Friday, June 27, 2008

Bush will push for North Korea to be taken off the terrorist list

So Bush is actually going to recommend that Congress take North Korea off the terrorist list.  The New York Times article here talks about the controversy over the decision.  I really hope this helps show the US's intention for peace.


I found this video on youtube and thought it was really important.  I was not able to watch the entire thing, because it is an hour long, but the parts i did watch are really powerful.  Before taking this class i had not idea about the extent to which concentration camps and this type of human rights abuses were occurring.  It is pretty unbelievable to hear the first guy talk about the ways in which North Korea is extremely controlled and repressive

Must See: Demolition of Yeongbyun Nuclear Reactor Cooling Tower

This film shows demolition of the Yeongbyun Nuclear Reactor cooling system. You should see this clip. It's historically very symbolic and let's hope that the Six-Part-Talk will progress further.

N. Korea Destroys Cooling Tower at Its Nuclear Facility

As announced last week, North Korea blew up the cooling tower of its nuclear reactor in Yongbyon Friday afternoon to symbolize its commitment to nuclear disarmament, one day after declaring its atomic programs. Interestingly, it was televised live through the CNN. Yongbyon is at the heart of U.S.-led diplomatic efforts to shut down the North's nuclear program in exchange for energy aid and major diplomatic and security benefits.

As President G. W. Bush said, it is an important step.
It may affect positively for the time being in the point that North Korea decided to move first.
This grand bargain can work? Does it put an end to the stalemate between the U.S. and the DPRK? We do not know yet. It is hard to predict. But, one certain thing is that it is nothing but a begining of the whole process. The process of verification might be very thorny for both sides in the near future. We thus should not be agitated by NK's symbolic demolition of its nuclear facility. Perhaps, Washington has such a precautious perspective toward North Korea, as seen in the remark from President Bush and Secretary of State, Condi Rice.

"We will trust you only to the extent that you fulfill your promises" [G. W. Bush]

"It is important to get North Korea out of the plutonium business, but that will not be the end of the story'' [Condoleezza Rice ]

Check out a diversity version of articles.


[Washington Post]

[New York Times]


Thursday, June 26, 2008

New Data Found on North Korea's Nuclear Capacity
Glenn Kessler
Washington Post
Saturday, June 21, 2008; Page A08

The reason that I chose this news piece is that it shows that the issue of North Korea's desire of becoming a very formidable nuclear power is a complex one. The new intelligence obtained through 18,000 pages of North Korean documents, shows that there is a high possibility that North Korea has a B-plan. That is to say that, North Korea might have pursued an alternative path to producing a nuclear weapon. If this has been the case, then, this new information has to be incorporated into the framework of the upcoming talks. Or to put it differently, the U.S. negotiators need to be more concerned about the intentions and capabilities of North Korea within the context of nuclear armament.

Jung Dae Sae VS Park Ji Sung

North Korean Striker, Jung Dae Sae

South Korea and North Korea had soccer match and the result was not good for South Korean because both Korea tied.

North Korea's star member who leads the most of offense is Jung Dae Sae. He plays soccer in Japanese team, Kawasaki Protalren It is very rare case that North Korean sports man playing soccer in foreign country. Not only he is playing soccer in Japan but also he went to school in Japan which is very surprising. Currently he is the only player in North Korea's team who plays soccer in Japanese league (J-league).

Lee Yong Pyo (Tottenham)
Ahn Jung Hwan (used to play in Italy)

Seol Ki Hyun (Fulham FC)
However, In South Korean team, there are number of players who played soccer in overseas like Netherlands, Italy, England, and Japan. Especially Park Ji Sung is one of the best player in South Korean team. His team is the Machester United.
There are more players who played in Europe; Ahn Jung Hwan, Seol Ki Hyun, Kim Doo Hyun, Lee Young Pyo, and more but despite the number of experienced players in South Korea, the result was tie not victory. Therefore I hope South Korea do better in the future, may there is chance to have another match with North Korea. North Korea's continuous participation in foreign countries sports event is surprising and shows that Kim Jong Il's interest of sports.
Here's soccer match Video clip b/w two Korea
RED color is North White is South
Guy who scored from N.Korea is JUNG DAE SAE

N.Korean Tae Kwon Do & South Korean Tae Kwon Do

There are varieties of Tae Kwon Do, not all Tae Kwon do styles are same there are slight difference between WTF(World Tae Kwon Do Federation) ITF(International Tae Kwon Do Federation) and Pro Tae Kwon Do.

Most popular version would be the WTF Tae Kwon Do which is now playing in Olympic. The Taekwondo institute in Ameica is also mostly WTF style. Some of them are known as ATA (American Teakwondo Association) but still shares most of style with WTF.

However what North Korea mostly likely to do is ITF style of Taekwondo. ITF style was created by Korean-Japanese people in Japan which allows more aggressive attacks using knees and more variety of hand use. Since N.Korea had contnuous interaction with Japan that N.Korea brought most of Taekwondo martial artist from Japan that becomes the standard style of N.Korea's Taekwondo.

Since its allowance of using knee and hand technique consider more brutal and powerful than WTF style. WTF Style is more suitable for sports and standarization for Olympics.

South Korea and North Korea, both teaches Taekwondo as necessary military martial arts. The military version of South Korean Taekwondo is almost aggressive as ITF style. There is also Pro TaeKwondo which is somewhat similar to ITF version of Taekwondo that allow to use knees and direct punch attacks on the head. Also the uniform (도복, Do Bok)shapes are different. ITF Taekwondo wears uniform with some stripe lines on the side where as WTF wears mostly plain white color uniform

WTF Taekwondo has standard rule in Olympics and still changing rules in order to achieve more dynamics of game.

1. No direct attack on head by hand
2. Fancy kick counts more points (New Rule)
3. Stron Punch below sholder only counts as a point
4. No attack on the person on the ground
5. No attack on the behind

Also they add new gears that counts points automatically which will show in 2008 Olymoic.

so on.

Here's video clips compare the difference.

North Korean TKD (Taekwondo) Demo team

South Korea's WTF TKD

Besides TaeKwonDo there variety of Martial Arts that are originated in Korea.
There are so many Korean Martial Arts

This is South Korean military Martial Arts besides TKD known as Teokong MuSul

Korean Traditional Martial Arts similar to TKD, Taekkyun
It has combination of kick in the distance and grappling in close range
This Takkyun's basic movement looks like a dancing but it is the key element of Taekkyun. The flexibility reveals the most when the person is relaxed without any tension therefore they continously move with flexible gestures. The strong stick can be break easy but flexible things never breaks but bend. This is the key terminology behind the Taekkyun.

