|San Diego police officer Christopher Wilson|
Pearls of witticism from 'Bo the Blogger: Kushibo's Korea blog... Kushibo-e Kibun... Now with Less kimchi, more nunchi. Random thoughts and commentary (and indiscernibly opaque humor) about selected social, political, economic, and health-related issues of the day affecting "foreans," Koreans, Korea and East Asia, along with the US, especially Hawaii, Orange County and the rest of California, plus anything else that is deemed worthy of discussion. Forza Corea!
|San Diego police officer Christopher Wilson|
For now we're just hanging out by the Korean War Memorial. Aimé Césaire will have to wait.
By the way, that's Hawaii's state capitol in the background, the only capitol uglier than that thing at Yôûido.
Every haole in Honolulu is here. It started Hawaii-style (i.e., thirty minutes late) but there are now loads of people. So if you were thinking you shouldn't come 'cuz kushibo was fussing the whole thing, don't listen to me. No one should ever, ever, ever take anything I say seriously.
Top U.S. and South Korean trade officials finished talks in San Francisco on Wednesday without announcing a deal on beef and auto trade issues that have blocked U.S. approval of a free trade pact.While some are warning of dire consequences if the KORUS FTA does not go through, we have the narrow interests of Senator Max Baucus (a Democrat) and Detroit skewering the whole thing.
"United States Trade Representative Ron Kirk and Korean Trade Minister Kim Jong-hoon have concluded their meeting to discuss the U.S.-Korea trade agreement," USTR spokeswoman Carol Guthrie said in a brief statement.
The two trade officials are working to resolve the beef and auto issues before President Barack Obama arrives in Seoul on November 10 for the Group of 20 nations summit meeting.
The United States and South Korea signed the pact in 2007 but it has languished in the face of strong opposition from Obama's fellow Democrats in Congress. It was negotiated during the Republican administration of George W. Bush.
The oldest son of North Korea's leader Kim Jong-il appears to harbor secret ambitions of his own to succeed his father – despite the fact that his youngest half-brother has already been chosen as successor.Whose impression? The impression of those who refuse to admit they don't know anything and are furiously trying to cover up that fact by filling in the blanks with speculation, guesswork, and outright fabrications. The guy made it plain as rice that he doesn't want the job, which is being read as, "I want the job!"
That's the impression Kim Jong-nam is creating here on the basis of remarks that his father would likely view as blasphemous. First there was his surprisingly frank interview with a Japanese televsion network, and then there are comments that he reportedly made to a contact in the gambling enclave of Macao, the one time Portuguese colony on the south China coast where he's been living.
Some analysts believe, however, that Kim Jong-nam is just waiting to see if Kim Jong-un can do the job – and has carefully left open the possibility of eventually returning to North Korea in the top position.Full disclosure, I may have added a twig or two to fuel this speculation. A couple weeks ago I wrote the following:
“He’s giving a strong signal that should the regime of Kim Jong-un collapse, then he’s the solution,” says Ha Tae-kyung, president of Open Radio North Korea, reporting by short wave for clandestine listeners in North Korea. "He knows North Koreans are disenchanted."
Kim Jong-nam’s remarks about North Korea’s impending collapse were quoted by a senior South Korean official, Lee Ki-taek, deputy chairman of the South’s national unification advisory council, in a lecture in Berlin. Mr. Lee, speaking to Koreans living in Berlin, attributed them to a source who had seen Kim in Macao last month.
Kim Jong-nam is all right in my book. Sure, he's living high on the hog thanks to his father's kleptocracy, but he doesn't seem to want any part of the murderous regime. Frankly, I think by going on the record opposing transfer of power to himself or any of his siblings, he's inadvertently positioning himself to be a transitional leader if something goes awry.Please note the word inadvertently. I don't think the guy wants the job. In fact, I think the Party Boy Mystery is no mystery at all: He wants to make crystal clear that he is not a threat to his little brother's rise to power, so don't kill me!
