Tag Archives: north korea

Bad News from Thailand and Laos on North Korean Refugees

Stanton, J. 2007. Thailand and laos planning mass repatriation of N. Korean refugees. One Free Korea. April 4, 2007. Available online: http://freekorea.us/2007/04/04/thailand-and-laos-planning-mass-repatriations-of-n-korean-refugees/.

Two e-mail messages in as many days convey some very bad news about North Korean refugees in two Southeast Asian nations, Thailand and Laos. Both nations, apparently seeing no U.S. objection and a new U.S. disinterest in the subject of human rights for North Koreans generally, are catching refugees and are planning to send them to their deaths, or a fate worse than. A reader writes:

Just caught this story on naver – It seems about 52 defectors have been apprehended by Thai authorities and if convicted of entering the country illegally are expected to be sent back to North Korea.

That would be the first mass repatriation of North Koreans by Thailand, and a grave development indeed.

If you have an account, please digg this.

A Good Nuclear Day

Two recent events, within twenty-four hours of each other, give hope to us all. First, India and the United States signed a nuclear accord which will allow that Republic to develop technology to deter deter an unseemly neighbor (Pakistan) and a neighbor that should be deterred from war as much as possible (China). Meanwhile, North Korea continues to show obstinance in her nuclear talks, which encourage Japan’s nuclearization. This encourages Tokyo to develop technology to deter an unseemly neighbor (North Korea) and a neighbor that should be deterd from war as much as possible (China).

Sometimes, proliferation is grand.

Chinese v. Pyongyang

Bitterness in Beijing over North Korea’s betrayal may mean war,” by Rowan Callick, The Australian, 18 December 2006, http://www.theaustralian.news.com.au/story/0,20867,20943831-2703,00.html

Very hopeful, if true:

The dynamics have shifted dramatically since the last talks. When Pyongyang tested its first nuclear bomb two months ago, defying pleas from Beijing, it alienated itself from its only ally.

The extent of that alienation has been revealed in essays by China’s leading strategic thinkers. The bitter sense of betrayal felt in China about its communist neighbour, on whose behalf 360,000 soldiers, mainly volunteers, died during the Korean war 53 years ago, sets the tone for the extraordinarily frank essays in China Security.

He sees the biggest winner, after the North Korean regime, as Japan – unless China acts firmly against Pyongyang. “If China continues its ambiguous policies on the North Korean nuclear issue, the US will encourage Japan to become nuclearised.”

Zhu Feng, director of the international security program at Beijing University, says a recent opinion poll shows 44per cent of Chinese people dislike North Korea more than any other nation. “The Chinese leadership now understands it may have deluded itself about the Kim Jong-il Government pursuing a good-neighbourly policy that Pyongyang would gradually be won over by China’s kindness,” he says.

Mr Zhu says that while Beijing’s support of UN resolutions against Pyongyang’s nuclear testing is seen in North Korea as “an act of treachery by its socialist big brother”, when the test happened, “in Beijing, ire turned into fury. It was no less than a slap in China’s face”.

The important meeting of the central committee of the Communist Party three months ago proclaimed that a nuclear North Korea was a formidable challenge to China’s “core interests” – a phrase previously used only about Taiwan independence.

Chinese help would be need to kill Kim.

South Korea’s Dangerous Political Immaturity

Korean War Criminals Cleared,” by Robert J. Koehler, The Marmot’s Hole, 13 November 2006, http://www.rjkoehler.com/2006/11/13/korean-war-criminals-cleared/ (from Coming Anarchy).

Panel issues list of pro-Japan collaborators,” Yonhap News, 6 December 2006, http://english.yonhapnews.co.kr/Engnews/20061206/610000000020061206210859E2.html (from One Free Korea).

South Korea is an immature state whose power should be limited to the extent possible. South Korea is not an ally, but merely a state that must be “engaged.”

American policy in the Korean peninsula should be aimed at moving North Korea closer into the orbit of the People’s Republic of China. The only valid alternative is the total collapse of the North Korean regime and the return of immediate & full citizenship of all north Koreans in the Republic of Korea.

