Wednesday, March 05, 2008

For the last fucking time, the Korean is going to blow a fucking gasket if he is asked anything about whether a group of Koreans outside of Korea is from North or South Korea. NO NORTH KOREAN CAN TRAVEL OUTSIDE OF THE COUNTRY! THAT'S WHAT IT MEANS TO LIVE UNDER A DICTATORSHIP! These are the moments when the Korean's faith in humanity waivers.

6 comments:

  1. Oh yeah. I agree with you. I've noticed that Indians (South Asians) tend to ask that question a lot. I just stop talking to them at that point.

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  2. I don't answer the question, but instead ask them if they are someone they hate being mistaken for - ie. if they are obviously Canadian I ask them if they are American. If they are Australian I ask them if they are American. If they are Japanese I ask them if they are Chinese, and then I start raving on about how great that country is - it usually really pisses them off, but I think they get the message. Or at least it stops me from being annoyed by their ignorance and instead starts to amuse me as a consequence.

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  3. Except for Japan where approximately 150,000 - 200,000 of the Chongryon are North Korean.

    The world knows very little about North Korea and frequently confuses North and South. So whilst I'm sure it's frustrating to be confused with North Koreans, it's just something you'll have to put up with until the world gets smarter or at least better informed.

    Here are two real conversations I had on the phone:
    "Hello. Is that the South Korean embassy?"
    "No sir, this is the Korean embassy."
    "The South Korean embassy?"
    "No sir, this is the Korean embassy."
    Argh!

    "Hello. Is that the North Korean embassy?"
    "No sir, this is the Korean embassy."
    "But is it the North Korean embassy?"
    "No sir, this is the Korean embassy."
    Argh!

    Two different embassies, two different countries, one answer...

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  4. On the subject of Korean embassy relations, the North Korean embassy in Canberra, Australia was closed earlier this year (amidst speculation that increased security in Australia was making it unable to “pay for itself through the proceeds of smuggling and racketeering”) http://www.theaustralian.news.com.au/story/0,25197,23111181-2702,00.html. North Korean diplomats described Sydney as a very beautiful city, but mentioned that they had made no friends in the 5 years they had spent living in Australia. However, “while in Canberra, the North Koreans behaved impeccably except for their indifferent driving skills, which caused them to crash the only real perk of their job, their embassy's Mercedes-Benz.” On a previous occasion in 1975 they also ”crashed their Mercedes in the Canberra suburb of Red Hill and when they went to the nearest house for help, they were aghast to find it was the home of their arch-enemy, the South Korean embassy. Shaken but not yet stirred, the North Koreans visited a local Mercedes dealer to buy a replacement car but were told the car on the showroom floor had already been purchased by the South Korean embassy. Paranoid at the best of times, the North Koreans were furious. Shortly afterwards, they abandoned their embassy and fled the country, sending notice of their departure by letter from Sydney as they left”. Seems a somewhat extreme reaction, but interesting that citizens from either country may suffer from “indifferent driving skills” (to put it politely).

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  5. Although I agree that the vast majority of Koreans living anywhere are South Koreans, I know 40 Northerners living in Toronto, and there are tons in China and Kazakhstan as the border has become quite porous. But these are generally refugee types not tourists, students, or professionals. Of course you shouldn't ask north or south (or my favourite: good korea or bad korea?). But people should be aware of the presence of North Korean diaspora.

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