Category: DPRK

A fun North Korean Song

 

The North Korean Song – GOOD TO SEE YOU!



. 동포 여러분 형제 여러분
이렇게 만나니 반갑습니다.
얼싸안고 좋아 웃음이요
절싸안고 좋아 눈물일쎄
All of you overseas Koreans, All of you brothers and sisters,
It’s so nice meeting you like this
I hugging, it’s laughter.
I love bowing and embracing, it brings tears
<후렴>
오 오 오 오오 오오 오 닐리리야
반갑습니다 반갑습니다
반갑습니다 반갑습니다
<Refrain>
Oh~ Nilririya
Good to see you Good to see you
Good to see you Good to see you

2.동포 여러분 형제 여러분
정다운 그 손목 잡아봅시다
조국위한 마음 뜨거우니
통일 잔치날도 멀잖았네
All of you overseas Koreans, All of you brothers and sisters
Won’t you take my wrist affectionately,
Since our hearts are warm for the fatherland,
The day of unificatation can’t be that far away

3. 동포 여러분 형제 여러분
애국의 더운 피 합쳐 갑시다
내 고향이 좋아 행복이요
내 조국이 좋아 기쁨일쎄
All you overseas Koreans, All my brothers and sisters,
Let’s bring together the hot blood of patriotism,
I love my hometown, it’s my happiness.
I love my country, it brings joy.

Kangaji’s notes: This song can be found on South Korean KARAOKE MACHINES pretty easily because it’s sung during inter-Korean activities sometimes and most South Koreans know the refrain.

A tragic story if it is true.

But you need to take everything you hear from the refugee news grapevine with a considerable grain of salt. News tends to come third- and fourth-hand, and it all gets filtered through a handful of activists who are more eager to publicize atrocities than recording facts.

It isn’t out of line with what is known of the character of the regime, though.

The DPRK cheerleading squad has always been bait ripe for the popular media. Their virginal yet alluring disposition was at odds with the image of the regime they were ambassadors for. The idea of them as victims of the regime transforms them into part of an appealing, fairy-tale like narrative. So while we know that there are capital offenses prosecuted in the DPRK, this story has legs to carry it into the news cycle.

Original from the Herald Kyongje.

‘North Korean foxy cheerleaders secretly executed’ . . . . ‘shocking’

Pledged not to divulge what they had seen and heard in South Korea but

Caught by the loaded questions of skillful security bureau seeking an object of punishment

Reports have trickled out that among the North Korean cheerleaders who gave rise to so much attention during the 2002 Asian Games in Pusan, some have been put to death in secret, refugee internet newspaper New Focus (www.newfocus.co.kr) reported on the 4th.

According to reports, for quite a while word had cautiously trickled out that some of the members who had broken their vows among the cheering squad that was composed of beatiful women were confined in prison camps, but this is the first time that there are claims that they were put to death, so it is expected to be a social shock.

Refugee Mr. A reported that among the refugee women at Hanawon [Settlement Support Center for North Korean Refugees] one was the wife of the person who carried out the execution a member of the cheerleaders, and the women said that her husband was burdened with a lot of guilt from the deed, was extremely distressed. The woman’s husband said with a sigh, “Since they were directions from the Party, it couldn’t be helped, but I honestly think it was too much.”

According to Mr. A, when the beautiful cheerleading squad returned to North Korea, they implemented Lifestyle Consensus (activity of seeking morals through appraisal and reflection on one’s lifestyle). After they did this Consensus, some were sent to prison camps, and among them several were sentenced to secret execution under the direction of the North Korean regime.

Because it was under the directions of superior offices, they used the plot and pretext of the security bureau that needed to erase the results, and sent some of them to the prison camp and on the pretext of alerting them, sentenced the children of powerless households to death.

Mr. A told the shocking story, “In order to became one of North Korea’s beautiful cheerleaders they check their ancestry, but because first their appearance must be exceptional, there are bound to be several children from powerless families among them.” “These people were purged first.”

According to North Korean sources, after the North Korean beautiful cheerleaders returned to their hometowns, they spoke carefully in accordance with the oaths they took not to divulge what they saw and heard in South Korea, but they were caught up by the loaded questions of the skillful security bureau. There was nothing that could be done against the superior position of the security bureau who constantly and unconditionally pursue and punish, and the socially weak children of their households were made scapegoats.