South Korea should not be allowed to extend its position and power by administering North Korea as a colony. South Korea is too volatile a state — too obsessed by Arabesque conspiracies and fetishism for revenge — to be trusted as a regional power

Some evidence:

Don’t Blame actual War Criminals:

A Korean government commission cleared 83 of 148 Koreans convicted by the Allies of war crimes during World War II.

The commission ruled that the Koreans, who were categorized as Class B and Class C war criminals, were in fact victims of Japanese imperialism.

Of the 148 Koreans convicted of war crimes, some 23 would eventually be executed.

Blame the Children of Political Enemies:

The panel, launched in May last year, was formed under a special law enacted in 2004 to seek out collaborators who endorsed Japan’s colonization of the peninsula.

Another 104-member presidential committee was launched in August with the mission of seizing assets owned by the descendants of the pro-Japan collaborators.

For what it’s worth, I hereby endorse Japanese colonization of the Korean pennensyla.

Like the Europeans in Africa, Japan’s sin in Korea is this: they left too soon.

Chinese Korea or Greater Korea

When North Korea Falls,” by Robert Kaplan, Atlantic Monthly, October 2006, http://www.theatlantic.com/doc/prem/200610/kaplan-korea (see commentary on Coming Anarchy, DPRK Studies, Left Flank, and ruNK, full text at Marmot’s Hole).

When I led recitations for International Relations last year, I gave a brief lecture to my class

“You will care about your neighbors as long as you live by them
You will care about anyone else until they get bored.

Countries can’t move.

Countries will care about their neighbors forever.
Countries will care about other countries until they get bored.”

On that theme, I am very greatful to Eddie of Live from the FDNF for mailing me (and Mark, I suspect) the complete text of Robert Kaplan’s article on the fall of Pyongyang:

The concluding paragraphs are the most relevant

But South Korea also provides a lesson in what can be accomplished with patience and dogged persistence. The drive from the airport at Inchon to downtown Seoul goes through the heart of a former urban war zone. South Korea’s capital was taken and retaken four times in some of the most intense fighting of the Korean War. Korean men and women who lived through that time will always be grateful for what retired U.S. Army Colonel Robert Killebrew has called American “stick-to-itiveness,” without which we would have little hope of remaining a great power.

In the heart of Seoul lies Yongsan Garrison, a leafy, fortified Little America, guarded and surrounded by high walls. Inside these 630 acres, which closely resemble the Panama Canal Zone before the Americans gave it up, are 8,000 American military and diplomatic personnel in manicured suburban homes surrounded by neatly clipped hedges and backyard barbecue grills. I drove by a high school, baseball and football fields, a driving range, a hospital, a massive commissary, a bowling alley, and restaurants. U.S. Forces Korea and its attendant bureaucracies are located in redbrick buildings that the Americans inherited in 1945 from the Japanese occupiers. Korea is so substantial a military commitment for us that it merits its own, semiautonomous subcommand of PACOM—just as Iraq, unofficially anyway, merits its own four-star subcommand of CENTCOM.

The United States hopes to complete a troop drawdown in South Korea in 2008. Having moved into Yongsan Garrison when Korea’s future seemed highly uncertain, American troops plan to give up this prime downtown real estate and relocate to Camp Humphreys, in Pyongtaek, thirty miles to the south. The number of ground troops will drop to 25,000, and will essentially comprise a skeleton of logistical support shops, which would be able to acquire muscles and tendons in the form of a large invasion force in the event of a war or a regime collapse that necessitated a military intervention.

Patience and dogged persistence are heroic attributes. But while military units can be expected to be heroic, one should not expect a home front to be forever so. And while in the fullness of time patience and dogged persistence can breed success, it is the kind of success that does not necessarily reward the victor but, rather, the player best able to take advantage of the new situation. It is far too early to tell who ultimately will benefit from a stable and prosperous Mesopotamia, if one should ever emerge. But in the case of Korea, it looks like it will be the Chinese.

We will not care about Korea forever. Pretending we will sets us up for a big mistake. Not only are Americans not imperialists (thank heaven!), we are far away.

North Korea’s neighbors will care about northern Korea forever. Beijing and Seoul will care about northern Korea forever.

To the Chinese People’s Collective or the Greater Korean Republic?

