Friday, December 30, 2005

Well these are the pictures from me playing Santa Claus.

The Above people are Dan and Greer. They are some awesome people and he is the one that the students thought was going to be SANTA. So see how tall he is and then when the kids saw me, The look on their face was like, ok this iS SO not DAN TEACHER.

This is Nichole, she is the one who asked me to play SANTA. As I stated earlier awesome lady, shame she is a Red Sox's Fan..

SANTA has a pet monkey, I have no idea either but hey, they said that it would look funny.

Now this I was not expecting, a little girl hugged me and gave me a kiss on the cheek, It was a shock I was not expecting this, I was thinking,"Now this was worth me getting up here as SANTA." I was so glad that I was dressed up, I thought that I was so going to cry.

I wish that it was a better shot but this is the end of the SANTA FOR ME FOR THE DAY. I am so glad that I did this. Now If I get asked to play the Easter Bunny....

Wednesday, December 28, 2005

this is another one about me being santa.

Christmas in Korea
There are Christians and Catholics along with Buddhists and several other religions here . So they celebrate the holiday and say "Merry Christmas" (which sounds exactly the same in English and "hangul" (korean language); they don't even add an extra vowel sound at the end. But when we took this photo, everyone said, "CEESE - A" ! There's a dancing santa outside one of the local pubs singing "jingle bells" and "yellow rose in Texas" (which is conveniently right outside Mike's apt. and he's FROM Texas!)(Yes their is a santa by my place that sings The Yellow Rose of Texas) Mike was Santa for our hogwon! He says I owe him a big one. He loved it though, knowing full-well the great impact he made on the adorable children at Little America. He came in during our Song and Story festival shouting "HO HO HO" and the kids were shocked b/c they expected one of us teachers to be santa. As soon as I came in that morning the kids asked, "Nicole teacher SANTA?" I replied, "Do I look like a BIG FAT MAN?" They said yes. Hmmm. Then they thought it would be Dan teacher. Dan, Greer, Taunia, and I were all in the room when Mike came in so the kids were amazed to see it was the REAL SANTA!!! He's loud and boisterous (perfect) but I heard him whisper something special to EACH kid, telling them about the elves up north & calling the girls princess. He took a couple hours out of his day to sweat in a big red suit up on stage and call each child up to receive their gift. Most kids gave him hugs, a few even gave him kisses on the cheek. He enjoyed the time as much as the kids b/c his hogwon (like most) wasn't doing anything special for the holidays. Little America always puts together elaborate celebrations.

I had a blast!
This is one bloggers comment about my being santa

Their names are Dan (No Pants Dan)and Greer, they are from New Zeland and are some awesome people. In her blog I read that she wanted to vegetate for a while, so me ,being half-insane, I came up with their XMAS Present. 72 cds and dvd filled with movies. This should hopefully let her veg for awhile. In a few days when my computer is up and running I will post alot more Christmas photos.

Santa says: "I'm Rick James, bitch. Enjoy yourself, it's a celebration!"

On Friday, we had the L.A. Christmas Event (this is how the kids kept referring to it; [attempts Korean accent] "Kurisumas Ebentu". Any special happening is always designated an Event in Korea--it's cool). There were three separate Events, really, one for the kindergarten kids and one each for the first two shifts of kids that come in the afternoon. Apparently the 5:30-7:00 students are too cool for school events and never participate in them properly, so they didn't get a proper Christmas Event, just some pizza and the first hour or so of Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire on pirated DVD. They were actually supposed to have a regular class first and then the party, but the foreign teachers decided that All Party All The Time was the way to go. (HP was from me also!)

Anyway. The real Christmas Events. Each class had practiced songs and plays to perform in front of the other students, which was pretty cool, even though my Harvard boys didn't get to do The Twelve Days of Christmas like we'd been practicing. Andy didn't show up on the day, and they'd all been nervous enough about they idea of getting up and singing with just three of them--two was deemed a bit too much for them to handle.

