Norks nix Noda
Posted by ampontan on Wednesday, January 4, 2012
YESTERDAY the Korean Central News Agency of North Korea mentioned Japan in an editorial for the first time since Kim Jong-il’s death. They weren’t happy, either. Then again, Pyeongyang’s default position toward diplomacy is that it’s not happy unless it’s not happy.
This time, they were upset at the Japanese government for failing to express official condolences for Kim Jong-il’s funeral (though it did immediately after Kim’s death). The two countries do not have diplomatic relations.
They were also cheesed because Japan refused to allow some senior members of Chongryon (the General Association of North Korean residents in Japan) to attend Kim’s funeral.
Translating from the Japanese report:
Even if a neighboring country does not share in the sadness of a great state funeral, the Japanese authorities are responsible for the vile act of obstructing the condolences of the Korean people…Morally speaking, they are immature infants…They are unaware of even elementary human ethics, morality, or courtesy.
But the English from the KCNA site is not only better, it is downright entertaining:
The whole world was in bitter grief at the end of the last year over the demise of leader Kim Jong Il, peerlessly great man produced by mankind and great leader recognized by the world.
The Japanese authorities…officially revealed their hostile stand, saying “the government has no intention to express condolences”. Worse still, they let loose such balderdash as uttering it was their hope that the great loss the Korean nation suffered would not adversely affect the peace and stability on the Korean Peninsula.
The Japanese authorities’ evil actions found a more striking manifestation in the fact that they desperately blocked the visit to the homeland by the chief vice-chairman of the Central Standing Committee of the General Association of Korean Residents in Japan (Chongryon) to express condolences before the bier of Kim Jong Il.
They’re just getting warmed up:
The Japanese reactionaries have put the DPRK-Japan relations at the lowest ebb, talking for years about the abduction issue which no longer exists and poses no problem. Yet, they are using it as a pretext for hurting the supreme leadership of the DPRK even today when the Korean nation is grieving the great loss. This is unpardonable in any respect.
The phrase “poses no problem” in the Japanese version was literally “doesn’t even have an odor”. It is probably closer to the original Korean.
The winds are gusting up to gale strength:
This is nothing but a mean and ridiculous behavior of the morally stupid guys who stoop to any infamy to gratify their political greed.
It is as clear as daylight what miserable end they will meet.
That’s quite some alliteration in the first sentence. Unconscious genius?
They come close to sticking the knife in, though the thrust misses at the end:
Japan has topped the world list of replacement of prime ministers, becoming the laughing stock of the world and not a day passes without unstable domestic politics. Hence, Japan will never understand the social system in the DPRK, most stable in the world.
Some literary scholars say that the American novelist Thomas Wolfe (You Can’t Go Home Again, Look Homeward Angel) wrote with his hand in his pants (literally). The scribes at KCNA seem to have the same habit.
The complaint about the “chief vice chairman” of Chongryon is telling. They’re referring to Ho Jong-man, the group’s de facto leader. Japanese reports note that the authorization refused was for Mr. Ho to go to Pyeongyang and come back.
Ho Jong-man was born on the Korean Peninsula and is a delegate to the Supreme People’s Assembly of North Korea, though he lives in Japan. Here’s another excerpt from the KCNA editorial:
That was why many officials and lawmakers of Japan urged the prime minister and the chief Cabinet secretary to allow the visit of the chief vice-chairman.
The photo here shows the Chongryon memorial held in Tokyo for Kim two weeks ago. The group’s leader, a resident of Japan, is a member of what passes for the North Korean legislature. The policy of the Democratic Party of Japan, the country’s current ruling party, is to pass legislation permitting citizens of foreign countries with permanent residence permits to vote in local elections — including Korean citizens who are members of the North Korean legislature — though that would seem to be in violation of Article 15 of the Constitution. Providing that suffrage would surely be the foot in the door toward permitting their vote in national elections, or even holding public office. (That is the implication of the Japanese expression used for this policy). And some “lawmakers”, presumably Diet members, thought the government should have let the Chongryon officials attend the funeral.
See what I mean about a fifth column in Japan?
One Japanese politician did stop by the Tokyo service and express his condolences, however: former Prime Minister Koizumi Jun’ichiro. Of course Mr. Koizumi is not a North Korean sympathizer, but he did convince Kim Jong-il to let some of the Japanese abductees in that country return home. His gesture is understandable.
It took a couple of decades, but at least they could go home again.
On the Christmas post, I mentioned that Yamashita Tatsuro can sound like a combination of uptown soul music and the Beach Boys. Here’s what he sounds like when he emphasizes the former mode. Happy greetings!