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Jang Song Thaek, lese majesty and more North Korea crap

- Jesus, the the court really let Jang Song Thaek have it in the judgement. Get a load of this language:

판결문은 “개만도 못한 추악한 인간쓰레기 장성택은 당과 수령으로부터 받아안은 하늘같은 믿음과 뜨거운 육친적 사랑을 배신하고 천인공노할 반역 행위를 감행하였다”고 규정했다. 판결문 곳곳에서 장성택을 ‘놈’ 또는 ‘장성택놈’이라고 표현하거나 장성택을 “개만도 못한 추악한 인간쓰레기”, “혁명의 원수, 인민의 원수”,“극악한 조국 반역자”라고 강도높게 비난한 것도 ‘불경죄’에 대한 김정은 제1비서의 ‘심기’를 반영한 것 아니냐는 풀이가 가능하다.

Anyway, the Hankyoreh points Jang’s lese majesty as a reason for his downfall. Analyzing previous photos of Jang at public events with Kim Jong-un, the Hankyoreh notes that Jang tended to act quite rudely—not standing completely attention, clasping his hands behind his back, or having his hand in his pocket. Mind you, that last one can get you in trouble south of the DMZ, too—just ask Bill Gates. In fact, it was behavior like this that led South Korean Pyongyang watchers to believe Jang was super-powerful. In the end, it might have gotten him killed.

- Looking at images of Jang prior to his execution, YTN says it looks like Jang was tortured before his execution. Lovely. (HT to Hullaski Sivart)

- Want to watch Jang’s sentence being read on North Korean TV? Here you go, courtesy Yonhap. The transcript’s there, too, if you’d like to rant along at home, karaoke-style.

- The Pyongyang watchers at Yonhap think Director of the Korean People’s Army General Political Department Choe Yong-hae led Jang’s purge, with Senior Deputy Director of the KWP Organization Guidance Department Jo Yon-jun assisting. Choe—originally Jang’s man—regarded his former benefactor as a barrier to further power, and Jo didn’t like how Jang had weakened the power of the KWP Organization Guidance Department. Apparently both were secretly reporting on Jang’s corruption to Kim Jong-un.

photo credit: John Pavelka via photopin cc

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

  • SeoulGoodman

    Putting his hands in his pocket? What’s with this nonsense? I’m starting to think it’s probably about money. Jang had a hand in managing Kim Jong Un’s slush fund on top of managing trade relations with China…and now one or two of his aides (it’s not sure how many) are said to be under South Korean protection in China. This/These men are rumoured to have documents about North Korea’s secret bank accounts. If that’s the case, Kim Jong Un could stand to lose a lot of money (and estimated 4 billion dollars said to be stashed away in foreign banks). Either way, the fact they revealed his uncle was executed suggests that they want to intimidate.

  • aligner

    Word has it that the flesh remaining after the machine gun execution was fed to the dogs. Since the official N. Korean mouthpiece had called Jang Song Thaek “human trash worse than a dog”, I guess in Korea it is the ultimate insult to feed you to one.

    In its “opinion” article, Hankyoreh drew an analogy to the execution as “hating a hunting dog after the hunt” (사냥이 끝나면 사냥개를 삶는다). What is about Korean culture and dogs? How could any culture come up with a saying that involves hating your dog after it has helped provide you meat?

  • ex_commander

    There are so many different angles to this story. Little Kim is throwing the kitchen sink at Jang, calling him a womanizer, drug user, money scammer, schemer, traitor, planner of a coup d’etat, etc. Filtering through all of this is not easy.

    The financial angle is plausible. I’ve seen estimates of the overseas Kim dynasty slush fund ranging from 4 billion USD to 7 billion USD. It would be tempting and probably not too difficult for those managing those funds to skim a little off the top for their own pockets. Jang apparently was known to being doing this.

    The dysfunctional family angle is also intriguing. Uncle Jang was estranged from his wife for years. Little Kim was well aware of Jang’s taste for throwing drug parties and orgies. Jang had been disciplined and demoted in the past for this. Recently rumors have surfaced that Jang was in a sex tape with the orchestra in which Jongun’s wife had been a singer. Little Kim had that orchestra executed a few months ago. If that sex tape really exists and was found, that is enough reason for Jang’s head to roll. His wife hasn’t been seen in public recently either.

    The political angle also cannot be ignored. Jang may have despised little Junior, and probably knew his days were numbered, which is motivation enough to try a power grab. Again very plausible that he was caught while planning a coup d’etat.

    In my opinion, little Kim is taking a big risk by publicizing the news of Jang. His father and grandfather preferred to keep the state’s dirty laundry a secret. The public was kept under the illusion that they lived in a perfect Utopian society where everyone was happy. By making these shocking events and dissent public, little Kim is trying to intimidate the people but at the cost of planting seeds of doubt in their minds. We will see whether this approach is the right one for little Kim, but uprisings like the Arab Spring last year started with these little seeds of doubt.

