Thursday, October 20, 2005
"U.S. Army Deserter Describes 40 Years in North Korea Hell," Drudge Report, 20 October 2005.
The North Korean monsters.
In his first U.S. television interview, the former U.S. Army sergeant who deserted to North Korea speaks for the first time about the abuse and control inflicted on him by the communist dictatorship over his nearly 40 years there. Charles Robert Jenkins tells Scott Pelley he had a "U.S. Army" tattoo sliced off without anesthetic and was even told how often to have sex by his communist "leaders" in a 60 MINUTES interview to be broadcast Sunday, Oct. 23 (7:00-8:00 PM, ET/PT) on the CBS Television Network.
In 1965, Jenkins was posted along the hostile border between North and South Korea. He says he was being asked to lead increasingly aggressive patrols and was wary that he might be sent to Vietnam. And so, on a sub-zero night, he says he drank 10 beers, abandoned his squad, and walked through a mine-field to surrender to the North. He says he thought he would be sent to Russia and exchanged in some Cold War swap. But he was wrong. "It was the worst mistake anyone ever made," he tells Pelley. "In words I cannot express the feelings I have towards North Korea, the harassment I got. The hard life."
That life included forced studying of the writings of the communist dictator Kim Il Sung. He says he and three other American deserters were forced to study eight hours a day for seven years. The studying was imposed by communist government handlers called "leaders." They also assigned him a Korean woman, with whom he was supposed to have sex twice a month. "The leaders almost tell her when to do it, and I got in a big fight one time over it," recalls Jenkins. "I told [the leader], 'It's none of his business if I want sleep with her. She wants to sleep -- we sleep.' 'No -- two times a month'" He says he was severely punished for talking back. "That's the worst beating I ever got -- over that," he tells Pelley, showing a scar where he says his teeth came through his lower lip.
Worse still, says Jenkins, was the pain he endured when someone saw his U.S. Army tattoo. He says the North Koreans held him down and cut the words, "U.S. Army," off with a scalpel and scissors -- without giving him any painkiller. "They told me the anesthetic was for the battlefield," says Jenkins, "It was hell."
During his first 15 years in North Korea, Jenkins says he led a lonely and desperate life. Then his North Korean "leaders" brought a young Japanese woman to his door. She had been kidnapped from her homeland by North Korean agents. The only thing they had in common at first was that they hated North Korea, Jenkins says, but the relationship blossomed. They raised two children. Kim Jong Il's decision in 2002 to allow Jenkins' wife and other surviving abductees to return to Japan paved the way for Jenkins' release last year.
Each night before going to bed in North Korea, Jenkins said good night to his wife in Japanese, rather than Korean. He did it, he tells Pelley, to "remind her that she's still Japanese, that she's not Korean. She's not obligated to Korea. She is Japanese... and she spoke to me in English -- every night. Regardless of how hard things got, we always stuck as one."
When Jenkins finally stepped outside the North Korean culture after 40 years, he was most surprised to see women in the Army, limits on where you could smoke and black policemen. He had never heard of 60 MINUTES and thought Life magazine would be the place where he would tell his story. He knew something about the 1969 moon landing, however. "I was told that by the Koreans, one of the officers. They wouldn't say what country, but they said, 'Una handa la'... some country landed on the moon."
For more about North Korea, please read One Free Korea and NKZone.
Thursday, August 04, 2005
"Counter Culture," by Gaijinbiker, Riding Sun, 14 July 2005, http://ridingsun.blogspot.com/2005/07/counter-culture.html (from apostropher).
Tokyo Mayor Shintaro Ishihara is the greatest man alive.
He's not just the man who responds to North Korean aggression by daring them to attack. Now he insults the French.
A group of teachers and translators in Japan on Wednesday sued Tokyo's outspoken nationalist governor for allegedly calling French a "failed international language," a news report said.
Twenty-one people filed the lawsuit at the Tokyo District Court, demanding that Tokyo Gov. Shintaro Ishihara pay a total of 10.5 million yen (US$94,600) compensation for insulting the French language in remarks last October, national broadcaster NHK said. In their suit, the plaintiffs accused Ishihara of saying: "French is a failed international language because it cannot be used to count numbers."
