PDA

View Full Version : North Korea



padraig (u.s.)
05-08-2009, 04:16 PM
sorry to start yet another thread, but...

Holy Shit! (http://www.nytimes.com/2009/08/05/world/asia/05korea.html)

I mean, it's a big deal. great that the 2 journalists were released, of course, tho I suspect that was more a means to the end of opening up a dialogue on terms both sides could live with, no one looking like they're giving up something for nothing. have to wait & see but if something productive comes of this - i.e., future talks, some progress on the nukes, etc. - it will have to bee seen as a pretty major coup. OTOH, surely administration will be roundly attacked on right-wing talk shows for dealing w/N Korean regime at all.

pretty ballsy move either way.

zhao
05-08-2009, 09:30 PM
yeah that country is completely batshit. i was just looking at that N Korea Google Earth project where these people found death camps and fake power plants (fake power plants!!!) n shit... and was watching the Vice guide to N. K. last night... insane in the membrane...

i mean, imagine you go over to someone's house and they are like, check out my new computer, i just bought it, it is very powerful and fast. and you look at it, and it's made with cardboard and meticulously painted to look like a real computer.

and imagine your host says oh i'm having a big party tonight, one hundred guests are coming! and after sitting for hours alone in the giant and well decorated room with loads of food and stuff, you realize that no one else is, or ever was, going to show up.

for me it is so crazy it goes from unbelievably fucking hilarious back to dead serious.

padraig (u.s.)
05-08-2009, 10:03 PM
i was just looking at that N Korea Google Earth project

http://www.smh.com.au/news/technology/kimjongil/2009/06/02/1243708441374.html

holy shit that is amazing. I had no idea about this. I wonder if they uncovered anything that wasn't previously known to U.S. or other intelligence agencies.

as far as "batshit crazy" - while this seems true, esp. as/re: the regime, surely there has to be some kind of internal logic, some rational means that people find to survive. or not, I dunno - I just mean that there have to be forces driving the situation, some reasons, beyond the esoteric whims of Kim Jong Il, why this painfully bizarre cult of personality regime is still in power. unfortunately I know roughly zero about N Korea so I've no idea what those reasons would be. writing the whole thing off as a madhouse just seems a bit, eh, Western media sound byte style - no offense as you're hardly the only person to do so.

also this website looks like a great resource: North Korean Economy Watch (http://www.nkeconwatch.com/)

Mr. Tea
05-08-2009, 10:09 PM
Utterly bizarre place. Seems to be a sort of fossil of mid-20th century Stalin/Mao-style state communism. And virtually nothing any other country can do by way of effective leverage on the regime, because it has virtually nothing by way of connection to the outside world.

zhao
05-08-2009, 10:18 PM
as far as "batshit crazy" - while this seems true, esp. as/re: the regime, surely there has to be some kind of internal logic, some rational means that people find to survive. or not, I dunno - I just mean that there have to be forces driving the situation, some reasons, beyond the esoteric whims of Kim Jong Il, why this painfully bizarre cult of personality regime is still in power.

the kind of internal logic that made perfectly normal Chinese fervently support Mao even when his policies were killing millions with starvation... sending family members to the torture chambers...

the kind of rational means that made good and kind Germans follow Hitler even knowing that he was gassing millions in ovens... turning in their jewish friends...

scottdisco
05-08-2009, 10:47 PM
what was the name of that prick of an American or British businessman (i forget) who Craner used to bang on about on one of his blogs (years ago this was mind) who facilitated business between the private sector internationally and the regime?

(i mean of course there's more than one of these people, but i specifically remember a Craner post about it once on one of his blogs, fingering a certain named individual. ach.)

on topic: more than fair play to Mr Clinton (i'm no fan, historically, although his foundation is obviously doing some excellent work), aside from the uplifting fact of those freed hostages, their friends and colleagues at that press conference etc, i found myself strangely moved by the sight of he and Gore hugging.

padraig (u.s.)
05-08-2009, 11:45 PM
the kind of internal logic that made perfectly normal Chinese fervently support Mao even when his policies were killing millions with starvation... sending family members to the torture chambers...