Korean Wrestling, SSIREUM, similar to Mongolian Wrestling

Most recently invented South Korean Martial Arts Gong Kwon Yu Sul, created in 1997
It is creadted by a guy who have done various martial arts and combine the best of each martial arts and becomes the Gong Kwon Yu Sul. Most of moves are combination of Mixed Martial Arts(MMA) resemble to UFC or Pride.

Funny Video

We talked a lot about Juche and how North Korea emphasizes the group rather than the individual. Here is a commercial about one of the performances that went wrong and is funny.

Kim Jong Il's Bodyguards

Check this out. It is a video on the training and expectations of Kim Jong Il's bodyguards with first hand accounts. I thought at first it wasn't real. If it is its pretty amazing.

Kim Jong Il Jokes

I was looking around and stumbled across these jokes a while ago and didn't understand a lot of them but now that the class is complete, comprehension is a little more complete. See what you guys think.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Issues with taking North Korea off of terrorist list

An article in the New York Times today illustrates the current issue of North Korea's nuclear weapons, its relationship with Japan, and the likelihood of removing North Korea from the US's terrorist list. Japan, who plans to discuss this issue when Condoleezza Rice visits soon, wants North Korea to discuss issues of Japanese abductions that occurred in the 1970s and 80s, of which some were returned and some were pronounced dead. Before sending any aid, Japan wants to know details about the deaths of those kidnapped. What is interesting about this article is that North Korea could possibly hand over a list of their nuclear activity as early as Thursday. This would be a huge step in normalizing North Korea's relationship with the United States and other foreign powers in regards to nuclear stability and a slight opening of North Korean society. Yet the article continues saying that the removal of North Korea from the blacklist is not eminent and will be a long process, but will consider Japan's request. Yet, from this article, there is obvious connotations of the eventuality of removing North Korea off the terrorist list as well as the possibility of getting to the bottom of the North Korean nuclear capability, which up until now has been marred with secrecy.

Funny North Korean Ad video

I was searching through Youtube and found this.
I have no idea what this is an ad for, but there are things about it that are very insightful. First, the militarism that is shown in the beginning with the practicing of the huge football-like signs is directed by a military official. In addition to this, there is footage of a huge parade, obviously for Kim Jong-il (although, obviously, played by someone else - which in itself is interesting that anyone would want to take up that role considering the type of possible backlash that could have). But when the main guy - who is frustrated over his inability to conform - wakes up, the alarm clock has at its center a picture of the great leader. It then flashes to the parade, where the military is walking perfectly in line, people are overjoyed and emotional by the sight of the great leader, and there are military personnel surrounding Kim Jong-il. At the end, when there is a gap in his teeth, and the leaders reaction to it, is indicative of how important uniformity and participation in such events are essential to North Korean life. The main issue with this ad is the very last part when you see the main guy sleeping - there is no way, he could EVER be sleeping so calmly knowing the consequences to his actions. But either way it is a fun video

One Blogger's Trip to North Korea

I found this great blog from this guy who travelled to North Korea in October 2005. His descriptions of the organized day trips to different sites are detailed and give us interesting insight into daily life. His account is pretty funny too because he adds a lot of his own commentary. He was able to take a ton of great pictures, which kind of surprised me because I thought they were pretty strict about that. I thought it was interesting that the tour group stayed in a hotel on an island in the middle of the Taedong River to isolate them from the locals. The description and pictures of the local food and beer were interesting and a lot of the stuff looked really good.

Reading the blog, I felt like North Korea was a lot more approachable than the media tries to convey, and could even be a nice vacation spot. But of course, one must keep in mind the atrocities that are simultaneously happening outside the city, where access to food is unreliable and concentration camps are fully operating.

Defectors Face New Challenges as the Olympic Torch Relay Continues in China

Emir had posted a while back about the Olympic Torch passing through North Korea. Not surprisingly, it was met with beautifully arranged festivities. The same is not true of the rest of the world. Protests have followed the torch throughout its world tour and have not entirely settled since it has reached China. The torch now continues to travel throughout China as part of the Mainland China Torch Relay and the latest concern for many people, especially in South Korea, is the treatment of North Korean defectors. The Mainland China Torch Relay is to hit every province, including the Jilin Province which borders North Korea. The city chosen to welcome the torch is Yanji, an interesting choice because its population largely consists of North Korean defectors. Chinese officials are now staging large-scale resident registration investigation in preparation for the torch’s July 19th arrival in Yanji. Though the investigation is not specifically targeting defectors, many have been arrested or are forced to spend this next month in hiding. This article explains further.

I would like to hope that this situation will increase world-wide awareness of the defector problem, as is true of Tibet. However, it does not seem like either China or North Korea isready to change its ways, no matter the amount of worldwide criticisms.

The Korean War was premeditated by U.S.

It is June 25th tomorrow, which is the day that the Korean War broke out 50 years ago. While negotiating with the U.S., the DPRK's Roh-dong newspaper repeatedly claimed that the Korean War was schemed by the U.S. in a covert way.

They place an emphasis that U.S. President, Harry Trumen appointed warmonger, the Gen. Douglas MacArther and commanded reorganization of military for provacation in Korean peninsula. To back up their argument, they presented the fact that the U.S. reviewed the whole war sceanarios and issued NSC-68, reflecting on U.S. hegemony. NSC-68 was a classfied report which guided U.S. behavioral directions in the formative stages of the Cold War, which has become one of the classic historical documents of the Cold War.

The Roh-dong newspaper argues that the U.S. did military provocations near the 38th parallel, waiting for DPRK to react, with a purpose to pass the buck to DPRK as an initigator of war. It also contends that the Gen. MacArthur summoned Syngman Rhee, the ROK president to give 11 special directions concerning the approaching war as the plan was set up in Feb, 1950.

Well, as we discussed in class, anti-Amerianism in North Korea is no surprising, rather a typical strategy for North Korea. They have made propaganda to instill such an idea to people's mind. Regardless of the fact, it is evident that it must have been played a critical role in maintaining Kim's regime as a solid ground, demonstrating another tier of DPRK politics, which is for domestic control. What a deceitful kingdom it is!

Monday, June 23, 2008

Taepodong 1 and Taepodong 2 missiles

Below are two links to wikipedia articles with details about the Taepodong 1 and Taepodong 2 missiles. I chose the wikipedia articles because they contain the most amount of information on the two missle types. They are really interesting and don't take long to read, so I suggest everyone take a look!

Taepodong 1

Taepodong 2

North Korea's missiles

Here is an article from the Asian Times from 2006. The article discusses North Korea's Hwasong programme and its relatively new Taepodong missiles. Although it is about 2 years old, it is incredibly interesting and suggest everyone reads it.