  • Anonymous_Joe

    “How could any culture come up with a saying that involves eating your dog after it has helped provide you meat?”

    I think that is the point. I also think it’s a great expression.

  • aligner

    A great expression if you disdain dogs. I guess you don’t have one.

  • Anonymous_Joe

    It’s particularly a great expression if you love dogs and all that they have done for you. I think that you’re missing the point. The image that I have is of eating a faithful, hard-working dog who did for and gave you so much. The dog served your purpose, and this is how you repay him. Of course, it sounds much better, which is to say pithier and meaner, sans the lengthy deconstruction: “boiling the hunting dog after the hunt”

  • bumfromkorea

    How could any culture come up with a saying that involves eating your dog after it has helped provide you meat?

    Cultures that see dogs not as companion, but as food. Anyway, Korean culture can’t take credit for this phrase . It’s a 사자성어 made famous by a guy named Han Xin in 200BC and originally attributed to some general in the Warring States era.

  • babotaengi

    Gee, this aligned chap is either incredibly dim or … no, that’s the only explanation.

  • Anonymous_Joe

    babo, it’s Christmas man, but, yeah.

  • RElgin

    There is nothing new under the sun. The North Koreans are doing the last days of the Koryo Dynasty and Shakesphere, all rolled into one.

    Maybe the he ROK should have nukes ready to threaten the PRC with so as to keep them out of the north.

  • Anonymous_Joe

    RElgin: “There is nothing new under the sun.”

    I got this one, bum: Ecclesiastes.

    *****************************

    (**Or The Byrds. Or wait, no, maybe The Byrds really udnerstood that there is nothing new under the sun.)

  • aligner

    The boiling dog expression only fits if you want to say that you are getting rid of something that has helped you once but is no longer need. I guess from a Korean point of view, you might as well eat your helper because it is a dog.

    But in this case, the guy is being eliminated because he is considered arrogant and a potential threat. Try again in explaining the boiling dog expression as great – champ.

  • Anonymous_Joe

    aligner: “But in this case, the guy is being eliminated because he is considered arrogant and a potential threat. Try again in explaining the boiling dog expression as great – champ.”

    Particularly in this case, the guy (perhaps more than anyone else) being eliminated secured Li’l Kim’s transition and ascension to power. Now that it’s “after the hunt” they “boiled the hunting dog.”

    Do you want me to type s-l-o-w-e-r for you?

    Happy Holidays,
    Champ

  • aligner

    Sorry, I don’t buy, it sucks as an expression. He is being killed because he is a threat. Dogs are not threats. It is probably better you think slower before typing.

  • Anonymous_Joe

    He might have been removed because he was a threat, or more likely (see Lankov’s piece), because it was after the hunt. The role of ajoshhi-Korean-uncle mentor was no longer needed and was a reminder to the boy King who wanted the keys to t.he kingdom for himself.

    *****************************
    Listen, I get that you don’t like the expression and that you love dogs. Clearly this expression works in a culture that eats dogs, but it seems so much more cruel in a culture that does not eat dogs to do so after the hunt. It’s cruel. It’s meant to be.

    I wish you a happy holiday season,
    AJ

  • aligner

    No hard feelings.

    More than cruelty dogs, I was thinking about the image of someone being executed by machine gun and fed to the dogs as the real cruelty. I didn’t expect my rhetorical question on Korea’s relationship with dogs in my original post to draw the main attention.

    Anyway, happy holidays to you too!

  • ryuNchoosk

    “Dog meat”? Well, dipped in manure it’s the best. Korean manured dog meat, ummm!

  • Arghaeri

    Doesn’t it mean that the hunting dog was useless, didn’t catch any dinner, so they had it for dinner instead.

  • aligner

    There are two possibilities in my opinion –

    사냥이 끝나면 쓸모없게 된 사냥개를 삶는다 – Boiling the dog
    (that has become useless) after the hunt

    or possibily another interpretation which I just found in a naver search that makes more sense in the context of this execution.

    사냥이 끝나면 사냥개를 삶는다. 만약 삶지 않으면 사냥개가 주인을 사냥한다 – Boil the hunting dog after the hunt. If you don’t boil it, the hunting dog might hunt the owner.

  • pawikirogii

    wow! you’re one pissed off lil expat, eh? what happened to you in korea? first time discrimination? poor baby. too bad, huh?