North Korea has dispatched the beautiful cheerleading squad to the 2002 Pusan Asia Games, the 2003 Taegu Universiade, and the 2005 Inchon International Track and Field Meet. Every time that they visit they are showered with attention in South Korea and draw great popularity.

Continue reading

Megumi Yokota and Hitomi Soga Cases and Japanese Politics

The Megumi Yokota and Hitomi Soga Cases and Japanese Politics

Kangaji

Japanese Politics

The Megumi Yokota and Hitomi Soga cases are atypical in Japanese politics, in that they went from an obscure grass roots issue for 30 years and exploded into a mainstream issue that rocked domestic as well as international politics.  This paper examines the two cases in themselves first and how as they unraveled they affected Japanese politics and international politics.    Next, there is a comparison of the two cases and an explanation of how they became so popular after years of being ignored..  The effect on the cases on the 6 party talks and civil society is discussed throughout.  Finally the paper brings to light an issue in US civil society that is a darker side for Japan.

Before beginning the discussion of the two cases it is important to distinguish that Megumi Yokota is either missing or dead.  On the other hand Hitomi Soga is alive and returned to Japan.  One case continues and the other case resulted in a happy ending, so the outcomes have different political effects.

Case #1: The Abduction of Megumi Yokota

                Megumi Yokota was born on October 5th, 1964 at Seirei Hospital in Nagoya to Shigeru and Sakie Yokota.   In 1977 the family moved to Niigata city as part of Mr. Yokota’s banking job.  On November 15, 1977 around 7PM Mrs. Yokota grew concerned and went by the school to see why Megumi had not yet returned home.  For almost twenty years the family would know nothing of their daughter’s fate, but both parents continued to believe that somehow, somewhere their daughter remained alive.   The idea of North Korea abducting Japanese citizens first became public with the bombing of a Japanese airline by North Korean terrorist/spies that worked with abducted Japanese.   On January 21, 1997, Mr. Yokota received a call that would change his life.  (Headquarters for the Abduction Issue, Govt of Japan 2008)

It was from a member of the Nagoya branch Alumi Association of the bank he used to work for that had resulted from phone tag after about 3 years of detective work by a Mr. Hyomoto, After playing some phone tag, to get to Hyomoto through the Alumni association and diet member from the communist party Atsushi Hashimoto, Mr. Yokota learned of information that a North Korean defector revealed earlier in 1996 that described a girl exactly like Megumi (coming home from a badminton game, the sister of twins, kidnapped from Niigata around 1976).  Now the family knew that Megumi was somewhere in North Korea (if she was still alive).   They had to decide whether or not to use Megumi’s name in public or refer to her as “M from Niigata”.  They were concerned about her safety if her identity was revealed since Megumi was in North Korea.  On March 25, 1997 they went ahead with starting an organization with other parents of abductees, the Abductees Family Association.  Even though the Yokota family was gaining sympathy from the media, the government remained cold to them, until 2002.  During that time they met with ex-North Korean spies to confirm their cases and began lobbying the government to attach the return of abductees to negotiations with North Korea for aid as a major issue.  Gendai Korea (Modern Korea Institute) under the leadership of Katsumi Sato took up their cause and began building wider grass roots institutions like the Abductees Rescue Association, which gathered signatures for petitions. ( Rescuing Abductees Center for Hope 2007)

A look at Gendai Korea’s website and Katsumi Sato’s papers reveals that they consistently advocate a firm hand with North Korea, and put the interests of Japanese nationals ahead of food aid to the “terrorist state”[terror ookoku] (SatoKatsumi Feb 4th, 2004) .

Furthermore, according to quotes from Katsumi Sato from a December 2006 New York Times article:

Katsumi Sato, 77, leader of the National Association for the Rescue of Japanese Kidnapped by North Korea, a private organization with chapters nationwide, said he was focused only on the abductees. But in an interview, he said many of his group’s regional leaders were also active in Nippon Kaigi, Japan’s largest nationalist organization, which rejects postwar pacifism, embraces the imperial system and defends Japan’s past wars in Asia.

“In the regions, there are some right-wingers in our movement, a fact which makes it look extremely tilted to the right,” said Mr. Sato, who was invited to meet Mr. Abe a few days after he was elected.

(OnishiNorimitsu 2006)

Getting back to Case #1, Japan sent rice aid in 2000 to North Korea after North Korea again denied abductees were in their country, and the pro-abductee apparatus felt snubbed.  Twice officials publicly addressed the issue of the abductees directly pointing out the low number of abductees compared to the amount of people affected by rice aid.

