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Shut. The. Hell. Up.

Correction: I mistakenly linked the second link to Reuters. It is, in fact, from Yonhap.

This has me apoplectic.

Yonhap has a piece on it, as does Xinhua, but neither do ex-president Roh Moo-hyun’s address today justice. The Hankyoreh’s English site will post a fuller piece later, but even that doesn’t give a full account of the address, the complete text of which is linked above.

No, I will not translate it — if I want to translate crap like this, I’ll just visit the KCNA, where the rhetoric is at least entertaining.

Hey, Joshua! I think he’s talking to you!

흡수통일은 평화통일인가?
결과적으로 그렇게 되는 것은 평화통일이 될 수도 있을 것입니다. 그러나 흡수통일을 전략으로 삼아서 상대 권력의 붕괴를 추진한다면 그것은 북한을 자극하여 평화통일을 깨는 일이 될 수 있습니다.
탈북자 문제, 북한의 인권 문제를 다룰 때 조심스럽게 접근해야 하는 이유입니다.

만일에 그런 일이 생긴다면 그 결과가 어떤 방향으로 가게 될지 예측하기 어려운 위기상황이 될 수도 있고, 통제하기 어려운 재앙이 될 수도 있을 것입니다.
그럼에도 북의 붕괴를 획책하는 발언과 행동을 하는 사람들이 적지 않습니다.
생각이 짧은 사람들입니다.

Here are some lines that should spook the living shit out of any US official who had to deal with the man while he was in office. On why North Korea has developed nuclear weapons:

역지사지 한다는 것은 어떤 것인가?
북한이 핵무기를 개발하려는 목적이 무엇입니까? 북한의 처지에서 생각해봅시다.
북한은 주한미군의 주둔과 대규모의 한미 합동 군사훈련에 대해 어떤 느낌을 가지고 있을까요?
한국의 국력과 군사력에 대하여 어떤 느낌을 가지고 있을까요?
우리가 송전을 제안했으나 북측은 받지 않았습니다. 언제라도 목을 조를 수 있는 일이라서 선뜻 받아들이기가 어려웠을 것입니다.
한강 하구나 휴전선 이남에 합작 공단을 조성하자는 주장들이 있었습니다. 과연 북쪽이 받아들일 수 있는 방안인지를 생각해 보았는지 의심스러운 제안입니다. 여우와 두루미의 우화와 같은 발상이 아닐 수 없습니다.
이렇게 처지를 바꾸어 놓고 생각해보면 사리를 보다 객관적으로 이해할 수 있고, 상대방의 생각도 보다 잘 이해할 수 있게 됩니다.

What about the transfer of wartime operational command? What, it really was to please North Korea?

자주국가가라면 당연히 작전 통제권을 스스로 행사해야 합니다. 그것만으로도 작전 통제권을 환수해야 할 이유는 충분합니다. 그러나 작통권 환수는 그 이상의 의미가 있습니다.
언젠가 한반도 평화체제에 관한 협상을 하게 될 것입니다. 여기에 작통권도 가지지 않은 나라가 참여한다는 것이 시비꺼리가 될 것입니다. 북한은 한국보다 미국을 더 불신하고 두려워합니다. 유사시에 미국이 작통권을 행사하는 상황은 북한을 더욱 두렵게 하여 남북 간 대화와 협상이나 신뢰에 도움이 되지 않습니다.
동북아 평화구조를 위해서는 다자 안보 대화가 필요합니다. 그런데 미국이 한국군에 대한 작전 통제권을 행사하고 있는 상태라면, 이 대화 체제에서 미국이 너무 커보이게 되고 이것은 다자 체제에 도움이 되지 않을 것입니다.
그 중에서도 나는 작통권의 환수를 남북 간의 신뢰구축에 중요한 요소로 생각하고 추진하였습니다.

