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So… are you suggesting we DON’T share common values?

The progressive Kyunghyang Shinmun is taking the Foreign Ministry and security-related bodies to task for behaving excessively anti-North Korean and pro-American, saying it reveals obsolete Cold War attitudes.

Firstly, the Kyunghyang took exception with a notice sent to 10 Korean diplomatic legations overseas asking that Korean travelers refrain from using North Korean restaurants.

The embassies had posted notices on their homepages saying that spending money in North Korean restaurants was the same as giving financial support to strengthen the North Korean dictatorship and strengthen its military, and that North Korea uses funds from overseas to maintain its dictatorship and strengthen its military, including the development of nuclear weapons and missiles. The posted notices also said the workers at such restaurants get only about 10—30% of the total, which they receive in won, with all the foreign currency going to the regime. If you use North Korean restaurants, it warned, you make it so that North Korean citizens must continue to moan in pain.

The notices were pulled down after the Kyunghyang started looking into them. An official from the Foreign Ministry told the paper that they were sent out to keep South Korean travelers from potential harm, but given the content of said notices, the Kyunghyang ain’t buying it. It called the notices “very provocative.”

The Kyunghyang also pointed to comments made by Foreign Minister Kim Sung-Hwan, who on June 15 said in comments directed towards Americans that he was sure the Korea—US alliance was a mutual and lasting one based on shared values rather than one based on cold calculations of national interest. He also said the Korea—US alliance would involve even more interest, support and difficult decisions, but we would pay this as the natural cost accompanying the development of the alliance.

The Kyungyang said these statements, as they make the alliance itself the goal rather than making it a tool to promote the national interest, would make uncomfortable China and North Korea, whose values differ from those of South Korea and the United States, and bring to mind Cold War rhetoric.

Marmot’s Note: Well, when you’re faced with a never ending assault on your “pro-North Korean” elements, you’ve got to fight back somehow.

Still, I’m not sure if attacking a guy for stating the obvious—that the alliance with the United States is based on more than just cold interest calculations—is the way to go. Not when you’ve got late President Roh saying this in 2005:

At this meeting, we were able to reaffirm that the Korea-U.S. alliance, based on the common values of democracy and market economy, is strong and that it is developing into a comprehensive, dynamic and mutually beneficial alliance.

To be fair, I’m sure those elements within the progressives who, one would imagine, dream of turning Korea into some sort of East Asian Venezuela probably needed smelling salts after hearing Roh, too. Especially considering he said it standing next to President Bush.

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  • cm

    You see, the problem with the Korean left wing progressives is this. They cannot seem to be able to differentiate between the North Korean government (the bad guys) and the North Korean people (the victims). The Progressives typically think North Koreans are one and the same. So when the government tells South Koreans not to help the North Korean government, the Progressives mistake it as the government telling South Koreans not to help the North Korean people.

    In other words, the Korean Progressives are bunch of delusional cancerous growth who can’t think straight because of they’re racist ideological belief that Koreans are united under one minjok. When the day comes when North Korea finally collapses and the horrible concentration camps that housed prisoners are shown on world’s TV’s, I seriously hope these delusional cancer growths get punished for what they have done (prolong the suffering of the North Koreans by feeding the North Korean government). Just like after what the German citizens who muttered “we did not know”, were forced to view the victims of their concentration camps, the left wing Progressives will too be judged and sentenced by the newly liberated people of North Korea. And the history will not be kind to these North Korea apologists.

  • http://rjkoehler.com Robert Koehler

    On a slightly related note, I thought this column in the Hani was rather amusing:

    http://www.hani.co.kr/arti/opinion/column/538992.html

  • http://vmphotography.com.au hoju_saram

    That was nice of Roh – to state the obvious that the US and Korea share the same values of democracy and a market economy. But I also recall Roh being a petulant fool at a meeting with Bush in 2007.

    Bush said that during his talks with Roh, he reaffirmed the U.S. position that Washington will consider the war formally over only when North Korean leader Kim Jong Il actually dismantles his nuclear program.

