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Buying Gold Could Support North Korea

Folks against gold buying have what seems to be the strongest argument supporting their cause yet. From the New York Times (and linked to Kotaku since NYT requires an account), news breaks that Kim Jong-Il has been sending the country’s PC elite into the MMO world to pave the way for gold-farming bots.

On Thursday of last week, police in Seoul arrested five graduates of North Korea’s “elite science universities” and discovered that the group was tied to “Office 39,” an undercover illegal activities ring driven from the North Korean government. Here is how Kotaku presents it:

Office 39 “gathers foreign hard currency for Mr. Kim through drug trafficking, counterfeiting, arms sales and other illicit activities,”

Over the last two years, the team was able to earn $6 million dollars, 2.7 of which was sent back to their North Korea dictator.

I’ve never purchased gold before, but this should raise some serious moral questions for anyone who has or is considering doing it. Despite the light-hearted tone of the Kotaku post, these transactions are something that a huge part of our community has taken part in. It should turn our collective stomach to know that we may have helped fund the suffering of other human beings. It’s one thing to “maybe sorta” support wrecking a game’s economy and account security, it’s another to take a chance with your money supporting the oppression of an entire nation. Let’s not forget the whole “this guy is nuts and is pursuing nuclear bombs” thing, too. Taking a risk like that, honestly, is so morally bankrupt that it verges on narcissism.

Now we know. Buying gold is definitively bad unless it’s the company itself selling it. We don’t know where the money goes. We don’t have the means to find out where the money goes. And like so many things, simple Google searches don’t come close to being real research.

1 comment

  1. Stabs

    Sounds to me like North Korea just woke up to a business that the rest of Asia has mastered. $6m is small change, Cory Doctorow $3b turnover from gold farming in developing countries in 2009.

    http://boingboing.net/2011/04/07/world-bank-gold-farm.html
    Stabs recently posted..Diablo 2: it’s cool to go back in time

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