Pick Up ROK, Drop On Foot

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The Korean Church Coalition passes along this press release on Chinese efforts to stop  a North Korean human rights  demonstration in Seoul, how those efforts backfired, and how the Chinese response since then has exacerbated the reaction. 

kcc-press-release.pdf

Officially, the best China can offer is something that’s not widely perceived as an apology by South Koreans (who can be fairly reluctant to interpret apologies as such  once offended). 

Unofficially, Chinese “netizens” continue to propagate asinine denials that the Chinese students attacked Koreans or other demonstrators, or even  that it was  the Chinese who were  the real victims.  Those denials  defy overwhelming evidence in the form of photographs and video, but as long as the Chinese continue to  deny it,  I’ll keep publishing  photographs and eyewitness accounts  here.  These pictures are less damning than Dan Bielefeld’s, but they’re interesting nonetheless, and I thank the KCC for sending them.

img_95451.JPG     img_95381.JPG     img_95341.JPG     img_95291.JPG

I’m also passed an eyewitness account from the  Reverend Tim Peters (second photo), a man I know and hold in extremely high regard.  In law school, when professors wanted to describe the sort of evidentiary perfection that one never finds on this earth, we would hypothesize that the event in question had been witnessed by twelve Anglican bishops.  I never asked Tim his denomination, but what he says carries the weight of evidentiary perfection in my book:

Upon putting up the Let My People Go banner, within about 1 minute I was surrounded by about 200 furious Chinese students, all waving PRC flags. By God’s grace, there were about 50 Seoul police between Choi Young hoon and myself and the Chinese students.  Some activists were hurt, so please pray for their recovery.

Contrast that with  the Chinese Street’s  version:  “it didn’t happen!,” and its  inbred cousin,  “it didn’t happen, and you should thank us for not  killing you.”   The  “all we  wanted was  to  throw you a party!” defense is so  unintelligent as to evoke more pity than rage (I had no idea censorship  was so costly to  critical thinking skills).  Those who can at least perceive the futility of denial turn to argumentum  ad hominem:  “you’re  agents provocateurs,” and inevitably enough, “running dogs” and “fetid Jews.”   

The Party wanted to use  the Olympics to show the world what it has made of China.  I guess it has.  It’s hard to imagine a greater P.R. fiasco than the absolutely-not-political Olympic torch run  (hard yes,  but  I have a  fertile imagination:  pour a few mojitos into Jeremiah Wright, prop him up before a live open mike, and you have history’s most memorable Superbowl halftime show).  Either case would be an apt illustration of half-oblivious, half-arrogant self-immolation, a defiant secession from the civil and peaceful  accomodation of differences.  Horror crowds out  pity.

Yet all of this has been very  good for a cause that the Chinese would have preferred not to publicize, had their stupidity not exceeded their brutality:

In the months leading up to the  Beijing Olympics, KCC will go all out, in a peaceful manner of course. The Chinese radicals who attacked Tim and the KCC banner in Seoul made a big mistake, because they awoke the many sleeping Koreans who until that point felt that they could not make a difference.   I received many, many e mails from outrage[d] Korean Americans. 

Kim will also be announcing some good forward movement in recruiting bipartisan support for the cause in Congress, an effort at which the KCC’s efforts have made an unquestionable difference.  But names, unfortunately, will have to wait for now.

Addendum:   A lot of interesting developments this week I haven’t caught up yet, including the AEI event, but let’s  take them  in inverse order. 

I attended an event this evening  where I briefly met Shin Dong Hyok, who claims (the word offends, but how can  we be certain?) to be the only survivor of the “life imprisonment zone” of Camp 14.  He’d had a hard week talking about a hard life, and  I didn’t have it in me to  strike up a casual conversation  about, say,  his mom’s execution.  What  does one  say to such a person?  What must he be thinking with all of the exhaustion and sensory overload of meeting so many strange new faces, most of them sincerely compassionate,  some of whom might be able to favorably influence events in his hellish  homeland?  How our doubts must madden him.  In retrospect, “happy hour” may have been the wrong choice of words to describe the  event.  I felt bad for  Shin, was glad to meet him, and also felt slightly  ashamed for myself.  I did ask if, at some other time, Shin would be able to identify sites inside Camp 14 on Google Earth.  I’m happy to report that this idea has already occurred to others with far more wherewithall to present the results.  It’s  important  that someone should take on such a project,  but no one should have any great desire to be that person. 

I was unequivocally happy to meet  several other people there:  Adrian Hong, Hannah Song, and commenter Joseph Hong, who supplies us with some of this blog’s best comments and links. 