Shintaro Ishihara rocks. I've long criticized froglandish myself.
Tuesday, May 03, 2005
Korean troubles, Chinese scheming, Perisan bloggers, and more! May 3rd, 2005:
Korea: Josh at OFK Fisks the New York Times' Nick Kristoff's criticism of Bush's Korea policy. Not that the Souks are helping. Between media lynching American servicemen and curtailing the free press, Seoul has other dreams than being a liberal democracy.
Willl South Korea lose face if its soldiers liberate Nork concentration camps? And if that day does not come soon, who will be the next Pyongyang despot?
China: DU notes that Chinese military jets are flying closer to Japan. If Beijing isn't careful, Tokyo could do something drastic like ditching Pacifism. Or even a revolution at home.
Other Chinese endevours are smarter. Beijing is trying hard to woo the Taiwanese, but apparently not the Maoists. Simon reports that scary Philippine rebels are upset that China abandoned Maoism. I imagine Beijing's reaction would be the same as when the Nepalese crazies said the same thing: You guys are violent, but Mao was never violent.
Iran: From South West Asia, Younghusband at Coming Anarchy looks at Iranian bloggers.
On the lighter side, Mutant Frog offers tips for killing a hooker and getting away with it... eek!
Thursday, April 14, 2005
An epic post on China, Taiwan, India, Japan, Australia, the United States, and peace in Greater East Asia and South Asia.
From a comment in the ensuing discussion
Thank you for your thoughtful comments. My point is not that the US will work against China per se, but work with like minded countries (not pawns... I think I clearly attempted to list each nation's self interested reason for cooperating with the US position) to contain China from acting out aggressively towards Taiwan. Through this manner and engagement with China diplomatically we can wait out the clock for a more free China.
Update: Per request, my comment on the article
Great post. Your comment that through "this manner and engagement with China diplomatically we can wait out the clock for a more free China" is exactly right. I agree with your conclusions, but I'd like to comment on some of your supporting claims and implications
Just as Japan was able to strike quickly at Pearl Harbor, China may be able to strike quickly against Taiwan, but like Japan circa 1941, China does not have the access to oil and the ability to hold off a militarily superior United States.
The problem goes beyond oil -- like Imperial Japan, Communist China does not have access to the outside world in a conventional war with the United States. The US Navy and US Air Force would be able to quickly shut down Chinese lines of communications to almost everywhere. Assuming both sides has the resolve to accept the military loses and the responsibility not to use conventional weapons, the situation would quickly deadlock in a stalemate militarily advantageous to the United States (China having a huge army..... in China).
On the mainland the People's Liberation Army is militarily undefeatible, even with a total blockade.
Such an extended conventional war is unlikely with Beijing, but (barely) possible.
While the United States did help promote democracy during the Cold War, it did not do so with the passion and energy our nation needs to now pursue it. The Cold War was about pragmatic compromises, supporting unsavory dictators as well, especially in the Middle East, to keep countries in the US sphere rather than the Communist sphere.
In a post Cold War world, where different ideologies dominate the world debate, the old paradigm of working with unsavory nations cannot continue to ensure US security.
Between the Cold War to Globalization era, America switched from a negative to a positive foreign policy. As I blogged earlier
The Soviets were attempting to connect as much of the globe as they could to their command-and-control economy. For them this was a future worth creating. Reagan didn't have a future worth creating. He saw a future worth destroying. We sought to disconnect every state the Soviets connected, and we succeeded.
Bush, with Clinton's help, switched America from being anti-Communist to pro-Open-Society. There were just as many ideologies during the Cold War, but our relative weakness, our main enemy's strength, meant we focused on his destruction.
If the US fails to defend a democratic Taiwan from China then it destroys any credibility won in the War on Terror with other nations. If we fail Taiwan what is our response to Iraq, Afghanistan, Israel, Ukraine, Japan, Australia, our European allies, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and many other nations that depend on American security?
While China may be a problem for the United States, it is not a threat to globalization itself. China's future worth creating is a lot like ours, only with differente emphases. bin Laden's hopeful future is a nightmare. China is a developing authoritarian state that is slowly opening up. Saudi Arabia is terrible awfulness, in country-form
It would be possible to America to abandon Taiwan and maintain momentum in the Global War on Terrorism. We could make a trade with Beijing for abandoning Taiwan, and structre the trade to keep up the forward momentum.
