And on the North Korean nonsense front…

  • red sparrow

    Re: the twittering twits.

    “It’s almost inconceivable that South Koreans will actually buy into North Korea’s propaganda and start following their ideology,” said Kim Yong Hyun, a professor of North Korean studies at Dongguk University in Seoul.

    I will tell you what is inconceivable: That a professor of N. Korean studies can be so divorced from reality. What the f*ck planet does this person think they live on?

  • Craash

    hehehehe – That was fun!

    I clicked on all Uriminzokkiri youTube clips (some just uploaded 14 hours ago} and gave them all a thumbs down and flagged them all as inappropriate.

    I can’t believe that have 600+ subscribers ??

    Chosun Ilbo – reports NK said: ” The unification tax put forward by a traitor derived from delusions of an emergency in the North. The South will pay dearly for the reckless remarks born of rebellious motives.”

    Yeah, what will they do now? open a Facebook account? MySpace?

  • DLBarch

    Peter Noever is a baffoon. The irony is that if he had just shut up and let the show of North Korean propaganda “art” go forward without his drivelling commentary, it would have been something of a coup for his Museum of Applied Arts. Instead, we have a farcical apologia substituting as art commentary, and overshadowing what could have been a telling indictment of “cutlure” under the Pyongyang regime.

    Or as Simon Schama might say, “It has a culture, but not a high culture.”


  • Granfalloon

    Re: the North Korean social media business . . . I say great. South Korea has a huge advantage of the North in cyberspace and IT. The more the North uses cyberspace, the more vulnerable they are. Seriously, how hard would it be for South Korean government-sponsored hackers to hijack North Korea’s accounts? The only real problem would be how to keep American and Chinese pranksters from beating them to the punch.

    As for that art show in Vienna, well, I usually support all kinds of outlandish things that the art community does, but I draw a line when they start taking themselves too seriously. Neal Stephenson said it best: “When art starts getting political, it stops being art very quickly.”

  • milton

    South Korea has a huge advantage of the North in cyberspace and IT. The more the North uses cyberspace, the more vulnerable they are. Seriously, how hard would it be for South Korean government-sponsored hackers to hijack North Korea’s accounts?

    I don’t believe the Uriminjjokggiri franchise is run out of Pyeongyang. If I remember correctly, it’s run by the Chongryeon in Tokyo and/or Alejandro Cao de Benes. North Korea’s Gwangmyeong Intranet still remains isolated from the greater internet, though some top-level officials may have Internet access (KJI famously asked Madeline Albright for her email address during her visit to NK). Until North Korea opens up the Gwangmyeong, I’m not sure how vulnerable they are to cyberattack.

  • Granfalloon

    I stand corrected. Still, I can’t imagine North Korea has more people involved in running cyberwarfare ops than South Korea. Wherever those accounts are being operated from, they are vulnerable.

  • CactusMcHarris


    Very nice penultimate sentence in the last item. It’s a sad situation, and it’s getting more perverse.

    Does anyone know how the recent flooding problems in China have affected North Korea?

  • milton

    It turns out that Han Seong-ryeol—the South Korean pastor who has been on an unauthorized visit to North Korea for the past few weeks—is actually South Korea’s Benedict Arnold and living proof that South Koreans do buy into the North’s propaganda.

    During a press conference in Pyongyang, Han told reporters that he “now realizes that the Military First Politics is peaceful.” This guy is a traitor. Let’s hope South Korea never lets him back in.

  • Jieun K

    I remember back in the days when my father would utter something like bulsunbunja, and I’d go, “Oh, please.” Now, I say it myself. And with fury. Haha.

    God, those ******** What a ******* mess we’re in. (CENSORED BY CYBERPOLICE)

    How’s work been this week, Milton?

  • Jieun K

    Come to think of it, that moksa guy must be retarded. Or just plain gullible. I’d like to figure out how his feeble mind comes to such an erratic conclusion that a “Military First” policy is in fact “peaceful.”

    Anyone got any thoughts?

  • milton

    How’s work been this week, Milton?

    Jieun, work has been hell…I hardly have enough to time comment on the Hole! We;ve got new employees coming and I gotta train’em this weekend, and I’ve had to prepare all the training materials this week. Plus lots of deadlines from other facets of my work. I feel a case of 과로병 coming on. How about you?

    I wish I knew what motivated people like Han. Gullible? Retarded? Probably a little of both. There’s really no excuse for such apologia. How one can support a regime that has murdered millions, keeps tens of millions more in a prison, and threatens the safety and livelihood of your own compatriots is beyond me.

    Anyways, if you haven’t seen it yet, here’s that video from Sinuiju:

    The most surprising thing is how normal that market looks. It reminds me of the markets of HCMC or Phnom Penh. Hopefully, that’s where the future of the North Korean people lies.

