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August 11, 2006


Steve Edwards

It wouldn't be unreasonable to suggest that the Soviets/North Koreans would have put out feelers in the South Korean student Left with the view to active recruitment back in the 60s and 70s. Roh's entire party sounds like it is stacked with communist-sympathisers.

Say - I'm not really across Korea, but is there any evidence that the 1987 uprising was in some way supported by Moscow?


Not that I know of, though it wouldn't be in the least surprising given the ideological proclivities of groups like the Korean teachers unions or the "Korean Federation of General Students Councils" (Hangchongnyon).

Steve Edwards

PS - Speaking of Korea, a friend who is now teaching there sent me an email yesterday that reinforces many of your favourite themes about that country. Here are a couple of quotes from his email:

"I am still living in the most boring city on earth (which makes perth look like the social capital of the known universe).

You wouldn't believe it. You have lived in a multi-cultural city all your life, so you cannot believe how incredibly stupid koreans (outside of seoul or busan) are.

I like asking them questions.

Some typical responses (from supposedly educated, korean adults)

1. Q. what is the capital of the USA?

A. Africa

2. Q. what is the most commonly eaten food on earth

A. Kimchi (crap tasting fermented cabbage, that koreans, and only koreans eat)

They think it is more popular than rice or bread or potatoes."


Here's more grist for the mill:

What Korean politics would be without America, Japan or some other foreign devils to blame is beyond my imagining.

Steve Edwards

A horrific thought just occurred to me. If you, along with my English teacher friend, and countless other observers are right about the fanatical nationalism and insularity of Korean society and its body-politic, imagine how bad things will be AFTER reunification with the North.

Steve Edwards

I did like that article, by the way; and I thought the calls for slavery reparations in the United States were unreasonable! That "war collaborators" property seizure truly takes the cake. I've just struck "Korea" off my "to travel" list permanently.

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