Taiwan vs North Korea

My name is Daniel. I was an English teacher in Seoul, South Korea, and am now a writer who has
published three books including South Korea: Our Story by Daniel Nardini.
                 Before South Korea, I was also an English teacher for over four years in Taiwan. I had seen
the great changes in that country, and it is in so many ways like South Korea an economic miracle. First, 
Taiwan has one of the highest living standards in East Asia (compared to North Korea which has the worst
standard of living in East Asia). Second, Taiwan has one of the world’s lowest poverty rates (compared to
North Korea which is among the poorest countries on earth), and has a very free press, a very free society, and
Taiwan’s people can and do travel freely around the world (I have a former student who is now a
successful businessman and has visited many countries). By contrast North Korea’s people are not even
remotely allowed to leave the country except by special government permission (which is never granted).
Both Taiwan and North Korea have a lot of weapons, but this is where the similarity ends. Taiwan’s weapons
are purely self-defensive in nature, while North Korea’s are used to threaten its neighbors (note: Taiwan
also has the capacity to develop nuclear weapons, but at this point chooses not to since it has not been
attacked and wishes to keep its treaty obligations; something North Korea does not). Having seen it for
myself, Taiwan greatly respects private and personal property, whereas North Korea does not. This is an
important key to the lives of people since what people earn and have IS important to how they live from day
to day. One other important distinction is that Taiwan’s colleges and universities try to maintain quality and
work to meet world standards in terms of education. North Korea’s colleges and universities for the most
part are tools of the government in teaching the people lies, distortion and propaganda. But I think the biggest
difference between Taiwan and North Korea is that Taiwan tries to remain open to the world whereas North
Korea keeps itself as one of the most closed countries on earth. Those interested in learning about my 
experiences in Taiwan can read my book My Taiwan, Seoul and Guadalajara (Mexico) Memoirs
by Daniel Nardini.