Another reader will forgive me for not identifying her — I’m not sure she’d want me to — but I was very happy to meet and speak with you nonetheless.  The point to which I was coming in our conversation is that food aid, which  should be directly distributed and monitored by Americans, Europeans, South Koreans, and Japanese,  is probably the single most important and urgent way to reconcile with the North Korean people (as opposed to their government, which doesn’t want to reconcile).

Finally, I also met  our lost-and-found-again friend Jodi, formerly of The Asia Pages.  I was a frequent reader and infrequent commenter  at her blog.  Jodi didn’t often write about the topics I tend to write about, but I saw both vulnerability and wisdom in Jodi’s writing, and I found  that endearing.  Like me, Jodi turns out to be from  freezing-cold flyover America.  And I’m happy to report that Soju the cat lives with  her to this day. 

Update:

Just in case the Korean police are actually interested in prosecuting the Chinese thugs, here’s some video evidence to refute the fibs of the C-bots.

Exhibit A: Video of the violence of the Chinese mobs, where you can see people throwing things from the crowds. Park Tae-Hoon, the man with the bicycle who was beaten by the mobs, describes the incident (he seems to be OK now). A mean identified as a Chinese student group leader — a baldish man in his 40’s who looks much more like a government official — boats about the thousands of people the Chinese student groups organized. Can we infer that the students didn’t pay for all of those Chinese flags, some as big as a king-sized bedsheet, on their own? (ht)

Exhibit B: A montage of the Chinese mob violence we’ve seen in several countries during the torch run. You’d think that with this long a track record of Chinese mob violence in at least two continents, at the very least, the Chinese Embassy should have know what would happen when it organized the mob in Seoul:

Exhibit C: A woman, whose accent sounds either American or Canadian, has some terrifying moments when she’s caught between the opposing sides while protesting against China’s repatriation of North Korean refugees.

Exhibit D: I’ve posted another video of this, but here, two pro-Tibet protestors are surrounded and beaten in the lobby of the Seoul Plaza Hotel:

Exhibit E: Now this, you haven’t seen. The protestors turn out to be two young Americans. Here’s their description of what happened. Classy of them to ask the commenters not to race-bait, although that’s probably futile.

Exhibit F: More video showing the faces of specific Chinese students committing assaults on Koreans:

In Korea, the press furor over this appears to be quieting, but if you need any more evidence of how widespread, deep, and disturbed China’s chest-thumping nationalism really is, just follow the links in this comment by Sonagi. Think: Boxer Rebellion with nukes. Don’t miss this, either.

15 Comments

  1. Joshua,

    Were any of the NK human rights protesters in the linked photos below part of the KFF? It’s from a Chinese military buff forum, so you’ll want to make sure your virus and spyware protection is up to date before you click on the link:

    http://military.club.china.com//data/thread/1011/2006/51/15/1_1.html

    These photos are pandemically viral in the Chinese blogosphere. The photos appear to have originated in a Chinese newspaper, probably a tabloid not the People’s Daily or some other boring pure propaganda rag, and proport to prove that the NK human rights demonstrators brought the wire cutters and stone with them and pinned the rap on poor, innocent Chinese students. On other webpages, the man on the bicycle who was so brutally assaulted was identified as a Free Tibet protester. I just realized now that he was, in fact, a NK human rights protester. Some Chinese forums have accused him of instigating the attack by hitting a Chinese student in the head with his bike. Not only are C-borgs spinning these lies on Chinese forums. They’re now taking their case internationally by putting up trash videos on Youtube. I don’t have a photo link right now, but there are images on Chinese websites of another NK human rights protester who got his glasses knocked off and his chest banner ripped off after being surrounded by Chinese students. Was he part of KFF, also?




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  2. Am back with more photo links.

    The original source of the photos accusing your friends in the KCC of planting evidence (tool and stone) appears to be a Chinese netizen named Skywing, who posted the images in a forum named Huanqiu. The photos have been picked up by the Chinese mainstream media, which have credited Skywing and cited the Huanqiu link. Check out Skywing’s gravatar.

    http://bbs.huanqiu.com/read.php?tid=18615

    Another Huanqiu thread has a collection of photos taken from the top of a nearby building. The ones showing the KCC menaced by a red swarm are striking. The C-borgs have circled the KCC in yellow and misidentified them as “zd,” an acronym for Free Tibet activists.

    http://bbs.huanqiu.com/read.php?tid=18555




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  3. My God what? The gravatar, the swarms, or both? I should qualify my statement about the photos making the mainstream Chinese media. Heavily censored newspapers like the People’s Daily have reported on the controversy but not printed the photos. One notch below, news portal sites like 163.com, are publishing the photos. Never underestimate the power of the internet. One Hitler fan’s creative photoshopping has aroused millions of Chinese.