    Whatever Roh heard Bush say through his translator, it wasn’t good enough.

    “I think I did not hear President Bush mention the — a declaration to end the Korean War just now,” Roh said as cameras clicked and television cameras rolled.

    Bush said he thought he was being clear, but obliged Roh and restated the U.S. position.

    That wasn’t good enough either. “If you could be a little bit clearer in your message,” Roh said.

    Bush, now looking irritated, replied: “I can’t make it any more clear, Mr. President. We look forward to the day when we can end the Korean War. That will end — will happen when Kim verifiably gets rid of his weapons programs and his weapons.”

    The White House immediately downplayed the testy exchange and said the meeting went smoothly.

  • http://vmphotography.com.au hoju_saram

    I remember watching the above exchange and being amazed at how rude Roh was. The weird thing was the exchange never figured in the news, and even now you can’t find any footage of it.

  • YangachiBastardo

    When the day comes when North Korea finally collapses and the horrible concentration camps that housed prisoners are shown on world’s TV’s,

    I’d like to share your optimism, judging by the countless asinine ultra-leftist parties around the world still displaying communist symbols with pride, it doesn’t seem too likely though

  • Granfalloon

    Oh, after unification, the left will still get a good ten year’s mileage out of whining that unification is only painful, difficult, and expensive because of decades of harsh anti-North Korean policies from the right. Ten years at least.

  • http://www.sperwerslog.com Sperwer

    Anyone who believes/says that Korea and the US share common values, without noting/understanding the innumerable subtle and not-so-subtle ways in which the respective countries differently understand the meaning and implementation of those supposed common values is either a charlatan and/or a a sheep waiting to be ….. shorn.

  • http://askakorean.blogspot.com thekorean

    You see, the problem with the Korean left wing progressives is this. They cannot seem to be able to differentiate between the North Korean government (the bad guys) and the North Korean people (the victims).

    That’s the problem of Korean conservatives, who would rather make North Korean people (the victim) suffer just to punish the North Korean government (the bad guys.)

  • cm

    Listen to the defectors, TK, the progressive government’s economic aid to North Korea failed miserably. The defectors didn’t get a grain of rice. All the aid was funneled to the most trusted North Korean high class and the most coveted military special forces units. Even the regular army had difficulty getting enough to eat. The funding of the North Korean high class is directly leading to the suffering of the North Korean people. But what’s the use, why am I talking to the wall?

  • http://askakorean.blogspot.com thekorean

    Listen to the defectors, TK, the progressive government’s economic aid to North Korea failed miserably.

    How many defectors have you spoken with in your entire life? Have you even met one? And this time, try and actually answer my questions instead of desperately running away to a different point.

    For an easy refutation of your BS, just search for 개성공단 초코파이 on Naver.

  • cm

    To be honest? I’ve met personally exactly one person. But that doesn’t detract from the fact that there are tons of materials of interviews, documentaries, and testimonials by them that are available online and in books. Do I have to be on the moon to believe what the moon looks like? Come on.

  • cm

    As for 자본주의의 상징, 초코파이, only proves my point that North Korea is using food to control their people.

  • http://askakorean.blogspot.com thekorean

    Do I have to be on the moon to believe what the moon looks like?

    You’re the one who told me to go visit the moon.

    But that doesn’t detract from the fact that there are tons of materials of interviews, documentaries, and testimonials by them that are available online and in books.

    Actually, there are tons of materials of interviews, documentaries and testimonials from defectors that completely refute your claim that they “didn’t get a grain of rice.” And I already told you how to find those things.

  • http://askakorean.blogspot.com thekorean

    As for 자본주의의 상징, 초코파이, only proves my point that North Korea is using food to control their people.

    Here comes the delusion again — “the fact that disproves my claim actually supports my claim!”

    You said defectors “didn’t get a grain of rice” from South Korea. Clearly, they got choco pies (at a minimum) from South Korea. So now you are running away to a different claim. It proves your point that North Korea is using food to control its people? Ha! When did you ever make that point in this thread until just now?

