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North Korean leader Kim Jong Il dead, state media reports


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#16
metro bomaye!

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The diabetes thing is nothing but a rumor. Don't forget, making up stuff about Kim Jong Il is a cottage industry in SK.

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#17
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#18
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I am confident history will judge his leadership fairly, and that the DPRK will continue to struggle for sovereignty.


Struggle for sovereignty, much like Pat Buchanan. If by protecting sovereignty you mean denying his people jobs by putting massive restrictions on his good pals in Russia and China conducting business in his country, then yeah sure, I guess he did do that. Protectionism is awesome.
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#19
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A 'short' overview of North Korea

Interesting tidbits:


The destruction of the Sherman might well have been forgotten were it not for official North Korean historians, who insist that the true hero of the great defense of the nation against the American imperialist buccaneers wasn’t the officer Pak but, rather, a man named Kim Ung-u, a tenant farmer who begat a son named Kim Bo-hyon, a leader of the anti-Japanese resistance, who begat a son named Kim Hyong-jik, another freedom-fighting scourge to the colonial oppressor, who begat a son named Kim Song-ju, who became a partisan leader, and—begetting himself all over again under the nom de guerre of Kim Il Sung—fulfilled his family’s destiny and the nation’s by finally driving the imperialist foe from Korea, establishing the supreme revolutionary state of North Korea and begetting a son named Yuri, who also re-begat himself, as Kim Jong Il.


Lee is sixty-seven years old. She had been a Party member since she was a girl, and her husband had retired from the Army in the early nineties as a high-ranking officer. Yet it was only when they reached China that they learned that the Korean War had been Kim Il Sung’s idea. “Our hearts broke when we realized we had given our lives to a lie,” Lee said. “Even until we crossed the border we kept our Party badges on, because we wanted to serve the Party.”

In the early seventies, the North Korean Academy of Social Sciences expunged the definition of hereditary rule from its Dictionary of Political Terminologies—“a reactionary custom of exploitative societies,” “originally a product of slave societies,” “later adopted by feudal lords as a means to perpetuate dictatorial rule.”


In 1997, Pyongyang officially withdrew from Christian time and placed North Korea on a Juche calendar, which marks the beginning of history as 1912, the year of Kim Il Sung’s birth.


All of North Korea is such a zone, not because of its mountainous landscape but because every radio and TV set is made to receive only one signal, Pyongyang’s propaganda channel, which carries such messages as “Today, the world’s people are consistently envious of our people, calling our people the people blessed with the leader.” Kim Chol told me that his parents brought a radio back from China. “At the border, they cut the wires so it would only get North Korean broadcasting,” he said. “But I was studying electronics, and I reconnected it and began listening to South Korean radio at night under the covers.”



Before expatriate relief workers entered a city or rural area to do their work, the local authorities swept the streets of any evidence of famine. Beggars, emaciated people, abandoned children, trash or debris, and dead bodies were removed from the streets. People were told to stay indoors if they did not have presentable clothing to wear. One relief worker who spoke Korean watched a truck drive through a village just before the arrival of a visiting NGO [non-governmental organization] delegation, announcing over a loudspeaker that people should get off the streets. Only party members were permitted outside their homes to take their ration of food aid while the NGO food monitors were in the city. Put simply, the authorities had created one giant Potemkin village, designed to impress visitors but bearing little resemblance to the dark reality facing the population.

It was only as increasing numbers of North Koreans began crossing the shallow—and for a good part of the year frozen—Tumen River into China, and talking to foreign journalists and aid workers there, that this masquerade began to be understood. The escapees described the North Korea that foreigners never saw as a wasteland, its factories shuttered, its tractors and trucks running on wood-burning steam engines, its once efficient food-rationing system defunct, whole villages standing empty—mass graves here, bodies lying uncollected there, and scavenging bands of skeletal orphans roving everywhere, gnawing on bark and leaves.



When foreign governments and international organizations demanded greater transparency in exchange for food, Kim Jong Il warned that “imperialist ‘aid’ is a noose of plunder and subjugation, aimed at robbing ten and even a hundred things for one thing that is given.” Many megatons of food aid did get through the stonewalling and doublespeak, and lives were saved by it. But by all accounts the bulk of it was hijacked by the state to keep the Party élite and especially the military fed and faithful, and what remained for the masses tended to be reserved for urban centers and handed out or withheld as a reward or punishment for individual recipients’ perceived loyalty to the regime.