Like six generations of women before her on this treeless speck of land in the East China Sea, the young mother of two is preparing for a dangerous job no man here is allowed to perform: free-diving for minutes at a time to catch abalone and other shellfish.I haven't been to southern Chejudo in a few years, and I recall the women looking a bit older than Ms Kim pictured above. It would be nice to know that a younger generation is carrying on this iconic tradition (and making decent money off it).
Kim is learning to join the ranks of the haenyeo, or women of the sea, whose role as ocean hunter-gatherers has long given them special status in a Korean culture dominated by men. These women on a group of islands south of the South Korean mainland have turned tradition on its head.
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For decades, divers here have groomed their daughters for a life at sea. They teach them how to conserve oxygen to extend their dives and stress the importance of working in groups, like a herd of watchful seals, vigilant against shark attacks, rip currents and marauding motorboats that buzz the surface.
The diving, with its daily hazards and emphasis on teamwork, has molded the women into a cohesive group that has often gathered by the campfire with the day's catch to make decisions about village politics.
|Do I go with a joke about phallic-shaped|
mics or do I just call him a drama queen?
He added that to prevent him from divulging the details of his detention, the security forces carried out humiliating sexual torture. "As a result of what happened to me in North Korea, I've thrown away any kind of personal desire. I will never, you know, be able to have a marriage or any kind of relationship."We've already covered the "humiliating sexual torture" bit. I wasn't so certain before, but now I'm becoming more and more convinced that Robert Park is a latent homosexual (the suicidal tendencies which include going to North Korea to "sacrifice" himself in the first place, the narrative about not being ever able to be with a woman, etc.). And he has now engineered a perfect cover to hold off the church ajummas and his own parents who might have pushed him to settle down.
Park insisted that an apology he read on North Korean TV was dictated to him.Not just his apology, but also his flowery praise of North Korea. Here's a tidbit:
Not only service personnel but all those I met in the DPRK treated me in a kind and gentlemanly manner and protected my rights.Okay, then. How hard was the bayonet pushed into your back for you to say all that?
I have never seen such kind and generous people.
People have been incredibly kind and generous here to me, very concerned for my physical health as never before in my life. I mean, my family, of course, is concerned about my physical health but people here have been constantly concerned and I'm very thankful for their love.
Another shocking fact I experienced during my stay in the DPRK is that the religious freedom is fully ensured in the DPRK, a reality different from what is claimed by the West.
Being a devout Christian, I thought such things as praying are unimaginable in the DPRK due to the suppression of religion.
I, however, gradually became aware that I was wrong.
Everybody neither regarded praying as something unusual nor disturbed it. I was provided with conditions for praying everyday as I wished.
Asked why he decided to enter the North illegally armed with nothing but a Bible, he said, "I hoped through my sacrifice, that people will come together and they will liberate North Korea."Instead, he strengthened the regime's hand. Please, no more day-trippers to North Korea.
Four years in Canada and one linguistics degree later, I found myself living in Seoul, South Korea as an ESL kindergarten teacher, far from the shores of that provincial hometown. I had, at some point in my undergraduate linguistics career, heard the drumbeat of the overseas ESL market, and registered for a one-year intensive Korean language class. When Koreans ask me how I got here, that’s what I tell them. I say, “Yeah…I studied the language in undergrad, so I got interested in Korea, and I just ended up here…”There is nothing wrong with taking a job — even one a third of the way around the world — because the economy is bad where you're from. That is, after all, a major motivator for working and migrating. But if financial factors are the primary reason (or just a major one) for doing so, that doesn't provide a license for griping about the work or how difficult things are in a foreign country, looking at everything with a sense of entitlement or privilege, or doing a half-arsed job. [Conversely, it shouldn't give anyone from the country you're now living in a justification for treating you badly, either.]
