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Don’t be fooled by North Korean charm

Don’t be fooled by North Korean charm

Positive press doesn't erase situation
Don’t be fooled by North Korean charm
Vice President Mike Pence and his wife, Karen Pence, stand with Kim Yo Jong, sister of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un.
Photographer: The New York Times

I’m appalled at recent articles from the New York Times printed in The Gazette, and similar stories from CNN and NBC, which treat North Korea as a normal nation and Kim Yo Jong as charming. North Korea may be the worst place on Earth, thanks to Kim Yo Jong and her brother.

I lived in Seoul for a year and recently traveled back there, and I follow Korean politics. It’s difficult to summarize how the tragic history tears at the hearts of the Korean people. Koreans are one people, yet a significant fraction of them live in an Orwellian dictatorship in North Korea, where people suffer with diseases that would be easily treatable in South Korea, where hospitals often have no running water, where people even starve to death — except for the few who live like Kim Yo Jong. 

Even friends of the dictator sometimes fall out of favor and are brutally murdered (his own aunt and uncle). You may read the shocking tales of defectors, if you have a strong stomach. Those suffering are the close relatives of the free people of the democratic South.

As for South Korea, current president Moon Jae-In (whose name, appropriately, is a homonym of problem person) won the recall election with 41 percent of the vote because the opposition split votes amongst several candidates. 

He has always been a strong proponent of closer ties to the brutal dictatorship. This “reunification at any cost” cry may resonate with college students and some others, but not with those who remember the horrible invasion of South Korea by Kim Jong-Eun’s (and Kim Yo Jong’s) grandfather and its aftermath. The entire nation suffered under Japanese occupation, and suffering was prolonged for all by the actions of the North. Sadly, for those in the North, it continues to this day, despite the ludicrous charm offensive.

As terrible as the news coverage of Kim Yo Jong has been, it’s matched by the outrageous comment of NBC’s “Asia expert” Joshua Cooper Ramo about “every” Korean respecting Japan. But that’s another story.

James T. Orr
Niskayuna

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