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Puzzled about the news (North-Korea)

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  • Puzzled about the news (North-Korea)


    Recently, I've seen the story about the Japanese people that had been forced to
    live in North-Korea for years and I can't help keeping asking the same question to myself:
    Is it really that difficult to escape from such a country?

    I reckon I'm quite idealistic sometimes, but I can hardly imagine that a frontier
    is guarded on its whole width. Escaping via the sea at night couldn't be feasible
    also? Do I watch too many action movies ? :-)

    I remember the case in which journalists succeded in entering the country, making videos
    and leaving the country with the tapes.

    Anyway, any opinion is welcome.

  • #2
    Re: Puzzled about the news (North-Korea)

    M.Franck - there are many countries around the world that require exit visas before you are allowed to leave.
    Can I remind you that N and S Korea are still technically at war, and the border between them has the highest concentration of mines and gun emplacements anywhere in the world.
    N. Korean forces regularly probe the South, and the 28 million or so people living in the North are very suppressed.
    The only "open" border is that with China, and to get across they have to swim the Yalu river, and evade guards who get a bonus for catching people, and then hope they are not sent back by the Chinese, who do not want problems with the Koreans.
    Swimming to South Korea is usually fatal due to currents, and watchful guards.
    To obtain tickets to travel you need to show ID.
    Foreigners stand out and are tracked/ followed.
    Suggest you learn a bit more about the region you now live in! Both current and past history, politics and cultures.
    PS - I have lived in countries where to travel more than 40 km from your registered address, you needed a letter of permission! Japan is not so bad!


    • #3
      Re: Puzzled about the news (North-Korea)

      なるほど ;-)


      • #4
        Re: Puzzled about the news (North-Korea)


        Does someone have any information concerning this american guy who's living in North-Korea and who is the husband of one of the Japanese women who came back in Japan after 24 years.



        • #5
          Re: Puzzled about the news (North-Korea)

          M. Franck, suggest you use search engines on the internet or buy yourself a newspaper! Google turned up a dozen references quickly. JT and Asahi Shimbun have covered the topic on a number of occasions.

          Jenkins went missing in January 1965 while on patrol about 10 kilometers from the truce village of Panmunjom.

          Pyongyang later announced he had defected to the North.

          Jenkins hails from a town called Rich Square, a community of less than 1,000 in North Carolina.

          The former U.S. Army sergeant married Soga in the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (North Korea) in 1980. She was his English student. The couple have two daughters, 19-year-old Mika and 17-year-old Belinda. Mika closely resembles her father, while the black-haired Belinda looks more like her mother, according to Soga's accounts to her friends.

          Good night


          • #6
            Re: Puzzled about the news (North-Korea)

            Well TH, allthough you took the time to give feedback, I just wanted to let you know that your post was colder than the siberian wind in winter after a nuclear blast and that you totally missed the point (this is rare, so I'll forgive you :-).

            In "Discussion Forum", there is the word "discussion", right?

            Imagine the following:
            On the way to your prefered combini, a guy comes toward you.
            The guy: Could you tell me what time it is, please?
            TH: 5pm. Go buy a whatch!
            The guy: errr...thanks :-(

            This doesn't fit to your personality, does it? In the real life, you would first answer the question and then you would perhaps start a discussion or say something ( or nothing but
            you wouldn't complain at least ).

            My point is that when I post a message on a forum, it's not only to get an answer, but also to trigger some discussion if possible.

            I work with internet, I connect to google almost 20 times a day, so 心配しないで!

            Have a good day.


            • #7
              Re: Puzzled about the news (North-Korea)

              M. Franck,

              Cannot see the word discussion forum - it just says news/current events forum at the top of the page!

              You asked a question, you got an answer, a URL reference, and a suggestion to use search engines or buy a newspaper. May I suggest that it might have been appropriate for you to start the discussion with your opinion and a more inquiring question?