It would be unwise, but it possible. Our response to Saudi Arabia and others would be "China is not good but getting better, you are terrible and getting worse."
Additionally, allowing China to take Taiwan by force would automatically make the 21st Century a Chinese Century, as the ability for the US to promote and defend global security would crumble. Any century that has a non-free government as the apex of the international order will not be a century of peace, economic development and the expansion of liberty.
A historical analogy is useful. Would the 20th century have been better or worse if the Britain did not intervene to save Belgium? We would have had a authoritarian-Germany-dominated trade-oriented Europe. Berlin would have torn Russia apart, crushed the terrorist states in the Balkans, isolated Paris, and probably back democracy in Belgium significantly. Instead, London saved Brussels and we got Lennin, Stalin, and Hitler for our troubles.
China is "good enough" to be the major player in Greater East Asia. It's not the future I want, but it's not necessarily bad.
Elsewhere in your post you mention that China's strategy may be to make a quick negotiated settlement favorable to Beijing. If that happens it is important that we will have thought about the consequences clearly.
Because of Japan's fears of a rising Chinese dragon, they have extended their military relationship with the US to include defending Taiwan. If war was to break out in the Taiwanese Strait, the economic engine of Asia and possibly the world would grind to a halt. It is in Japan's long term political, national security and economic interests to work with the United States in providing a proper deterrent to China. It is encouraging that Japan has boldly taken this step
Good point. Assuming a conventional naval start, international sea lanes would quickly be taken by America with China's navy destroyed. America would be dictating when and where trade continues and resumes. While mercantile cowardess leads nations to favor peace at almost any cost, American force rebalances the equation in favor of our interests.
While a popular Indian worry about any future US arms deal would be the possibility of another arms embargo, as happened with India and Pakistan over the 1996 nuclear testing. This scenario is unlikely to repeat itself, because the US strategically needs New Dehli and New Dehli is not likely to start a war with Pakistan.
Kind-of related, especially where Taiwan is concerned. North Vietnam invaded the South in 1972, and lost. America's left-dominated Congress then imposed a de-facto arms embargo on Saigon, and two yeras later Hanoi easily won. Beacuse of the influence of a small but powerful left, America has won a reputation for perfidity. India (and Taiwan) are both taking this into account.
The United States along with democratic countries in Eastern Asia have an opportunity to build a constructive alliance to deter China from seeking its goals militarily, but they must act now and wait for an emerging dragon to reform democratically.
Monday, April 04, 2005
"Roh Hints at New East Asian Order," Digital Chosunilbo, 22 March 2005, http://english.chosun.com/w21data/html/news/200503/200503220024.html.
"Seoul Is Beginning to Reap What It Sowed," Digital Chosunilbo, 1 April 2005, http://english.chosun.com/w21data/html/news/200504/200504010037.html.
"U.S. to Scrap Ammo Reserves for Korean Army," Digital Chosunilbo, 4 April 2005, http://english.chosun.com/w21data/html/news/200504/200504040035.html.
"Korea Steps Up Military Cooperation with China," Digital Chosunilbo, 4 April 2005, http://english.chosun.com/w21data/html/news/200504/200504040020.html (from OFK).
A state can be a positive force without being an American ally. While we distrust France, we recognize that the French economic engine is an important part of European trade. Likewise, India was a force for good in South Asia even when they were non-aligned.
So when Korea hints at leaving the Japanese-American alliance
President Roh Moo-hyun said Tuesday the power structure in East Asia will shift depending on what choices Korea makes.
At a graduation ceremony of the Korea Third Military Academy on Tuesday, Roh said Korea's new role was of a stabilizer for peace and prosperity not just on the Korean Peninsula, but in East Asia as a whole. "Korea will calculate and cooperate if need be, and move forward with its proper authority and responsibility," he said.
