Just some observations from the day:
- The two Koreas will be making a “Peace and Prosperity Declaration for the Development of Intra-Korean Relations” at 1:00pm. Be there or be square. Yonhap News, citing a high-ranking South Korean official, said the declaration will include new and specific economic cooperation projects, with analysts believing the declaration will include either the construction of a second industrial park similar to the one in Kaesong (Haeju and Nampo are being bandied about as possible host cities) or renovation of North Korea’s outdated social overhead capital. Of course, we’ll just have to see.
- As mentioned yesterday, President Roh attended an edited version of the Arirang performance last night. Kim Jong-il did not attend, nor did he attend the dinner that followed. Roh did receive a pretty rousing round of applause from the packed stadium. The Hankyoreh has some video footage:
A deal to shut down all nuclear programs in North Korea has been struck. It goes into effect on New Years Eve. (OK I will believe it when I Fracking see it)
- Let nobody ever call President Roh cheap. The South Korean president brought known film buff KJI some 150 DVDs of South Korean dramas and films. At the top of the list, of course, was drama “Dae Jang Geum” (starring the remarkably lovely and articulate but for-reasons-I-can’t-quite-explain annoying as hell Lee Young-ae) and, as mentioned here on this very blog, “D-War” (which should set intra-Korean relations back a decade). Also given were popular drama “Winter Sonata,” “Marathon,” “YMCA Baseball Team,” “Chihwaseon” (a fine film, I should say), “Radio Star,” “Hwang Jinyi,” and Lee Young-ae films “JSA” and “Sympathy for Lady Vengeance.” Kim is reportedly a big Lee Young-ae fan, hence the number of her works included. No word on whether “Tajja” was included in the gift basket. It would be nice for KJI to get some exposure to good Korean films, but the thought of him beating off to Kim Hye-soo is a bit too much for me to handle. Reuters also notes the irony of presenting the North Korean leader with DVDs that are illegal for North Korean citizens to watch. (WHY DID YOU GIVE HIM D-WAR?)
- President Roh sat through the “Arirang” performance, but sadly, Kim Jong-il was unable to attend. Bummer.
I have looked fully into the whole Rush Limbaugh "phony soldier" controversy today and surprise, surprise it was bogus. Seriously I’m beginning to think Korean journalism standards are becoming higher than American standards considering all the recent bogus media manufactured controversies.