the kind of rational means that made good and kind Germans follow Hitler even knowing that he was gassing millions in ovens... turning in their jewish friends...

oh good sweet jesus zhao that's not what I meant & you goddamn well know it. that's asinine even for you. (not to mention your simplification of 2 events as overwhelmingly complex as the Cultural Revolution and the Holocaust)

but b/c apparently I have to clarify myself - I don't mean a logic of people supporting the regime, surely those kinds of techniques of mass manipulation & coercion are quite well-documented already. I mean a logic of people surviving despite the regime, & of the regime itself surviving against, seemingly, all logic. I am talking about resisting the urge to just throw up one's hands & say "well, it's all just batshit crazy", which is akin to looking at an African civil war & saying "oh well, that's what they do, kill each other". it's lazy thinking & it doesn't offer anything productive. tho again, you're far from the 1st or 1000th person to say so.

zhao
06-08-2009, 05:00 AM
no i didn't know what you meant. now a bit more clear.

i honestly thought you meant how can people obey and at least seemingly support such a regime.

and i hope you don't think the 1 sentence i write about the cultural revolution and the holocaust contains what i think about them entirely -- so in your logic one should write 500 pages about these things or nothing at all?

at any rate why are you displaying nastiness and hostility toward me? did my answer to your misunderstood question seem offensive to you?

padraig (u.s.)
06-08-2009, 04:51 PM
eh sorry just ignore that then. I thought you were implying I was an apologist for the Pyongyang regime, which you'll understand would itself be a rather nasty claim.

didn't mean to single you out either, as the "what a wacky place!" concept seems to be the prevailing tone of media coverage. not that it isn't - the bizarre saga of Shin Sang-ok for one (I can only imagine those are some very strange films) - but ah, I dunno, it just bugs the hell out of me. I imagine for most North Koreans it isn't wacky so much as relentlessly grim, awful & surreal.

stevied
06-08-2009, 05:33 PM
Here`s an good piece by Bruce Cumings on NK. It addresses the ignorance and misconceptions of the NK regime held in the West. Well worth reading, I reckon.

We look at it and see ourselves

http://www.lrb.co.uk/v27/n24/cumi01_.html

Bruce Cumings teaches History at Chicago U and is a the author of North Korea: Another Country.

Thanks very much

scottdisco
06-08-2009, 06:02 PM
this seems very fair


With the world running out of options on North Korea, it is hard to see how Mr Clinton’s trip could have made anything worse. At the least, the fates of two American journalists will no longer be part of the bargain.

rest here (http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/world/us_and_americas/article6740724.ece) (the leader (http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/comment/leading_article/article6740664.ece) from same paper today is even warmer to President Clinton; rightly, i think, so).

there again, Mick Hartley is a long-time regime watcher (e.g., here (http://mickhartley.typepad.com/blog/2006/03/purifying_the_m.html), here (http://mickhartley.typepad.com/blog/2006/03/defecting_for_j.html), here (http://mickhartley.typepad.com/blog/2005/02/abuses_of_socia.html), here (http://mickhartley.typepad.com/blog/2006/10/racial_purity.html), here (http://mickhartley.typepad.com/blog/2009/03/intolerable-suffering.html), here (http://mickhartley.typepad.com/blog/2005/02/useful_idiots_i.html), here (http://mickhartley.typepad.com/blog/2009/05/bride-trafficking.html), here (http://mickhartley.typepad.com/blog/2009/04/glimmers-of-everyday-life.html), here (http://mickhartley.typepad.com/blog/2009/07/complete-control-districts.html), here (http://mickhartley.typepad.com/blog/2009/05/the-zimbabwe-north-korea-link.html) and here (http://mickhartley.typepad.com/blog/2008/12/there-are-over-14000-north-korean-defectors-living-in-south-korea-shin-dong-hyuk-is-the-only-one-known-to-have-escaped-to-t.html), just for starters) and he's less sure (http://mickhartley.typepad.com/blog/2009/08/pyongyangs-other-hostages.html) (though his opening para contains, for my money, a straw-man; who is saying overly optimistic things? any commentator worth taking seriously will be measured and see how this plays out).