President Bush & President Kim Dae-Jung Meet in Seoul

I came across this transcript of President Bush and President Kim Dae-Jung's meeting from 2002, and obviously a lot of time has passed since then but there are some interesting things to note, not just in what they say, but how they say it. President Kim Dae Jung's tone seems more respectful almost while Bush seems like he is talking to just any friend at a bbq. Also, I suppose that this quote was not meant to be sarcastic, but reading it in english is rather funny, Kim Dae Jung says " I would like to warmly welcome President Bush and thank him for taking time out of the war against terrorism to visit our country." I found it sarcastic and funny, but im sure that is not the way it was meant. The entire transcript is basically them saying how important their alliance is rather than actually saying anything of substance, which is telling. There really does not seem to be much to say, because America does have such an influence in most South Korean actions. It is worth taking a look at

The Two Births of Kim Jong Il

I was just looking at random things about North Korea and I came across this. Its just a video about the two births of Kim Jong Il. It covers the legend about him coming from Mt. Paektu and the real story about him being born in Siberia.

Capital of Willows Hotel

This is pretty cool. It is a story about a hotel in Pyongyang that would have been extravagant had it not been for the shortage of funding and electricity. Korea had planned on attracting foreign investors and adding casinos and other attractions but now the hotel is unoccupied and is not open for business. It is a massive empty building in North Korea's capital city.

Sunday, June 22, 2008

"North and South Korea play out drab draw in Seoul"

North Korea and South Korea had a soccer match today successfully. The final score was 0:0. Because both countries were already qualified for next round, I think the tied game was better politically. However, I was surprised to see South Korea couldn't defeat the North even when they have way better facility, equipment, and training program. I also could see one player having Japanese name. It's probably because he was whether born or raised in Japan. But North Korea only uses his Korean name while some other forecasts often use both his Korean and Japanese name. I am glad that they were able to play each other regardless of political tension that had been going on.

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Using Disarming Nuclear facility as a SHOW in N.Korea

Here News Article from Chosun

N.Korean government even using disarming nuclear facility in young byun as a Show Event.
N.Korea is plan to explode the Freezing tower of Young Byun Nuke facility. This Exploding event as a symbol of demilitarizing North Korea. Therefore N.Korea is plan to broadcast Young Byun Nuclear facility to outside broadcasting companies as well. Since they allow outside broadcasting company to join the event that they request more money for the United States government.

So far N.Korea is very cooperative to disarming Nuke facility and the U.S. promised to erase their name from the Terrorist countries. Condi will visit S.Korea at the end of June and discuss more about this N.Korea issue.

Such cooperation from the North Korea is very unsual sign which wonders why the N.Korea is so cooperative to this disarming the nuke facility.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Snapshot of Kim Jung-il's second son, Kim Jung-chol

Recently, the Great leader's son, Kim Jung-il's second son whose name is Kim Jung-chol's photos were released to public by Jung Sung-jang, the researcher in Sejong institute.
These photos were taken the days that Kim Jr. went to school in Switzerland(1993-1998).
For his security, he used his pseudo name, Chol Pak.
In the photos, he just looks like an ordinary youth from a luxurious family.
It is interesting that Kim could afford to send his son to Switzerland.
How benevolent father Kim Jung-il is!

As you know, North Korea suffered from extreme poverty during the period he studied abroad.
This is a big contrast, reminding me of the people that we saw in the video clip in class.
Accoring to recent news article, he led a sort of inspection[Geom-yeol] of Cheon-jin city. Allegedly, his amateurish leadership was object of criticism there.

Despite a lot of rumors, the sucession of leadership is still veiled in mystery
Can North Korean people worship him as their fatherly-caring leader, Kim Il-sung and Kim Jung-il?

Well, he is young. (Oh my goodness, he and I are of the same age. Maybe I can be his friend later.) Besides, he is unexperienced, obviously as seen in the recent inspection.
I am skeptical about another inheritance from Kim Jong-il to whoever it is among his distingushed sons. But, who knows. I guess it is wiser to wait and see Kim Jong-il's decision than make a wrong prediction based on unreliable sources.

North and South Korea

Rocket man v Bulldozer

Apr 3rd 2008 | SEOUL
From The Economist print edition

A rapid return to the bad old days of lurid insults and apocalyptic threats

The reason that I chose this article is that most of the time, in the media, whenever North Korea issue is investigated, it comes dominantly attached to the United States. However, South Korea has been the instrumental player by default. The article made me think that South Korea's perspective is instrumental in shaping the tension between North Korea and the United States. For South Korea unification is important because it will enable broken families to reunite. Also, South Korea expects significant amount of economic benefits from the unification. Already, according to the article, South Korean shipbuilders are planning to open up facilities in North Korea. Furthermore, the article mentions that South Korean businesspeople have lots of investment plans in regard to North Korea. I believe this revealed appetite by South Koreans for the unification is making North Korea a tough bargainer before the United States on the matters associated with the nuclear weapons. I believe South Korea should show that it can do good even there is no unification. South Korea should not forget that the way you look at the car in the dealer will not make you bargain effectively on the price of the car.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Kimjongilia and Kimilsongia

We briefly discussed in class the propagation of the Kims’ designated flowers throughout North Korea. I did some further research and found that the flowers actually are unique, having been specially cultivated in hybrid forms.

The Kimilsungia, a hybrid form of the orchid, was presented to Kim Il Sung while visiting Indonesia in 1965. It was taken back to the Central Botanical Garden in Pyongyang to be appropriately propagated.

A few years later, Japanese botanist Dr. Kamo Mototeru recognized the need for a Kimjongilia. He created a new hybrid of the tuberous begonia in his lab in 1988.

The two flowers were planted in large numbers throughout the country. Also, the annual flower show is a special event for North Koreans.

In 1988, the North Korean governments graciously provided outsiders with a 97 page report in English, Kimjongilia: The King Flower Has Appeared and Spread Abroad, on the origin of the flowers and scientific detail. The Japanese cultivator Mototeru himself narrates the essay.

My favorite part is the description of the flowers’ popularity. The essay claims the flowers are spreading quickly throughout the world because all people recognize Kim’s greatness. “Dear General Kim Jong Il has already sent the flowers as gifts to 47 countries in the world, which is evoking great admiration in these countries.” It has even been awarded gold medals at various international flower shows.

Finally, I found a Youtube video of a Kimjongilia Festival.

Sec. Rice said North Korea should soon issue its nuclear declaration

The article here, reports that Condoleezza Rice said today that North Korea should be issuing its declaration of all its nuclear weapons programs fairly soon.  She went on to say that once Pyongyang issues its declaration Pres. Bush will formally tell congress of his plan to move North Korea off the list of state sponsors of terrorism and cease to sanction if under the US Trading with the Enemy Act.  The US, China, Japan, and South Korea are also suppose to be meeting tomorrow to discuss further options.  I really don't see this going anywhere though.  I mean North Korea has already missed the deadline of closing down all of its nuclear power plants.  Let me know what you guys think about it!  