  • pawikirogii

    what happened to you in korea? you mean, you got mistreated in korea in that you weren’t treated special and then you come to this place to piss off as many koreans as you can even though we ain’t done jack to you? do you feel better going on with your racist tripe fueled by your conviction that you’re a victim of koreans? you’re a good example of your garden variety expat seething with anger towards the minjok. how come there’s you and then there’s somebody like korean englishman? how come he ain’t bitter like you? i mean the filth you write here. lookee, here’s what korean englishman wrote about comfort women:

    ‘한 2틀전에 어떤 미친 나쁜 미국놈이 제2차 세계 대전때 일본이 한국여자들 납치되서 Comfort Women으로 썼던거에대해서 유튜브 비디오 만들어서 올렸는데…. 저 그거 보고 기분 진짜 엄청 나빴어요. 나 진짜 화나게 만들었어.

    그 미친 미국남자가 그 불쌍한 여자들이 일본 군대를 도와줬다고 하면서 놀렸는데 너무 말도안되는 소리 아니에요?!?!?!!!!!!

    제가 대학교 때 한국학 전공해서 이상황에대해서 조금 알고있는데,
    확실히 그 미국 남자보다 더 잘 알고있어요. 이 상황은… 세상에서 제일 나쁜 상황중에 하나였어요. 당연히 저는 일본친구들도있고 지금 일본이라는 나라 욕하는거 아닌데, 그때 일본 군대가 했던 행동 진짜 쓰레기 같이 더러웠고 너무너무 말도안되게 나빴어요. 생각만해도 기분 엄청 나쁘게 만드네요.

    그리고 지금까지 일본 정부가 official 사과를 안했던거 사실이에요?! 그게 더 말도안되지않아요?!?!!! 제가 지금 기분 너무 나빠서 답답해죽겠네요. 뭐라고 하고싶은데 한국말도 제대로 안나오고… 영어로 써볼게요.’

    we know you don’t have the finesse to understand why ek had a good time in korea while you did not. for example, you need your wife to translate the above.

    have a good day, guy.

  • bigmamat

    Enough with the Peta shit already…dogs aren’t sacred animals.

  • bigmamat

    It’s certainly old world shit….

  • bigmamat

    Like I said old world shit…

  • bumfromkorea

    Let’s hope for a different ending than the last days of Koryo.

  • RElgin

    This was so off the wall and pure rumour:

    (from nickkristof) I don’t RT rumors–unless they’re really juicy (golbangi)OffbeatChina : Weibo: Uncle executed due to affair with North Korea first lady (was a sex tape)

    I really doubt this since the source is a crap Chinese website.

  • Anonymous_Joe

    I find it plausible. What 20-something, hot little biscuit of a Korean cutie could resist the lure of the adjosshi? And once she bagged him, she’d naturally want a video as proof for her friends.

  • aligner

    개 눈에는 똥만 보인다

  • SeoulGoodman

    The sex tape rumors may be true…but I think its importance is being exagerated. It’s more reassuring for South Koreans than the alternative.

  • RElgin

    Yep, it’s true though.
    I read so many funny fellows trying to decipher the DPRK but it has been done already by Shakespeare.

  • RElgin

    . . . but it is human nature to believe in the worst of us, not the best, so, I don’t take it too seriously, however, there are many little details that buttress such an idea.

    This would now be Verdi and Berg, rolled into one.

  • pawikirogii

    lol! did your korean wife teach you that? tell us what happened to you in korea. you might feel better!

  • felddog13

    An ajoshi fed to dogs? Well, we have a winner in the “Most Ironic Death of 2013″ contest! Payback’s a bitch, literally! (joke I heard last night)

  • Jakgani

    The sex tape exists – there are pictures from the sex tape on Baidu http://photo.l99.com/bigger/11/1386840201223_6yh993.jpg

  • George_Smiley

    *Spits coffee on keyboard*

  • http://www.askakorean.net/ The_Korean

    That expression is a classical Chinese one. But of course, do not let me stop you from displaying your ignorance to the whole world.

  • SeoulGoodman

    And how would we know this is the real deal? Like I said, it’s more reassuring to some than the alternative.

  • aligner

    똥 먹는 개 자기 똥 만 좋아한다

    (shit eating dog, own shit only likes)

  • aligner

    Yes I realize that almost everything in Korea originally comes from China, but how about displaying to the world your amazing insight into all things Korean, and instead give us your interpretation of 사냥이 끝나면 사냥개를 삶는다?

    Or maybe you could ask the opinion writer of the Hankyoreh yourself? I understand you to be very friendly with the newspaper.

  • RElgin

    That’s not uncle Jang.

  • George_Smiley

    thin skin + internet connection = never a good idea

  • aligner

    Yes I agree. Please do try to be less sensitive in the future.

  • George_Smiley

    not even clever

  • Juniper

    Just watched Jang’s sentence being read by NK anchor. Thought there was no racial mixing in North Korea but this newsman looks like Hines Wards’ brother. http://news.naver.com/main/hotissue/read.nhn?mid=hot&sid1=100&cid=970569&iid=23068746&oid=052&aid=0000491840&ptype=011

  • George_Smiley

    Or, indeed, the last chapter of the Bible.

  • sn1022

    You’re an idiot.

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