And I don’t know whether I should laugh or cry at this:

국가주의 사고를 넘어서자.
앞에서 말했듯이 전통적인 국가관을 그대로 따르면, 국가권력의 일부를 양도하자고 말하는 것은 반역입니다.
그런데 지금 유럽에서는 유럽의 통합을 위해 주권의 일부를 양도하는 실험을 하고 있습니다. 그들은 미래를 위해 국가 주권의 의미와 가치를 새롭게 사고하고 있는 것입니다.
우리도 진심으로 통합을 성취하고자 한다면, 새로운 사고를 해야 합니다. 통합을 위해서는 주권의 일부를 양도할 수도 있고, 양보가 항복도 이적행위도 아니라는 인식을 수용해야 합니다.
그렇게 하지 않고는 평화통일을 말해서는 안 됩니다.
진정으로 통합을 하려고 한다면 진정한 사고의 전환이 필요한 대목입니다. 국가주의 사고를 넘어서야 합니다.

Forget that this man hasn’t even been out of office a year and he’s already shooting off his big mouth. It just sends shivers up my spine that this man actually led the country for five years.

Grand National Party spokesman Cha Myung-jin was just as apoplectic as I am.

UPDATE: Remember, children — it’s not just name-calling when it really is appeasement:

6자회담에서 북한의 입장을 최대한 지원했습니다. 각종 국제회의에서 북한을 비난하는 발언이 나오면 최대한 사리를 밝혀서 북한을 변론했습니다. 개별 정상회담에서도 한 시간 이상을 북한을 변론하는데 시간을 보낸 일도 있습니다.
북한을 자극하는 발언을 최대한 자제했습니다. 때로는 자존심 상해도 참았습니다.
이 모두가 신뢰를 확보하기 위한 것이었습니다.
물론 북한의 보답은 빠르지 않았습니다. 그러나 그렇게 해서 남북관계는 크게 확대되었습니다.
결국은 정상회담도 할 수 있었습니다. 정상회담에서는 많은 합의가 있었습니다. 한 번의 정상회담에서 합의한 내용의 크기를 평가하면 양적으로나 질적으로나 유례를 찾기 어려운 기록일 것입니다.
BDA만 아니었더라면 정상회담은 훨씬 일찍 열렸을 것이고 남북관계는 훨씬 앞으로 나아갔을 것입니다.

This I WILL translate:

At the six-party talks we supported the North Korean position as much as we could. At international conferences, when remarks critical of North Korea arose, we argued for North Korea with as much logic as we could. At summit meetings, we even spent over an hour arguing for North Korea.

We avoided as much as we could statements provoking North Korea. Sometimes, we had to endure even if our pride was hurt.

We did this all to secure trust [with North Korea].

Of course, North Korea did not pay us back quickly. But by doing so, North-South relations expanded greatly.

Ultimately, we could hold a summit. At the summit, we made many agreements. If you evaluate the amount of agreements made in just one summit, it would be a record difficult for which it would difficult to find parallel, either quantitatively or qualitatively.

If it weren’t for just the BDA issue, we could have held the summit much earlier and brought the North-South relation forward much more.

Speechless, I am. Speechless.

About the author: Just the administrator of this humble blog.

  • dori

    The only path to reunification is to take North Korea with full military force. I think with the poor oil reserves in North Korea, they virtually will not have operational Navy and Air Force. North korea will be just foot soldiers. large majority of this foot soldiers consist of children and women. also if you give food over bullets im sure they will surrender.
    anyhow, crushing north korea will be quite easy.

  • http://mithridates.blogspot.com/2008/10/blog-post.html mithridates

    That’s pretty wacked out. Very glad he’s out of office.

    “북한의 핵무기개발은 북한의 자위를 위한 어쩔 수 없는 수단이다.”

    I think my favourite image of his presidency was that talk he gave about how he didn’t want to be the first president to resign early with his hands in his pockets and all slouched over in front of the mic.

  • cm

    So he’s basically saying that it’s all South Korea’s fault for not being able bring North Korea back to civilization. It’s always have to be South Korea that has to understand and yield to North Korea.

    지 난 2005년 9,19 선언은 북핵 문제 뿐만 아니라 ‘동북아 평화를 위한 구상’이 들어 있었습니다. 그런데 그 다음날 깨져 버렸습니다. BDA에 대한 미국의 재제조치 때문이었습니다. 그리고 핵실험이 이어졌고, 북미 회담은 2년 이상 지체되어 버렸습니다. 비싼 대가를 치른 것입니다.