The total high point of the day, though, was this:

That's Mike [and Chan, The World's Most Adorable Genius]. He's from Texas, is about 6'5", ex-US Army, and teaches at another school in the area. The original idea was for Dan, Nicole, Taunya and I to take turns dressing up and handing out presents to the kindergarten kids (or else just for Dan to do it--a couple of different ideas got thrown around). But then Nicole came up with the idea of asking Mike. He has a much more Santa-like physique than any of us, and (most importantly) the kids don't know him. The excitement of a Santa visit would be somewhat lessened, I would think, if it was really obvious that it was Dan teacher under the beard. But Mike? Mike was a totally different story. He came in and was loud and expansive (although he managed to refrain from saying what he says in my subject line, which is this particular Santa's favorite catchphrase), and generally Santa-like and the children were SO excited. They kept asking us "Dan teacher? Dan teacher?" and we could point at Dan and say "No! THERE'S Dan teacher! That's SANTA!" (and I gave them Dave Chappelle Season 2 on DVD so that they could watch that Rick James show)

He sat on the auditorium stage for ages under the hot lights, endured having a minimum of two photos taken with every kid, and said something sweet to each one, and just lapped up all the little kisses on the cheek and "I love you, Santa-haraboji (grandfather)"s. And yeah, some of them were scared of him (Chan up there looks a little worried...he shouldn't be, though, he could vanquish any Evil Santa with his superior mental powers), but who hasn't been scared of Santa at one point or another? (well i am a very tall santa)

It was really cool. Thanks Mike. You were fantastic.

You are most welcome

Tuesday, December 27, 2005

My co-worker wrote this about the kids in our school, sad to say, she is dead on right with this article. The Harry, Your butt sexy is still one of my favorite lines ever heard in the class. Enjoy the article

There's no escaping fate!

In most of the English institutes that I have been acquainted with, the Korean students take on an English nickname. I have noticed that students who take certain names tend to be similar in character. Based on this observation and my own personal whimsy, I have found that traits of a new student can be accurately predicted based on the English name that he or she chooses. It’s kind of like a horoscope.

So, with this in mind, I have catalogued the most predominant of those names that chose ever so scientifically:

Harry: As my director pointed out to me, “all our Harrys are…distracted.” In my experience, Harrys are amazing students if they like the teacher enough (as evidenced by my “sexy butt” column), pick up on conversational niceties quicker than the actual meat of the conversation, and can be counted on to participate in class and do their assignments.

John: Johns tend to be “good kids.” They don’t make trouble, aren’t disruptive, and generally don’t seem to be completely disinterested in learning English. However, their homework will be completed sporadically, and their attempts to participate in class will often be fractured and incorrect. However, you can’t help but feel sympathy for the kid because you know he’s trying.

Jason: Jasons tend to be bright, but undisciplined. They will be the first to raise their hand to answer a question, but they’re also the most likely to not bring their book to class and to yell like an idiot. They can be very active as well, to the point of being disruptive to the class. I had one “Jason” that initially thought his name was “sit down!”

Justin: Justins are very good natured, but don’t have a clue as to what’s happening around them. When asked a question, Justins will usually look up like a startled rabbit in a field, make a sound like “uuuhh?!?” and then smile and laugh without giving an answer.

Jimmy: Jimmy’s don’t know that “Jimmy” is a nickname for “James.” Jimmys tend to be leaders and very vocal in the classroom. They are genuinely interested in communicating with their instructors, and will use whatever means necessary to get their point across, such as pantomime with sound effects.

David: Davids are usually good kids, but they tend to play sidekick to a stronger student. Their behavior is usually dependent on the behavior of the student they follow. If they’re following a Jimmy, then you’ll have two great students to chat with. However, if they’re following a Jason, you might have a few problems.

Rachael: Rachaels are studious, inquisitive, and usually the best student in the class. Her handwriting will be better than yours, and she will be organized to a fault. The other students will try to copy from her.

Nicky: (for a female) Nickys are slightly better than average students, and will be interested in your personal life far more than the material being taught. They will learn to ask questions very quickly, but will be unable to tell you what day of the week it is.

Jenny: (NOT Jennifer). They probably don’t know that “Jenny” is short for “Jennifer,” but don’t let that fool you because Jennys, like Rachaels, are very studious.

Jessica: Jessicas tend to be very vocal and interested in English as a means of communication and not as another academic subject. They can be disruptive and dominant at times, so you should be very careful to keep them in line.

I hope this guide will help us English teachers to avoid messy situations in the future by naming all of our students names that will ensure their obedience and enthusiasm for learning! And if it doesn’t work, I’ll send you another list free of charge.