So, should we build a future worth creating for northern Koreans by changing facts that will will build either a Chinese Korea or a Greater Korean Republic? How do we choose between a Zhongua Hanguo and a Daihan Minguk?

With news that North Korea has become a South Korean satellite, it looks like “Greater Korea” is already here. It’s in part a Stalinist dictatorship. It is going the wrong way.

America should support Chinese designs in North Korea, and the overthrow of the “Kim Family Regime” by a pro-Beijing government. It may be better than a Untied Nuclear Leftist Korea any day.

Totalitarianism is Chic When It’s Ironic and Past-Tense

Courtesy of Mutant Frog (now based on Bangkok) and the ever-Canadian Younghusband of Coming Anarchy, three photos of girls Mel Brooks-ing the evil of the past by robbing it of its terror (through cosplay — at least they aren’t furries).

But this post has a serious message:

Actually, the North Korean one isn’t in jest, at all. North Korea is still owned by terror. North Korea detained an American for decades and kidnapped his Japanese wife. North Korea is a nightmare-state.

The men and women, boys and girls, of North Korea will not be free until the Pyongyang government is deposed, either be a coup, a Chinese invasion, or American regime change.

The men of North Korea will not be free to be men, and the women of North Korea will not be free to be women, until liberty comes to that half of the Republic of Korea. Let’s hope it comes soon.

Goodbye OFK. Hello, Korea Liberator.

Imagine my horror when I found out that one of my favorite blogs, One Free Korea, was shutting its doors

With this entry, posting at OneFreeKorea comes to an end.

But hopefully the future will be bright. Joshua, a fellow South Dakotan and an amazing guy has joined with the brains behind DPRK Studies and The Asianist to create a new grou blog, The Korea Liberator.


The Korea Liberator‘s mission statement reads:

Our Agenda Is a Free and United Korea

North Korea will only change when it reflects the will of its people. North Korea’s people want most of the same things people everywhere want: self-determination; freedom of expression, religion and association; food and clean water; good education for their kids; marriage and families; some frivolous entertainment; and the satiation of their intellectual curiosities. They want all of these things without fear of Thought Police, firing squads, or labor camps.

The North Korean regime has intentionally deprived the North Korean people of the fundamental necessities of life so that it could build a gargantuan army and nuclear weapons. Somewhere between 50,000 and 300,000 North Koreans want those the necessities of life so badly that they risked their lives, crossed over to China, and live like fugitives. We believe that many others, who cannot leave, also wish not to live under Kim Jong Il’s reign. We want what they want.

While not as muscular as Barnett or Curzon, Joshua is a resolutely pro-North-Korean (people and anti-DPRK (government) blogger. He has met with Secretary , and is a daily read for tdaxp. My blogroll and rss reader have been updated.

Read The Korea Liberator now.

Curious about North Korean news? Also read NKZone, or the US Army’s North Korea geography textbook (hat-tip Catholicgauze).

One Free Korea Breaks State Department Scandal? Nicholas Burns’ Illegal Diplomacy?

NKHRA Progress Report: Who Is Keyzer Soze?,” by Joshua, One Free Korea, 23 November 2005, http://freekorea.blogspot.com/2005/11/nkhra-progress-report-who-is-keyzer.html (from Live from the FDNF).

At the State Department…,” by Mi-Hwa, One Free Korea, 26 November 2005, http://www.haloscan.com/comments/stantonjb/113278554598136125/#133605.

Mi Hwa…,” by Joshua, One Free Korea, 27 November 2005, http://www.haloscan.com/comments/stantonjb/113278554598136125/#133611.

Props to Eddie of Live from the FDNF for alerting me to an OFK post that I missed.

Why, some of us want to know, has the North Korean Human Rights Act lodged in the State Department’s windpipe? Why, over a year after the bill was signed into law, does an executive agency that’s nominally answerable to the President of the United States fail to accept North Korean refugees who knock at the embassy gates? I specifically cite Section 303 of the North Korean Human Rights Act of 2004, which is now binding law:

The Secretary of State shall undertake to facilitate the submission of applications under section 207 of the Immigration and Nationality Act [meaning, asylum applications] (8 U.S.C. 1157) by citizens of North Korea seeking protection as refugees (as defined in section 101(a)(42) of such Act (8 U.S.C. 1101(a)(42)).

