Wednesday, December 29, 2004

A Visit to Kimland

One thing that I wonder about sometimes is how much American media is covering the various...unsettling...things happening in this region. Especially the Korean situation.

Now, if anything, I have kind of a biased view of things myself. NHK (the only news station I get anymore) has had a lot of coverage on North Korea lately, due to the continuing saga of the 15 Japanese nationals abducted by North Korea in order to have them teach Japanese to North Koreans. (In one case, a North Korean spy took the identity of one of the abductees, in order to enter Japan undetected.)

After two decades, North Korea finally admitted that yes, they had kidnapped people (in return for some diplomatic concessions). Most of them have been able to return to Japan. North Korea claims that the ones who didn't return are dead. Many of their relatives -- and many Japanese in general -- don't accept this answer at it's face. Records are inconsistent, and evidence is lacking. The family of one such abductee, Yokota Megumi, have been so vocal in their protests that the North Korean government recently turned over to Japanese officials what they claimed were her (cremated) remains. They apparently were unaware of how advanced DNA testing techniques have become. The remains have proved to be those of two different individuals, neither of them being Yokota Megumi.

A while ago, I came upon a unique travelogue, written by an American living in South Korea, who was able to take a trip to the north to see a festival, put on by the North Korean government at the same time that South Korea and Japan were hosting the FIFA World Cup. Read it here:

A Visit to Kimland

--Rob

Saturday, December 25, 2004

Merry Christmas, everyone!

Greetings to anybody reading this, and I'm sorry it's been what, three or four months since I last posted. I was without internet access from August until about a week ago. Anyway, I've gotten settled in at my new job here in Tottori Prefecture (even FARTHER away from the world than Kagoshima!), and I finally got the time to set this up again.

Sorry 'bout the wait.

Anyway, I'll do my best to start posting on a regular basis again. I'll hopefully have some pictures to show soon, too.

Happy holidays, all. (I worked both Christmas Eve and Christmas day, so...)