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Well, thank you, Reuters Asia Correspondent Paul Eckert.  That was a very nice story, and I’m glad to see that the Times picked it up.

This story needs to be told, and unfortunately, right now, only a few of us are telling it.  My hope is that one day, reporters will work directly with defectors and professional imagery analysts to tell it instead, and I can find a new hobby.

Update: Overnight, the Reuters story was picked up by news sites all over the United States, Britain, and India, and translated into Spanish, Finnish, Russian, Czech, and Japanese. The servers seems barely capable of keeping up with the traffic, so please be patient. Things should be back to normal in a day or two. It’s more than worth it to get this issue into the news.

For those who are wondering what you can do to help, I’d recommend two particularly effective non-partisan, non-sectarian, international groups: the Committee for Human Rights in North Korea, which does scholarly research, and LiNK, which helps North Korean refugees. You could even set up Wikipedia pages (see this and this) in your native language.

Update, Jan. 11, 2012:  So as of today, this has been translated into Spanish, Portuguese, Russian, Ukrainian, Czech, Slovak, Romanian, Italian, Finnish, and Japanese, and also ran in newspapers in India, the U.K., the Philippines, New Zealand, South Africa, and Ireland. The Chosun Ilbo also got hold of it eventually, and appears to think my name is Joshuya, that I’m a human rights lawyer (not quite), and that I lived in Korea in the 90s (actually, until 2002). Also, no link? Really? But at least someone in South Korea is talking about this topic.


  1. It makes me wonder – most people won’t automatically make the connection from Eric Schmidt through Google Earth to the NK satellite analysis (I didn’t) but maybe the DPRK elite will. Is it possible that Schmidt wasn’t just the biggest big-shot that Bill Richardson could rustle up for his visit – that instead, Pyongyang specifically asked for the chance to pressure or entreat someone at Google about the satellite images? It’s unlikely that they could have much success on that score, but that might not be obvious to Pyongyang – and anyway, nothing ventured, nothing gained. Similarly, Pyongyang may not care that much about having some of its secrets exposed by satellite – but then, maybe it does?

  2. Congrats Mr Stanton – delighted to see your site popping up in all kinds of media around me in the last 24 hours.

    My inner hipster wants to get all “hey, I liked it before it was popular”.

  3. Congrats on the recognition. Well deserved. Richardson and Schmidt’s visit to North Korea ended up being for nothing since they left Pyongyang empty handed and Kenneth Bae continues to sit in a Nork prison. Pretty embarrassing for Richardson in my opinion.

  4. Thank you. I’ll have more to say about this tomorrow, but the North Koreans gave Richardson the Rodney Dangerfield treatment. No one of any importance met or greeted him, and they gave him nothing to take home. Ken Bae wasn’t all he left behind in North Korea.

  5. I don’t know anything about the Comrade Yefimov who commented here, but his name rang a bell. A real Comrade Yefimov was a Sovietsky political cartoonist. By obeying and adapting, he managed to live a hundred and eight years. He personified the tragedy of Russia and communism.

    This is the reference to him that I remembered: ‘The phone rang, and Yefimov picked it up: “Comrade Yefimov? Please hold for Comrade Stalin.”‘

    The boss was calling to give Yefimov two and a half hours to finish a cartoon ridiculing General Eisenhower and our Alaska build-up in 1947. It’s in the profile of the hundred-year-old Yefimov in LaTimes on 29 December 2000.

    His 1 October 2008 Telegraph obituary says:

    ‘His survival – both physical and professional – was remarkable. In 1998 he said: “It was sometimes the case that I had to do something that went against my convictions. But I thought that those at the top knew better about politics. Later I knew that whatever my objections might have been, they would have brushed me away like some kind of pawn.”‘

    That’s the kind of stuff that motivates step 2 of the Glans Plan, ROK annexes DPRK.

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