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    Abnormal situation

    Also re. the DPRK missile tests, the Asahi offers this item:

    At least 112 cases of assault, verbal abuse and harassing phone calls have targeted students at Korean schools nationwide in the week since North Korea test-fired seven missiles, officials said Friday.

    The 112 cases were reported by 20 Korean schools as of Thursday, according to officials of the union of Korean school teachers. Several more incidents were reported Friday, they said.

    There’s no excuse for such behavior, obviously. Targeting children for their elders’ perceived political beliefs is barbaric. Besides, there are many points of view represented among ethic Koreans here.

    At the same time, I don’t buy this response:

    The Korean schools are among 71 run by the pro-Pyongyang General Association of Korean Residents in Japan (Chongryun).

    “Our students and parents fear for their safety in this abnormal situation. The harassment is aimed at students across Japan, even elementary school students,” said Ku Dae Sok, principal of the Tokyo Korean Middle and High School in Kita Ward and chairman of the teachers’ union.

    “We cannot help feeling angry at the situation, as Japanese people have been falsely directing their warped anti-North Korea feelings against (long-term) Korean residents here, especially students,” Ku said.

    He said the Japanese government had stirred public anger with its harsh reaction to the missile launches. He urged the public to consider the recent problems between the two countries separately from the presence of Koreans in Japan.

    How’s that again? By all means, let’s expose and punish attacks on children. But Here‘s a very brief run-down on the Chongryun:

    Its organizational structure includes the headquarters in Tokyo, prefectural and regional head offices and branches with eighteen mass propaganda bodies and twenty-three business enterprises. Nearly one-third of the Japanese pachinko [pinball] industry is controlled by Chosen affiliates or supporters. Chosen remittences in hard currencies to Pyongyang have been variously estimated at between $600 million and $1.9 billion each year, with the most likely value in the lower to middle of this range. In recent years the amount has substantially decreased. In 1994, Japanese police testified that some $600 million was being sent to North Korea, though this amount has recently declined to $100 million a year or less.

    The Chosen Soren supports intelligence operations in Japan, assists in the infiltration of agents into South Korea, collects open source information, and diverts advanced technology for use by North Korea. North Korea uses several methods to acquire technology related to nuclear, biological, or chemical warfare and missiles. The Chosen Soren has among other activities an ongoing effort to acquire and export advanced technology to North Korea.

    Note that this does not indicate that these schools are fronts for espionage or anything like that. Who knows? Perhaps some are, but that isn’t my point. My point is that the Chongryun isn’t just an ethnic organization; it’s an ethnic organization that maintains close political and economic ties with the mother country. And the mother country happens to be testing missiles that could reach Japan. For anyone working for a Chongryun institution to call for people to consider Japan-DPRK conflicts “separately from the presence of Koreans in Japan” is ludicrous.

    2 Responses to “Abnormal situation”

    1. submandave says:

      I’ve always felt that if Japan really wanted to get serious about the DPRK they’d clamp down on the Chosen Soren and dry up the pachinko revenue. The Korean schools are as vital to the continued life of CS and their DPRK support as the madrasses are for Wahabbi Islamist support. The lowered remittances to DPRK are directly related to the second and third generation not having as much loyalty to Kim and his gang.

    2. Sean Kinsell says:

      Well, pachinko is regulated by semi-governmental affiliates of the National Police Agency, isn’t it? Maybe the arrangement is too profitable for anyone involved to be roused to action?

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