  • cm

    No I’m not TK. Those who got such precious gift were 개성공단 workers. Those who got it were high class loyal people in Pyongyang. Those are the people you’re talking about, TK – the first tier class of people who are the oppressors. North Korea is a caste system, it has five levels of society and nobody can move up, they are born into their class, much like India, but in some ways, much worse. But good luck to North Korea’s middle class, the lower class, the class labeled as disloyal, and the lowest of them all, the class labeled as family of traitors born in gulag camps. The vast majority will never see the aid.

  • http://askakorean.blogspot.com thekorean

    Those who got such precious gift were 개성공단 workers. Those who got it were high class loyal people in Pyongyang. Those are the people you’re talking about, TK – the first tier class of people who are the oppressors.

    Wrong again. You want to hear from the defectors? Here is Mr. Joo Seong-ha’s report on North Korean markets: “한국 브랜드의 고추장, 식용유, 밀가루 등도 잘 팔리는 품목이다. 한국 초코파이는 이제는 웬만한 장마당에서 다 찾아볼 수 있는 식품이 됐다. 이건 아예 내놓고 파는 데가 많다. 1개당 북한돈 500원이다.

    I am dying of anticipation to see your next line of BS. Will you tuck your tail and run away? Will you jump to another irrelevant point? Will you make a flatly wrong claim that can easily disproven with simple Internet search? The possibilities are endless.

  • jk6411

    It’s interesting how NK uses gazillions of dollars on its rocket and nuke programs, but still asks for food aid.

  • cm

    #16, TK, I’ve already posted your answer couple of weeks back. I guess you didn’t bother investigating the link I posted here a while back, that counters all your BS. I’ll look for it again and post it again just for you. And yes, some corrupt North Korean military officers funnel portions of the aid to the market – the aid that was supposed to have been distributed free to help the North Korean starving people.

    and jk6411, the rocket they shot up into the sky – a flight that lasted 20 seconds, that could have fed all of North Korean people for at least a year. But here is TK, advocating South Korea send more aid so that they shoot them up into the air again.

    Can you say ‘is he crazy’?

  • http://askakorean.blogspot.com thekorean

    TK, I’ve already posted your answer couple of weeks back. I guess you didn’t bother investigating the link I posted here a while back, that counters all your BS.

    Funny, I don’t recall asking you this question a couple of weeks back. Or do you mean to say that I am supposed to be familiar with the complete history of all of your comments?

    But here is TK, advocating South Korea send more aid so that they shoot them up into the air again.

    First, you make up your claim that you never claimed before on this thread, and now, you make up my claim that I never claimed before on this thread. Seriously cm, you are making it too easy for me.

  • cm

    From the Wiki on the NK Defector you are talking about TK.

    북한에서 출생, 김일성 종합대학을 졸업한 엘리트 출신이다. 하지만, 김일성대의 어떤 학과를 졸업했는지는 밝히지 않고 있다. 탈북하기 전 붙잡혀 수용소 생활을 했고 1998년 탈북을 했다고 한다. 2002년 대한민국에 입국했으며 2003년 동아일보에 공채로 입사,2012년 현재 국제부 기자로 있다.

    He was a North Korean elite which rules over the lower majority NK classes. I would have to guess his experiences in North Korea 1998, probably would have been a little different from, let’s say a laborer in Hamkyongdo who has to boil grass to make dinner for her family.

  • http://askakorean.blogspot.com thekorean

    Oh, how quickly you go back on your own word. “Do I have to be on the moon to believe what the moon looks like?” is what you just only hours ago. Now, you are saying that just because Mr. Joo went to KIS University, he wouldn’t know what’s available in North Korean markets?

    At any rate, Mr. Joo has repeatedly said on his blog that he grew up as a son of a fisherman in Cheongjin, so there goes your desperate hope of discrediting him. Now, go fetch that link that you referred to. Chop chop.

  • cm

    TK, please watch these. It’s a little long, but these videos interview North Korean defectors without any bull shit media filtering. The way things are.
    I posted these links a while back which basically puts all your mistaken beliefs about North Korea to rest, and that’s what I meant in post #18.