In June 15, 2000 Kim Jong Il and Kim Daejung met at the first North-South summit meeting and issued a joint declaration.  This lead the way to measures for peace between North and South, and a noble peace prize for Kim Daejung although later a scandal erupted when sources revealed that the South had “bribed” the North for the meeting.  This was unknown in 2002 however, so the circumstances lead the way for Koizumi to attend a summit meeting with Kim Jong Il.  During the summit meeting on September 17, 2002, Kim Jong Il revealed that the North in fact had abducted Japanese citizens.  They claimed that five were still alive (including Hitomi Soga) but they also had a list of the dead.  Among the dead was Megumi Yokota.  Over the next few months the North provided “evidence” to the incredulous Yokotas.  They learned that Megumi had a daughter named Kim Hye-kyung .  They received a photo of Megumi claiming she was twenty but they thought she looked older.  They had DNA testing done to verify this.  Also, they received ashes from North Korea that they claimed were the remains of Megumi.  They had DNA testing done and the results proved that the remains were from two people who were not Megumi.   The Yokota family’s conviction that their daughter was still alive grew stronger and so did the grass roots campaign.  By June 2003 there was a summit called the “Evian summit” where 5,000 people gathered to hear Sakie Yokota speak on the topic “Abduction is terrorism” at the Tokyo International forum.  There were thousands outside so Mrs. Yokota went outside to address the crowd. ( Rescuing Abductees Center for Hope 2007)  American film makers Patty Kim and Christopher Sheridan bring the issue further into the international spotlight with “Abduction: The Megumi Yokota Story”.  An anime called “Megumi” is also made that gets to this point in the story, and the issue continues to spread like wildfire.


강아지의 생각: Proper parenting could have prevented this tragedy. :o3

Flash forward to 2006.  The abduction issue and the calls for transparency from the US, along with the North’s announcement of having developed nuclear weapons have brought the six party talks to a halt.  It turned out that the man who brought the “remains” of Megumi Yokota was actually, after a sly trick to get his DNA from Japanese intelligence, an abductee from South Korea, Kim Youngnam.  DNA evidence from their daughter proved he was the father.  The North “discovered” him in 2006 and allowed him to go to South Korea to meet his mother with his family, including his daughter.  He testified that Megumi had become depressed and had hung herself in 1994, reiterating what Pyongyang had said all along.  Pyongyang’s official line on South Koreans who come to North Korea is that they all came voluntarily, and Kim Youngnam said he was picked up by North Korean fishermen who rescued him from South Korean bullies that he escaped from on a boat.  {Hankyoreh 2006} Since he was surrounded by North Korean security and tense during the interview and his story was so close to the official line of Pyongyang, he had little credibility, especially in the eyes of the Yokota family.  (KimPatty, GreenMichael, SheridanChristopher 2006) The North still refers to him as Kim Chol Jun and not Kim Young nam. (Japan Times 2006)

Case #2 Hitomi Soga

The second case, as mentioned before, comes with a happy ending.  One of the five to actually make it out in 2002 that wasn’t on the list of dead was Hitomi Soga.  The North Koreans abducted her  on August 15, 1978. She was kidnapped with her mother Miyoshi.   Like Megumi she married to a non-Japanese while in Korea, in this case US defector Charles Jenkins from North Carolina who crossed the DMZ in 1965 in hopes of  avoiding being sent as an infantryman to the Vietnam conflict.  He hoped to get to the Soviet embassy in Pyongyang and make his way back from there.     They have two children, Belinda and Mika,

Soga was separated from her mother, Miyoshi, after they were abducted, and she has never seen her since that day.(Japan Economic News Wire 2008).  Hitomi Soga actually met Megumi Yokota while in North Korea, and Megumi Yokota gave Hitomi Soga a red bag. (Japan Economic News Wire 2007)

Soga’s family thought she might be dead, though her father thought she might still be alive, so the return of Hitomi Soga came as a pleasant surprise to them.  They had a preliminary funeral service for her in November 1992, leaving a plot but leaving the marker blank.  (Asahi Shimbun 2002)

Since the Hitomi Soga abduction was linked with the Charles Jenkins defection, a lot of the attention the Yokota’s had was directed away to the happier story, especially with people curious about how the US and Japan would handle a court martial and whether Jenkins would be able to live in Japan or not.  This made better press for the North by deflecting attention away from the Yokota family.  Jenkins’ revelations about North Korea would probably not come as a big surprise to anyone.  However, the distraction is over. Now, the Jenkins and Yokota families have combined with the Kim family and those of other foreign nationals held against their will in Korea in a a more united front to continuing lobbying for the return of the abductees.