North Korea is a desperado in the international arena, holed up in its enclave and taunting its enemies to come and get it. Kim Jong Il runs the place as a criminal syndicate, maintaining his kingdom with money earned primarily from arms trading, drug running, money-counterfeiting, and foreign aid. He spends the money on his own pleasures—lavish feasts, flocks of dancing girls, barrels of fine wines and spirits, fleets of black Mercedes-Benz sedans to dole out as gifts—and on the People’s Army.



the United Nations Commission on Human Rights passed a resolution calling on Pyongyang to give full access to international investigators so that they could follow up reports of such systemic abuses as torture, public executions, forced-labor camps, “all-pervasive and severe restrictions on the freedoms of thought, conscience, religion, opinion and expression, peaceful assembly and association and on access of everyone to information, and limitations imposed on every person who wishes to move freely within the country and travel abroad,” as well as “the mistreatment of and discrimination against disabled children.” It was the first time the U.N. had addressed North Korea’s human-rights abuses so formally and explicitly,


When Shin and his wife escaped from North Korea, they carried with them secretly made recordings of private conversations with Kim Jong Il. On the tapes, Kim readily acknowledges that North Korea’s brand of socialism is flawed; that its technology is at a “kindergarten level”; that its people lack enterprise and motivation because they are given none of the individual incentives that competition thrives on; and that anyone else in North Korea who said any of these things would be considered an ideological deviant, and purged.

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#20
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Evidently, metros11 wants to re-write history to suit his purposes. No, the Korean War was not "Kim Il Sung's idea", that's absolute nonsense.

The rest of it is opinion, rumor and/or hear-say, not worth taking seriously.

Struggle for sovereignty, much like Pat Buchanan. If by protecting sovereignty you mean denying his people jobs by putting massive restrictions on his good pals in Russia and China conducting business in his country, then yeah sure, I guess he did do that. Protectionism is awesome.

They're just asking not to be put under siege, is that so unreasonable?

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#21
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Evidently, metro bomaye! wants to re-write history to suit his purposes.

That's about right.

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#22
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That's about right.

As nationalists, both Syngman Rhee and Kim Il-Sung were intent upon reunifying Korea under their own political system.

There's a legit reference.

So tell us, it was all Kim Il Sung's idea? He was just sitting around one day and he came up with the idea to reunify Korea all by his lonesome?

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#23
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They're just asking not to be put under siege, is that so unreasonable?


Defending your nation from American aggression is not. But denying neutral or friendly nations from doing business in your country, something that would revive the North Korean economy, while millions starve in order to keep out information from the rest of the world so people won't rise up and attack your personality cult is very very unreasonable. Have you read the work of Andrei Lankov?
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#24
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Kim Jong Il funeral footage

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#25
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As nationalists, both Syngman Rhee and Kim Il-Sung were intent upon reunifying Korea under their own political system.

There's a legit reference.

So tell us, it was all Kim Il Sung's idea? He was just sitting around one day and he came up with the idea to reunify Korea all by his lonesome?

There's a difference between theories and facts. For example 'Syngman Rhee was intent upon reunifying Korea' is a theory. 'Kim Il-Sung was intent upon reunifying Korea' is a fact, proven on June 25th 1950. You can spin it any way you want, it was the North that attacked the South.

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#26
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Kim Jong Il funeral footage

If marching was profitable North Korea's economy could finally sustain itself.

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#27
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There's a difference between theories and facts. For example 'Syngman Rhee was intent upon reunifying Korea' is a theory. 'Kim Il-Sung was intent upon reunifying Korea' is a fact, proven on June 25th 1950. You can spin it any way you want, it was the North that attacked the South.

That is an important difference, one we should analyze. For example Syngman Rhee's actions show that he was intent upon reunifying Korea under his rule:

The South Korean president, Syngman Rhee, repeatedly sought support for his ambitions to liberate the north from officials In Washington, as well as from General Douglas MacArthur, the commander of United States occupation forces in Japan, but he never got it.