WELL TO ALL OF MY FRIENDS....This is so true of me. Hope you enjoy the laugh.

Monday, December 26, 2005

Merry Christmas to all. Enjoy the Cartoons.

Well guess what I did a few days ago here in Korea? I played Santa.

There is a couple here by the name of Dan and Greer, they teach at a school called "Little America". A New York City girl by the name of Nichole also teaches here in the school (thats her in the photo above. In the second one Santa told her that Johnny Damon became a Yankee. She cheers for the Boston Red Sox's)She is a very smart woman, so I have no idea why she picked Boston but , Oh well.)

Dan is the only male teacher at his school and if he wore the Santa outfit the Kids would have figured it out. So when they asked me if I would be Santa, I said yes. My school wasn't doing anything and I thought that it would be fun. I got dress up in the Santa out fit and walked to their school. The looks on the people faces when I walked by was awesome. A 6'4 white guy, in Korea wearing a Santa suit and yelling "Merry Christmas" was just too funny.

I met Dan at the 7-11. (It is a Korean version of it) and he helped me into my beard and final touch ups. Then we went upstairs to see the Kids.

The other Korean teachers at his school looked at me like, OMG he is big. Dan is about 5-10, so when 6'4 comes walking in, and esp. DRESSED LIKE SANTA. I drew alot of stares. Then It came showtime.

The kids thought that teacher Dan was going to be Santa, so when me and him both walked in the kids were like, OK this is not Dan Teacher, who Is this? I am the real Santa!

Their was one moment when I almost started to cry, a little girl gave me a big hug and a kiss on the cheek. I almost started to cry. I was thinking, OK now that was worth me dressing up as Santa. The various photos are me with kids from the school.

I hammed it up and played Santa, I now understand why they cant smile sometimes, my beard made my face very warm.

After I played Santa, I went to my school and passed out the Christmas gifts to my Korean Co-workers. I gave box sets of "Lost" "Sex and the City" and "Desperate Housewives." They loved them. Last week I took my bosses oldest son and his friend with me as we watched King Kong at the Say CGV.

I really did enjoy that, they reminded me alot of me when I was their age. We played video games after the movie and I took the boys to Pizza Hut and we ate pizza. It was snowing that day so that was nice also.

On Christmas Eve, I really did not want to do anything (for those who do not know that was my Dads Birthday, and last year he died. I just felt very alone on Christmas Eve.) Their was a party and they prommised turkey and dressing so I went and I am so glad that I did. I ate until I could not eat anymore and when I went home I went straight to bed.

On Christmas Day, Ben and Carrie were having a celebration at their place in Suji and I was invited so I went. (Ben leaves for Ft. Lee VA. next month, Carrie will be allowed to go with him. I was so glad to them both). The food was awesome and I was full when I left.

It was a good Christmas, I played Santa, ate some great food and I made alot of kids happy. The only really bad thing was I still have no idea where my 2 are. So one day Claudia and Sean, if you read this, YOU 2 WERE IN MY HEART AND IN MY MIND AND PRAYERS. I miss you both so much. Merry Christmas my children. Daddy thinks of you every day and hope one day that we can find each other.

Merry Christmas to all and I hope that you enjoyed my gifts to you.

Wednesday, December 21, 2005

One of this things that I have been doing here in Korea is a movie reviewer for the web site. I had a chance to see this film and it just took away my breath. Here is the review that I did. (the link has an error by the author, I have emailed her and asked for a correction) I know, Mike is reveiwing a French film and he loved it? Has he lost it? For those who do not know I am so anti-French for so many different reasons so this will come off as a huge shock.

Please see the movie!

It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of
incredulity, it was the season of Light, it was the season of Darkness, it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair, we had everything before us, we
had nothing before us, we were all going direct to Heaven, we were all going direct the other way--in short, the period was so far like the present period,
that some of its noisiest authorities insisted on its being received, for good or for evil, in the superlative degree of comparison only.
Charles Dickens A Tale of Two Cities

These same words would have worked in 1914 France; it was on the front lines of World War I.

The film is in German, French, Latin and English.

Before you read my Christmas Movie review, please read an article about what happened first, so my review will make scenes. (hope this works if not the link is above)

Wow! Is the first word that comes to mind after watching this movie.