    It’s all US’s fault that North Korea developed the nuclear weapons. Nothing to do with his misguided Sunshine capitulation policy. Nothing at all.

    2007. 10. 4. 선언은 이념적, 정치적 성격은 거의 없고 실용적, 실무적 내용으로 된 선언입니다. 그런데 이명박 정부는 이 선언을 존중하지 않고 있습니다. 그 결과로 남북관계가 다시 막혀버렸습니다. 관계를 복원하는데 많은 시간과 부담이 들어가야 할지 알 수 없습니다. 분명한 것은 관계 복원을 위해 허겁지겁 이런 저런 제안을 하는 모습이 좀 초조해 보입니다. 그야말로 ‘자존심 상하게’ ‘퍼주고’ ‘끌려 다니는’ 모습이 되지 않을까 걱정됩니다. 자존심 상하고, 퍼주고, 끌려 다닌다, 이런 비난은 지난 10년간 한나라당의 전매 특허였습니다.

    It’s all Lee Myung Bak’s fault that relationship with North Korea is going down hill. North Korea has done absolutely nothing wrong. Roh should be the last person to talk about pride. No such humble pie that he advocates so strongly to reserve for North Korean, were ever shown for Japan or the US.

    Roh is now a keyboard warrior. Does anyone know where his new site (the site that he created and now spends all day and all night writing on) is? I’d like to give him a piece of my mind.

  • slim

    Looks like he’s going for the full Jimmy Carter effect, both in office and after.

  • lupin_the_4th

    Why can’t the non-capitalists get some balls and do the things they propose?

    RMH couldn’t make South Korea fully-communist (or whatever the north is) within 5 years… screw him.

    Seriously – if North Korea is that great MOVE THERE NOW.

  • cm

    Roh keeps talking about EU and their cooperation with each other and asks why South Korea can’t do the same in North East Asia. Well, does EU have countries like North Korea and China to deal with?

    Nevermind North Koreans, what country in the world have coast guards that get beaten up by illegal fishing boaters from China? Is this what Roh means when he wants South Korea to throw away all pride and on their knees to grovel in front of their enemies? Is that going to make North Korea and China look at South Korea with cooperation and understanding or will they think of South Korea as useful weak tools? I bet the latter.

    What has happened to this country? It wasn’t always like this.

  • NewYorkTom

    #5 What happened is the negatives that come with our so-called democracy. I miss the good ole days when the police would round up fuckers like RMH and beat their asses for breaking our National Security Laws.

  • inkevitch

    “Keeping a promise is basic to all human relationships. The result of international negotiations is an especially grave and heavy promise,” Roh said, apparently urging the government to abide by the summit accord.

    Tell that to the goons that restart the reactors in NK every few years. Infact it is probably on of the least self-aware lines I have seen a (former) leader of a country say. It would explain how he was such a useless POLITICIAN though.

  • red sparrow

    “… throw away all pride and on their knees to grovel in front of their enemies?…

    … It wasn’t always like this.”

    Yes it was.

  • http://rjkoehler.com Robert Koehler

    What has happened to this country?

    Can’t fault the country too much. They did elect LMB and a GNP majority, after all.

    The question is, what’s Roh thinking? For an ex-president, the man has absolutely no class.

  • SomeguyinKorea

    #10,

    “For an ex-president, the man has absolutely no class.”

    In his defense, he’s uneducated and was far too inexperienced to have been president in the first place.

  • http://dramman.blogspot.com Dram_man

    Being lazy I hit the translate button, and part of the translation was this barb: “People think you are short.”

  • timmy

    I’m actualy glad Roh and the other pro-north leftists are speaking their mind so freely nowadays. For so long, Korea has suffered from the subversive schemes of the pro-north activists who carefully masked their true communist ideologies by expousing run-of-the-mill liberal ideas. The true liberals of Korea have thereby been hopelessly muddled with the pro-north communists. I think it’s imperative that we now be able to delineate between the liberals, socialists, and communists, and let the people decide for themselves which ideas, views, or arguments make more sense. These types of revealing statements by the likes of Roh(gotta give him points for honesty) help inject the communists’ views into the so-called marketplace of ideas, and their views, standing alone and not piggybacking on truly liberal ideas, will eventually be driven out by market competition.