So here we have facts, while your theory is that the Korean War was all Kim Il Sung's idea. You've yet to prove that, and it's probably because you can't.

Defending your nation from American aggression is not. But denying neutral or friendly nations from doing business in your country, something that would revive the North Korean economy, while millions starve in order to keep out information from the rest of the world so people won't rise up and attack your personality cult is very very unreasonable. Have you read the work of Andrei Lankov?

There are few "neutral or friendly nations" capable of being significant trade partners, not only because the DPRK was quite principled in the whole Sino-Soviet debacle, but also because of the imperialist blockade. If you want to blame someone for "protectionism", the real culprit is the illegal sanctions placed on the country that are designed to hurt the people. The starvation that was happening (not anymore, from all valid sources) is the fault of those blocks imposed against trade. As far as the personality cult goes, I will admit that I don't stand in agreement with it, but IMO that's not nearly the most pressing concern for the DPRK today.

No, I haven't read Andrei Lankov, who is he and what are his arguments?

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#28
metros11

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That is an important difference, one we should analyze. For example Syngman Rhee's actions show that he was intent upon reunifying Korea under his rule:

The South Korean president, Syngman Rhee, repeatedly sought support for his ambitions to liberate the north from officials In Washington, as well as from General Douglas MacArthur, the commander of United States occupation forces in Japan, but he never got it.

So here we have facts, while your theory is that the Korean War was all Kim Il Sung's idea. You've yet to prove that, and it's probably because you can't.

Let's suppose that Syngman Rhee was intent on liberating the North, which is probably true. And as you mentioned, he sought support from the United States to do so, but never got it. Now let's go back to the original quote:

Lee is sixty-seven years old. She had been a Party member since she was a girl, and her husband had retired from the Army in the early nineties as a high-ranking officer. Yet it was only when they reached China that they learned that the Korean War had been Kim Il Sung’s idea. “Our hearts broke when we realized we had given our lives to a lie,” Lee said. “Even until we crossed the border we kept our Party badges on, because we wanted to serve the Party.”


The author of the article refers to it as Kim Il Sung's idea, no where does he specify that it was his idea alone. So the statement is correct. Of course you totally disregard the whole point of the quote itself, the fact that North Koreans were told that it was the South and the Americans that attacked the North, which we know to be false. But that's expected of you.

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#29
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The author of the article refers to it as Kim Il Sung's idea, no where does he specify that it was his idea alone. So the statement is correct. Of course you totally disregard the whole point of the quote itself, the fact that North Koreans were told that it was the South and the Americans that attacked the North, which we know to be false. But that's expected of you.

But unification of Korea wasn't his idea, it was part of the Korean people's struggle for independence from colonialism. The war was due to the unjust circumstances thrust upon Korea, not to some idea Kim Il Sung came up with. To suggest that the war was "Kim Il Sung's idea" is as untenable as claiming the war for American independence was "Washington's idea".

The American imperialists did attack the North, through an illegal UN action (that was not ratified by Congress, thus breaking the Constitution as well as the laws of the UN).

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#30
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There are few "neutral or friendly nations" capable of being significant trade partners, not only because the DPRK was quite principled in the whole Sino-Soviet debacle, but also because of the imperialist blockade.


Principled in the sense that just a decade later they came up with the ideology of juche? Complete self-reliance in order to stop accumulating debt is what it essentially was. Super protectionism that completely failed.

If you want to blame someone for "protectionism", the real culprit is the illegal sanctions placed on the country that are designed to hurt the people. The starvation that was happening (not anymore, from all valid sources) is the fault of those blocks imposed against trade. As far as the personality cult goes, I will admit that I don't stand in agreement with it, but IMO that's not nearly the most pressing concern for the DPRK today.


China's imposing sanctions? You have the fastest growing economy in the world right next door who is more than willing to trade with you and you blame US sanctions for all the problems? It has everything to do with keeping outside information from coming into the country. People will start to ask why China is doing better than them and the facade of the Great Leader would begin to collapse.

No, I haven't read Andrei Lankov, who is he and what are his arguments?


Russian professor who teaches in South Korea, studied Korean history in North Korea. Overall his insights on the North are top notch.
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