Thursday, November 08, 2007

What Winston should say to North Korea

Winston is visiting North Korea next week, a visit I've already condemned as being unconscionable, as it implies that a state which imprisons children as young as 4 as political prisoners and works entire families in gulags from dusk till midnight 7 days, should be treated as an equal - or even deserves being talked to.
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After all would you treat those who abuse children as a deliberate state policy as equals?
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I'm unsure why he is going, North Korea is a long way off being a valuable trading partner, I can think of many less tinpot places with better human rights records he hasn't visited. I can only put it down to the Labour Party nuclear fetish. North Korea has signed a deal to dismantle its (announced and detected) nuclear facilities - not destroy its current nuclear weapons arsenal - but is to be rewarded for successfully developing and testing a nuclear weapon, but promising to "never ever proliferate and not make any more".
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Coming from a country that insists the Korean War was started by the US, when even the Kremlin revealed some years ago that this is complete fiction. A country that claims the rest of the world starves while it is a workers' paradise - in other words one of the most truth detached countries on earth, is hardly one you can trust to do a deal with.
Anyway, Winston is apparently going to "reinforce with North Korea the importance of fully declaring and dismantling its nuclear programmes and to express New Zealand's strong support for the Six Party Talks process" according to NZ Herald. Well that'll make a difference, Kim Jong Il will be bearing that in mind with his next bottle of cognac - oooh New Zealand agrees with us keeping our nukes and dismantling (hiding) the rest of our programme.
Setting aside this worthless piece of diplomacy, there IS something else Winston said that is more sinister. The Herald also says "New Zealand was ready to help North Korea's economic development once it had abandoned its plans to develop nuclear weapons" (sic).
Well setting aside the illiterate past tense from NZPA which would please me ("was" not "is"), how will this happen? Are taxpayers going to help this murderous totalitarian nightmare to develop? Would we have supported the economic development of Nazi Germany if it never invaded Poland and promised not to develop MORE nuclear weapons (but keep the ones it has)?
No. New Zealand taxpayers should absolutely revolt at the idea of paying a cent towards these butchers. Winston SHOULD ask North Korea to open up its gulags, which hold around 200,000 prisoners, to the Red Cross (not the North Korean Red Cross which is near useless). Ask them about Camp 22, about imprisoning children as political prisoners, about these cases from the gulags:
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"there were two girls and they were trying to take out a piece of noodle from one polluted water pond where they put the garbage. And one guard kicked the kids into the small pond, and they drowned."
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and
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"And I heard many times that eyeballs were taken out by beating. And I saw that by beating the person, the muscle was damaged and the bone was exposed, outside, and they put salt on the wounded part."
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and
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"The reason why she was forced to go to the prison is her father’s elder brother was purged at the Anbyon, Kanwhan Do province. She went when she was 5 years old. All of the family members were imprisoned. Her mother starved to death, and her brother also starved to death in the prison. I met her at age 26. So it means she was in the prison for 21 years. I think she no longer is in the world"
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So what happened to this woman who was a political prisoner from age 5? Yes 5!! A former gulag guard tells:
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"my supervisor, when he saw the woman, she was beautiful. And he raped her, and he was found by the watchman officer. And he was investigated. My superior, his rank was reduced and the woman was sent to the detention center And then I didn’t see her for one year.
...One day I was going to the place to load the coal, I met her. And I noticed she was exactly that woman, and I asked her, how you could survive. And she told me, that "yes, I survived". But she showed me her body, and it was all burned by fire.
...After six months I met her at the corn storage in Kusan district and found her putting on a used tire on her knees because her legs were cut off. Because of a coal mine wagon ran over her knees. And all she could do now was separate the corn grains from the cob"
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Winston, if you don't raise human rights with North Korea then, in the words of the cliche, you don't deserve to be pissed on if you're on fire. Nobody in North Korea can even utter a word questioning this - you can, you effectively have diplomatic immunity in this case.
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Oh and if you only care about economic development, you might give North Korea the only seriously sound advice it needs ...
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set your people free!

1 comment:

Sam Pierson said...

Strong & sobering post Scott. Yr knowledge of & passion for these things is exceptional, and I enjoy coming here for that.

NZ foreign policy is shameful & adrift. Winston a fool & accomplice.