But what I really want to say is: “Well, I come from a pretty economically depressed region of the US, and when I finished my undergrad, I had no viable options for a job in my hometown, and few personal connections for jobs anywhere else. I was able to get a job in Seoul that paid about $23,000 a year, included free housing and round-trip airfare, provided health insurance, and only required a bachelor’s degree,” –which is more along the lines of the truth. My Korean studies did help me move to Seoul, and my linguistics background did nudge me toward language teaching, but the main draw of the Korean labor market was stable, decently remunerated employment for my 22-year old self.
Chinese President Hu Jintao and Vice President Xi Jinping on Monday met with veterans and heroes of the Chinese People's Volunteers (CPV) to commemorate the 60th anniversary of the volunteer army entering the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) to help in the war to resist U.S. aggression.I think they're confusing their pursuit of pyonghwa with a march to Pyongyang. (Bad pun, sorry.)
Hu is commander-in-chief of China's armed forces, while Xi has been newly appointed vice chairman of the Central Military Commission (CMC) of the Communist Party of China.
In his address on behalf of the CPC Central Committee and the CMC, Xi said that the Chinese movement 60 years ago was "a great and just war for safeguarding peace and resisting aggression."
"It was also a great victory gained by the united combat forces of China's and the DPRK's civilians and soldiers, and a great victory in the pursuit of world peace and human progress," Xi said.
Xi said the Chinese people would never forget the great contribution and sacrifice made by the nation's founders and, in particular, the people who made history during a war that saw the weak defeating the strong.
The Chinese people will never forget the friendship -- established in battle -- with the DPRK's people and army, he said. Xi also acknowledged the former Soviet Union's government and people who provided help to the volunteer army.
Chinese ground forces, under the CPV, entered the Korean Peninsula on Oct. 19, 1950, to defend their own territory and to help the Korean People's Army (KPA) against Syngman Rhee's troops and multinational forces assembled in the name of the United Nations.That international spirit today includes zealously rounding up refugees and sending them back to their North Korean client state to be tortured, imprisoned, and/or killed.
The CPV launched its first battle on Oct. 25 against a battalion of Syngman Rhee's troops. In 1951, the CPC Central Committee decided to commemorate the war every year on that date.
Xi said being peace-loving is a tradition of the Chinese nation and its participation in the war 60 years ago was a historical decision made by the CPC Central Committee and the late Chairman Mao Zedong based on serious national security threats and a request from the DPRK's Korean Workers' Party and government.
The heroism and international spirit demonstrated by the CPV in the nearly three-year battle as they fought side-by-side with the DPRK army and people will forever be treasured by the Chinese people, Xi said.
Questions have also been raised about ticket-selling practices. A report suggested that government employees were told to sell tickets, and a local taxi driver told the Korea JoongAng Daily that his daughter, who works in the area for Nonghyup, was forced to buy tickets.Worst conditions ever? South Koreans wear that as a badge of honor, sir! Some of the best "worst conditions" I've ever been in were on Seoul streets (with a fog-enveloped Interstate-5 going through the San Joaquin Valley coming in a distant second).
Bad weather also hampered the event and caused some more concern for the Korean organizers. Rain started to fall before the race and one driver said he couldn’t even see the front of his car. The Grand Prix was delayed for more than 30 minutes and racers ran several laps behind a safety car.
Not surprisingly, the race itself was marred by a number of spin outs, including the two favorites, Red Bull’s Sebastian Vettel and teammate Mark Webber.
In the end, Ferrari’s double world champion Fernando Alonso drank the champagne, followed by Lewis Hamilton of Vodafone McLaren Mercedes and Felipe Massa, Alonso’s teammate.
It clearly wasn’t an easy race.
“It’s the worst conditions I ever drove a car in ,” said Alonso over the radio.