Real Life in North Korea

This film took place in Chung-jin, North Korea, in 2004, about same time when the clip from the class took place. It was filmed by one of North Korean defector privately and of course, without any permission from the government. Compare to life that was projected by the film we watch from the class, this film actually shows drastic life of starving population. I think this is very good insight of what is actually going on inside the North.

Nuclear in NK

I don't know if anyone uploaded this video clip but this is a clip that we saw in the "Hello NK" meeting. Hello NK is a group of people that I gathered to study about North Korea.

This video well explains the Nuclear weapon situation in North Korea.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

"Crossing" : Movie Trailer

This is just a trailer for the film called Crossing. This film portrays a pitiful life of defector and he's dilemma throughout his journey. This film is going to premiere this film on June 26th in South Korea. It actually showed first in Library of Congress on April 28th to celebrate fifth anniversary of North Korea Freedom Week. I hope this film will not only spread the seriousness of food shortage in North Korea, but also encourage North Korean human rights movement around the world. At the same time, I also wish this film will not be used politically.

"Rain" and Stephen Colbert

I know a while ago we discussed the appearance of Rain on the Colbert Report and the reaction it got from North Koreans. I found this article
from the Korea Times trying to explain to the North Korean people why they should not be offended by Rain's appearance on the show, but think of it as a good thing. When reading the article it is interesting to hear how much the author goes into detail in describing Mr. Colbert and what it is about his humor that is intriguing but unoffensive. It strikes me as one more way we can see the way North Korean society is closed off from the rest of the world. Additionally, the author tries to insist that it is a good thing that Rain- who I'm positive most Americans had no idea existed (I certainly didn't) - was being featured on a popular American television program. He doesn't explicitly say this, but by having rain on the show it could open Americans eyes to North Korea not just as apart of the axis of evil, or the face of madman Kim Jong-il, but in a more humanistic view. Yes North Koreans have pop stars just like us, and their music is just as ridiculous as ours.

North Korean Restaurants Growing in Popularity Throughout Asia

North Korean restaurants are growing in popularity throughout Asia. Foreigners, mostly South Koreans, are frequenting these locales to get a glimpse of the “reclusive country, while unable to visit there physically.”

The people who work in these restaurants are all North Korean women, chosen carefully by the regime. They are not only the most beautiful, but also the top graduates at the universities of Pyongyang. They are strictly supervised during their time abroad, and any attempt to escape means deportation for all the employees of the restaurant.

Economically, North Korea is benefitting greatly from the enterprise. “Each overseas North Korean restaurant is said to be allotted a revenue quota to fill, ranging from US$100,000 to $300,000 a year to send to Pyongyang, which makes the total revenue estimation some tens of millions of dollars.” However, North Korean participation in such capitalistic dealings strikes many as ironic.

The following articles describe the situation further.

Asia/ N. Koreans try hand at fine dining

Chillin' as a North Korean Karaoke Bar

Here is a link to this one guy’s blog who was travelling through Thailand and visited a North Korean restaurant on a friend’s recommendation. The video clip on the bottom is interesting.

Finally, this video is actually about North Korea refugees, but they interview North Korean women working at one of these restaurants for effect and contrast. The interview is the first 1.45 sec of this video. Continue watching if you want to learn more about the refugees. It’s a pretty good video overall.

Monday, June 16, 2008 report on Kim Il Sungs funeral procession

I found an article from the New York Times from July 20th, 1994 describing the funeral procession for Kim Il Song
. There were a few things i found interesting about it. First, the title of the piece is telling. Entitled "In Choreography of Grief, North Korea Bids Farewell to Leader". The word choreography directly relates to what we were talking about today. Were people really that upset? was it a ploy by the government, even after his death, to continue to revere Kim Il-Song and show the world and the people of North Korea how great of a leader he was? The New York Times seems to think so.
In addition to this, within the article it also reports that this event was the least censored when it came to news reports. There were live feeds of the procession, marking a dramatic difference from the normally tightly closed society. There was also lots of analysis about signs pointing to Kim Jong-il ascending his father's place.
There is a certain bias within the article - mainly the connotation that the entire emotional outpouring was orchestrated. I find it difficult to believe that the entire procession was truly the will of the people who were there, however it is slightly condescending and hypocritical to think that none of the people there were genuinely feeling those emotions. Have the processions for Lincoln been entirely propaganda? Or even more recently, the outpouring for Ronald Regan, were all those people there because the government told them to? Granted there are IMMENSE differences between American society and North Korean society that makes that comparison unfair, but on a basic level, there are many similarities. The love of a leader is real, whether or not it is extremely exaggerated. But it is an interesting insight into the way American media viewed this event

6 party talks

This really explains well about the negotiations going on in 6 Party Talks.
It shows a graph which explains all six countries' position on NK's nuclear weapons.
This article will help to understand why the 6 Party Talks is having so much difficulties.

Sunday, June 15, 2008

"Juche Girl"

Just to see what was out there, i googled Juche, and found this blog -
It is pretty unbelievable. The user of the blog uses the name of the revered wife of Kim Il-sung, Kim Jong Seok, and every other blog posting is either about Bush or Chaney being the devil, about how wonderful their dear great leader is and at the end of every blog entry it is either something along the lines of "i hate bush" or "I love our dear handsome, wonderful, fantastic etc etc etc leader". Obviously, there is a lot of doubt in my mind about the legitimacy of this blog, but it is really interesting to look at. This image struck me in particular

I hate US

I hate US because US come to Korea and throw babies inside the wells for Bush personal profit.

I hate US.
posted by Kim Jong Seok @ 27.6.06

Support for North Korean Refugees

While reading the wiki article about Japanese abductees, I came across the North Korean Human Rights Act. The act was signed by Pres. Bush in 2004. For some reason, I dont remember hearing about this in the news. Maybe its wasnt that big of a deal? Anyway, here is the wiki article and here is exactly what the act does.

Comment on Apple's commercial

Wait....what? Did that commercial just say its people like Kim Jung-il who are responsible for furthering humanity? I mean they can make the argument its people like Kim Jung-il who help to create more advanced weaponry due to their threat, but advancing the human race? I really hope this is a joke. If not, I might have to switch to Dell.....

Comment on North Korea and Japan talking about abductees

I still cant believe that the North Koreans abducted Japanese citizens, and North Korea has largely gone unpunished for its actions. Here is a wikipedia article about the abductions and what has happened since. I really find the fact that the North Koreans said that they would release 5 abductees if they promised to come back interesting. Does that make sense to anyone?

North Korea Textbooks.

These books are the books in North Korea to teach High school students.

Interesting thing about this is that they learn Math. (The Math book is in the middle of the picture.)

Another interesting thing is that there are many textbooks that teaches about the life of Kim Il-sung.

It is clearly sure that North Korea spends much time in educating students about Kim Il-sung.