If you a military man then this film will hit home early and often. If not a lot of this film will not make sense. Let me try and explain this film to you.

The plot is really simple, it is December 1914 and Scottish, French and German units are stuck in trench warfare. It it becoming closer to Christmas and the men decide instead of war that a truce is declared.

The film was so believable even from the beginning where there are three children talking about how the enemy must be destroyed and killed in 3 different languages (English, French, German). to the end where you see the aftermath of peace, when the world wants war.

The film opens with the children and then 3 different shots of Scotland (where a boy rings the church bells and is happy that war is declared) France, (Where a Senior Officer tells his son, a Junior officer, that the big war that France has wanted with Germany is at hand) and Germany (where an Opera singer is drafted into the German Army).

What I really liked about this film was that It shows all 3 sides and shows their fears and doubts of the war. In the next shot you see a brother have to leave his brother in No Man's Land ( In WW1 and other later wars which involved trench warfare, the term no man's land indicated the land between the trenches of the opposing foes. This land belonged to neither side; it was a neutral place on the battlefield. No man's land was a very dangerous area because it usually provided none of the cover that trenches are designed to. However, soldiers were forced to venture into it when advancing, and stretcher bearers would need to traverse it if they were to bring in the wounded.

No man's land was often a hellish experience for soldiers, ranging from several hundred yards to in some cases as short as 15 meters. Heavily defended by machine guns and riflemen on both sides, they also were often riddled with land mines and barbed wire. Intense bombing and artillery often blanketed the no man's land in a sea of explosions and fire. The area was usually devastated by the warfare, leaving little to no foliage left to cover in and providing an excellent way for enemies in the other trench to shower death upon charging infantry.)

The brother feels guilty that he has abandoned his brother to die alone. You then see a German Female who has figured out how to work the system and get to see her lover, who is stationed on the front lines, at an Officer party where they are to be the guest singers. He feels guilty that he is safe and that his friends are not. He goes back to the front with his girlfriend in tow. The film makes fun of the officers, please see the Scottish and German jabs at their officers.

It all starts simple enough, the Scottish soldiers are celebrating Christmas and they decide to play their bagpipes. The French and German soldiers are stunned but they listen. Then the German soldier who can sing gets up and sings a German Christmas song, while he is singing the Scott's join in with their bagpipes and help him out. After the song is done, the singer listens to the pipes play Oh Christmas tree. The German then did something that will stop the audiences, he get up and picks up a small Christmas tree while singing carries the tree into the middle of no man's land. After he is finished the Scottish soldiers erupt in huge clapping, the French soldiers are just stunned but they also show that they have liked it. The German and The Scottish officer then start to talk in broken English and soon the French officer then joins them, they agree to a truce for Christmas.

Then all 3 sides come out of their trenches and meet and talk, It soon becomes midnight and a stretcher bearer, who is also a priest back home, leads a Christmas mass in Latin with all 3 sides participating in the mass. That night it was peace on earth and goodwill towards men, for no one died their that night. The next day, the brother finds the body of his dead brother and is trying to bury it, another truce is declared so that all sides can bury their dead. The scene that got me the most is when the priest went to a German grave and gave it blessing in Latin.

The next day (Boxing Day for the Scott's) was observed also, all of the soldiers went into the German trenched because the Germans were going to fire artillery at the Allied side. after the Germans has finished shooting, the Scottish Officer stated that he thought that the British would fire next, so everybody then goes to the Scottish side and waits until the Allied side has finished. On Boxing Day nobody died. Everybody states their goodbyes, the German officer tells the girl and her lover to surrender so that their voices can survive and that they will not be blamed for the truce.

When all 3 sides headquarters learn of the truce, by reading their soldiers mail, Hell in unleashed. The Scottish unit is disbanded and broken up. The Germans are arrested and redeployed by train. The French father yells at his son and calls him a fool who has thrown away a good career. What was the most damning was the Priest supervisors reaction. He tell him that he is being sent back to Scotland and that he has done wrong in God's eyes. (You must remember one thing here all 3 sides were told by their men of faith that their side was right and that they are on Gods side) (This was used allot in the US Civil War by both sides and is used now in the war against terrorism)

His reply was so correct, I was talking to the masses that day and in his eyes they were all Gods children. He was rebuked and as he listened to his supervisor tell the men that they must kill Germans and that they are evil etc etc. He removes his cross and walks away. The Bible teaches us to preach the word to all that will listen not just select people, all who came to listened that night received his holy words.