Finally, talking to people after the race (at the track and at the train station) pretty much everybody said the same thing that the mechanics said; the weekend was far from perfect but was enjoyable nevertheless and that they look forward to returning next year. “better than I expected” seemed to be the tone of most peoples’ comments.So, let's take a look at what we have. No one died, and there's now a chance to fix what was wrong. There's time now to fix what was wrong with the seats that were prudently closed off for safety concerns, move or alter the pit stop that the drivers warned was dangerous, fix the ticket distribution system, work on plans for better transport and accommodation, and maybe plan more contingencies for bad weather. It's like a B- on a midterm, which gives you a chance to raise it up to A-level. Maybe then the race would live up to the promise:
Car dealer Brad Benson made the offer in one of his dealership's quirky radio ads, which focus more on current events than cars. But he was surprised when a representative for Jones called to collect the 2011 Hyundai Accent, which retails for $14,200.Now before you say "more like ill-gotten Gainesville" ('cause that's what I said), it turns out the newly enlightened parson is going to donate the car to an organization that helps abused Muslim women.
"They said unless I was doing false advertising, they would like to arrange to pick up the car," Benson recalled. At first he thought it was a hoax, so Benson asked Jones to send in a copy of his driver's license. He did.
Jones, of Gainesville, Fla., never burned a Quran but told The Associated Press on Thursday that the offer of a car was not the reason, saying he learned about the offer a few weeks after Sept. 11.
When I get on the plane, I got to tell you, if I see people who are in Muslim garb and I think, you know, they are identifying themselves first and foremost as Muslims, I get worried. I get nervous.Juan Williams, a prominent journalist on a network widely reviled by conservatives as the worst of liberal propaganda machines because it's taxpayer-supported, went on a show on the mouthpiece of American conservatives and basically recounted that, "Hey, I'm just like you guys."
The pit lane entry is situated on the outside of the anti-clockwise track, with cars braking in the middle of Turn 18, a blind right-hand corner in a narrow section of the circuit.Korean Grand Prix officials noted that not all drivers expressed such concern, and they added that the randomly chosen taxi drivers they picked to test-drive the track had all given it two thumbs up for safety.
"The only worry I have is the pit entry, which is a bit dangerous. It's a little bit scary," Button said.
"It's a corner when you're on full speed -- 250km/h on the exit -- and if someone goes in the pits, they have to lift (off the throttle) quite heavily. That's a bit of a worry, and I don't really know how we're going to get around that issue.
"It's a horrible position to be in. What can you do when there's someone right up behind you? You're not going to stay out for another lap."
German Sebastian Vettel of Red Bull Racing said the pit lane entry was "difficult" after finishing in seventh place in afternoon practice on Friday.
"The pit entry is quite on the edge because it is blind," he said.
"You cannot see if someone goes in (to the pits), and they have to go slower than someone who stays out. If you are behind someone trying to pass and he chooses to pit, it could be difficult."
Second, I dare to hope for a happy ending. Kim Il-sung's sociological nous has kept the state he created alive longer than many (me included) had expected. But can it go on for ever?Much of the rest will be familiar stuff to regular Pyongyang watchers, but it's always interesting to get the good professor's take.
That I doubt. A full answer would loose more hares than there's room for here. In the 21st century, refusing market reforms is a recipe for self-destruction. Abroad, North Korea's old game of militant mendicancy, despite some success from the Sino-Soviet dispute right up to the six-party talks, is past its sell-by date; other powers are fed up and won't play any more.
But just to stick to the processes already mentioned, these too are far from foolproof. The weakest link is familism. Past history, in Korea or anywhere - think of the Borgias in Italy - suggests that monarchies or other forms of family rule can be riddled by strife. Some crown princes just aren't up to the job. People plot, and before you know it the knives are out.
It was originally a small, amusing project.Perhaps if I re-introduce Ask Kushibo, I'll get on CNN. The downside of that is that it means more work.
"I was in my third year of law school -- before the economy went to hell -- and I found people asking why Korea is this way or that," the Korean tells CNN. "I thought I could start a blog for fun."
The Korean, who prefers to remain anonymous, is the man behind "Ask a Korean!" -- a Q and A blog for people curious about North and South Korea and Korean culture.
