Some important insights. This should confirm that the people in the north can be influenced by an effective influence campaign. As an aside I was at a conference lunch yesterday with a retired ROK Admiral (and former Korean Ambassador to Kuwait) and we were of course discussing north Korea. He made an off hand comment about the two Korean miracles. The first of course is the "Miracle on the Han" - the rapid advancement of Democracy and Economic developing in South Korea. The second miracle which I will now call the Miracle on the Taedong" (the river that runs through Pyongyang as the Han runs through Seoul) which is the fact that despite the failed economy and horrendous suffering by the people north Korea continues to exist after 60+ plus years. While he meant as sarcasm, it made me think that there could be a useful theme and message to support unification. Although there are huge differences between north and South (greater than anything between East and West Germany) the similarity is that Korean culture is responsible for the way they are: The Korean independent hard working spirit is responsible for the Miracle on the Han creating a nation that is able to fight well above its weight in the global community. The spirit of the Korean people is also responsible for the survival of the north Korean people despite what has happened to them over the past sixty years. When the unification process begins it will be necessary to try to focus on the similarities between north and South and the "Koreaness" of the Korean people. The two miracles though obviously 180 degrees out from each other are both possible because of the Korean culture, history, and tradition – leading both success and survival.
Defector Brings News of NK Interior
What do North Korean people really think of the sophomore Kim Jong Eun regime? According to one newly arrived defector, the state enterprise of idolizing Kim continues apace, but is proving to be ineffective in comparison with the days of Kim Il Sung and Kim Jong Il.
Kim Young Hun, who arrived in South Korea in December 2012, explained the latest situation during a new briefing event, “Monthly Insight into North Korea,” co-hosted by NK Intellectuals Solidarity (NKIS) and Daily NK at Seoul Press Center on the 26th.
“North Korean people still don’t know much about Kim Jong Eun,” Kim explained, adding, “[The authorities] are unable to release a detailed record of his revolutionary history.”
“There aren’t really any materials that can prove he is a great man, as there were when they idolized Kim Il Sung or Kim Jong Il,” he went on to point out. “So the North Korean people hardly ever talk about Kim Jong Eun. They are frightened of the National Security Agency, too; but really people just don’t know who he is.”
Kim also described a common approach to politics in the current era: ignore it. He pointed out that there have been so many claims about economic reform down the years, but none of them were worth anything. Therefore, people have stopped listening to the political pronouncements, and just concern themselves with their own lives.
Kim made additional mention of changes to the consciousness of citizens that have been taking place in recent times.
According to his testimony, in the past it was Japanese-Korean returnees and persons working for foreign-currency earning enterprises who were envied in North Korean society. However, he claimed that in the 2000s it is the families of defectors who occupy that social position. Relations with Japan remain tense, he pointed out, while even the conditions for foreign-currency earners have deteriorated somewhat. Conversely, families of defectors continue to receive relatively stable remittance flows from the South.
“People envy households that have people in South Korea,” he declared. “North Korean people increasingly hanker after South Korean society, thinking that ‘In South Korea if you work hard you can live,’ or ‘If a South Korean laborer works for just a year then he can buy a car.’”
(Continued at the link below)
Wednesday, June 26, 2013
Defector Brings News of NK Interior
For those with an interest in SOF in the Asia-Pacific Region the latest edition of Special Warfare Magazine from the US Army John F. Kenned...
Perhaps Tom Ricks' next book Generalship will be an analysis of the hiring, firing, and rehabilitation of north Korean General...
From an interview I did with a Korean media outlet last month. Have not seen an English translation but will post it when I do. “한국 요...
If wars were won by armies whose officers wore big hats and with medals down to and on their trousers then we would be in big trouble. B...