Sunday, July 13, 2008

North Korea---Still the same

after all these years. About the only difference is that its military power has dwindled to mainly a threat of mass murder of Seoul's civilian residents by artillery and a possible nuclear threat.

The right-wing in Japan has been playing up the kidnapping of its citizens which the government (including the LDP) ignored until Koizumi went to North Korea and the right saw it as a way to convince the public to rewrite Article 9. I can't have any sympathy for the rightists, but that does not mean that N. Korea is not guilty of horrendous crimes.

For decades they have committed international terrorism (blowing up aircraft, blowing up a number of ROK government officials, infiltrating agents into South Korea, murdering and kidnapping South Koreans, attacking/killing US troops, and more). It was, and still is, amazing that after all that, many South Koreans consider Japan a bigger threat than North Korea ever could be. Tells you something about what Japan must have done to create such hostility. It isn't all a result of ROK propaganda, as I had heard that sentiment from folks who had lived under the Japanese occupation and it was very much their own genuine fear and opinion.

Anyway, North Korean troops have recently killed a 52 year old woman tourist who had gotten up before dawn to watch the sunrise and was shot twice as she supposedly wandered into a restricted area. Tells you that North Korea does not trust it own citizens either---if you did not already know that.

North Korea has demanded an apology from South Korea for the incident. The South has done the same from the nutty North. Bush may have been wrong on many things, but he was not at all wrong when he called the North part of the "Axis of Evil."*

Full article from the New York Times is here.

Related NYT article here. The North has rejected talks with South Korea.

*4:30pm: I do wonder if the US really should have removed the North from the terrorist list. Perhaps only as a gesture to hopefully nudge NK to move on the nuclear issue---few would assume that Kim Jong Il and his military and government have any intention of dropping terrorism as a tool to be used when they think it is needed.

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