Now an attorney who lives in the Washington, D.C. area, the Korean was inspired by "¡Ask a Mexican!," Gustavo Arellano's satirical column that's syndicated across the United States. (In the same vein, among others, there's also "Ask a Frenchman!" and "Ask a Russian.")
Since he answered his first question ("Dear Korean: Why are Korean men such awesome pool players?") in 2006, he's fielded thousands of questions from readers.
"It's almost become like a public diary. I guess the content is what makes it interesting," he said.
When it comes to connecting to the Internet quickly, the best place to be isn’t Silicon Valley, or even Japan. It’s the city of Masan, South Korea, according to a report released Wednesday by Akamai Technologies Inc.And I do sometimes miss that speed. Where I am, the university or coffee house connection is not so bad, but traveling on the Mainland can be a hair-pulling experience.
And Masan’s speeds are blazing fast. It’s the only city in the report with average connection speed above 20 megabits per second. In contrast, the fastest city in the U.S., Monterey Park, Calif., had an average speed of 6.9 Mbps.
It’s not clear why exactly Masan, a coastal city with a population of about half a million and a name that means “horse mountain,” ranks so highly. But the top 10 cities in the report were all in South Korea, which simply has a different technology environment from that in the U.S. For years the Korean government has spent billions on high-speed networks and subsidies to encourage broadband connections. And unlike in the U.S., competition between broadband services in Korea is cutthroat, driving down prices.
There are big issues at stake. Does a unified Korea retain its close alliance with the United States? Does it keep the North's nuclear arsenal? Do American troops stay in the country? If the answer to all three questions is "yes," then a unified Korea will be an American ally, with American troops, and nuclear weapons -- sitting on China's border. How is Beijing likely to react to that? Would it move troops in to shore up the regime? What would South Korean and American forces do then?Those are important questions (and I have all the right answers, by the way), and his advice is sound:
When North Korea collapses, it is easy to imagine chaos on the Korean peninsula that triggers a series of reactions from Beijing and Washington that are competing and hostile. Forget genteel rows over the yuan's value -- this is what could produce serious geopolitical instability. And that's why it's crucial that the United States, China and South Korea start talking about "black swans."
But to solve that problem, it will need to discuss with China the rules of the road when Pyongyang falls.But frankly, the rest of the article is the same mundane repetition of the Western media's Cliff's Notes version of what's been going on lately. He even starts off with, "Previously, on Desperate Housewives, ..."
Meanwhile, separate government data showed among 2.87 million South Korean nationals living abroad, up to 2.29 million will be eligible to vote in the parliamentary elections scheduled to be held in 2012. The number represents more than 6 percent of the nation’s 37.8 million eligible voters.So that's an estimate of nearly three million ROK nationals living abroad. When I helped out with overseas voter registration in Seoul, we were given estimates of six or seven million US citizens living abroad, a number equal to an average state. Given that the US with twice the number of citizens abroad but has six times South Korea's population, that means a South Korean is nearly three times more likely than an American to live outside his/her country.
The election law was revised in February last year to grant suffrage Korean residents overseas, including some 1.22 million people with a permanent resident status in countries such as the U.S. and Japan. Under the revision, some of them cast their ballots for the first time in the parliamentary by-elections held on April 9 in 2009.
The measure could wield strong influence in the upcoming elections, especially considering the fact that some of the election results depended on a narrow margin of no more than hundreds of thousands of votes.
Up to 73 percent, or 2.1 million overseas Koreans, are living in the U.S., Japan and China, with more than 1.65 million staying temporarily for work or studying purposes, according to the National Election Commission.
The figures, however, could only be temporary as many people are hesitant to register as living aboard or report acquiring a permanent resident status or citizenship in another country, the election watchdog said.
In 2007 the top court here ruled unconstitutional the law that restricted the voting rights of overseas Koreans, prompting moves to grasp the exact number of Korean nationals living abroad and grant them suffrage. The National Assembly approved of the bill calling for such rights last year.