Saturday, June 14, 2008

"North defector to run for GNP"

Yeung Seung-Gil, 39 years old North Korean defector, is running for the Grand National Party election in "Seoul’s southwestern ward of Gangseo, where he resides." He claimed that he is going to represent the interest of North Korean defectors. However, he still has to raise about $15,000 to become formal candidate. Even though it is large amount of money for Yeung, he is optimistic that increasing number of defectors (11,696: Estimated by Unification Ministry) will help to raise the money. If he succeeds raising the money, he will be the first North Korean defector candidate in the country's history.

I think this shows how the defectors are starting to adapt to South Korea’s poltical system and try to have some influence in politics. I am uncertain whether Yeung is going to be elected or not. But this still is significant because it shows North Korean defectors are really starting to take baby steps to directly involve in the politics.

P.S- Every defectors gain their South Korean citizenships after they finish two months resettlement training.

N.Korea made Diploma to S.Korean students who killed by U.S. Tank

This shows how deeply the N.Korea is involve with S.Korea's Anti-American Protest.

There was incident that U.S. military Tank in S.Korea accidently ran over 2 middle school students while the military performing training operation in 2002. Therefore they obviously could not finished their education in middle school. So N.Korea made diploma to them as a honor
but this triggers most critical issue in Korea and U.S. relationship. It is great tactic of N.Korea which will touch the hearts of S.Koreans and make them think N.Korea is your family where as the U.S. is your enemy.

Right after this incident happended in 2002, resulted mass protest which is comparable size to this Beef Protest in S.korea thesedays.

N.Korea made diploma to those S.korean student who killed by U.S. Tank which shows great evidence of N.Korea supporting S.Korea's left wingers and Anti- American issue.
Therefore S.Korean government continuously suspect there are some possibility this beef protest is also led by S.Korean Leftist and N.Korea. And they found some evidence of it ; Heads of Left party members continously showed up in the protest also Former president Roh's government controlling system e- Ji Won computer system in his home which only should be preserve for the S.Korean government.

This is the Video Clip made from N. Korea about the diploma they made for the 2 students who killed.

At the beginning of this video, the first word poped up is "우리민족끼리" which means only between our blood, our family. This shows N.Korea is part of S.Korea and we are all one blood therefore kick out the U.S. out of our business.

MEETING between N.Korean spy and S.Korean Leftiest party members

Democratic Labor Party (민주노동당)in S. Korea

This article was originally posted in 2006, but I like to share with it because one of you put a response about my other post questioning about the relationship between S.Korean leftist party and the N.Korea.

First of all, S. Korean Leftist parties' ideology might not be exactly same as the N.Korea's ideology.

But at least from the perspective of the N.Korea, as long as they shares some common idea then they like to cooperate each other. Since there is no mercy from Conservative party towards N.Korea, N.Korea should work with Left wings.

However South Korea's Left party shares exactly same mentality as the North Korean party.
It is not like Stalinist left idea nor Marxism but it is North Korean Socialism. The Left party members are known as 386 generation who directly educated from the North Korean Spies and they full y understand the ideology of the North Korea.

They are the one who eliminate the National Security Law(국가보안법) which catch and watch all the Spies and those people who are cooperate to the North Korea. And they like to eliminate the U.S. military base in S. Korea. These things are all favor to the North. Further more, the former president, Kim Dae Joong's Sunshine treaty is also part of one great favor to the North which support N.Korea economically and any other possible supports.

According to this article, S.Korean Secret Intelligence (국가정보원) found the evidence and found the data when Heads members of S.Korean Left Party(a.k.a Min Ju No Dong Dang, Democratic Labor party) met with N.Korean spies. They were about three head members of leftist party members. According to intelligence, they even visited N.Korea several times. Also there are about 9 more suspicious left wing party members also under investigation.

This is another possibility about the beef protest.

Additional comment about the beef protest would be the S.Korea's former pro N.Korea president Roh.

Before he finished his presidency, he built his village, Bong ha in Southern parth of S.Korea.
The Key issue is within those construction, he did not only built his House but the System of S.Korea. The system that controls all the network in S.Korea. It is the core electronic system of S.Korean government. It is computer data base which contains all the critical elements of the S.Korea. This Known as "e-ji won(pile of intelligence)" system.

This program should not be duplicate in any reason and this program should only sustain and remain in S.Korean government because it is the most important data base of S.korea. But since there are 2 system is running in S.Korea including Roh's therefore there are obvious possibility Roh can access to Government's data anytime which consider to be a hacking. But still he is remain silence and ignoring the Government's warning.

Further more, the price of His house region multipled 49times than before which proves that Roh knows all the critical data of S.korea. Therefore there are some possibility he and his people may influenced S.Korean netizen about the Beef protest though his "e-ji won" program. Since S.Korean are very active in Internet, especially the minihompage things. And no wonder why there were so many Anti-American News Articles posted in those internet hompages where many people visit daily.

APPLE's banned commercial about N.Korea

I found a interesting commercial from Apple about N.Korea which obviously banned from the U.S. goverment.

But it was pretty interesting, worth watching it. So I like to share with all.

Friday, June 13, 2008

Polarity over the U.S.

The Pew Research center, a well-known U.S. survey institute, announced an interesting report this week. This report is about the latest U.S. image viewed by outside of the U.S. based on the survey of more than 24,000 people in 24 countries, conducted March 17 to April 21. This report comprehensively covers other relevant issues such as U.S. comparitive influence vis-à-vis China and favorability of next presidency in U.S.
Particularly, South Korea's favorability toward the U.S. draw my attention in comparison with those of other countries. Surprisingly, South Korea ranks No.1 on this subject.
According to the report, positive views of the U.S. have risen sharply in Tanzania (by 19 points) and South Korea (12 points), and by smaller but significant margins in Indonesia, China, India and Poland. Overall, opinions of the United States are most positive in South Korea, Poland, India and in the three African countries surveyed this year - Tanzania, Nigeria and South Africa.
Here is the report. Click ☆Here☆

What does this outcome tell us?

Well, for the past decade, it is undeniably true that anti-Americanism has rapidly spread into South Korea. That is attributable to several tragic incidents, and the past liberalistic administrations, along with global anti-Americanism. However, I can fully agree with neither S.Korea is too pro-American nor too anti-American. A number of South Koreans still prefer to have U.S. brand products and yearns to study in States. Although this dose not necessarily represent Korea as a whole, this demonstrates us a clear message that democratic S.Korea is fiercely mobilized by these two extremes over the U.S.;
Liberalistic Self-reliance vs. Conservative strategic Alliance.
This severe polarity sickens S.Korean society as one side tries to prevail the other. South Korea is required to find grounds for constructive moderatism.