              Anyway, your amusing, imaginative analogy is incorrect - it should read:
              On the way to your prefered combini, a guy comes toward you.
              The guy: Could you tell me what time it is, please?
              TH: 5pm. Japan Standard Time. And there is also a clock over there on the wall. Why don't you go buy a watch!
              The guy: errr...thanks :-)

              But in real life, I would just answer the question, if I knew the time!
              On the way to your prefered combini, a guy comes toward you.
              The guy: Could you tell me what time it is, please?
              TH: 5pm.
              The guy: Thank you :-)

              But to keep you happy.....

              In this case, the issue is being clouded by the involvement of three countries, US, Japan and North Korea; and the history of 13 or so abductees balanced against hundreds of thousands of Koreans abducted to Japan in the first half of the 20th century, (at that time no N and S Korea) and the threat of WMD being acquired by the DPK. The Japanese Foreign Ministry have done virtually nothing for 20 years, whilst the NKoreans' explanations stink. The NKs would like some compensation for the past, while Japan would insist that the Agreement of San Francisco has already settled all claims from WW2. They in turn want the full details of the abductions, the rather suspicious deaths, and why they were taken.

              The familys of the abductees wish they would remain, but pressure is being put on them to return, citing children left behind. The US soldier could also be tried for desertion, which complicates his return, due to SOFA (Status of Forces Agreements) in Japan, within which I believe Japan would be obliged to turn him over to the US Military Authorities if he came back to Japan.

              The WMD threat is also a teaser for Japan to buy into the TMD (Theatre Missile Defence) System that the US want to develop to protect their own cities, and Japan. Essentially an upgraded Patriot system, with Aegis-radar type control. Very expensive, and in tests, not very successful. The Patriot was also not successful in the Gulf War, though Israel re-programmed theirs to work better. A large Japanese contribution would also appease those who say Japan does not pay enough for the US forces stationed here in Japan.

              South Korea maintains its "Sunshine Policy" towards the North, as they would like to get their hands on the mineral resources of the North, and they are all wary of China, who are one of the few remaining supporters of the DPK. See previous incident of NK defectors in Japanese consul in Shenyang in North China.

              So you see it is a merry can of worms.

              Where would you like to start?

              Stay warm



              • #8
                Re: Puzzled about the news (North-Korea)


                I prefer to stay neutral but I think you should take most of the blame, if not all, of what you are critisizing TH of. I would have responded the same way because you asked for information and not opinions.

                Maybe an apology is in order...


                • #9
                  Re: Puzzled about the news (North-Korea)

                  Hello again TH!

                  Usually, not only am I warm, but I'm hot! :-)
                  Also thank you for willing to keep me happy.

                  Anyway, I think that during a short time, we understood the purpose of the Gaijinpot FORUMS quite differently. In my mind, I always thought that the concept of "discussion" is such a common sense in internet forums that, according to me, it sounds silly to start a thread with "I would like to discuss about ....".

                  Concerning what you said about the real topic of this thread, I thought that the families would rather want to be able to travel between Japan and North Korea freely anytimes they want. Whatever Japanese may think, spending more than 20 years in another country creates strong bonds even if you've been forced to live there. Most of them are believed to have a good jobs there and their childs know almost nothing about Japan. Then, according to me, they are genuine when they say they have to think about their kids first. But for sure, they would make plenty of money in Japan if they decide to remain here!

                  Also, how can someone be held responsible for deserting when he was abducted?? Weird.



                  • #10
                    Re: Puzzled about the news (North-Korea)

                    Here is more info about the American in North Korea from CNN


                    Incidentally, Lonely Planet Korea mentions that once an American peacefully defected across the DMZ several years ago and was never heard from again. He's heard from now!

                    Anybody know what he was up to for the last 35 years? Probably English teaching for the purpose of spying or some other covert purpose. The abducted Japanese were brought over for that kind of thing and lived and worked together on occasion at a special spy training facility, right? How else would Jenkins have met Soga?


                    • #11
                      Re: Puzzled about the news (North-Korea)

                      Hello MCH.

                      More imformation about him are viewable here:

                      But personally, I think nobody will ever now if he really deserted the army.
                      If he wants to avoid any trouble now, he'll have to tell everybody that he has been