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March 28, 2012


Mr Eugenides

I went to North Korea a couple of years ago, and found myself visiting the old man in his glass case in the Kumsusan Memorial Palace. It was a national holiday for the Army's founding, and there were hundreds of soldiers about, probably picked at random (or otherwise) for the signal honour of bowing to the mummified corpse. The young, shaven-headed recruits among them, who were staring at me with fairly unrestrained curiosity, were, to a boy, (a) extremely young-looking, and (b) about five feet tall. All in all, the weirdest day of my life.

Richard Powell

What's striking is that life expectancy in North Korea is actually above the global average, on UN figures (though not CIA ones) - cf Wikipedia.


The entry in Wiki shows that NK is exactly at the global average looking at whole numbers. Moving to the first decimal, the difference is only 0.1 years.

The difference between the UN and CIA figures is part due to different data years.

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