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Hushoor's Korea Briefing: 2003-09-16

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Winds of Change.NET Regional Briefings run on Tuesdays & Wednesdays, and sometimes Fridays too. This Regional Briefing focuses on Korea, courtesy of Robert Koehler of the Marmot's Hole. TOP TOPICS * Make sure to read Tacitus's post on Kang Chol-Hwan's book "The Aquariums of Pyongyang" - it's absolutely amazing, & completely horrifying. Seeing Eye Blog's post on German North Korean human rights activist Norbert Vollertsen is equally noteworthy. * The six party talks to resolve the North Korean nuclear crisis in Beijing came and went, and the best that can be said is no one killed each other. The talks ended without a joint statement, with each participant putting their own unique spin on things - the US trying the positive approach, the Chinese blaming the Americans for their inflexibility, and the North Koreans declaring their intention to reject any future talks. More inside... Other Topics Today Include: 2 great Korea blogs; The Beijing talks in depth; Chinese getting impatient; Opinions on how to deal with North Korea; ROK army to Iraq (maybe); Various items on South Korean politics; Suicide in Cancun; Norkbot cheerleader temptresses, American POWs; and so much more!
* The work of two Korea bloggers deserves special mention. Peter Schroepfer of is a bonafide Koreanist and long-time resident of South Korea. His blog is a true gem for those seeking a better understanding of things Korean. Also insightful is Seeing Eye Blog, the property of Joongang Ilbo contributer Mike Ferrin. The Talks * Kevin at Incestuous Amplification did a great job covering the talks (start at Day 1). * Joseph over at Infidel World gives us his take on the talks (and makes some very astute comments on where South Korea should go from here) * Adam Morris of Brainy Smurf shares his feelings (and frustrations) concerning the negotiations. * The Big Hominid colorfully discusses North Korea's proposed solution to the nuclear crisis. * Of course, Stephen Den Beste discusses the Beijing talks as well. The Nukes * Depending on who you ask, the North may or may not have threatened to conduct a nuclear test during the Beijing talks. The Marmot, judging from both English and Korean language reports, simply isn't sure who threatened to do what to whom (warning: colorful vocabulary employed). * North Korea celebrated its 55th birthday in grand style, but less grand than expected - both the Korean and foreign press had predicted that the Pyongyang would use the occasion to show off newly developed long range missiles capable of hitting Guam. The missiles were a no-show, but American officials now warn of a new North Korean ICMB with a range of 9,400 miles - long enough to hit any target in the continental United States. Anticipatory Retaliation directs you to where to go for all your North Korean missile information needs. What's Next? * Rightpolicy has a thought-provoking article that asks: Is South Korea a bigger threat to the USA than Saudi Arabia? Yes, he means South Korea. * Korea bloggers Joseph of Infidel World and Kevin of Big Hominid debate (in colorful fashion) the North Korean threat and American diplomacy. * Conrad at the Gweilo Diaries points to some evidence that China might be getting fed up with North Korea's games. * With things apparently "hitting the fan" on the peninsula, former President Jimmy Carter throws his hat in the ring with this piece in USA Today and this speech in Japan. Kathreb gives some commentary on Carter's recent contributions to the discourse surrounding the North Korean nuclear crisis, as does Barry Briggs (who does some wonderful work following Korean issues, BTW). * For an interesting "outside-the-box" approach to the North Korean crisis, check out David Scofield's 8/27 op-ed piece to the Asia Times. South Korean Politics * South Korean politics - never pretty to start with - have gotten even uglier with brawls breaking out between ruling party politicians and angry citizens putting the mayor of Puan County in the hospital after thrashing him thoroughly. Incestuous Amplification is the blog you want to consult on "raising fists" in South Korean society. On a related note, Brian at Cathartidae makes some very thought-provoking observations on South Korean society - also read Brainy Smurf's response. * American officials are reported to have requested that South Korea send troops to Iraq for peace-keeping duties. The number of troops requested is not known, but it may be as large as a division. * A South Korean activist committed suicide during the WTO talks in Cancun, Mexico to protest against the opening of South Korea's domestic agricultural market. Yet the collapse of the Cancun talks may give Korean farmers some additional time to restructure. Etcetera * Peter Schroepfer of discusses North Korean art - be sure to check out his virtual collection of North Korean "anti-American imperialism" posters. * The Summer Universiade Games were held in Taegu, South Korea (ugly city, but gorgeous women) - the stars of the game were not the athletes, but the North Korean cheering squad. The WaPo ran a great piece discussing these "beauties from the North" and the changes in how the South Korean public perceives its long-time adversary. * In step with the domestic media, much Korea blogger attention focused on the North Korean cheering squad - check out Kevin of IA's commentary on the Norkbot Temptresses, Brian at Cathartidae discusses them some, as does Barry Briggs. Chris of Free North Korea fame points out a Japan Times piece on the "fembot invasion," and I give my own thoughts on them over at the Marmot's Hole. * The games were also the scene of an ugly skirmish when North Korean reporters attacked a group of South Korean protestors during a press conference - South Korean officials eventually expressed regret for the incident following North Korean threats to withdraw from the games. * Prince Roy over at the Sinosplice network posted some interesting information on the twenty-one American POWs who refused repatriation after the Korean War. The next installment of the Marmot's Korea Briefing will be October 14. Meanwhile, regular updates concerning Korean events can be found at The Marmot's Hole (formerly The Hushoor).

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Tracked: September 18, 2003 4:00 AM
North Korea from Steve's Daily Log
Excerpt: If you want to learn about North Korea, go to Winds of Change Korea Briefing . It has lots of information on North Korea there....


Another good blog...

Sending a division of South Korean troops to Iraq? That's insane.

Why is it insane? Even without that division, the south would destroy a northern invasion. The problem for them is that NK artillery would flatten Seoul and its people, but another division won't make any difference.

It would be nice if you might, you know, offer reasons for a judgment as extreme as "insane".

The Chinese troops are amassing on North Korea's border not to threaten the North, but to help the North keep its people imprisoned there.
It's also time that South Korea faced some heat for propping up the North. My take on that is here: and my take on how to address the North Korea nuclear issue is here:

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