    To be fair, the majority of the things said by Roh are arguments often heard from the North Korea hands in the U.S. who tend to be critical of American policies toward North Korea. But of course, it’s one thing to say North Korea is a rational player simply fighting for survival (a position taken by many commentators), and a completely different thing to say that South Korea’s North Korean policy should be one of aiding and abetting the North’s game of brinksmanship.

    As for that last part about national sovereignty, I’ve read it twice and I’m nowhere close to comprehending what it means — feels like I’m reading a transcript from a Sarah Palin interview. But it does remind me of something a liberal scholar once said to me — he said in order to facilitate unification, we should consider having Chinese forces stationed in Korea as peacekeepers.

  • JG29A

    Is there a different fable about a fox and crane here? In the one I know, they can’t eat each other’s food served in the wrong kind of dish. I can kind of force that to make sense in this context, but it really doesn’t.

  • timmy

    It was a personal moment of epiphany, and a unique source of insight into the minds of those who would actually prefer Chinese military presence in South Korea over US presence. Chilling, but once again, doesn’t stand a chance in the marketplace of ideas; not even in Korea.

  • http://rjkoehler.com Robert Koehler

    Timmy — could you reprint the part about China?

    Hey, cm, you read THIS part?

    6자회담에서 북한의 입장을 최대한 지원했습니다. 각종 국제회의에서 북한을 비난하는 발언이 나오면 최대한 사리를 밝혀서 북한을 변론했습니다. 개별 정상회담에서도 한 시간 이상을 북한을 변론하는데 시간을 보낸 일도 있습니다.
    북한을 자극하는 발언을 최대한 자제했습니다. 때로는 자존심 상해도 참았습니다.
    이 모두가 신뢰를 확보하기 위한 것이었습니다.
    물론 북한의 보답은 빠르지 않았습니다. 그러나 그렇게 해서 남북관계는 크게 확대되었습니다.
    결국은 정상회담도 할 수 있었습니다. 정상회담에서는 많은 합의가 있었습니다. 한 번의 정상회담에서 합의한 내용의 크기를 평가하면 양적으로나 질적으로나 유례를 찾기 어려운 기록일 것입니다.
    BDA만 아니었더라면 정상회담은 훨씬 일찍 열렸을 것이고 남북관계는 훨씬 앞으로 나아갔을 것입니다.

    The more I read it, the more speechless I grow.

  • timmy

    JG29A, I guess Roh’s saying that the various proposals, like the one proposing a joint indsutrial complex located south of the border, were not ones that we could expect the North to accept. He’s saying it was like offering a plate of water to a crane or water in a long-necked bottle to a fox. But, of course, he was being his inarticulate self in trying to convey this awesome idea.

  • timmy

    Robert, I was actually referring to the last paragraph you cited in your post; the part that talks about 국가주권. Roh may be alluding to the need to create a unified federation (only a guess), but the concept of giving up national sovereignty (whatever that means) in the context of the Korean peninsula escapes me. All that talk about giving up national sovereignty simply triggered my memory of what I heard about Chinese peacekeepers. Sorry, no juicy quotes to offer on that front.

  • JG29A

    timmy,

    Gotcha, but that lame version of the moral could apply to anything that anyone hasn’t liked, ever. Right?

    For me, I suppose, the key point is that the fox and stork each mistake a problem in delivery for displeasure with the soup itself. What’s especially funny (or scary) is that even after experiencing it on the receiving end, neither recognizes the problem from the serving end. Maybe Roh thinks that the project just needed to be presented with more cultural awareness, but I doubt that…

  • http://rjkoehler.com Robert Koehler

    Timmy — he’s talking about building a federation with North Korea. The giving up of sovereignty ala the EU he’s talking about is with North Korea in order to build a federation. Which, IMHO, is absolutely, positively insane.

