Monday, August 25, 2003
Interesting bit from this article about the Japanese holding up a North Korean vessel in a Japanese port:
[Police] stood guard as right-wing extremists blasted the incoming ship with chants of "Go Home!" Supporters of a group of Japanese kidnapped by North Korea decades ago to train communist spies chimed in, demanding the return of loved ones.

At the ferry terminal, pro-Pyongyang Japanese residents waved North Korean flags under a banner reading: "Long live the glorious fatherland, the Democratic People's Republic of Korea."
Four thoughts:

1. I like how the anti-NK camp is "right-wing extremists." Nothing else in the article justifies that particular word. The "pro-Pyongyang" side is simply "Japanese residents." I guess support of Stalinism doesn't qualify as extremism in the AP style book.

2. I have doubts that there are really Japanese residents -- even of Korean background -- that would be pro-"glorious fatherland, the DPRK." This is most likely astroturfing by Pyongyang. Then again, it's always a possibility: it's not like pro-idiocy groups don't exist within our own shores.

3. Why didn't those pro-DPRK people volunteer to travel to North Korea, instead of the innocents who were kidnapped? Or in exchange for them, say?

4. Where does the UN stand on that whole issue, anyway? North Korea has even admitted to the problem, so can I expect condemnation and outrage from Kofi Annan and The Gum Flappers any time now? Aaaany time now....

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