In plain English, that means that our embassies violate federal law if they fail to “facilitate” asylum applications at our embassies abroad. Yet Tim Peters not only informs me that our embassies are refusing to take these refugees, he’s said the same to Congress under oath, and he has it on film, thanks to CNN. One overseas ambassador, so another source tells me, went so far as to seek legal advice from Foggy Bottom as to how to interpret the law. He was told in no uncertain terms not to ask again.

One Free Korea‘s Joshua Stantaon is a well respected blogger. He recently met with Ambassador John Bolton, and a plaque he designed now hangs prominantly in Bolton’s office. Maybe that’s why a government leaker has chosen OFK to release the news

My source says that Burns doesn’t want our State Department taking any actions that would unduly offend Kim Jong Il, such as taking in refugees, or letting any pesky part-time Special Envoy muck it all up with unpleasant remarks about investigating infanticides, concentration camps, or gas chambers. Hence, we hear relatively little from Lefkowitz, and shouldn’t expect to hear much more of consequence. Just to be sure–according to a different source–State has placed individuals sympathetic to the Burns world view in Lefkowitz’s office . . . to better keep him inside the range of his electronic ankle bracelet.

Nicholas Burns: Rogue Diplomat?

Of course, this is only a leak — it may not be true. Conceivable it could be part of a power play by a secret cabal – a conspiracy – to embarrass a pesky enemy. But given the State Department’s history of rogue policy, the news is all too believable.

On the story’s discussion thread,” Mi-Hwa wonders if Dr. Barnett’s old enemy, the Department of , is behind the trouble:

At the State Department, the buck stops at Condi Rice. She obviously does not welcome North Korean refugees. Homeland security is probably the reason — they don’t want North Korean spies or terrorists.

The news even has Joshua, a firm Republican, questioning Secretary Rice‘s leadership

Mi-Hwa, Other than your speculation about Homeland Security being the culprit (one doesn’t need one if my source is right about State), I’m actually forced to admit that I agree with you.

Condi Rice is responsible for what her subordinates and our ambassadors are doing, or failing to do. She has sworn to uphold our nation’s laws. She must be accountable if she fails to do this.

Unless we kill Kim, we break North Korea through connectivity — not guarding the gates of Pyongyang’s prisons for them.

They Did This To An American…. And A Japanese

“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.”

Charles Jenkins

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.”

Charles Jenkins and Hitomi Soga

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.

One Free Korea Worth Creating, Whether Pyongyang and Seoul Like It Or Not

Activists Release Names of S Korea Abductees,” by Joshua, One Free Korea, 2 June 2005, http://freekorea.blogspot.com/2005/06/activists-release-names-of-s-korea.html.

Would anyone really miss North Korea?,” by Thomas Barnett, Thomas P.M. Barnett :: Weblog, 4 June 2005, http://www.thomaspmbarnett.com/weblog/archives2/001896.html.

Is liberal hawk Thomas Barnett just a pseudonym for Josh from OFK?

They seem to agree that North Korea needs to go, even if South Korea doesn’t deserve friendship

from TPM Barnett:

Meanwhile, South Korea races ahead in—I guess—another form of counterfeiting—albeit a far more technologically advanced one. If a South Korea can reach for such heights while a North Korea descends to such depths, I ask you: who would miss North Korea the state?

And if nobody would, why not just get rid of it any way we can? Put the people out of their misery, their stunted growth, their perpetual low nutrition and caloric intake, their lowering IQ, passed on from generation to generation.

North Korea is the international equivalent of the child whose horrific parents locked her in the closet for the last 15 years. I say it’s time to do the humane thing. South Korea’s too busy cloning themselves to give a rat’s ass. If they have that many extra bodies around, I don’t think we should sweat their possible losses in the take-down of Kim’s regime, because at some point, the horror has to stop. At some point, you have to strike right into the heart of darkness, killing that mad little nutcase.

from One Free Korea

Still, it’s interesting to contrast Japan’s efforts to get back its abductees, and even the North’s hard work to get back its own spies and saboteurs, to Seoul’s failure to even ask for the return of its civilians and prisoners of war.