Sunday, August 27, 2006

Free NK radio threatened by thugs

East Asia Affairs
... In the new South Korea, thuggery pays. It is here that bullies, enemies of free speech, of toleration, of democracy are being nourished in the country's so-called progressive democratization. Not only are they challenging the values of free speech and toleration, but now they are attacking the victims who seek asylum from the tyrannical regime in North Korea...

...Don't they give them every help and encouragement, to bring closer the day when all Koreans can reunite in the freedom and prosperity that the South now takes for granted?

...Well, no. Make that, hell no. And listen to this: on April 20, North Korean defectors opened an Internet radio station in Seoul. (Korean speakers can access it at

...have been subjected to "continuous threatening phone calls" and e-mails. Station chief Kim Seong-min gets calls from an anonymous woman who says: "You traitor, you'd better be careful," and, "I won't let you get away with this."

...Critics get physical, too. A guard at the building said "strange people" come to protest every day. Young men arrive and menace the Institute, objecting to Free NK being given house room. They have to be driven away, "so the atmosphere has become very chaotic"...

...In the bad old days, woe betide you if you said anything good about North Korea in Seoul. Now it's a mirror image: If you say anything bad about Kim Jong-il, you're a traitor. Even if, like the defectors of Free NK, you've suffered grievously under the Dear Leader - and therefore know whereof you speak, unlike head-in-sand fellow-travellers living safely south of the border...

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