  • Jieun K

    First, let me remind you of three basic things to do—among others—for your health: 1. Eat on time. 2. Eat well. 3. Sleep well. It’s easier said than done, so try consciously to make a habit of them. Taking vitamin C every day will sure do you good, too. I know this is indeed basic stuff, but there you go.

    Thanks for your thoughts and the video link, Milton. I wish I knew any of the possible answers to this everlastingly, hopelessly intricate knot on the peninsula. I kind of set my sights on understanding it, and hopefully figuring out a way to disentangle it—a humble wish of a Korean, if you will.

    I’ve been thinking about and researching on minjok this week. I want to home in on the ultimate question by the end of August if I could.

    Be sure to give yourself a well-deserving rest on the weekend.

  • yuna

    Looky here the lucky bugger in 꽃밭. I think this one is more gullible than retarded. Look at the two other photos as well by clicking on the thumbnail at the top. I wonder why they didn’t take him in for questioning at the Panmunjeom.

  • yuna

    However, his gullibility got him in a good position with the ladies, looks like.

  • Arghaeri

    Is the old one a chaperone?

  • Robin Hedge

    I’m bothered that the ROK gov’t is trying to ban citizens from seeing the DPRK propaganda on Twitter and YouTube. In this case the medicine seems far more dangerous than the disease. Why not try something novel and treat South Korean citizens like adults in an open democratic society?

  • thekorean

    Why not try something novel and treat South Korean citizens like adults in an open democratic society?

    *obligatory* Because the current administration does not know what an open democratic society looks like. */obligatory*

  • Robin Hedge

    Yes thekorean, I concur. It’s pathetic. And we wonder why South Koreans, progressives and conservatives, have a warped view of the North and high school students don’t know when the 6.2.5 war started, despite the name…

  • Arghaeri

    Give me clue, June 2nd 5AD…. 6AD February 5th, I’m confused…..

  • Robin Hedge

    Excuse me Arghaeri I meant 6.25 — as in June 25, 1950. A recent-ish survey showed that a large number (a majority?) of South Korean students didn’t know when the “June 25th” i.e. Korean War started.

  • Sperwer

    the current administration does not know what an open democratic society looks like.

    Oh, they know very well what it LOOKS like. But neither they, nor the ostensibly democratic opposition, have any interest or intention actually to implement one in Korea

  • Brendon Carr

    None of the three Kims, the great “democrats”, was all that liberal. Democracy, to Koreans, means replacement of one set of tyrants with another, nearly indistinguishably illiberal, set of tyrants. In the Korean political experience liberation from oppression is only possible for the new oppressor. A shame, really.

  • Arghaeri

    Thanks Robin, didn’t know they called it that, so as you say pretty hilarious they don’t know when it started.

  • Robin Hedge

    True Brendon, sadly. Any potential cures? It’s just absurd. Too bad I’m prohibited from posting my opinion on South Korean sites (along with 99.5% of the planet’s population).

  • Brendon Carr

    I don’t think there is a cure, except for the people to stop being Korean as Koreans understand what it means to be Korean. My own wife is so unbelievably tyrannical towards her children (and me) as to beggar belief, while all of my Korean friends report the outrageous behavior as completely normal.

  • Robin Hedge

    Ah yes, Minjokjuija’s beloved “folkways.”

  • Sperwer

    Minjokjuija’s beloved “folkways.”


  • Sperwer

    I don’t think there is a cure, except for the people to stop being Korean as Koreans understand what it means to be Korean.

    It’s happened before, though (per Martina Deuchler and John Duncan) it did take the Confucian ideologues several hundred years to confusionize Korea – so I wouldn’t hold my breath

  • Minjokjuuija

    New World Order Soros-speak such as “open democratic society” and everything they represent need to be resisted.

  • Robin Hedge

    Minjokjuuija, I’d have hoped for something more creative, and smarter to be honest. Instead you hand us this ridiculous bit of demagogic conspiracy tripe?

    First off, what does Soros have to do with a “New World Order”? Maybe you’re just regurgitating dishonest Glenn Beck-isms (or “memes”)? I searched Soros and “New World Order” together (not seeing any valid connection) and the most likely likely culprit was a Glenn Beck swill whose ingredients, if analyzed, would likely show that you’re into a sipping from a pretty poisonous “memeplex” this time.

    Second, I’d like to question why you oppose an “open democratic society.” To begin with, “open society” is Karl Popper’s term, not George Soros’, so your attribution is wrong. That said, the term “open society” isn’t really dependent on the more technical aspects of Popper’s thought.

    In fact the memetic terminology and thought so dear to you was created by Richard Dawkins, vice president of the British Humanist Association (BHA) and expanded mainly by Susan Blackmore, a “Distinguished Supporter” of the BHA. Now, the big problem for you is that the BHA’s self-stated goal is to “campaign for an open society.” So I conclude, dear Nationalist, that thou art full of it, though often in an interesting and entertaining way.