His comments were being read as a pointed reference to the country's alliances with the U.S. and Japan rather than a mere statement of principle. Among core figures in the administration, there is growing dissatisfaction with U.S. and Japanese policies in East Asia, including North Korea.
or when Korea approaches the Chinese orbit
Military exchanges between Korea and China will intensify to a level similar to those between Korea and Japan, the defense ministry said Monday.
"China, more than any nation, wishes for peace and stability on the Korean Peninsula, so we plan to strengthen our military exchanges with China, including making defense minister meetings a regular occurrence," Defense Minister Yoon Kwang-ung told reporters. "There is a need to raise the level of military cooperation between Korea and China to at least that shared between Korea and Japan, and it's worth thinking about plans to help stability on the Korean Peninsula with China's assistance."
we should see it as a challenge, not a disaster. South Korea is still a force for good. But the alliance is over. American blood should no longer to spilled to protect South Korea.
Fortunately, America has gotten the message
Lt. Gen. Charles C. Campbell, the chief of staff of the U.S. Forces Korea, said on Friday that 1,000 of the current 12,000 Korean employees of the USFK [United States Forces Korea, the American presence that protects South Korea under United Nations Command -- tdaxp] will be laid off and forces' support contracts cut by 20 percent over the next two years. Campbell also suggested relocating some key military equipment reserved here for an emergency from South Korea.
Given that the U.S. has been telling us that even if USFK strength is cut, it will try to leave as much equipment here as possible, it is hard to believe that cost saving alone is behind the move. No: this looks more as though the alliance is beginning to slacken.
The government must think carefully about the consequences, in terms of both responsibility and money, of advocating its "cooperative independent defense" and Korea's much vaunted new role as a stabilizer in Northeast Asia.
even if it means something as serious as this
The U.S. has unofficially informed Korea’s military authorities that it plans to scrap the War Reserve Stocks for Allies (WRSA) -- pre-positioned military supplies for use by Korea in times of emergency. But the Korean government and military say rather than destroy the stocks or ship them back to the U.S., Washington will ask Seoul to buy them.
That said, this is serious. This is a much, much, much greater rift than between Europe and America after the Iraq War. This is Korea saying it wants to shift sides, and America letting it. This is the greatest diplomatic gamble South Korea has ever taken and the greatest set-back for the Bush Amdministration, ever.
Wednesday, December 08, 2004
N.K. Falsifies Remains of Abducted Japanese National
DNA tests have revealed that the alleged remains of a Japanese national kidnapped by North Korea decades ago that were repatriated under a recent bilateral agreement in Pyongyang are in fact the mixed ashes of several other corpses, fuelling calls for further sanctions against the Hermit Kingdom and a suspension of food aid.
Japanese Chief Cabinet Secretary Hosoda Hiroyuki said Wednesday afternoon that DNA tests on what North Korea claimed were Yokota Megumi's remains revealed them to be a mixture of several other people. North Korea has admitted to kidnapping Yokota in 1977 and claimed she hung herself.
Secretary Hosoda expressed regret over the test results and criticized North Korea by saying that the Communist state's investigations into abducted Japanese nationals had been falsified.
Yokota vanished in Niigata on Nov. 15, 1977, at the age of 13, prompting Japanese media and investigating authorities to suspect that she had been abducted by North Korea.
The Northern leadership later confessed, explaining that Yokota had married in 1986 and given birth to a daughter named Kim Hye-kyung. She was hospitalized for depression and allegedly hung herself after telling friends she would take a stroll on Mar. 13, 1993. North Korea said that her husband, Kim Cheol-jun, cremated Yokota two and a half years after she committed suicide.
Yokota's parents were enraged about the test results and demanded Japan impose economic sanctions against North Korea.
The DPRK must be destroyed. They are not humans. They are monsters in human form.
It's trivial in comparison, but the DPRK is also "modernizing" North Korean property laws
Changes in North Korea's Criminal Law to Protect Private Property
North Korea made significant revisions in both its criminal and civil rights law back in April to apparently reflect the changes it expects to see in the future. The latest revisions in North Korea's criminal law are the first in five years. Among the notable changes are those related to strengthening regulations to protect private property.
Under the new guidelines, an individual found guilty of illegally seizing another's possession will be sentenced to more than 10 years of hard labor from the current less than 10-year period