Comparing How These Two Cases Effected Japanese Politics

How did these two cases become popular?  How did they affect Japanese politics?  First, the Yokota family took the initiative through a tip from, of all parties, a tip from the Japan Communist Party in 1997, during the Hashimoto years.   According to an extensive interview with Fuwa Tetsuzo in 2004, JCP Central Committee Chair, the North Koreans and the JCP hadn’t gotten along since 1984.    It was because the JCP criticized the North for the 1983 rangoon bombing and the seizure of a Japanese fishing boat with the murder of her Captain.  Also, the JCP claimed that they criticized North Korea often when no other parties were willing to do this.  The LDP did not turn the abduction issue into an issue until 2002, so Fuwa claimed “The abduction issue served as a line that separated the JCP as a party of sovereign indepence and parties of opportunism.”  In 1988 it was Hashimoto Atsushi who took up the abduction issue after the 1987 bombing of a South Korean airliner mentioned earlier and the revelation of kidnapped Japanese in North Korea.

So, the issue begins as a pet issue of the JCP.  The families learn about it from the JCP and a grass roots organization starts to get built by the families.  Katsumi Sato of Gendai Korea, a conservative think tank, takes up the cause out of sympathy and grows the grass roots organization.  The organizers in many regions belong to Nippon Kaigi  the media takes up the issue as well.  The LDP doesn’t care to respond to the issue in 2000 but draws some bad press for it.  Suddenly in 2002 Kim Jong Il springs the announcement to Koizumi that they have the abductees which was brought up in 2000 but denied.  Kim Jong Il’s intent was to smooth relations with Japan but the shoddy evidence of the deaths of the 13 who the North claimed to be dead and the anger of the Yokota family in particular is magnified by the Uyoku forces working with the grass roots organizations.  Koizumi sees this rage and must in turn play to his base in the LDP as the tide turns on the issue.  This stalls the six party talks as Kim Jong Il is punished for his concession and the abduction issue becomes a thorn in everyone’s side. [1]  The Charles Jenkins and Hitomi Soga issue comes in and provides a distraction for everyone for a while to focus on US Japan relations rather than getting more abductees back.  However, Koizumi loses his position as Prime Minister and now Abe needs an issue to run on, he picks the abduction issue and gets elected.

As far as comparing the two goes, the Megumi Yokota case is the center of the universe in the abduction movement, and as the center of gravity it pulls the other abduction cases along side it.  The Hitomi Soga case was a giant distraction that took focus off the center of gravity in the international arena and somewhat in the domestic arena as the US and Japan figured out what to do with Jenkins.  Once that was resolved everything focused on Yokota style unresolved cases again.   Kim Jong Il adjusted his strategy a little bit and is now more proficient at using abductees as currency to buy concessions in a more sophisticated way than 2002.  With the element of mystery and some brinkmanship everyone plays into his hands again.

Effect on Civil Society in the US: Fathers’ Rights in Japan

An organization of fathers in the US staged protest at showings of Abduction: The Megumi Yokota story due to a little known fact about Japan that they have suffered through.  Japan is notorious for not pursuing cases of international child abduction if a Japanese national is abducting a child from a third country.  According to the State Department Travel Warnings:

Japan is not a Hague Convention signatory and U.S. court custody decisions are not enforceable in Japan.  Almost all children born to a Japanese parent since the 1980s are Japanese citizens and may travel on Japanese passports issued in the U.S. even if the left-behind parent in the U.S. does not agree to the issuance of a U.S. passport.  The Embassy and our consulates do not have access to Japanese Immigration records and cannot confirm that a child has entered or departed Japan.  The Japanese government will not refuse entry to one of its citizens, even if that citizen is a dual-national child subject to a U.S. court-based custody decision.  The Embassy and our Consulates cannot serve process, appear in court on a U.S.-based parent’s behalf or carry out U.S.-based arrest warrants.  Parents who attempt to re-abduct their children may be subject to kidnapping charges. (US State Department 2009)

Further:

In practical terms, however, in cases of international parental child abduction, foreign parents are greatly disadvantaged in Japanese courts, both in terms of obtaining the return of children to the United States, and in achieving any kind of enforceable visitation rights in Japan.  The Department of State is not aware of any case in which a child taken from the United States by one parent has been ordered returned to the United States by Japanese courts, even when the left-behind parent has a United States custody decree.   In the past, Japanese police have been reluctant to get involved in custody disputes or to enforce custody decrees issued by Japanese courts. (State Department, 2009[2])

The group is made up of parents (mostly fathers) who are victims of international child abductions done by their Japanese spouses.  They protested in August of 2006 at the opening for Abduction: The Megumi Yokota story at the Los Angeles theater.   In this case Megumi Yokota is the center of gravity that brings them to the attention of… bloggers.   (Japan Probe 2006)

Conclusion

The case of Megumi Yokota began to take political life as a pet project of the JCP after revelations in the wake of a 1987 bombing of a Korean aircraft.  Through the hard work of grassroots organizations and a political blunder by Kim Jong Il, with the backing of nationalist organizations in the background, Megumi Yokota’s story grew into a wildfire with stories of abductions in Korea, Japan, and a defection in the US tagging along for the ride.  Later other abductions would come up, abductions from Thailand and Romania have been in the headlines over the past two years.  Her story not only brings the North Korean abduction issue to the forefront of global politics, it shines so brightly that from small corners all over the world and reflects into some of the darker parts of Japanese politics.

Works Cited

Rescuing Abductees Center for Hope. “The Families.” Rescuing Abductees Center for Hope. 12 13, 2007. http://www.reachdc.net/book/1.pdf (accessed 5 13, 2009).

Asahi Shimbun. “Family Affair: Hitomi Soga leans how her dad coped all these years.” Asahi Shimbun, October 19, 2002: 1-2.

Megumi. Directed by 大森英数. Performed by Headquarters for the Abduction Issue, Govt of Japan. 2008.

Japan Economic News Wire. 2008 Soga anxious to see her mother on 30th anniversary of abduction. Niigata, August 12, 2008.

Japan Economic News Wire. Ex abductee Soga voices gratitude for support after five years of abduction. Niigata, October 17, 2007.

Japan Probe. Japan Probe. August 26, 2006. http://www.japanprobe.com/?page_id=1053 (accessed May 10, 2009).

Japan Times. “Kim Young Nam alive in North: KCNA.” Japan Times, June 9, 2006: 1.

Kim, Patty, Michael Green, and Christopher Sheridan, interview by Jonathan Mann and Atika Shubert. Insight North Korean Abductions (CNN) (June 8, 2006).

Nam, Kim Young, interview by Hankyoreh Media Group. Kim Young-nam says his Japanese wife Megumi killed herself (June 30, 2006).

Onishi, Norimitsu. “Japan Rightists Fan Fury Over North Korea Abductions.” The New York Times, December 16, 2006: 1.

Sato, Katsumi. “Is a Korean Summit Possible.” Gendai Korea, Feb 4th, 2004: 2.

US State Department. International Parental Child Abduction: Japan. February 2002. http://travel.state.gov/family/abduction/country/country_501.html (accessed May 13, 2009).

—. Japan: Country Specific Information. Child Issues. January 30, 2009. http://travel.state.gov/travel/cis_pa_tw/cis/cis_1148.html (accessed May 13, 2009).

 

 

 


[1] Maybe the JCP was laughing in the corner?

Wild Sex in the Revolutionary Proletariat

Soon to be the basis for my next song for my North Korea/Oingo Boingo cover band.

Finally got around to translating some more Korean, and boy, am I rusty.

X-posted at Clever Turtles, with slightly more commentary.

Prostitution, ‘8/3 couple’ . . . Even in the North decadence spreads

Financial support to lure into adulterous relations often . . . teens prostitute in order to buy cell phones
Porno videos popular in marketplace . . . influence of weakened control over people
Also stripshow bars for the exclusive use of upper echelons

In North Korea’s society, that is so closed that even romantic matters between men and women are regulated, decadent sexual culture is spreading. It is reported that prostitution as a livelihood is a matter of course and sexually promiscuous behavior is spreading like toadstools, to such a degree that they have created the neologism ‘8/3 spouses’ for adulterous couples that finish up at the end of the workday.

