Monday, June 19, 2006

North Korea--The Global Village Idiot

Not long after I arrived in Japan in 1998, North Korea test-fired a missile, part of which flew over Japan and landed in the Pacific Ocean. Now, according to this Reuters story (you can read about it anywhere, actually), it looks like they're getting ready to test another missile, this one more long-range capable. If the idiots in Pyongyang are true to form, this one will also likely violate Japanese airspace, not to mention all international norms of civilized behaviour. I was quite aware that North Korea was the nutjob of nations before I came here, but living next door to to the global village idiot is enough to raise anyone's level of anger and disgust.
Of course these missiles are relatively harmless without a payload, and it's fairly common knowledge that North Korea has a nuclear weapons program, if not actual possession of one or more nuclear bombs.
From 1977 to 1883 agents of the North Korean government were responsible for the abduction of many Japanese civilians. Most were abducted to teach Japanese language and culture to North Korean spies, some in order to obtain their identities.
For years North Korean spy boats have routinely violated Japanese territorial waters, for the purposes of both espionage and smuggling drugs into Japan.
North Korea can go on ranting all it wants about Japanese war atrocities and the wartime occupation/colonization by Japan, but it doesn't change the fact that Japan stopped throwing its weight around 60 years ago, while North Korea's crimes (and that's what they are) are recent and ongoing. I won't even go into what this pathetic excuse for a government does to its own people.
Given the above, and the relatively recent news that North Korea has been counterfeiting US currency in order to make a few bucks and destabilize the American/world economy, we Kyklopes are tempted to ask our American friends one simple question: what the fuck are you guys doing getting blown up in Iraq?


  1. Yes, Kim Jong Il is a certifiable nutjob. He's a real old-school crazy dictator. I can imagine it sucking living right next door althought thanks to the magic of ICBMs none of us are that far.

    And you're right about Japan's war crimes are in the past but it would be nice if conservative Japanese would admit they happened at all.

  2. You're absolutely right that Japan should look squarely into its past and fess up to its wartime atrocities. I fear, however, that it may be too late too realistically expect it to happen. Most of the boomers (let alone younger generations) here don't even really know that much about WWII and Japan's role in it. I'm certainly no expert, but I think the Americans, immediately after the war, also tended to brush aside some of the more serious aspects of Japan's behaviour (in contrast to, say, the big Nazi trials in Europe) in order to make things easier for themselves in a post-war Asia.
    Anyway, I'm definitely not an apologist for Japan on this score. There is an influential rightist element here that has worked actively to re-write history and whitewash Japanese war crimes.