North Korea agrees to reexamine abductions

Through a bilateral talks between DPRK and Japan in Beijing this week, they reached an agreement to reinvestigate DRPK's abduction cases of Japanese citizens in 1970s and 80s. Indeed, it was such a big stride between two countries since the summit talks between Kim and Koizmi in 2002. Evidently, it must be a big deal between DPRK and Japan. North Korea expected to gain economic benefits from this. As a response, Japan pledged to lift or ease some of economic sanctions against DPRK.

In Japan, the fate of eight still-missing Japanese who North Korea has acknowledged kidnapping has become a national obsession. It has been the biggest lingering obstacle to proceed mutual relaions. North Korea once sent cremated remains of dead abductees to Japan after the summit talk. But the DNA test results demonstrated that remains were not those of missing people, which infuriated Japanese public. Thus, this agreement seems to be another turning point to the relationship. While checking this news, I also hope to hear good news for family members who suffer from NK's abduction in South Korea sooner or later.
Check more about the story from this Washington Post news article. Click →here


I'm no expert, but I think the DPRK won this round.

North Korea's new rich - How the other 0.0000001% live May 29th 2008 | PYONGYANG

According to the article, North Korea, like any other country in the world has an elite class whose member can go shopping like crazy. Yes, in an international fair opened in Pyongyang, the members of this elite club was able to engage exchange transactions, luxury items for dollars. However, as the article mentions, the problem is that because of the emerging global food crisis, North Korea is on a fast track toward another famine because its food distribution system is about to break down while communist elites are showing off their capitalistic abilities. This is not Marx fighting behind the barricades of Paris Commune had proposed. Theoretically, that communism is not compatible with human nature and thus Marx was wrong can be discussed. However, what has been happening in North Korea cannot be used as evidence against Marx.

Another point that this article has brought to my mind is that if the food distribution system breaks down, then, we will cretainly observe an escalation in the nuclear blackmailing practices of North Korea.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

N.Korea supporting S.Korea's beef Protest
(Chosunilbo's article about N.Korea supports S.Korea's beef protest)
(Report's blog shows some evidence of Protest may lead by leftists in S.Korea)

Since S.Korea's new president, Lee Myung Bak is from conservative party which are mostly not cooperative to N.Korea that N.Korea's democratic women organization officially announced their support to beef protest in South Korea.

Also Beefs are from the United States that it is obvious for the N.Korea to support the protest.

N.Korea's democratic women organization not only supporting the protest but also harshly criticized S.korean government. They said S.Korea's government is not rationally made decision and it is a great threat to S.Korean citizens. Therefore we the N.Korean do share some sense of solidarity with South Korean citizens, and we support beef protest.

This N.Korea's announcement actually proves that this protest may was not 100% voluntarily started but there were some opposition people from the left parties in Korea may lead the protest.

There were some pictures from reporter's blog shows, the people from left party most of time they showed up in the protest and they were the people who stand in front of line and lead the protest. Those people are same people who lead the demonstration of destroy MacArthur statue in Incheon.
Therefore now there are some opposition demonstration against this immense beef protest started as well.

There might be some co-relation between N.Korea and S.korean leftist within this beef protest.

Beef Protest

Person in the RED Circle continuosly showed up in every ANTI- AMERICAN protest. Not only this beef protest but also many other anti American protests.

The person, O Jong Ryul is actually the member of S.Korea's Left party.

Beef Protest and S.Korean Police's over reaction protest

Beef Protest

Beef Protest, He is always in front of crowd.

Anti-American Military Base in Korea protest.

Anti American protest about the Korean middle school student ran over by American Tank.

Destroy MacArthur Statue movement, He is also stand in front of crowd.

Who's gonna be the Next Heir of N.Korea?

Kim Jong Il's forth mistress, Kim Oak try to put third son, Jung Woon as next heir of N.Korea.
Kim Oak's biggest rival would be the oldest son, Kim Jung Nam therefore she is using her power to check Jung Nam's division as well.
The Reason Kim Oak is supporting the youngest son, Jung Woon is because of her power sharing in the future. Since Kim Oak and Jung Nam has not much of age difference that Kim Oak may lose her power becuase of Kim Jung Nam's charismatic character. Therefore Kim Oak is secretly supporting Jung Woon as next heir of N.Korea.

Right now, Kim Oak's position in N.Korea is huge that she is taking care of most of Kim Jong Il's work. So there is some possibility that Jung Woon would be the next heir.

Korean Central News Agency: The North Korea Perspective on World News

A news report issued yesterday by the Korean Central News Agency, the official state-run North Korean news agency, claimed the general secretary of the Greek Communist Party had openly defended North Korea and its socialist cause:

Korean People's Struggle Supported in Greece

Pyongyang, June 11 (KCNA) -- Aleka Papariga, general secretary of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of Greece, on June 5 met and had a talk with a delegation of the Workers' Party of Korea (WPK) on a visit to his country.
The general secretary said that the Communist Party of Greece would fully support the struggle of the WPK and the people of the DPRK in the future, too.
The most important task facing the international socialist movement at present is for communist and workers parties of different countries to learn from the experience of the WPK firmly defending socialism at the outpost of the anti-imperialist struggle and take joint steps in supporting the Korean people's just cause, she added.


Interestingly enough, I found no evidence of such a meeting in any other sources, including the Greek Communist Party’s website (

The language in the clearly fabricated N Korean story is fascinating, particularly the last line “joint steps in supporting the Korean people's just cause.” I encourage you all to further browse the Korean website as it gives a good glimpse of the everyday propaganda that circulates throughout the country.

North Korea has boxing

This is a short article from ESPN talking about two North Korean women who defended their boxing titles. For some reason I never pictured North Korea having women boxers.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

"(4th LD) N.K. reaffirms commitment to anti-terrorism as U.S. change of terrorism list draws near "

North Korea officially claimed through Korean Central News that "Upon the authorization of the government, the DPRK Ministry of Foreign Affairs clarifies that the DPRK will firmly maintain its consistent stand of opposing all forms of terrorism and any support to it and fulfill its responsibility and duty in the struggle against terrorism as a dignified member of the United Nations, in the future."

During the Six-Party-Talk in last October, South Korea, Japan, United States, Russia, and China requested North Korea to close down all of nuclear facilities that could create nuclear weapons and summit official document of all nuclear programs by end of the year. In return, they promised for "removal and other political and economic rewards." However, North Korea didn't follow the requests and claimed that U.S must remove North Korea from terrorist state. (North Korea became terrorist state after they bombed South Korean plane that had 115 innocent people.) U.S agreed that if North Korea does as they request, they will remove North Korea from the blacklist.

On last Tuesday, Kim Sung, a director of the U.S. State Department's Office of Korean Affairs, received 18,000 pages of documents. Now, U.S specialists are reviewing the documents to find out whether it's correct or not. As it is closer for U.S to decide whether to remove North Korea from the blacklist, North Korea reaffirms that they are not terrorist country and will not support any terrorist groups, but actually support to fight against them.