An anti-North source, who early this year contacted refugees from the North Hamgyong province adjacent to China, said on the 9th, “In North Korea, in order to earn money for living expenses or disposable income, prostitution of women is spreading, and it was reported that the reality is that even young female students are appearing as prostitutes in order to buy cell phones.” The source reported that in North Korea’s interior ‘8/3 spouses’ with adulterous relations are spreading like they are fashionable and some among them indulge in drugs, porn, and group sex. ‘8/3’ refers to the date August 3rd, 1984, when Chief of the National Defense Council Kim Jong-il, who was named the successor at that time, laid down the pronouncement to “utilize the by-products in the factories and enterprises to make the necessities of daily life.” but it has degenerated into a term for fake and shoddy products.

It is reported that recently they haven’t stopped avoiding the net of surveillance and secretly steal looks at pornography, and even businessmen have appeared who mobilize North Korean women directly to produce and sell obscene videos. According to the results of one research study of domestically resettled refugees, ‘adult products’ are so popular that adult video CD-Rs, popularly called ‘Sex-Rs’, trade for higher prices than general movies and dramas in the North Korean markets.

Experts on North Korea see it that after the ‘Hard March’ period of the 1990s while economic difficulties were prolonged, they took advantage of the opportunities afforded by the weakening of the government’s control over the people, and in the process of the rapid inflow of outside culture into the center from regions adjacent to China such as northern Hamgyong decadent sexual culture also spread.

In this way sexual culture became popular in all parts of society, so in a 2009 revision of the penal code North Korea strengthened the crimes of the transportation, possession, or distribution of decadent culture, strengthening the enforcement and punishment regarding sexual disorder, such as estabilished provisions so that in the case of transporting, possessing or distributing adult videorecordings one would face a 5 to 10 year sentence of labor reeducation.

But there are indications that North Korea’s ruling class are an obstacle to the eradication of decadent culture. In several large cities strip show bars are operating that only party and public peace officers may enter, and refugees messages are that there are cases where public safety officers use financial support as bait to form adulterous relationships. In particular, they report that it is often the case that even agents of the 109 group, established to crack down on antisocialist activities, receive sums as bribes to pass over these matters.

Reporter Kim Po-un spice7@segye.com

Hyundai Asan and the New Six Party Talks Conspiracy Theory

Hello Everyone!   :-h

Kangaji here!  Let’s explore the idea that the whole reason for new six party talks is because North Korea has been messing with Hyundai’s investments in North Korea.

City of Alpharetta Georgia's graphic

In April, North Korea threatened to use the Mt. GeumGangSan resort for their own purposes, stripping  Hyundai Asan it’s rights.  However, GeumGangSan tourism, while bringing in some cold hard cash through South Korean tourists, hasn’t really been popular enough to justify the ludicrous amounts of investment.    So, it’s something you’d think they would have written off after the last tourist got shot.  Also given the political situation, Hyundai Asan can’t really talk to them because of the shelling incident after the Cheonan, So you would think, it’s probably a good idea to write off this tourism investment.  However they still really want to hold on to this asset.  Assuming that there’s something their hiding, I’m assuming after three months of back party dealings this explains why on  July 23rd South Korea announced they were resuming the Six Party talks. On July 25th, two days later, Hyundai Asan started talking about reopening Mt. Geumgangsan.  Three months after Hyundai Asan gets the axe by the North, South Korea is ready to talk and then two days later Hyundai wants to make up!?

What’s going on here?  Surely tourism can’t be that important for Hyundai to just throw their money away like that.

Now, we all know that Hyundai Asan has been used as a conduit to launder money into North Korea before.  Between the axing and the talks, two Japanese were detained for drug possession and counterfeiting in North Korea.  Now, if Hyundai Asan had something to do with the counterfeiting AGAIN,  not unlike what Hyundai Asan got caught doing in 2008 they’d be crapping themselves trying not to get blackmailed.  So, I think the new round of six party talks COULD be driven by another counterfeiting activity that Hyundai wants to hide and that the North is threatening to reveal, or some other shady business deal, and that put pressure on the South Korean government to tell everyone else “it’s time to start up again.”

강아지의 생각 :o3

 

 

Adventures in Random Translation

Random article I spent all f-ing day translating. Original here.

X-posted Clever Turtles.

Primary Chinese diplomat, “There is no Deng Xiaoping in the North . . . Currency reform is rash.”