The film shows very well why all of the Headquarters were scarred of this truth, In war you must make the enemy sound so bad that when you kill him you will give no sadness nor guilt. Something went wrong, these men met and realized besides the language that their really was not much of a difference. They all had families, loved ones and all wanted to be anywhere in the world except where they were, at war.

When I was in the US Army, I was taught that the USSR was the enemy and I taught others what the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) taught me at Munich, were the enemy and needed to be killed and to kill all of them. To this day I do not trust neither Russia or the PLO, to be honest I do not know if I ever will. I recall the sermons about God's Army and how the Russians were killing Christians. Seeing this reminded me of those times.

The ordinary soldier will respect this film, the higher ranking officers will be very afraid of this film. Daniel Bruhl once again shows why he will be a leading actor for years to come. In this film he plays the German officer in charge and if you saw the movie, "Good Bye Lenin" He was the star of that classic also.

Overall if you want a good story where insanity is the norm and men learn that truce has too high of a price, then please see this film when you can.

Grade: A+ (Peace on Earth and goodwill towards all of Gods' fellow humans beings)

Release in Korea unknown. Scheduled for March in the USA (yes, a Christmas film in March).

Tuesday, December 20, 2005

Darrell Armstrong couldn't pass up the chance.

And Avery Johnson couldn't let it pass without a fine. Armstrong was asked to give a pregame Christmas wish to fans at American Airlines Center Sunday night and he couldn't resist trumpeting his favorite NFL team.

After wishing the crowd a safe and happy holiday, Armstrong added: "And how about those Redskins?"
The point guard has been a Washington fan since he was a kid.

After the game, Johnson divulged that the backup point guard was fined $1,000 for his impromptu support of the Redskins, who beat the Cowboys 35-7 on Sunday, severely denting their playoff hopes. "We were all sitting around the TV rooting for the Cowboys," Johnson said. "So we're going to call our friends over there to see where they want the money sent." Also, in the locker room before the game, Josh Howard (a true Carolina Panthers fan) added that his team was "going to finish the job next week," in regard to the Cowboys' playoff hopes.

I have been a Mavericks fan since 1980 and a Redskin fan since 1973, this is the first time that I have been disapointed with them for a very classless act.

Now for the Redskin fan news!!!!! 35-7 over the crackboys and we won 2x this year over them!!!!. I was listening to the 1310 ticket from dallas and I was just so happy because the whinning and crying from all of the crackboys fans was just soooooooooo great.

If the game is on bit torrent i will try and download it..

sorry not alot of updates, I have a few morw to and and will try to tonight.

REDSKINS 35 DALLAS 7......OH HAPPY DAY.!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Friday, December 09, 2005

O'Reilly Urges News Media To Avoid Criticizing U.S. War Moves
Fox News commentator Bill O'Reilly suggested Tuesday that American TV news outlets refrain from airing reports that would depict the U.S. unfavorably as it carries out its war against terrorism. Referring to an ABC News report that the CIA had moved detainees out of secret prisons in Europe prior to the arrival there of Secretary of State Rice, O'Reilly remarked, "I would not have reported what ABC News reported. I would not have done it. I did not put Abu Ghraib pictures on this broadcast, the only television journalist not to do so. I do feel that the press has a responsibility to help the government in the war on terror." O'Reilly's comments came during his interview with former Army intelligence officer Ralph Peters, author of New Glory: Expanding America's Global Supremacy, who said that reports like ABC's "are putting our programs at risk. ... But worst of all, Bill, it's killing American soldiers."

I can understand hating the President of the USA but when you put my friends lives in danger I do become upset. This is one of the reasons I hate the majority of the USA media.

Thursday, December 08, 2005

Now I have been to the anti USA bull s$#% that I have seen here in Korea. My only question is why is anybody really surprised? The South just wants to kiss ass and blame everything on the USA. I am sick of it. History shows that you can not appease dictators, why can't the South Korean Government see that?