  • http://dramman.blogspot.com Dram_man

    Rob> I think what Roh is grasping at is something of a East Asian EU. While in office he made numerous trade ovetures, might have been trying to get something going as the Euorpean Economic Community (a customs union). From this giving up more and more sovereignty until you have a EU like entity (and beyond). North Korea being part of such a union (and incedently spreading the burden of paying for North Korean reconstruction much like EU funding depressed parts of Mediterrian countries).

    Of course the truer orgins of the EU either bring out either how asinine this drivel is, or how scary it is in its presumptions. First the EU countires shared common political and cultural systems. Does Roh propose that he sees an equivlancy between South Korean democracy and North Korean Stalinism? To him this may not be as silly a proposition. One could argue China and Japan are pretty much ruled by a single party (CCP and LDP respectively). Roh could simply be taking facile look at the sytems, and seeing a fallacious equivlancy.

    Second, and a supisition that chills me more, the EU was created partly to counterbalance the homogenizing force of the Soviet Union. That is to say to develop a set of European values (including democracy, human rights, and capitalism) that were difficult to incorporate into the Soviet system. What does Roh see as his homogenizing force to unify against? What will compel a country to give up parts of their sovereignty? Take a wild guess.

    To build upon that, and give a third thought, the EU was to declare what were EU values. Those political and social systems in the EU were simular enough that such were easy to agree to. Even under the small scale of a simple EU North/South unification. What are the common values the two country hold? If Roh indeed sees the moral equivlancy between the two systems, then I am sure that such an entity would not agree with, an may even violate, the forgien policy of parts of the industrialized world.

  • http://dramman.blogspot.com Dram_man

    I should add that based on how I am reading the speech (slowly and inefficently), his equivlancy may be the case. If “Peace” and “Unification” are more incompatable with freedom of speech, the former is more desirable. If “Peace” and “Unification” mean keeping tens of thousands starving in a gulag, so be it since the later are more preferable.

  • eujin

    In general he seems to be saying that he doesn’t believe that forcing the North into a corner is going to work. If we force them into a corner we just destabilize the situation. This just increases the risk premium in this part of the world and requires more troops and weapons to restabilize what has been diplomatically destabilized. Ultimately when they don’t collapse we are only left with dori’s solution.

    That may be a bit classless for an ex-President to go around saying, but he isn’t the only one who thinks so.

    Part of the solution is for the US to sign a peace deal and leave. Wash their hands of the situation. Implement the armistice, especially article IV. For a long time now the North and its apologists have been using the US military threat as an excuse. Whatever the ultimate reason for songun and developing nukes is, they can always cloak it with this justification. Domestically, without the threat, it will be harder for them to maintain these policies without criticism. I don’t know who it was who first introduced nuclear weapons into the Korean peninsula, but places like Burma are clearly less of a strategic problem than North Korea.

    Calling it appeasement makes it sound like the North is about to go on a lebensraum-extending rampage, which as dori points out, just isn’t going to happen. I also don’t think that one needs to buy into the “DPRK is just a rational player” to see the sense in this, and you don’t need to cave in to every demand to make it work.

    I have no idea what he is talking about in the last paragraph. Maybe he’s just gone nuts. It happens to some old people.

    On a lighter side, Since. When. Did. This. Become. Fashionable?

  • http://rjkoehler.com Robert Koehler

    Dram — if the “그렇게 하지 않고는 평화통일을 말해서는 안 됩니다.” line didn’t make it obvious, read the selection again in its context. He’s not talking about an East Asian EU. He’s talking about peaceful reunification with North Korea.

  • eujin

    When thinking about the EU, let’s not forget that Roosevelt thought de Gaulle had all the attributes of a dictator. Also, the EU was created partly to counterbalance the homogenizing force of not just the Soviet Union. Again recall de Gaulle,

    “Oui, c’est l’Europe, depuis l’Atlantique jusqu’à l’Oural, c’est toute l’Europe, qui décidera du destin du monde. ”

    From the Atlantic to the Urals!?!

  • MrMao

    Atlantic to Urals is a commonly used definition for Europe. Beyond them, one gets into Asia. What’s your point?

