(1926 - 2006) was a Korean movie writer, director and producer, who studied film in Japan and returned to South Korea, where he gained fame and became the uncontested leader of the film industry
in the 1960s, in a time when regulations on the industry limited other studios. In the 1970s under the Fourth Republic of South Korea
, the film industry was even further limited, which lead to Shin's studio being closed. Things went from bad to worse, when "the Orson Welles of South Korea" was kidnapped by request of Kim Jong Il
, the son of North Korea's dictator, Kim Il Sung. The reason? Kim Jong Il wanted the nation's film industry to promote the virtues of the Korea Workers' Party to a world-wide audience. After being imprisoned for four years, Shin was reunited with his ex-wife (who was also a captive of North Korea) and the given relative freedom, producing seven films in North Korea. While setting up a distribution deal to share Kim Jong Il's vision with a broader audience for a Godzilla-like monster movie, Shin and his wife escaped and sought political asylum in the United States. Their freedom was possible because of that last film for Kim, entitled Pulgasari
. But Shin's life in movies was not over yet. [more inside]
posted by filthy light thief
on Aug 5, 2010 -
On March 26, 2010, the ROKS Cheonan, a South Korean navy ship, exploded and sunk
, killing at least forty sailors. On May 19, an international investigation team concluded that a North Korean torpedo sunk the Cheonan.
What does this mean for the Koreas and the world? It's not clear, but Ask a Korean
provides a brief, yet historically contextualized dossier
on this issue. [more inside]
posted by ignignokt
on May 25, 2010 -
Hitch reads up on North Korea
: "I have recently donned the bifocals provided by B.R. Myers
in his electrifying new book The Cleanest Race: How North Koreans See Themselves and Why It Matters
, and I understand now that I got the picture either upside down or inside out. The whole idea of communism is dead in North Korea, and its most recent "Constitution," "ratified" last April, has dropped all mention of the word. The analogies to Confucianism are glib, and such parallels with it as can be drawn are intended by the regime only for the consumption of outsiders. Myers makes a persuasive case that we should instead regard the Kim Jong-il system as a phenomenon of the very extreme and pathological right. It is based on totalitarian "military first" mobilization, is maintained by slave labor, and instills an ideology of the most unapologetic racism and xenophobia." Read the first chapter here.
posted by ocherdraco
on Feb 2, 2010 -
In 2010, Obama will have a miserable year
, NATO may lose in Afghanistan
, the UK gets a regime change
, China needs to chill
, India's factories will overtake its farms
, Europe risks becoming an irrelevant museum
, the stimulus will need an exit strategy
, the G20 will see a challenge from the "G2"
, African football
will unite Korea
, conflict over natural resources will grow
, Sarkozy will be unloved and unrivalled
, the kids will come together to solve the world's problems (because their elders are unable)
, technology will grow ever more ubiquitous
, we'll all charge our phones via USB
, MBAs will be uncool
, the Space Shuttle will be put to rest
, and Somalia will be the worst country in the world
. And so the Tens
The Economist: The World in 2010
. [more inside]
posted by goodnewsfortheinsane
on Nov 14, 2009 -
(幸福の科学), also called Happy Science, is a relatively new religious and spiritual movement, founded in Japan in October 1986. The organization is gaining ground world-wide, with the international headquarter office in central Tokyo, 6 local temples located in London, New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Seoul and Taiwan, and an additional 37 local offices around the world. The group's leader, Master Ryuho Okawa, has is not limiting the scope of the movement to politics, and in May 2009 the Happiness Realization Party
was formed, with over 300 HRP candidates running for the coming general election
. To provide background on the religion and political movement, here is a little investigation of Happy Science
by MeFi's own shii
[via mefi projects
] [more inside]
posted by filthy light thief
on Jul 28, 2009 -
From 1977 to 1983, between 16-70 Japanese citizens were abducted
in their home country by agents of the North Korean government. 13-year-old Megumi Yokota was the youngest. This is her story
posted by JPowers
on Jan 22, 2007 -
Air samples over North Korea show no radiation "It is possible there was no radiological data. That could be the case if: the North Koreans successfully sealed the site; it was such a small detonation and so deep underground there was no escape of nuclear debris; or the test was actually conventional explosives."
posted by Artw
on Oct 13, 2006 -
Fascinating photo set
of North Korean life, as taken by a Russian tourist. The degree of "Big Brother" style oversight present via the photo narration is daunting.
posted by jonson
on Jun 14, 2006 -
The Axis of Evil has some competition — in Ohio.
The Bush Administration continues to apply pressure to North Korea about its alleged counterfeiting of $100 notes: This Korean story
quotes Amb. Alexander Vershbow demanding physical proof that Pyongyang has destroyed its forging equipment. On the other hand, according to the BBC, South Korea's intelligence service doubts the North is counterfeiting
, although it may have done so in the past. Meanwhile, on the homefront, a 16-year-old has been fingered as the mastermind of a bogus bill ring operating out of the boy's home in North College Hill, OH. Oddly, the Cincinnati Enquirer article announcing the bust
is chock-full of juicy tips for would-be home engravers: rip off old bills rather than new, don't overlook those colored fibers, and set the wash cycle for delicates. Oh, and don't even think about using scissors: it's a sure giveaway!
posted by rob511
on Feb 19, 2006 -
pieces from the San Diego Union-Tribune
chronicle the dire conditions in North Korea, the last worst place on Earth
: "The suffering of the North Korean people does not benefit from the drama that attends well-publicized human rights crises such as Iraq and Darfur. Even when hunger and starvation killed as many as 2 million North Koreans in the mid-1990s, the world took little notice. And the greater toll is the continuing long-term day-to-day grinding down of the hearts, minds and souls of all North Korean people."
posted by jenleigh
on May 18, 2005 -
North Korea has the ability to arm a missile with a nuclear device.
"The Pentagon's top military intelligence officer said yesterday that North Korea has the ability to arm a missile with a nuclear device, stunning senators he was addressing and prompting attempts by other defense and intelligence officials later to play down the remarks." Was Bill Clinton right
or just an an appeaser
But don't worry! Our CIA
and our military
have never failed us yet
, and we have wise leaders: "No terrorist state poses a greater or more immediate threat to the security of our people and the stability of the world than the regime of Saddam Hussein in Iraq." -- Donald Rumsfeld, testimony to Congress, Sept. 19, 2002.
So, will we be
protecting America from WMDs
, that is, giving the "Gift of Democracy" in Pyongyang, or just buying off Mr. Kim again?
posted by orthogonality
on Apr 29, 2005 -