S.Korea perpetuates N.Korea rights abuse: experts

By Jack Kim

Inaction by South Korea on human rights violations in North Korea not only perpetuates suffering there but also encourages misguided and dangerous beliefs about the communist state, experts and defectors said on Thursday. Hundreds of human rights advocates and refugees who fled the North are meeting in Seoul for two days to urge action by the South Korean government and the international community to improve human rights conditions in the North. South Korea's government argues that it does work to improve human rights but prefers not to make it a high-profile topic for fear of aggravating Pyongyang.

"The North Korean dictatorial regime has left no tactic untried in trying to paralyze human rights in the North," said Hwang Jang-yop, a former North Korean communist party ideology chief and the highest-ranking official to defect to the South. Hwang defected in 1997 and has been a vocal critic of North Korean leader Kim Jong-il. He said North Korean propaganda devised to keep Kim in power has reached the South and stirred up "madness" across the border.

He criticized South Koreans who blindly commit to engaging the North. People had misguided beliefs about the North that would be immediately dashed if they visited the country to see conditions for themselves, he said. "We have people who choose to defend the North and oppose the United States only from hearing what Kim Jong-il and his group say," he said. "This is a disgrace." "We need more than talk. It's time to take dramatic actions to save human rights in the North," he said. Rights activists say the North has a network of prison camps and executes opponents.


The South Korean government has chosen to turn its back on abuses in the North, and concern in Seoul and Washington of a possible breakdown in six-party nuclear talks has perpetuated those abuses, a U.S. human rights advocate said. "The South Korean government has abandoned the North Korean people," Suzanne Scholte, head of the Defense Forum Foundation, told the conference.

The government of President Roh Moo-hyun had also chosen to let conditions persist because of concern for the collapse of North Korea and a possible nuclear attack, she said. Seoul places emphasis on engaging the North and improving its economy to try to ensure stability on the divided peninsula. Scholte said that strategy was bound to fail: "If North Korea won't even allow the monitoring of humanitarian aid, how can anyone think they will allow monitoring of their nuclear sites?"

North Korea has been averse to opening up to monitoring of humanitarian aid. Aid workers say that is why the North recently decided to shift from direct international food aid, which donors often seek to monitor, to indirect development aid. North Korea brands any criticism of its human rights record as part of U.S. conspiracy to topple its government.

On Thursday, it demanded the European Union turn its eyes away from the North to "the hideous human rights committed by the U.S.." The EU backed a key United Nations resolution last month that chastised the North for rights abuses. South Korea's unification minister told Reuters last month that Seoul favored the carrot rather than the stick in dealing with the North. But Scholte said time was not on the North Korean people's side.

"How many more North Koreans have to die before we stop this failed strategy?" she said.

Wednesday, December 07, 2005

In the last few days the USA has finally been getting tough on North Korea and they (the North Koreans) are pissed about it. the next few articles are what has happened in the last few days.

U.S. Envoy Calls Pyongyang a ‘Criminal Regime’
U.S. Ambassador to Korea Alexander Vershbow on Wednesday made international headlines by calling the North Korean government a “criminal regime.” Vershbow made the remark at the Kwanhun Club, a gathering of senior South Korean journalists, when the subject of North Korea's alleged currency counterfeiting came up.

Vershbow said North Korea’s was the first regime involved in government-sponsored currency counterfeiting “since Adolf Hitler.” Candid criticism of North Korea from a U.S. diplomat here is rare in a public forum. It was Vershbow’s first meeting with the press since he took office in October. U.S. Ambassador to Seoul Alexander Vershbow speaks during a forum hosted by the Kwanhun Club, a gathering of senior Korean journalists, in Seoul on Wednesday.

Foreign Minister Ban Ki-moon urged caution, saying countries involved in six-party talks on the North’s nuclear program “need to exercise restraint in the words they choose to describe each other." At the meeting, Vershbow’s position diverged widely from Seoul’s on such issues as international recognition of the North Korean regime, human rights and counterfeiting.

Asked about U.S. sanctions on North Korean firms for their alleged involvement in various criminal activities, Vershbow said, “This is a criminal regime, and you can’t somehow remove sanctions as a political gesture when this regime is engaging in dangerous activities such as weapons exports to rogue states.” North Korea has warned it could stay away from six-party talks unless the sanctions are lifted. Vershbow added the measures were taken under U.S. law and were non-negotiable. Seoul, by contrast, has suggested Pyongyang and Washington solve the problem in bilateral meetings.

