Friday, October 17, 2003
It is quite natural for the army and people of the DPRK to call for strongly reacting against the reckless suppression and terrorism of the Japanese right-wing gangsters against Chongryon and Koreans in Japan, considering them as deliberate political and military provocations of the Japanese government to the DPRK.What is one to do in the face of this rhetoric? Beg North Korea to come to the table in order to "test its intentions" of course!
There exists long-standing confrontational sentiment between the two countries. The Japanese government's hostile policy toward the DPRK and Chongryon is little short of adding to the crimes committed by the Japanese imperialists against the Korean people in the past. It only stirs up the bitterness of the army and people of the DPRK towards Japan.
The DPRK can never allow any slightest compromise and concession on the encroachment upon the dignity of the nation and the sovereignty of the country. It will take only a powerful self-defensive step against the violation.
The Korean people will certainly force Japan to pay dearly for its double and treble crimes.
Pyongyang, October 17 (KCNA) -- Chikez Diemu, general secretary of the National Executive Committee of the People's Party for Rehabilitation of Democratic Congo and Democracy, visited the DPRK embassy in the country, placed a floral basket before the portraits of President Kim Il Sung and leader Kim Jong Il and paid tribute to them on October 10 on the occasion of the 6th anniversary of Kim Jong Il's election as general secretary of the Workers' Party of Korea and the 58th anniversary of the WPK. Meanwhile, the Movement of the Libyan Revolution Committee sent a large bouquet in the name of the movement together with a congratulatory message to the DPRK embassy on Oct. 9.All praise, it seems, flows to the Kims.
Say what you will about the efficacy of senior statesmen reading to schoolkids; say what you will about Bush's literacy program; say what you will about Bush and Ashcroft themselves. Whatever you might say, it is a telling and saddening fact that on the morning of September 11, both apparently felt that promoting child literacy was at or near the top of their agendas. How things have changed! How I wish we could go back to arguing over the merits of educational reform rather than reconstruction of Iraq.
UPDATE: Now here's an idea I can heartily support.
Thursday, October 16, 2003
So, in short, a flawed premise, and pretty specious examples. Especially when you think about the post-war literature in Korea, which was also heavily ambivalent about North Korea and the American presence in the South. I think Mr. Brooke came up with his idea for a story, maybe after an assistant mentioned something about one of those films, then shoved the square facts into the round hole that was his thesis.Read the whole thing.
But since a series of natural disasters devastated North Korea's economy in the 1990s, its state firms have also started signing contracts to provide Russian construction companies with cheap labor in exchange for hard cash.
"Nowadays, they prefer money," says Alexei Starichkov, a Korea expert at the Far Eastern National University in Vladivostok. "Russians use them for the hard and dirty work. The quality of the work is not so high, but people prefer them because they are cheap."
The North Koreans usually stay in dormitories, supervised by their own plainclothes security agents, experts say.
Some work in teams on big construction projects, but others are sent out to find smaller jobs, such as decorating apartments, for themselves.
Once a week, they have to attend a meeting to report on their activities and hand over the bulk of their earnings.
Conditions in the dormitories are poor. Many workers, like Kim, prefer to stay in the apartments they are working on. But back home in North Korea, which depends on international aid to feed its people, competition is fierce to join the Russian work teams, experts say. Some workers even bribe government officials to get a place on a team.
U.S. President George Bush on Wednesday praised Japan as an example to other nations after Tokyo pledged $1.5 billion to Iraq reconstruction ahead of a donors' conference next week.Again, I am surprised at how little coverage one of the world's largest economies' relatively steadfast support for the United States in Iraq has received.
So the Florida Marlins are going to the World Series. They understand they've screwed up about a zillion romantic plot lines. They understand they're about the last team on earth that the poets, the historians and the ratings counters wanted to see show up at that World Series. But that's a problem only for the poets, the historians and the ratings counters.
Sometimes it's about baseball. And the best baseball team is the one still playing.
UPDATE: Stephen Green to Cubs fans: It is all for the best.
UPDATE: More advice for Cubs fans from Adam Smith (who, as I noted in one of my graduate courses a week or two ago, probably held his Theory of Moral Sentiments in higher esteem than the much more widely read The Wealth of Nations).