  • eujin

    de Gaulle was trying to include (part of) the Soviet Union, or at least leaving the door open to them.

    Really what he was trying to do is set Europe up as a pole separate to the USSR and the US. He was just as distrustful of the British (with their Commonwealth) and the US as he was of the USSR.

    http://www.charles-de-gaulle.org/article.php3?id_article=125

  • eujin

    OK, my further point, before this elicits a round of French-bashing, is that even though it may be partly associated with certain half-sane people such as de Gaulle, the European Union, and similar structures, need not be to the long-term disadvantage of the United States, even though part of their raison d’etre is to exclude the US.

  • http://rjkoehler.com Robert Koehler

    This is all fine and good, but really, it has little to do with Roh’s address.

  • eujin

    I think it’s part of trying to see if what Roh is saying makes any sense or whether one should just be apoplectic. The analogy with de Gaulle comes naturally in some sense. Roh’s as afraid of the US as he is of China or North Korea.

  • yuna

    Roh may be “uneducated” but unlike the korean people who put him down for that fact,(although i think home studying to pass the law exam to become a human rights lawyer is not any less of an education than any military school or someone with nothing but political ambition from SKY) he was the president who thinks hard about the position of the everyday korean person, maybe apart from Kim daejung.
    this site has lots of people who complain that s.korea is not being angry about china or north korea as we are with japan or US. it seems plenty other nations like to bash china, and have their axes to grind so korea don’t have to make such a big song and dance about it. as for north korea, it’s undeniable that the N-S relation was at its best during kim/roh and pre axis-of-evil speech era.
    has anyone read the jokey comment made by 전두환 the dictator who was sentenced to death for his “dictatoring” but now lives like a hero surrounded by security to the korean press not so long ago? that IS something to get angry about. a killer and a torturer joking about killing and torturing.
    with some perspective on the s.korean politics one finds that roh is really mr. nice and sane guy, which is might be a sad fact but all in perspective i say.

  • emiminja

    umm….NK keeps on using the word ‘sycophancy’ in its media against SK and 2MB.

    i’m gonna have to quote one of my heroes, inigo montoya.

    “that word, i do not think it means what you think it means…..”

  • R. Elgin

    I’m actually glad Roh and the other pro-north leftists are speaking their mind so freely nowadays.

    This is true. The open discussion of even poor ideas leads to such being shredded and discarded in the heat of discussion. Sooner or later, people realize just what a bad idea really sounds like and they usually leave it alone, thus this sort of discussion should be enlightening rather than disappointing.

  • cm

    “Hey, cm, you read THIS part?

    (all the nonsense Roh wrote, deleted).

    The more I read it, the more speechless I grow.”

    A short blunt translation of Roh’s paragraph: “I kissed Kim Jong Il’s butt while he bent over and I was successful getting a meeting with him”. That’s just about what it meant. What he conveniently forgot to mention is that he forked over billions of dollars of South Korean tax payer’s money for those worthless goodwill meetings. My teeth grit, my jaw bones grip tight, and I have this terrible urge to punch his face whenever he appears on news.

  • redneck hickboy

    They say you can’t rape the willing, and I don’t know how you can say any action the ROK, US, or China takes could ‘force N. Korea into a corner.’

    North Korea is and has been in a corner of its own making for a looong time. All KJI needs is a 16 by 12 Kaczynskci (sp) cabin and a hole in the log wall to stick his shotgun through.

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  • soondae

    #23 ”Part of the solution is for the US to sign a peace deal and leave. Wash their hands of the situation.”

    Amen. Something that should have been done a long long time ago.

  • http://jtb-in-texas.blogspot.com setnaffa

    #11, “In his defense, he’s uneducated and was far too inexperienced to have been president in the first place.”

    Which seems like EXACTLY why we should avoid a certain US Presidential candidate from Illinois whose speeches sound identical to Roh and Carter…

    But then, I was born when Ike lived at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue… What do I know?

    May both the US and South Korean leaders receive the wisdom and inspiration they need to keep those two countries healthy enough to pass on to the next generation…