On the back of the lingering global economic downturn and comparatively brighter circumstances at home, no more than 900 South Koreans are anticipated to move out of the country by the end of this year, falling below the 1,000-mark for the first time in a decade, the Foreign Ministry said.I'm not sure how the audit arrived at what constitutes an emigrant, but I would submit that many ROK nationals are essentially part-time or temporary emigrants. That is, they go abroad for long periods of time to live, study, work, and even start families, with fuzzily indefinite return dates. Non-returners may not end up in those government stats. For example, South Korean citizens make up an enormous portion of foreign students in the US and Canada; how many of them never end up returning to South Korea to take up residence again?
According to the figures released for the annual parliamentary audit and inspection, a total of 694 South Koreans have moved abroad as of September, with an average of 77 people registering overseas per month.
This is the sharpest decrease of emigrants since 2000 when up to 15,307 moved abroad. The number of emigrants has been dropping continuously sine then, with 9,509 leaving the country in 2003, 8,277 in 2005, 4,127 in 2007 and 1,153 last year, the ministry said.
North Korean refugees struggling to adapt to a bewildering new life in South Korea are increasingly getting sucked into insurance frauds as their first taste of capitalism.The article takes pains to depict the North Korean defectors as victims of this, a view I'm sympathetic to. After all, both survival in North Korea and the process of escape and then hiding in China would necessitate living by hook or by crook for many of them, and it may be hard to turn that off that attitude and behavior. An attitude of doing what you can to survive mixed with a perception drummed into their heads by the fraudsters that the only ones who get hurt are these big, bad corporations, and you've got an easy accomplice.
Insurance scams have for years been common in the South, and fraudsters in recent years have targeted the refugees as sometimes unwitting accomplices.
"Sometimes defectors get involved because they don't know how the insurance system works. They just have no idea what they are doing is wrong," an official at the Hanawon resettlement centre told AFP. ...
Newly arrived refugees get government financial help but often must repay big debts to the brokers who arranged their escape via China.
This makes them susceptible to taking part in frauds, which focus on bogus medical insurance claims.
After the refugee has bought a private policy or enrols in a state scheme, or both, insurance company workers typically conspire with hospital administrative staff to issue fake certificates of treatment.
When a refugee has been reimbursed by the insurance company, and sometimes by the government, he or she hands over a portion to the accomplices.
"I received about three million won (2,700 dollars) and used the money to pay debts when I came to South Korea," one woman in her late thirties told the JoongAng Daily newspaper.
The South Korea Foreign Ministry told Yonhap News 43 crew members aboard the 241-ton trawler Keummi 305 were captured by the pirates on Oct. 9 about 10 miles off Lamu, Kenya. The crew included two South Koreans, two Chinese and 39 Kenyans, the South Korean news agency said.Got that? Negotiations with Taliban, okay. Negotiations with Somali pirates, not a good idea.
A South Korean citizen living in Mombasa, Kenya, told Yonhap the pirates took the boat to Harardhere, north of Mogadishu.
Officials had not yet heard from the pirates with any demands.
"Given past instances, it would put the hostages in even more danger if the government tried to negotiate directly with the pirates," a ministry official said. "We're trying to find out more about the incident using all possible channels."
|Dole Cannery Regal Theater, home of HIFF.|
When the two of us began this journey together, we made a pact with each other. We pledged that we would always put children first and make decisions that would be in their best interest, even when -- especially when -- we knew it would cause consternation among adults. This pact was our true north. In many ways, it cut through the hard choices to something clear and simple: We would fight for the right of every parent to promise and give their children an excellent education. We would insist on a school system that backed up that promise. We would ensure that children received the skills and knowledge they needed to do anything they wanted in life. ...I know she didn't invent it, but I just want to point out that I like the phrase (and the concept) of having one's true north.
We've made tremendous strides. On the nation's gold standard, the National Assessment of Educational Progress, we've gone from being the worst-performing school district in the country to a force of 46,000 children who lead the nation in gains -- with some of the greatest advances coming from our students of color, students receiving special-education services and students formally learning the English language for the first time.
