Many people are claiming that new IDs which revert to identifying a person by their occupation, is specifically for the purpose of better controlling its own people. Most Americans hear this, and would automatically think “Big Brother”, while political candidates throw out words like “Socialism” with a derogatory tone to scare more people into voting for them during election season without really knowing its definition. However, as pointed out in the above two articles, the entire process of passing out new IDs includes an accurate censuring of their people. For those that have escaped to China for work, or down to South Korea as a refugee, their families will be in quite a bit of trouble. Thinking about this even further, what about for the average citizen that stays in North Korea because they can’t escape? This means that if a person is peddling stuff on the streets and markets, because the factory they worked for can’t pay them a living wage, what would happen to them if they got caught? When asked for their ID, instead of saying “retail sales clerk”, it said “factory worker”? I suppose if they were caught selling illegally imported stuff before the ID reforms, there wouldn’t be much difference, because they’d bet sent to jail, or released on condition of a
bribe bail. But then, what about the factory that accepted bribes to keep him on their payroll while letting him go and do his own thing? Assuming every police station had access to this central database, they could still find out where you live, and who you work for, even if it’s not on the ID, and those factory managers could still get in trouble. However, let’s assume with North Korea’s dilapidated infrastructure, that not all police stations are privy to this information. Then yes, control of the people on the municipal level would be the effect of this new ID.
In fact, even America’s government is wrought with the issue of different government departments (no matter if they are on the Federal, State, or County level) still have issues attaining access to your information, “for the sake of privacy” of course. Everyone keeps your information so tightly held, the issue then is a duplication of databases, because no one has access to the same information. “Need to share” was something the 9/11 Commission said needed to happen with the intelligence community. Although they were more referring to intelligence, the results of not having the same access to information and intelligence are the same: Adding extra things onto IDs in North Korea, and duplication of databases in America.
Lack of information on North Korea however, has led to tons of misunderstandings about the hermit country, and reporting on the country has sometimes been quite humurous. Like, back in late May, early June, when everyone was expecting Heir-apparent Kim Jong-U’n to officially visit China, when it turns out later on it was Kim Jong-il himself. Hopefully we can avoid speculation, and provide useful, and meaningful facts.