When North Korea carried out currency reform in 2010 at the end of November, the primary Chinese diplomat gave the opinion that suppressing the public markets would be difficult, describing it as a rash measure, according to United States diplomatic papers released by Wikileaks.

The Chinese diplomat also compared North Korea’s closed foreign policy to the Chinese Ming-Qing transition period, when Choson gave emphasis upon court diplomacy, and affirmed that Korea (refering to North and South) “has a historical tradition of lagging behind the times.”

Material like this was among the 250,000 US secret diplomatic cables released by Wikileaks that were acquired by the Spanish newspaper “El Pais” and made recently made public were dated Dec. 24, 2009 by the US State Department.

“The North is lacking a Deng Xiaoping”

According to the cable, on Dec. 21 2009 at a banquet with the leading US diplomat Kathleen Stevens, leading Chinese diplomat Cheng Yonghua evaluated the currency reforms that North Korea carried out to try to strengthen control over its economy as an “ill-advised attempt.”

Ambassador Cheng also said, “When people have acquired money, it is extremely difficult to put the ‘genie [a spirit that comes out of a lamp and grants wishes]’ back into the bottle.” adding, “The Chinese people bought houses and cars, and it is impossible to imagine turning back the clock to the time when the government disallowed possession of assets.”

He also said, “If North Korea had followed China’s line of reform, they too would become wealthy.” and “North Korea lacks a Deng Xiaoping [who led Chinese reforms and development].”

Chen Hayi, a diplomatic advisor at the Chinese embassy who was also in attendance, pointed out that North Korea’s understanding of modern economics and the principles of trade is at an elementary level.

While saying this, he reported on the dialogue between China’s top envoy to the 6-party talks, Wu Dawei and the functional leader of the North Korean US diplomatic team, Deputy Prime Minister for the Cabinet Kang Sok Chu, expressing that while there is no one among the North Korean authorities with as much exposure to western economics as Deputy Prime Minister Kang, he is unable to understand the concept of a trade deficit.

“Lagging behind the times is a Korean tradition”

Advisor Chen said that North Korea’s closed nature is rooted in Korean [referring to North and South] tradition.

He gave his analysis that, “Until 100 years after the Ming dynasty was replaced by the Qing dynasty, Korea sent tribute to the Ming royal family, and adhered to Ming dynasty customs and traditions.” and “Because it has the fear that, as a small country, ‘if it submits to change it will not be able to survive’, its response to a radically changing environment is to cower in fear.”

As he said this, Advisor Chen was optimistic that North Korea would respond positively to the US message towards North Korea that ‘A better future is possible.’

Further, Ambassador Cheng expressed that while they suffered difficulties of communication when North Korean authorities held dialogue for the first time, “because they think that the world works as it did thirty years ago, everything was relaxed.”

“US strategic patience necessary or lacking”

At that time Ambassador Cheng said that while it could be seen that his position generally supported the US policy to North Korea of “strategic patience”, “it is undesirable to take too much time or to rush to engage with North Korea in dialogue.”

Ambassador Cheng also reported that only in 2009 did China discuss the nuclear issue with North Korea, and periodically informed them that among North Korea’s behavior this part was clearly opposite to China’s national interest.

After indicating North Korea’s adherence to a bargaining style of using restricted levers against petty differences, Ambassador Cheng said, “The same words don’t work twice” is sufficient to understand the US basis for North Korean relations.

Together with this, Ambassador Cheng made clear his opinion that because of the state of Chairperson of North Korea’s National Defense Commission Kim Jong-il’s health and the meaning that this has for the succession of power, North Korea can’t afford to continue the severance of dialogue with the United States.

He continued to say that the matter at that time of a cargo freighter full of North Korean-made arms being kicked out of Bangkok could not be allowed to disrupt the resumption of North Korean nuclear six-party talks, suggesting, “Let us try to think of a way for North Korea to save face so as to allow them to enter the six-party talks.”

“Even Chinese State Dept. seniors prefer working in South Korea over North Korea”

Advisor Chen reported that the Chinese State Department’s experts on problems in the Korean peninsula were divided into the, “Studied abroad or worked in North Korea for 8-10 years group”, “Middle management who chose degrees in Korean or Korea studies within China group”, and the “Acquired expertise in South Korean matters in South Korea rising juniors group”.

While reporting on the progress of generational replacement among the Korean experts inside the State Department, he said that even the seniors who studied in North Korea prefer working in South Korea, where the work is more substantive and dynamic, and life is much better.