On our local exam, we've increased student achievement in all subject areas and grade levels. At the secondary levels, these gains are unparalleled anywhere in the country. More students are graduating and ready to attend college, our schools are safer and our parents are more satisfied. A greater percentage of the system's taxpayer dollars are going directly to the classroom, where they belong, instead of supporting a bloated and formerly inefficient central office. The operational issues that long plagued our schools (undelivered books, late paychecks and shoddy facilities) are quickly becoming complaints of the past.
We absolutely believe the progress can continue. Our presumptive new mayor is a native Washingtonian who cares deeply about education. We leave behind arguably the most talented and driven team that a school district administration could have. They are in the schools; they are in the central office; they are in other District agencies partnering with DCPS to modernize schools and update and support technologies. All of these people and more are getting up every morning and doing the incredibly difficult work that the cameras don't see. As leaders, we simply "blocked and tackled" so that they could get things done.
While I find the Democratic Party’s attitude regarding Hwang’s passing suspicious at best, I do agree with what some DP lawmakers are saying: the man was still one of the fathers of North Korea’s Juche ideology. To me, this means anything positive he might have done in his latter life (and he was an elderly man when he left North Korea) only begins to make up for what he did prior to his defection. I’m not judging him personally — I appreciate he might have been a changed man. The National Cemetery, however, is a very special place, and I just don’t think he belongs there.Hear! Hear! As I noted at Destination Pyongyang, Mr Hwang's continued defense of Juche underscored a lack of culpability for the murderous regime up north:
But if we are to make such people poster boys for the cause, as many did with Hwang, some serious semblance of acknowledgement and even contrition for his crimes would be in order.Now this may seem harsh, but I think interring Mr Hwang in the National Cemetery is akin to enshrining the Yasukuni-14 at the ostensibly peace-promoting Yasukuni Shrine, an act performed by the shrinekeepers in the late 1970s. Not exactly the same, but with some very serious parallels.
That disconnect between the lack of acknowledgement and contrition on the one hand, and the prominent role he played in condemning a system he helped create on the other, was what always made me uneasy about him. And to me, that tainted his otherwise worthy (and valuable) post-defection life.
As the North Korean regime embarked on a massive project to deify Kim Jong-Un, it is being met by jeers and ridicule from the people as it relies on absurd propaganda defying common sense. As the regime strains to package a 27-year-old man without any achievement as a "great leader," the tactic is backfiring.Knowledge of military history is the Chosŏn-era equivalent of the SAT, so good on him.
On the 11th of this month, Open North Korea Radio, a radio station broadcasting toward North Korea, made public the material for lectures held late last year against Labor Party officials and members. The propaganda material, titled "Material on the Greatness of Young General Comrade Kim Jong-Un", claimed that "Comrade Young General was an expert marksman since the age of three, and this year hit a row of light bulbs and bottles 100 meters away with a semiautomatic rifle, firing at three shots per second." It also claimed that Kim fired 20 shots at a target and hit all of them within the 10-point circle. In addition, it claimed that Kim "figured out all renowned generals through the East and the West and throughout history by his teens, is proficient in all areas of military affairs including the army, navy and the air force, and only took a few days to complete the 'automatic ceremonial cannon firing program,' which not even engineers could not accomplish."
The construction of Kim Jong Eun's new villa was begun in late July. Soon after, nearby farmers began complaining.
When farm officials requested that commanders assume responsibility for their soldiers' behavior, they were beaten, according to the humanitarian group's report. "Although complaints ceased after this incident, news of this mishap has spread throughout the region resulting in civilian mistrust of soldiers who are believed to be connected to the suspect leadership of Kim Jong Eun."
Analysts say it's unclear whether either Kim Jong Il or his youngest son have been told of the issue.
|This is a long and possibly boring|
post, so I thought I'd throw in a
picture of Kim Jong-un's mom,
Ko Yŏnghŭi, who was kinda hot.