The envoy expressed hope an international conference on North Korea’s human rights abuses that starts in Seoul on Thursday will not be a political platform but a chance to find a strategy for real change in the lives of North Koreans. Vershbow is taking part in the conference. Asked about the South Korean government’s attitude toward human rights in the North, he said South Korea and the U.S. had the same goal even if their approach was different, adding he got the impression from talks with South Korean officials and lawmakers that they are concerned about the issue.

In more conciliatory remarks, commenting on North Korean leader Kim Jong-il, Vershbow said though a leader made mistakes, he could still bring about change. If North Korea changes, the U.S. is ready to reassess its own stance on the North, he added.

Unification Minister Offers Outline for Dealings With N.Korea

Unification Minister Chung Dong-young said Monday, “Non-nuclear complaints by the United States against North Korea should be solved by bilateral talks between the two parties. As the six-party talks focus on resolving the nuclear issue, other matters should be kept separate from the six-party issue.”

Chung told a forum during a breakfast hour lecture at the Lotte Hotel in Seoul, “Major non-nuclear complaints fall into six categories, the most important of which is the North's missile program, others include biochemical and conventional weapons and human rights abuses, as well as its alleged involvement in drug trafficking and currency counterfeiting.”

Regarding a deepening row between Washington and Pyongyang over financial sanctions imposed by Washington, he said, “I had anticipated such setbacks, but they came a bit too early. The Six-party talks may seem to have ended up lost in an impenetrable fog, but it is still early to jump to conclusions.”

My friend Gi in Korea made this remark about the above story..

Does Chung have a cell phone with a direct line to Kim Jong Il to tell him what to do? This guy wastes no time jumping to North Korea's defense. Chung is really a useful idiot for the Norks. First he cares little about North Korean defectors or human rights and now he thinks that North Korea's illegal activities should be overlooked in the name of the six way talks that are accomplishing absolutely nothing.

I am continuing to believe that the US has finally hit the North Koreans where it hurts by sanctioning the Macau bank. I have never seen them whine this bad and get Chung to jump to their defense this quick. Hopefully the US will keep the pressure.

Then to the 2 items that started this whole intresting turn.

U.S. Stops Buying Food for N.Korea

Washington has halted the purchase of 25,000 tons of food aid it had pledged for North Korea this year, half its total commitment, saying it has no way of making sure where the aid goes.

The U.S. State Department said Thursday it was uncertain whether the UN World Food Program would receive the shipment, while there was also no mechanism left to ensure that the food gets to those who need it. As a result, the U.S. did not even buy the 25,000 tons scheduled to be shipped at the end of November.

The U.S. Agency for International Development had previously warned Washington would stop its food aid if North Korean authorities insist on an end to all monitoring of food aid distribution by the WFP.

Since North Korea demanded an end to humanitarian aid work and the withdrawal of aid groups from the country, the WFP has been negotiating about the scale of next year's relief efforts, the number of foreign residents who can stay in North Korea, and the conditions for the development aid Pyongyang now says it wants instead.

Gi in Korea added this: I know I probably sound harsh, but I don't think the US should give food to North Korea without proper monitoring. I can see people possibly trying to twist this issue making the US out to be the bad guy, but North Korea could easily get the food aid if they allow monitors in to ensure proper distribution. I don't think the US should feel obligated to send food to a country that is most likely giving that food to the military and regime elements.

If Kim Jong II has enough money to build nuclear weapons he has enough money to buy food for his people, or he can just go to Plan B and extort the South Koreans to buy the food for him. I hope President Roh has checkbook ready.

The next article is when the S%$# really hit the fan.

N.Korea-U.S. Relations Enter New Chill Over Sanctions

There are fears for the future of six-party talks on North Korea’s nuclear program as the relationship between the Stalinist country and the U.S. deteriorated after Washington slapped sanctions on a Macau-based bank for allegedly being the main funnel for the North ill-gotten gains. Some observers also worry about a resulting chill in inter-Korean relations.

Washington last week declined to negotiate on the sanctions it imposed on the bank and on North Korean firms, mainly fueled by suspicions that the North counterfeited U.S. currency. North Korea in response called off a visit by its deputy foreign minister, Kim Kye-gwan, to New York.