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  4. I’m glad my blog title could inspire something. I have had people ask me what a ROK Drop is before and I just respond that you obviously haven’t been stationed in 2ID before.

    Sonagi as always great information and links. A problem I often found with Koreans was a lack of critical thinking skills in regards to what they read in the media and especially the internet and it appears the Chinese are even worse if they believe the nonsense coming from some of these people on the internet like this Hitler fan.




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  5. Saturday Greetings to Joshua Stanton and also to hardy contributor Sonagi. Here is a vote of thanks for your spadework in covering the ruckus occasioned by the peaceable display of our KCC banner calling good Chinese people, and would-be attendees of the 2008 Olympics, to their moral senses.

    At some point, (perhaps sooner than later!), for all of their apparent material success, the great Chinese nation will confront the essential illegitimacy of their governance. The toxic political waste that is the legacy of Mao Zedong & Company is surely at its worst abroad in the existence of the Kim family regime in northern Korea. A matter of sequence: will the portrait that still defaces Tiananmen Square disappear, or will the Dear Imbiber in Pyongyang meet his due first?

    Thanks also to Prof. Lankov, that he continues to keep his wonderfully well tuned antennae monitoring Korea north of the Imjin.




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  6. Some of the worst defenders of CCCP seems to be coming from the overseas Chinese Americans. I’ve never seen so much nationalism coming from them – Chinese nationalism that is. They are so anti American, it’s unbelievable. Many of them blame CNN, American media, and “White People” for China’s problems. Person to person, they seem to be nice to you in front of your face, but I can imagine what they’re thinking and what kinds of activities they do in their own times to support fatherland China. It’s time to restrict Chinese immigrants. I don’t want to make the number of disloyal Americans grow.




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  7. It’s time to restrict Chinese immigrants. I don’t want to make the number of disloyal Americans grow.

    I could not agree less. I’ve served with loyal Chinese-Americans in the Army, and there are loyal Chinese-American readers and commenters here, and I’m sure their loyalty yields to no one else’s. I don’t object to making new immigrants swear loyalty oaths and renounce foreign alliances. We do that now. I also think it’s reasonable to follow up those oaths with some reasonable investigation of whether the prospective citizen is affiliated with, say, the CCP. But there are traitors of all ethnicities: Jonathan Pollard, Robert Hanson, Aldrich Ames, and Robert Kim to name a few. Absolutely none of this needs to be linked to ethnicity. Chinese are fully capable of being loyal Americans and making extraordinary contributations to our society.

    That said, I do think that universities need to tighten the restrictions on the access of some foreign students — who make no profession of loyalty to this country — to sensitive and dual-use technology.




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  8. Have you checked out the weekly links at GI Korea? New Red Guards in Auckland, New Zealand, didn’t even need a torch relay to run riot.

    http://bunnyhugs.org/2008/05/01/ugly-nationalistic-chinese-demonstration-in-auckland/

    Best line from the story:
    “The marshal told me not to go back into Aotea Square because it was not safe for ‘New Zealanders’. I guess he really meant ‘non-Chinese people’.”

    What’s unusual about this man’s experience is that some of the unruly participants were middle-aged. While I was in China, I never saw the Chinese behave like what we’re seeing recently around the world. Part of it is just mob mentality, but it seems that the collective mood of the world’s Chinese has become stridently defensive in the run-up to the Olympics. This attitude comes through loud and clear in a number of forums in different languages. I hear and see the same ideas, the same themes repeated over and over by the Chinese. The Chinese government isn’t distributing a sheet of talking points, but rather, ideas are planted in the media and in internet forums, and grow into “the truth” through content sharing and personal conversations. To a certain extent, Chinese feelings of being picked on are valid, but now they are becoming defensive to the point that any foreign criticism of China is China-bashing, and they are becoming aggressive in defending China.




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  9. “Way down near the end of this blindingly East-is-red photo collection is a picture of the man getting his glasses knocked off by a swarm of Chinese students.”

    Sonagi — Man identified by Dan Bielefeld as Moon Gook-han with the North Korean refugee group. He stated that he was either very brave or very crazy — or something to that effect — to be chanting slogans while surrounded by Chinese. Bielefeld took a photo of him. It shows he wasn’t crazy. He was playing to the media as there were perhaps five — or maybe more — with cameras trained on him directly in front of him. However, the other photo has the newsmen cropped out — giving the impression he was surrounded by the Chinese and all alone.

    What happened to him after this event? Was he hurt?




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