* We’ve Lost the True Meaning of Kim Il Sung’s Birthday. It’s another OFK exclusive — I have the first video of North Korea’s Kim Il Sung Day parade. In North Korea, where devotion comes from the barrel of a gun, the object of this devotion is now a side of preserved meat; thus, I urge everyone to pay their respects with a feast appropriate for the occasion. If only the people of North Korea were fortunate enough to join in it.
* Tangun Tomb Travelogue. While Google-Earthing the area near Kim Jong Il’s palace recently, I came upon a strange pyramid I couldn’t explain, and nothing I found on the Internet told me anything about it. I asked you, this site’s readers, whether you knew what it was, and one reader immediately recognized and identified it as the “Tomb of Tangun.”
Researching the topic further, I found that the “tomb” was “discovered” in 1993, in one of those uniquely North Korean coincidences, almost immediately after Kim Il Sung ordered North Korean archeologists to find it … fast (perhaps understandably; the old tyrant went to the embalming shop the following year).
I was especially pleased to hear from one of this site’s readers, a trained archeologist who has even been there, and who graciously agreed to let me publish a brief travelogue of his visit. I’ve appended it to the bottom of the Kim Jong Il palace post. My thanks to this reader, who wishes to remain anonymous.
* A Tradition of Mendacity and Murder . Another reader, one whose work you frequently see cited here, e-mailed today to ask several interesting rhetorical questions. One of these is whether North Korea has ever abided by the obligations of any of its international agreements (I’m going through a mental list now: the Inter-Korean denuclearization agreement, the NPT, Agreed Framework 1.0, and now, Agreed Framework 2.0). He stole my thoughts, and not just for the most obvious reason. There is another: they’re still refusing to comply with the 1953 Armistice Agreement:
North and South Korea failed to make progress on the issue of South Korean prisoners of war and abductees on the last day of the eighth inter-Korean Red Cross talks at Mount Gumgang on Thursday. [….]
South Korea initially proposed dealing with the POW and abductees issue separately from the separated families. However, the North insisted on sticking to the current method of unofficially allowing families of POWs and abductees to meet with their long-lost relatives as part of the separated family reunions. Furthermore, the North threatened to boycott the talks because of the South’s use of the words “POWs and abductees.
Many analysts say the North has adopted an uncompromising attitude because it sees no reason to accept South Korea’s demands. In the past, Pyongyang allowed the family reunions on the pretext of humanitarian projects, and Seoul in return provided aid shipments of rice and fertilizer. However, the South Korean government already shipped 300,000 tons of fertilizer to the North and also promised to send 400,000 tons of rice before the latest Red Cross talks were held. [Chosun Ilbo]
That brings me to this post by The Marmot, telling the sad story of yet another North Korean violation of the 1953 Armistice. We now learn that Kim Il Sung sent thousands of South Korean POW’s to Stalin’s Siberian gulag, where many of them died. The Marmot also describes the fratricidal treason of early South Korean fifth columnists, the kind that leftist revisionists now describe as “independence activists.” I have to say that one of my most somber recent memories was when I visited Korea just a year ago, and our plane few over Magadan, with its infamous “road of bones.“
* Just the Latest South Korean Betrayal: I really don’t understand why the South Korean government even bothers to claim that it cares whether North Koreans live or die. After all we’ve seen, it should be obvious that it does not:
The South Korean Embassy in Laos allegedly ignored pleas for help from three young North Koreans held by Lao authorities who could be deported to their Stalinist home country. Hiroshi Kato, the head of Japanese activist group Life Funds for North Korean Refugees, on Thursday revealed the identity of the young defectors and is working for their release. According to Kato, Choi Hyang, Choi Hyuk and Choi Hyang-mi are being held in a detention center near the capital Vientiane. [Chosun Ilbo]
The refugees had journeyed all the way from North Korea, through China, to Southeast Asia to try to escape the North and the dangers of living as comfort women or fugitives in China. Can there be any question what fate awaits them if the Lao government sends them back?
According to Kato, North Korean Embassy officials verbally abused and threatened them, and they live in fear that they may be deported to North Korea. Kato has appealed to the U.S. and Japanese governments, the UN High Commissioner for Refugees and other human rights organizations for the release of the young North Korean defectors. He said it is nearly certain that they will be deported to North Korea unless something is done right now.
You can find contacts for several Lao Embassies here. And of course, this is only the latest example of South Korea’s “die in place” policy toward North Korean refugees. Does anyone know what ever happened to this refugee protection bill in the National Assembly?