I think this is very interesting, especially after Dr. Larsen said one of the reasons why North Korea is keeping the nuclear weapon was that growing fear of U.S attack after they claimed North Korea as axis of evil. I was, in fact, very surprised to see how North Korea is making big deal about whether they are terrorist country or not. Really, does it matter? I guess it does, but North Korea still will be North Korea, an enemy, unless they become democratic country or something really really really dramatic happens, like U.S becoming communist state.

N.Korean Car company Pyung Hwa

Pyung Hwa motor company is known as cooperative company with S.Korea. Therefore their new car, Junma looks exactly same as S.Korean automobile company, SSANG YONG's Chairman.
Since there is no modification on Junma which resembles exactly same as SSANG YON's chairman, it seems N.Korea is learning how to make modern automobiles from S.Korea.

N.Korea's cars are very old, even Kim Jong Il's limo are old Mercedes Benz. This shows N.Korean economy is not stable and capability of automobile industry in N.Korea is poor.

Report Reveals US Allegations against UNDP in NK are Unfounded

On June 2, 2008, a report issued by the UN's External Board of Auditors disproved allegations made by the United States Mission to the United Nations (USUN) and the US Senate Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations that the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) in North Korea operated with inappropriate staffing and insufficient administrative and fiscal controls. US accused North Korea of taking advantage of the poor UNDP management and, according to the Subcommittee report, executing "deceptive financial transactions by moving $2.72 million of its own funds from Pyongyang to DPRK diplomatic missions abroad through a bank account intended to be used solely for UNDP activities and by referencing UNDP." The United States called for greater transparency and "unfettered access to financial and management audit reports about UNDP activities."

The latest report issued last Monday by the External Board of Auditors, served as a rebuttal and called the United States reports as baseless. The lengthy report proves UNDP money as accounted for and appropriately distributed within the country. Kemal Dervis, a former Turkish finance minister and member of the panel of auditors, when referring to the US reports, said, "All these allegations, clearly — when you compare it to what is in the report — are either vastly exaggerated or stem from misunderstandings or some of them may be from ill intent," he said.

The UNDP program in North Korea began operations in 1981 and funds have been modest but helpful, especially during the famines of the 1990s. The project was suspended in January 2007, after UNUS first alleged irregularities in the UNDP program. This most recent change of events may allow the program to start up again.

Turkish Minster Dervis's quote is interesting because it portrays the United States as the conniving actor trying to stifle efforts in North Korea. We largely assume that when such an allegation against North Korea is presented, it must be true because North Korea is an corrupt country and likely to try to cheat the UN of money. The United States, however, has its own motives and directing such a strong front against the UNDP's efforts might have been caused by something else.

Here are three useful links to update you all on the situation:

NYT Article: "North Korea Didn't Dupe U.N. Office, Report Says"

US Subcommittee's Report : January 23, 2008

The UNDP Website – Nemeth Report

Saturday, June 07, 2008

Miserable life of one North Korean girl

U.S. Department of State recently released the 8th Annual Trafficking in Persons Report. This 295-page lengthy report covers 170 countries' human trafficking issues in a comprehensive manner. Secretary of State, Rice manifested that this report is key tool in U.S. efforts to abolish heinous human trafficking by raising awareness, offering clear recommendations to combat these crimes, and offering advice and aid from U.S.

It is no surprising that Bush administration's emphasis on human rights in the foreign policy. Yet, I am still amazed by its details and scale of it. The sections of North Korea, particularly, draws my attention. A number of North Korean trafficking are actually conducted by Chinese traffickers and North Korean smugglers. Besides, it is estimated that 150-200 thousand political prisoners are inflicted under severe conditions. According to the report, the DPRK is rated one of the worst countries in the third tier group, along with Oman, Papua New Guinea, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Syria, Cuba, Iran, Algeria, Myanmar and Moldova. Admittedly, North Korean refugees are exposed to the blindspot of human traffiking. The introduction of one North Korean girl, So-young's ill-fated life, demonstrates how vulnerable its situation is. Here is the story.

Nineteen-year-old So-young stands at less than five feet tall after being chronically malnourished in North Korea. A refugee, she crossed illegally into China with hopes of a better life, but found instead a nightmare of sexual exploitation. An“employer” offered her approximately $1.40per day in exchange for work—money that So-young planned on sending back to her family. Deceived by this empty promise, So-young spent the next several months being passed between handlers. Just days before she was to be purchased by a forty-year-old Chinese man, So-young managed to escape with the help of a local pastor. Three years later, she was forcibly repatriated to North Korea where she was imprisoned for six months before escaping once more to China. Traffickers kidnapped her once again, repeatedly raping her prior to her sale. Her new “husband” also raped her multiple times before she was able to escape. So-Young remains in hiding today: “There are many people coming out of North Korea, but they don’t have anywhere to go and no other choice but to go that route into China.”

If you are interested in global human trafficking issues,
please check out the entire report by clicking here.

"DMZ - DPRK Tunnels"

This article shows underground tunnel that was built during 1970's from the North Korea. Most of the tunnels were to be used to transport armies or spies into South, most likely to Seoul. This article provides detailed information and pictures. So I think it's interesting to see how North Korea is active in terms of aggression against South Korea. In the book we are reading for the class, I remember one part where North Korean official told the author that they don't have any intension to attack South Korea, but only to unify peacefully (and, of course, U.S is ‘disrupting’ the peaceful unification). I don't think building an underground tunnel isn't very "peaceful," especially when the tunnel was to be used for military and guerilla tactics.

Friday, June 06, 2008

Lee's Blue House Blue

This course is certainly about North Korea, but it is also important to know its brethren South Korea. As we discussed recent tumultuous political situation of South Korea briefly in class,
thousands of people have taken to streets of downtown Seoul to protest against the President Lee Myung-bak and his decision to renew U.S. beef import. Considering the fact that he won the election by a landslide and took office last Feb., this was such a unprecedented downturn, Prof. Larsen mentioned the other day. Obviously, the matter of how to placate people has emerged as a key question for Lee's administration. The TIME conducted an interview the President Lee at the Blue House on the 3rd Jun, 2008. You can check out the interview by clicking the link below.,9171,1811896-1,00.html

While watching the news from South Korea, this makes me feel somewhat pathetic. Becasue I had to unwillingly witness disunited and factious Korea from this recent phenomenon, reminding me of gloomy moments, the conflict between North and South Korea from 1945-1950. Understandably, this may represent differential dynamics of unyielding Koreans, if I focus only on postive sides. However, regardless of the matter; what is right and what is wrong, Koreans should realize that it is equally significant to admit and respect others who have different opinions. In that point, the current situation shown in South Korea appeared to be grievously polarized. Ironically, this is also a great contrast to North Korea.

