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Thursday, January 20, 2005

"I hate Hwang Chang-yôp." I second that emotion...

There are some excellent articles in the new issue of Ta Hamkke (no48) including the second part of their series on Korea's liberation from Japanese colonial rule in 1945 by Han Kyuhan, whose writing is usually very good and interesting. If I get a chance I might translate some extracts from this (I've been meaning the to do the same for Han's excellent series of articles from last year about the Koguryô history controversy but haven't got around to it yet).

Also in this issue is an interview with a North Korean defector (which must be something fairly unusual for a leftwing publication in South Korea). It’s particularly interesting on the sort of discrimination that North Koreans receive in South Korea (I heard about this first hand when I had the chance to meet some defectors). And the interviewee is quite scathing about the government’s special centre for adjusting defectors to South Korean life – the Hanawon, saying that it provides little of any use to defectors.

However it is good old Hwang Chang-yôp (황장엽) who seems to come in for the most invective from the young defector. Our friend the one-time architect of Juch’e thought and Kim Il-sông loyalist turned born-again Neocon hawk is given a proper pasting:

There are some defectors like Hwang Chang-yôp who commit crimes in North Korea and then defect. I hate Hwang Chang-yôp. Every time I see him jabbering away on the internet I say I’m going to start a movement to send him back to North Korea. That bastard could talk about what he liked with Kim Jong-il, but when he’s out of Kim Jong-il’s sight he says he defected because he hates the dictatorship. Now he’s just a tool of the Americans and he’s going on about how we have to have a war with North Korea.

[I think my translation might be a bit sketchy, but hopefully it gives a flavour.]


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