Wednesday, December 01, 2010

Ask a Korean! News: South Koreans are Pissed Off at North Korea

The Korean previously mentioned that in the face of North Korean attacks, South Koreans generally tend to grit their teeth without necessarily expressing their frustration. But that is the general case -- and the exceptions to that general case are rather spectacular. For example, we have South Korean veteran's groups burning effigies of Kim Jong-Il and Kim Jong-Un in protest of the attacks:

But the reactions of Mr. Kim of Dongducheon-si was probably the best:
Around 6 p.m. on the 26th, at a restaurant in Dongducheon-si, Gyeonggi-do, 50-year-old Mr. Kim who owned the restaurant was drinking soju while watching TV. The television was showing news of North Korea's shelling of Yeonpyeong-do.
Mr. Kim, a former member of the special forces who lived near the Armistice Line, took this provocation personally. Mr. Kim, heartily drunk, decided that he would go to North Korea and kill Kim Jong-Il. He grabbed a knife from the restaurant and barged into a delivery truck standing on the street. Mr. Kim threatened the driver into abandoning the car and drove the stolen vehicle toward north.

5-6 kilometers away in Dongducheon-si, Gwang'am-dong, Mr. Kim caused a fender-bender. He abandoned the vehicle and ran away from the accident. Mr. Kim then got in a taxi and demanded to be taken to the Civilian Control Line [TK: the line of DMZ beyond which civilians cannot cross]. The taxi driver drove for 30 mintues, and let Mr. Kim out at Gyeonggi-do Yeoncheon-gun Gunnam-myeon Okgye-ri.

Mr. Kim wandered about for more than an hour, looking for the Civilian Control Line. Having been unable to stand the cold any longer, he snuck into a farmhouse nearby the sleep. Mr. Kim was discovered by the farmhouse owner the next morning, and turned himself in to the nearby police station. At the police station, Mr. Kim regretted action and said, "I did this because I was drunk and angry at North Korea's provocations," and added, "I myself think it was pretty pathetic."

On the 29th, Yeoncheon police station announced that Mr. Kim was released on his own recognizance on the charges of aggravated robbery.
“北도발 못참아” 차 빼앗아 민통선 가려… [Dong-A Ilbo]

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  1. I think that the South Korean president is doing all that he could do. Doing more could provoke a war.

  2. Mr. Kim wandered about for more than an hour, looking for the Civilian Control Line. Having been unable to stand the cold any longer, he snuck into a farmhouse nearby the sleep. Mr. Kim was discovered by the farmhouse owner the next morning, and turned himself in to the nearby police station.

    If only there were pictures. Then he could be the best Blackout Korea post ever!

  3. I'm gonna hazard some guesses, and you can help me out.

    ㅁ You posted this because you wanted people to know that Koreans do stupid things when they are drunk, unlike people everywhere else in the world, who suddenly want to find the answers to quadratic equations.

    ㅁ You have no sympathy for people who have spent years living next to the one of the most fortified borders the world had has ever seen, which nevertheless calls itself "demilitarized." It could be because because you've never walked even 2 meters in their shoes.

    ㅁ Mr Kim himself says he thinks he is pretty pathetic. Perhaps that is true. On the other hand, you are where you are, and he is where he is. Perhaps he wants to make a joke of the whole thing ... are you adding anything to our understanding, or are you just going for a cheap laugh?

    Bottom line. Mr Kim IS a Korean man and he lives near the DMZ. Some people died and he felt upset about it, drunk or not. Okay, picking up a kitchen knife and commandeering a taxi, maybe (definitely) not smart.

    He had an emotion. Wow, that's unique. Fortunately, we are all better than that.

    Let's all laugh at him, shall we? Why not? It's easy, and pretty safe. hey. I'm laughing and I think we all are.

    Let's all continue to laugh. It's gonna help a lot.

  4. Bobster, the Korean knows you write out of sympathy for Mr. Kim, but you are being too harsh.

    - The Korean has a lot of family living in Paju, which is also the Korean's home whenever he visits Korea. Paju is even closer to DMZ than Dongducheon. The Korean OWNS them shoes.

    - What is wrong with a little light-heartedness here? Mr. Kim's mini adventure is a pretty good material for laughs. There is a million people living at the same distance from DMZ as Mr. Kim. Everyone is pretty shaken up by the attacks. But only Mr. Kim picked up a knife, carjacked a truck and commandeered a cab in a drunken rage against Kim Jong-Il. That is pretty funny.

    Cheap laughs? Sure. There is value to be had in cheap laughs also. Not a huge value, but a value nonetheless. And the cost of getting that value is none or minimal, so what's wrong with it?

  5. It's just too bad, Korean, that more people in the world, especially Koreans, don't act up, and out, of sympathy for the wretches
    suffering under the barbaric regime in North Korea. If that girl was in anyway related to me, I know I wouldn't rest until I'd freed her or died trying no matter the military obstacles facing me in the North or the economic obstacles doing all that they can to stop me from trying in the South.

    Now, we only need close to 50 million other people in the South to take it personally.

  6. What's wrong with cheap laughs is that cost is minimal to the person who gets them, somewhat more costly who receives them. And the word "cheap" also means that no new bit of wisdom is conveyed that might make the possible pain to the recipient mitigated in some way.

    Mr Kim already says he feels he is pathetic. Okay, he was drunk, but possibly others felt the same emotions he did. It could be useful to discuss the frustration such people feel that make them feel this way. This might even be a critical moment in the history of the two Koreans.

    But we are busy, so we'll just have a chuckle instead.

    We don't own shoes because we walked in a place where similar shoes have walked. I don't own Pulguksa or the Grand Canyon just because I took a picture of them once.

    A week and a few days ago, you said, "This is no time for humor." Something must have changed for you, but you didn't mention it.

    Mr Kim is here in Korea right now. He might be drinking again but he is here. You are not.

    I am here in Korea also, and I will tell you: Nobody I know thinks the present is suitable for humor, at least not yet.

  7. I'm sure Mr.Kim is so humiliated to be the topic of the blog right now. Don't get me wrong, I am not enjoying his humiliation, nor am I making fun of actions. Finding rumor in the direst situation helps a great deal especially if we need to keep our sanity intact.
    I'm just fascinated how alcohol can make us do things we wouldn't normally do. In his case, patriotism was flowing through his veins the entire time - I am sure plenty of Koreans have thought about doing what he did (though in a less elaborate fashion) but never came around doing it. When I was a kid I dreamt of assasinating Saddam but of course he was captured before I finished highschool. Mr. Kim, I salute you!

  8. I didn't read this at all with humor in mind.

    Imagine how angry and scared you need to be to do something like that - even drunk.

  9. This is an interesting disconnect, actually. The article appeared in the "Trash Bin" section of the newspaper, which is usually reserved for short bits of odd/funny news. (For example, today's "Trash Bin" article is about some guy winning a $600K jackpot at a casino.) In other words, the newspaper editors were clearly aiming for humor. The reaction was the same from every Korean person that the Korean has spoken to -- they all thought the story about Mr. Kim was pretty funny. This seems to be another variation of the fact that South Koreans have come to tune out North Korean provocations.


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