more broadly:

the following documentary is nine years old now but it was the first lengthy one i ever recall seeing about North Korea, FWIW.
'Children of the Secret State' (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zAqKFltDqPU).

i know very little of computers but think this link (http://onebigtorrent.org/torrents/4934/This-World--Escaping-North-Korea--2009-04-06-BBC2-WnA) should be a dl for the BBC documentary screened earlier this year, 'Escaping North Korea' (BBC page here (http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/programmes/this_world/7975088.stm)), and think that this link (http://onebigtorrent.org/torrents/5053/Unreported-WorldChina--North-Korea-The-Great-Escape-2009-04-17-Ch-4) should work for a similar British programme, also of earlier this year, 'The Great Escape' (Channel 4 page here (http://www.channel4.com/programmes/unreported-world/episode-guide/series-2009/episode-6)).

P.S.
ah!

Michael Hay.

that's who Craner meant (http://worldwarfour.blogspot.com/2004/07/north-korea-seminars-aka-with-charm.html).
(though the links are now dead and i believe Mr Hay may have migrated to Korea Strategic. was i being far too harsh on Mr Hay? hmm. i don't know. if anyone is that bothered, sniff him out and make up your own mind.)

scottdisco
06-08-2009, 06:15 PM
oh also via Hartley, from this April, something of a disagreement - on engaging NK (http://mickhartley.typepad.com/blog/2009/04/engaging-with-north-korea.html) - between two specialists, Brian Reynolds Myers of Dongseo University, and Andrei Lankov, of Australian National University

zhao
07-08-2009, 09:42 AM
thanks for links scott, good stuff.


eh sorry just ignore that then.

you should maybe think a bit before letting the bile fly next time. that was unnecessary and childish, even for you.

padraig (u.s.)
07-08-2009, 02:17 PM
sure, whatever.

moving on, various quasi-recent Strategic Studies Institute (at the U.S. Army War College, for those unfamiliar) papers on N Korea available for free download:

Kim Jong Il and North Korea: The Leader and the System (http://www.strategicstudiesinstitute.army.mil/pubs/display.cfm?pubID=644)

North Korea's Military Threat: Pyongyang's Conventional Forces, Weapons of Mass Destruction, and Ballistic Missiles (http://www.strategicstudiesinstitute.army.mil/pubs/display.cfm?pubID=771)

Projecting Pyongyang: The Future of North Korea's Kim Jong Il Regime (http://www.strategicstudiesinstitute.army.mil/pubs/display.cfm?pubID=844)

there's also a mess of papers on China for anyone interested.

zhao
10-08-2009, 05:11 AM
Here`s an good piece by Bruce Cumings on NK. It addresses the ignorance and misconceptions of the NK regime held in the West. Well worth reading, I reckon.

We look at it and see ourselves

http://www.lrb.co.uk/v27/n24/cumi01_.html

Bruce Cumings teaches History at Chicago U and is a the author of North Korea: Another Country.

you are right, this is an important read, for me at least. thanks for posting.


Korea’s turbulent history over the past eight decades makes it hard to set North Korea off as a singular case, the evil author of all its own problems, and more or less incomprehensible. Instead, we look at it and see ourselves.

Leo
10-04-2013, 04:12 PM
Exclusive: My life as a North Korean super spy


http://www.abc.net.au/news/2013-04-10/my-life-as-a-north-korean-super-spy3a-exclusive/4621358

trza
18-12-2014, 12:28 AM
totally gangster

Leo
18-12-2014, 12:36 AM
so what's the appropriate reaction from sony? and from the US government?

trza
12-06-2015, 03:41 PM
laibach?

Mr. Tea
13-06-2015, 12:22 PM
laibach?

trza, uncontested king of the cryptic one-word post!

Edit: wow though, that's mental. I'm not sure what to think about this, to be honest. Is it to be applauded or reviled? Is it really any better than playing Israel or apartheid-era South Africa?

nomos
13-06-2015, 01:01 PM
BACK IN THE DPRK!

http://thequietus.com/articles/18089-laibach-north-korea

http://s3.amazonaws.com/quietus_production/images/articles/18089/poster_stade_1434031712_crop_550x840.jpg