Thursday, June 05, 2008

N. Korea Taking Tougher Stance, Ex-Envoy Warns

Washington Post, May 30, 2008 A10

Charles "Jack" Pritchard is a former top U.S. negotiator with North Korea. He worked for both Clinton and Bush administrations. According to this WP article, he claims that Senior North Korean officials told him that "United States should get used to a nuclear-armed North Korea."
Also, the same North Korean officials refuted the recent claim by the Bush administration that they would reveal information about facilities generating plutonium metal. Or they will not reveal any information related to weaponizing the plutonium in North Korea. Also, the North Korean officials argued that based on the agreement they were not required to disclose any information about the nuclear project in Syria. Furthermore, they will also not disclose any information on the number of nuclear bombs that North Korea has. Thus, as the article mentions, very tough days is waiting for the incoming U.S. administration.

N.Korea can not give up Nuke from Chosunilbo

North Korea's unstoppable passion about nuke project finally redeemed through negotiation between North Korea and the U.S. North Korea continuosly wants to keep their nuclear weapon where as the United States and South Korea ask N.Korea to cooperate for nonproliferation of Nuclear weapon.

North Korean spokesperson said, as the U.S. admit the nuclear weapon presence in Israel that the U.S. should admit and acknowledge N.Korea's Nuclear weapon as well. This shows N.Korea's reliance on Nuclear weapon is a key factor for negotiation at the same time it is the core power of N.Korea's military that N.Korea wants to keep Nuke as long as possible.

Additionally N.Korea wants the U.S. to admit N.Korea's nuclear weapon building capability so as the other countries. Also N.Korea questioning the unfairness about NPT treaty where there are some countries still not sign to cooperate NPT such as; India, and Israel then why N.Korea is the only country to be blamed being occupying the Nuke.

Wednesday, June 04, 2008

S.Korean Military VS N.Korean military (South Korean Special Force) (North Korean Special Force)

All Korean men must go to military service. It is unchangeable destiny for all Korean men, whether they like it or not. Men must serve the military because S. Korea and N.Korea is divided in two. Even though there are U.S. troops to support military power, it doesn't mean S.Korea can only rely on U.S. military force. Therefore S.Korea continuously does mandatory draft from S.Korea and spent big amount of GDP on National Defense as well.

On the other hand, North Korea has more soldiers than S.Korean soldiers and U.S. soldiers combined. Also the number of tanks, missiles, ships, and other weapons are out numbered S. Korean military. Therefore keeping U.S. force on S.Korean soil is significant but there were some Anti-American solidiers movement continously occured in S.Korea that about couple years ago, George W. Bush decide to pulled out some military personnel in S.Korea and rather put more efficient weapons like missiles.

Overall military power of S.Korea is 9 th in the world, where as N.Korean military power is 4 th in the world. Compare to size of nation, N.Korean military is very powerful. In N.Korea about 70% of whole population involved with some what military work including teenagers and women.

Some say the reason why S.Korea keeps S.Korean military is when war begins then S.Korean force can maintain the situation about 2 weeks which is about U.S. aircraft carrier will reach to the Korean sea board.
military comparison between North and South in 2000

"South Korean Movie Unlocks Door on a Once-Secret Past"

I just wanted to keep the movie spirit for this week and found another South Korean film that deals with relationship with the North. The movie is called "Silmido" which is the name of island where Korean secret soldiers were trained and lived until they revolt against the government. After Kim Il-Sung's attempts to assassinate Pak Jung-Hee with 31 would-be assassins until they are stopped before they reach the Blue House, Pak also formed 31 specially trained soldiers under Unit 684 to kill the Great Leader of North Korea. Most of the recruits were criminals in death row. However, as relationship between North and South started to get better, Pak decided to get rid of Unit 684 because they know too much about the plan. The movie shows that Unit 684 revolts after they found out the Pak's plan. At the end of the movie (Do not read this part if you want to see this film), they arrive in center of Seoul by hijacking the bus, but everyone gets killed or suicide by grenade.

Even though this story is well believed by most of Koreans, historians and researchers never found documented evidence of this. However, several witnesses came forward and interviewed about the uprising. Brig. Gen. Nam Dae Yeon, the ministry spokesman, admitted that Unit 684 did existed and "Seven died in training and 20 were killed in the uprising," and four survivors were executed. In addition, Yang Dong-Su, a guard who survived from the uprising, told that most of recruits were not criminals in death row but just “petty” criminals. He also said they didn't revolt because they thought Pak is going to eliminate them but because they realized they will never make it out of the island. It is also important to note that when the government recruited them, they guaranteed to give "jobs and money if they succeeded."

This article also noted the fact that lots of spy activities took place during 60's and 70's. Even though there isn't any formal documents, but the lawmakers who "have pushed for compensation for the former spies," claimed that there are about 7,700 spies were sent to North Korea and about 2,400 made back to the South. According to former spy, Jung Gil-Ryong, said that even when they make it back to the South, they don't get the treatment as they deserve but the government mostly ignore the fact that they exist.

I surely believe spying from the South and North were very active, and probably it still is. This incidents portrayed by the film illustrate the tension between North and South and critics South Korean government's irresponsibility of their action. I really enjoyed watching this movie and hope everyone will have chance to see it as well. Even though general plot is very depressing, there are some breaks between the films. Another movie that I want to recommend that is related to this course is called Tegukgi which portrays the story of two brothers during the Korean War. Trailer) (Tegukgi Trailer)

JSA Video 2

If you can make it past the first minute or so of the same information from the previous video, the rest is a Q and A with the American guards giving the tour. 

JSA Video

This is a video for the Joint Security Area (JSA). It is pretty cool watching a first hand account of what goes on at the only place where North and South Koreans interact with each other on a daily basis.

Check it out:

Tuesday, June 03, 2008

The Korean War

The Korean War is often referred to as a forgotten war since it was less spotlighted than two previous World Wars. However, it was very significant point in world history. Whether it was intended or not, it created the frame of the Cold War between two major powers, namely the U.S. and the U.S.S.R. The Korean peninsula is still divided between the North and the South as a remant of the Cold War. As discussed the transitional period between the liberation and the outbreak of war, the split national voice - largely triggered by foreign powers - ended up with tragic war.
Today, I would like to share 15 video clips -5 min each- which cover from the outset to the end of the Korean War. I am sure that it will provide you with an overview helpfully and intriguingly.
Please enjoy them!

Trouble on the horizon


Protecting Pusan

Incheon Landing

The Road to Seoul

The 38 Parallel

The Chinese surprise

The frozen Chosin

South Bound

The real M.A.S.H.

Shifting the balance

The iron Triangle

Pressure for peace

The air war

The war winds down