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Rescooped by Emma Lafleur from Geography Education!

My escape from North Korea

"As a child growing up in North Korea, Hyeonseo Lee thought her country was 'the best on the planet.' It wasn't until the famine of the 90s that she began to to wonder. She escaped the country at 14, to begin a life in hiding, as a refugee in China. Hers is a harrowing, personal tale of survival and hope."

Via Seth Dixon
Emma Lafleur's insight:

A sad but also inspiring story and an enlightening video. I see a lot of people who assume that the North Korean government and the people are one and the same, and that is not the case. It is important to realise the harsh conditions of people living in North Korea to fully understand what is happening in that part of the world. It is hard for people to leave their country and their home, but as Hyeonseo Lee explains, sometimes there is no choice.

윤지현's curator insight, November 6, 2014 6:59 PM

I have ever met a person who escaped from North Korea. Her story was like a very scary movie. If I become a teacher in the future, I will do my best to a student from North Korea.

서병기's curator insight, November 6, 2014 7:00 PM

Because of the tragedies of history, there are still scattered family both in South and North Korea. Please hope for the unification of the Korean Peninsula.

Julia Kang's curator insight, November 6, 2014 8:45 PM

So many North Koreans are suffering from poverty. They do not have any food and we should pay more attention to them. This video was quite interesting!

Rescooped by Emma Lafleur from Geography Education!

‘How to Build a Country From Scratch’

‘How to Build a Country From Scratch’ | Seeing the World More Clearly |
The filmmakers present a 12-step program to establish the world’s newest country: South Sudan.

Via Seth Dixon
Emma Lafleur's insight:

This video opened my eyes to a lot of things about building a country and about South Sudan in general.

       There are so many things that go into building a country, it is not just building the government. Countries need police forces and identities. They need national anthems, flags, taxes, they need a system of keeping their information and their history, and they need a capital city, These all take time to build and create because they start with basically nothing, they are literally building a country from scratch. Also, many countries other than South Sudan are invested in this, the UN is helping them in any way they can and therefore all of the countries of the UN are affected by and involved in this process.

    Also, this video gives a lot of insight into the culture of South Sudan and about its culture. It seems that one of their official languages is English because many people speak it in the video and they were singing the national anthem in English. The video also portrayed their Christian culture in many ways, and it illustrated the lives of its people with their way of life and their dreams and their adjustment to peace from decades of war.

Cam E's curator insight, March 18, 2014 12:51 PM

This is a really interesting dynamic to look into, as it's not everyday the process of founding a country can be seen at work. That's a true once in a lifetime experience for those involved, and is likely one of the harder jobs in the entirety of history.

Elizabeth Bitgood's curator insight, March 19, 2014 10:46 AM

This video and article highlight the steps a new country takes when it is carved out of an old one.  The problems and tribulations the new country faces and how it responds to the rest of the international community will decide if it will be a long lasting country or just a blip on the road of the original countries history.

Kendra King's curator insight, March 15, 6:33 PM

I think building a country from scratch mostly needs a plan for strong governance. Some of the items mentioned in the video would eventually be necessary (i.e. an anthem or a flag), but not exactly a top priority as the country could function without these. Rather the items like taxes and training the police are hugely important. A society needs the revenue to grow and the police to keep order. However, what disturbed me about this video is there were no other real mention of government institutions. Now I am not saying that the Constitution needs to be exactly like the United States, but the following is needed: a plan for how to treat the citizens, implement social programs, create/review the law, get officials into office, etc. Without looking at these basic questions of government, there is no way the country can function because there aren’t actually the procedures in place when problems do arise.


After strong governance, I also think that recognition in our globalized world is needed as well. In order for a country to prosper, the country will need to rely on other nations at one point in time for things like trading. If enough countries just refused to recognize the area and as such refused to trade then the country would more than likely fail. Luckily, Sudan is recognized by the United States and the UN did come to speak with the nation. SO that doesn’t seem to be an issue.


To me these are the top two things needed and since one is greatly missing, I am not surprised by the problems Sudan has.