    I recommend you watch the first video, interview with 백요셉. This is the fellow who Lim Soo Gyung called the “traitor” for defecting to South Korea.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k8azQNYSBNM

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b2ACmM2eq98&feature=related

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bWWHNMNQ4v4

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T79pWNBEmPE&feature=related

  • cm

    Another defector here.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bZCxbQkXi58&feature=relmfu

    I got at least five defectors versus your one, who says the aid is not going through at all.

  • cm

    Please read Shin Dong Hyuk’s book “Escape from Camp 14″.

    http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/11797365-escape-from-camp-14

    Shin is the only surviving North Korean defector who was able to escape North Korea’s camp 14 – a gulag where generations of families are born and raised and die. Shin explains in detail the North Korea’s different caste system.

    The South Korean aid (which doesn’t get eaten by the military and the elite) reaches only the few upper middle class, and the few lucky who are able to get money from families in China. They can at least buy time.

    The aid meant to help the starving people never reach where they were intended to go.

  • http://askakorean.blogspot.com thekorean

    these videos interview North Korean defectors without any bull shit media filtering.

    Already there’s a red flag. “Media filtering” is otherwise known as “fact checking” — reporting on verifiable information. Without “media filtering,” what we hear are called “allegations,” not “facts.”

    I’m willing to give it a listen, since I pledged myself to hear out all the defectors who risked their lives to escape for freedom. But don’t fool yourself. (I know that’s hard for you, but try.) Many defectors find that they can make a decent living in South Korea by peddling exaggerated horror stories, making the quality of information extremely unreliable. (Report about it here.)

    I got at least five defectors versus your one, who says the aid is not going through at all.

    거참, 더럽게 유치하네요.

  • cm

    Lies! Lies! ALL Lies! They are all liars!

  • http://askakorean.blogspot.com thekorean

    ^ = your comment at 20.

  • Sonagi

    I remember watching the above exchange and being amazed at how rude Roh was. The weird thing was the exchange never figured in the news, and even now you can’t find any footage of it.

    Roh’s original remarks were considered so rude that the interpreter had to modify them when relaying them to Bush in English. The interpreter conveyed Roh’s last remark as “If you could be a little clearer…” when according to the Blue House website, Roh actually said, “Same story (or talk). Same story, Chairman Kim Jong-il and the South Korean people want to heara different story.” Tellingly, Roh made no mention of the North Korean PEOPLE, who apparently did not matter to him, his administration, or Korean leftists. The original text that I translated back in 2007 is no longer available at the Blue House website.

  • cm

    TK,

    Baek Yoseb podcast interview by Young Korean Conservatives, describing what happened with DUP representative Lim Soo Kyung’s long tyrade against North Korean defectors.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rGPzLhGsU7E

    Listening to this podcast, what Lim’s said sounds far worse than what was reported. Baek has the recording of her verbal attack on Baek and all the North Korean defector human rights workers as traitors, but Baek won’t release the tape and explains why. Her tyrade began when Baek joked without thought, about being executed in North Korea, and Lim became livid. (probably due to her pride in her father land, if I might want to add)

    It speaks volumes about the entire DUP party which has allow Lim to be in her high position. She really needs to be removed, she’s not fit to hold her job as a South Korean lawmaker. She’s not the only one, South Korean DUP and UPP parties are full of people like Lim. This is definitely not party partisan politics.

  • RolyPoly

    Rho was one the stupidest president. He should not have been elected.

    When he met Bush, he probably had no idea what to say. So, he was repeating the same questions, because he did not know how to respond. He is supposed to be representing anti-American group but he knew not how to respond. His English is so poor that he had difficulty understanding even simple English.

    So, he had to ask again and again. I am sure his English translator had a heck of time.

    Just ignore the stupid president. Most Koreans do. How can a Korean president advocate NK nuke as a defensive weapon and NKs would never use it against SKs? Even a passing dog would laugh (Korean expression).

    You are talking about a president who had a cosmetic surgery done on his eyes while he was a president. His wife got the same surgery, at the same time. Talk about the clowns.