boring, just shut up already.

  40. Libertyinnorthkorea[.]org (LiNK) helps the 300,000 North Korean refugees hiding in China right now escape to South Korea instead of being sold into forced marriages or prostitution by the Chinese mafia.

  41. you should take a look at their website. they collected a lot of refugees history (those they rescued). The money you send is to save these people from sex slavery, prostitution and execution.

  42. i get it.. but its for refugees that have already escaped. while thats respectable, it cant do anything for starving north koreans in north korea. no one can.

  43. many families outside of north korean seem to be able to send money to their family inside North Korea (from what i understood). also, if one member of a family get out, it also seem to help a lot to get the entire family out afterward… on this way I guess it help people inside. But from what I know and from what few refugees said, the best way to help them is to spread the word abouth the situation in the north and that's exaclty what Inside NK do. (sorry I don't know exactly all the details)

  44. First of all, once people have escaped from North Korea, how in the world do you imagine they survive? They need someone to give them a helping hand. Are you saying that it is only worth it to help people in bondage as opposed to people that just escaped from that same bondage?

    Secondly, there is are people and non-profit organizations that assist people in North Korea. Although it is not highly publicized, it is true.

  45. first of all, you think people can only survive with the help of others? i respect the efforts to help anyone in need. im saying that fixing the problem in NK is something that can only be solved with governmental intervention and no amount of donation is going to feed a starving north korean in north korea. sorry. not that donating is a bad thing. its just not buying any starving north koreans any cheeseburgers..

    secondly, EAT A DICK! EAT ALL THE DICKS! you condescending bitch.

  46. i apologize.. when someone comes at me with a "first of all and secondly" it sounds to me like you are trying to list out the ways you are correcting me. i personally find it offensive. i know for a fact that any aid sent there is sucked up immediately before anyone sees a grain of rice, and what those non profit groups are doing is getting people killed and imprisoned.i do get unhappy.. when i hear someone saying that a few $ from everyone will fix it. its waaay more fucked than that.

  47. These videos finally helped me open up. I have to admit, previously, I couldn't care less about North Korean politics and its people. As a normal person living in Korea, your revelation deeply shocked me not because of the condition that they are living in, but because my neglectful stance I took for 35 years. After going thru most of yoru videos, it reminded me of the words by Elie Wiesel. She once said, Indifference is the epitome of evil. Thank you for the reminders.

  48. Only if this video was broadcasted internationally in different languages in various medias… It will almost make this "shift" movement from here to its goal in blink of an eye!

  49. The picture at 0:36 is a lynching from the twentieth century, after the end of the institution of slavery in the U.S.

  50. WHERE HAS THIS VIDEO BEEN ALL MY LIFE?!!? This is exactly what i'm talking about! ;A; . So little people know about the REAL North Korea, all of the news is about weapons and what not.

  51. if you don't want to help NK refugees, then don't fucking watch the damn video. you act like people will listen to you. and you assume that this organization is ran by Kim Jong Un. i'm pretty sure it's not and is actually raising money to help NK refugees. so if you don't know anything, please shut the hell up.

  52. lol well i DO know something, thats exactly why im NOT shutting up. It's the truth. im korean and im also american. i know a lot of my country than u. looks like u dont know shit here….stfu, dont reply unless u wanna have a erudite argument.

  53. looks like i don' know anything? i probably know more shit than you do. i'm assuming you think all organizations/associations are ran by Kim Jong Un or all the money donated will be given to him or the government because of the way you say shit about your own country. and its not true. and if you're not gonna fucking donate, don't. no body is forcing you to. and if you aren't, you have no business here.

  54. no, u dont. by the way ur speaking, u have NOT given me concrete evidence. u dont know more than i do. all the money given to NORTH KOREA will be controlled by the government. There IS proof of this. Search it up on youtube, u will find it somewhere. theres a video of RICE donated to north korea from the world that is being sold at the market for a high price. how is the money gonna go to the people? u think Kim Jong Un will allow that? fuck no.

  55. how about you search up the "evidence" and send it to me. i don't need to do your work for you. and lets say that rice thing was true. you said kim jong ill did that. doesn't mean donating money to an ORGANIZATION will be the same. going by what i'm assuming from your text, youre saying that all organization donations must be given to kim jong un. please tell me why all of the money/rice has to be given to kim jong un and not be kept by the organization?

  56. ok, fine. Answer this, HOW will they give money to the Koreans? HOW? Answer that first. Through an organization?? HOW will the organization give money to the people? Do u seriously think Kim Jong Un wants his people to think that Americans are good people? Do u seriously think that Kim Jong Un wants his people to know that they are a poor and dying country? Do u not know how brainwashed North Koreans are?

  57. i would keep arguing with you and it wouldn't help or do anything. its a waste of my time and yours. and how is it exactly that i lost the argument?

  58. But the N. Korea people hate the USA. They chant by the hundreds of thousands of their hatred and pledge to die fighting.    Maybe you can change their perception…good luck.

  59. To Helen Morrision, I did not donate a dime to this website's cause, the donation is suppose to be made by a "generous video sponsor". Appears you don't have you facts in order 🙁

  60. This whole bottom to top approach only works to a certain extend, just look at China. People in China are doing well, there are reforms done and people enjoy a better life, but the power is still in the hands of the the regime, they still have no freedom. And we created a global superpower that threatens the peace in Eastern Asia with brainwashed people to back it up. So, while helping the people is important, it will be too naive to think that the NK government will disappear on its own.

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