Wednesday, May 02, 2007

Korea: Reunification Is Kim Jong-il's Ultimate Nightmare

North Korea has half the population of South Korea, and Korean politics is notable for its powerful regionalism. This is the unified Korea into which Kim Jong-il will be taking an impoverished, perpetual minority.

If only.

Chun Doo-hwan and Roh Tae-woo, the two former military leaders who, as successive presidents, took South Korea into the democratic era, were later tried and convicted of treason, mutiny, and corruption, and were forced to humiliate themselves before they were ultimately allowed to go free. The next two presidents, Kim Young-sam and Kim Dae-jung, have also seen family members and associates hounded by criminal prosecutions after they left office. If this record is anything to goby, Korean presidents have been incredibly corrupt, or the Korean people are an incredibly vengeful lot. Either way, the future in a unified Korea has not looked so bright for Kim Jong-il.

And now this. If Koreans can exact revenge after more than sixty years have gone by, and on the descendants of the collaborators at that, imagine what will happen to the Kim family and associates, once the border patrol comes down.

Kim Jong-il and his associates are the ultimate status quo power, and rightly so. I suspect all his actions should be interpreted accordingly.

The BBC article adds the comfort women for good measure. If the history of prostitution and slavery is any indication, there must have been many locals more than willing to help the Japanese military fulfill the sexual needs of its soldiers. And there are records. Are the South Koreans going there as well?

In contrast, we Japanese are a forgetful people. It makes us good losers, bad winners.

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