    Minjokjuuija, are you not pro-dictatorship? Many smart people have been. And isn’t dictatorship and authoritarianism a “Korean folkway”? Or are you, in fact, a believer in democracy, that Western import? I’ve really wondered what you believe in beyond “Korean-ism,” itself like most cultures a patchwork of borrowed social norms and attitudes.

    If you are indeed pro-democracy, let me ask how you propose a democracy can flourish without an open society including, especially, freedom of speech and information? I hold that it cannot, since democracy means ultimate rule of the government by the people, and that people who cannot speak, listen or see freely are by definition incapable of making informed decisions.

    Also note please that an open society or a democracy doesn’t suggest much about any necessary economic order. There can be democratic capitalism, democratic socialism or any other number of possible democratic economic and cultural orders. But a closed society can’t, in my view, remain truly democratic.

  • Robin Hedge

    So anyway, Minjokjuuija, for you to believe in memetics and also be against an open society, it seems you either have to be a cultural supremacist or a cultural relativist who believes that cultures should stay put.

    If this is confusing, please note that I’m extending comments which, as I write, are “awaiting moderation,” so please refer to them later if this comment reaches the thread before the others.

    I noted in those comments that Richard Dawkins and Susan Blackmore — the main memeticists along with Daniel Dennett — are prominent members of the British Humanist Association, a group expressly dedicated to promoting open society, a concept which you claim must be “resisted.” You are therefore at odds with the inventors of your favored intellectual technology — memetics. I was a little unfair in my claim that this made your opposition to open society look insincere or contradictory, so I decided to consider the political ramifications of the memetic model. And again it seems you only have two main options: to be a cultural supremacist or to be a cultural relativist who thinks all memes are equal but that they should stay put, I imagine to develop indigenously.

    But then, both of these positions are easily defeated if the use of logic is permitted.

    Your escape hatch here, should you not be disposed to options one or two, would seem to be a claim that you are of course in favor of an open society and democracy, but that you were simply accusing *me* of wielding the terms insincerely as a Trojan Horse to invade “your” Troy with “my” Achaean army of corrosive memes, and thought well to throw in a little crypto-hate speech while you were at it, n’est-ce pas?

  • Sonagi

    Dang, Robin, reading #31 made me dizzy. I need to meditate to clear my bewildered mind.

  • cmm

    Minjokjuuija, I’d have hoped for something more creative, and smarter to be honest. Instead you hand us this ridiculous bit of demagogic conspiracy tripe?

    Why would anyone have expected that?

  • Above Criticism

    Note to Minjokjuuija: #30 and 31 are excellent examples of how to make sophisticated, academic arguments without sounding like a pretentious twit.

    Of course, it helps if your arguments aren’t dumb to begin with.

  • Minjokjuuija

    Robin Hedge,

    I’m aware of who originated those terms and their personalities and politics. I don’t “believe” in “authoritarianism” or “dictatorship” or “democracy.” I don’t know where I accused of you anything or used “crypto-hate speech.”

  • CactusMcHarris

    I haven’t seen it yet reported here (probably overlooked it), but North Korea has joined Facebook.

    Being a neophyte, and happy to stay there (Life is too short the Face), I leave it to you more social-networking-adept posters to tell me, how does a country join Facebook?

    Does it just create a page, say what it’s doing (‘devalued the won, sunk a warship, shot three more escapees’) and invite you to give it a hug?

  • CactusMcHarris

    ”Life is too short for the Face.’

  • Robin Hedge

    Hey there Minjok, don’t sweat it too much. It’s not as if I don’t like you, even though I think I disagree with most of your ideas. What was the hate? Hating on Soros for invalid reasons and attaching him to the “New World Order” conspiracy thing, to me it’s a kind of hate speech. Anti-Soros talk can often be a kind of crypto-antisemitism, making a goblin out of the fearsome “Jewish financiers” (like the Rothschilds) stuff that leads some Koreans to have a twisted and conspiracy-minded view of Jews.

    But you say you’re not pro-dictatorship and not pro-democracy. However you’re clearly not apathetic or even agnostic when it comes to these things. What do you believe in?
    And then what is it that you think must be resisted?

    You see, I find your comments interesting, but I don’t really understand what your overall position is.

    Oh btw I wasn’t saying you were calling my arguments insincere, just that if you wanted to avoid being called against open society then you could use the rhetorical argument that I’m was the one who wasn’t using the term “open democratic society” sincerely, and in that way avoid being pinned as either a cultural supremacist or a cultural relativist, both of which could understandably be annoying.

    I was wondering, on the meme tip: since memetics is trying to create a genetics and evolutionary biology of ideas and culture, would it possible to have a kind of “eumetics” — like eugenics or selective human breeding based on ethnicity and so on, but for ideas? Is it possible that you are actually a proponent of such a “eumetics”? It would kind of fit in with the “Nationalist” label (or “ethnic nationalist,” I’m never sure which is the better translation with 민족주의자 since 民族 means something like “ethnicity”).