On Friday night, North Korea’s foreign ministry said the U.S. must unfreeze the companies’ assets and lift the ban on transactions with the bank before the six-party talks can make progress. The official Rodong Sinmun newspaper the same day called the U.S. “the world’s worst human rights abuser.” It also slammed as a “fabrication” footage of a public execution in North Korea broadcast by cable channel CNN, according to the North’s official KCNA news agency.

A few hours after the statements, the U.S. chief negotiator at the talks Christopher Hill told AP, "We can't just sit there stalemated session after stalemated session.” He added, "I don't want to threaten walkouts, but I do want to see progress."

According to Japan’s Sankei Shimbun, North Korea has told the U.S. it will not return to the six-party talks until the sanctions are lifted. A South Korean official denied this, but the situation augurs ill for relations between the two Koreas. An inter-Korean ministerial meeting is scheduled for Dec. 13-16 in Jeju Island, and a South Korean official said he worried whether the meeting will take place at all, and whether it will run into problems if it does.

Gi Korea added this...

The North Koreans are masters of nasty rhetoric, but something seems different this time. It seems like the US has finally struck a nerve with the North Koreans. This is good because it is increasing the bargaining position of the US.

The North Koreans have been getting away with counterfeiting US currency for too long. Have you ever wondered why the US $20 bill seems to change every year? It is because of the skilled North Korean counterfeiters. The next thing that can be done to further increase the pressure on the North Koreans is if the Japanese stop boat traffic between the two countries that is used to bring in hard currency to North Korea through the drug trade and other underworld activities. Finally the US is taking the kid gloves off, but there is still a lot more to do.

I like what US negotiator Christopher Hill had to say about this issue:

A few hours after the statements, the U.S. chief negotiator at the talks Christopher Hill told AP, "We can't just sit there stalemated session after stalemated session.” He added, "I don't want to threaten walkouts, but I do want to see progress."

I'm sure Hill realizes this, but most of the countries involved in the talks want to keep things at a stalemate becauses the status quo is more acceptable to their own interests, that is why the US has to break the status quo and shake things up if the US hopes to see any progress.

So you have to ask yourself a question? If the USA is wrong like NK and others have stated, then why is NK throwing a huge fit?

Friday, December 02, 2005

GI charged with breaking marriage promise in Korea
Woman: Soldier had sex but reneged on engagement

SEOUL — A U.S. soldier faces up to two years in Korean jail after promising to marry a South Korean woman, having sex with her, then reneging on the engagement, according to Korean court and prosecution officials.

The accusation — sexual intercourse under the pretense of marriage — is a crime in South Korea, though one rarely prosecuted against U.S. servicemembers, according to an American lawyer practicing in Seoul.

“‘I will marry you, I love you,’ then (the man) calls it off — that’s a crime” if sex is involved, said Brendon Carr, who practices with the Aurora Law Offices in Seoul. The maximum punishment is up to two years in jail or up to a 5 million won, or $5,000, fine, Carr said.

Sgt. Han Jin-hong, a 35-year-old soldier with the 2nd Infantry Division, faces the prospect of that punishment, according to the Uijeongbu prosecutor’s office. Han, who is married, also faces a charge of adultery in Korean court, according to Yang Seung-seok of the Uijeongbu prosecutor’s office. U.S. Forces Korea officials confirmed that Han is assigned to 2nd ID, but no further information was available Tuesday afternoon from military officials.

According to the Korean prosecutor, Han met a 36-year-old Korean woman through an Internet chat room. He told the woman he was a lieutenant colonel and single, and he promised to marry her, Yang said. They had a sexual relationship from June to September, meeting in both Seoul and the Uijeongbu areas, Yang said. Carr, a former U.S. sailor who has worked in South Korea for eight years, said he’s never heard of another American facing this charge in the Korean court system. Carr is not representing Han, nor has he defended any clients against this charge.

He said the law existed in America decades ago and is meant to protect a woman’s virginity from being stolen. In essence, Carr said, it’s a charge of fraud: one person swindled sex from the other. In South Korea, only women who are “not habitually immoral” may accuse their partner of this fraud, Carr said. A woman accused of prostitution or who has many partners may not be considered a victim, he said. “It basically comes down to general reputation” of each person, Carr said.

Wow this one sure surprised me.... A huge lesson for all of us single men here in Korea, Do not say the M........ word.