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julieann
02-23-2011, 03:36 PM
Well said Cholla!

The fact is no one knows why those skaters were even chosen by North Korea to skate there or their reasons for accepting, quite frankly it's none of our business.

Maybe it was about the money or maybe it was to get another show in before worlds, or maybe in the case of Yuko she thought it would serve her well in the future if she was already allowed in once (she has a degree in international relations.)

The point is I don't think Tomas, Pechalat/Bourzat, Kavaguti/Smirnov etc....should lose fans over this or be talked about in a negative way.

As to the point of US Customs checking passports...unless you have been to one volatile part of the world once or even several times, they won't even bat an eye at you. This holds true for athletes or journalists or whoever travels all over the world. If you have a passport full of stamps from all over the world they won't really care/notice if one of them is from North Korea.

kia_4EverOnIce
02-23-2011, 03:55 PM
Me too, I feel sorry for Tomas...it's really out of proportion to accuse him like that :(

moreover, this figure skating festival is held every year in Korea, and there's often been famous skaters...
OT: there're already the videos of last week online..


I have a hard time believing Plush needed the appearance fee that badly, but maybe he genuinely wanted to show the North Korean people there are other ways to live besides a dictatorship. And this is the first step in a career in political activism :saint:.

ehm...I am a Plushenko's fan...

falling_dance
02-23-2011, 04:01 PM
My post wasn't directed to you but to icedance21 who accused me of spreading propaganda.

I'm pretty sure icedance21 was describing the show as propagandistic, not your post. Not that it's really for me to speak for icedance21, but still...

ioana
02-23-2011, 04:04 PM
ehm...I am a Plushenko's fan...

I'm a Verner fan and an even bigger Pechalat & Bourzat fan, but that doesn't mean I think going to North Korea to skate was a good idea.

kia_4EverOnIce
02-23-2011, 04:06 PM
I'm a Verner fan and an even bigger Pechalat & Bourzat fan, but that doesn't mean I think going to North Korea to skate was a good idea.

sorry...I misunderstood..

barbk
02-23-2011, 04:25 PM
Was this a sanctioned event?

oleada
02-23-2011, 04:27 PM
It's an exhibition - does sanctioning matter?

cholla
02-23-2011, 04:31 PM
I'm pretty sure icedance21 was describing the show as propagandistic, not your post. Not that it's really for me to speak for icedance21, but still...

Then s/he should not have quoted me. It would take someone completely stupid and uneducated not to be aware this show is propagandistic and considering me so isn't much more flattering than calling me a reactionary fiend :lol:. To me, even if it unfortunately serves Kim Jong-Il's purpose which is making his people believe that the way they are treated is common all over the world ("or why would Westerners accept our invitation" - or any other phoney cant of the like), it still means that there is a chance that someone one day will break through the iron rules and be able to be heard. Oh there isn't much chances it will be a skater, but as a Westerner, I prefer to keep hope than to turn my back to a whole country because their leader is a megalomaniac and a tyrant. That would mean the people deserve the way they're considered, i.e., a lot less than nothing, and I don't think it's the case. But OK, once again, I'm an idealist. On the other hand, he's been on post for 17 years and it's far from being the first time skaters are invited on North Korean ground. So why all the scandal now ? To me, this :


"I hope that they (athletes traveling to Pyongyan) will realise that their colleagues athletes and artists in North Korea are prevented from travelling, practicing sport and creating art freely exactly due to Kim Jong-il," Kolar told LN.

is much more important than throwing stones at them for going. If only half of the energy spent on criticizing them was spent on improving their awareness on what's really happening over there...

Squibble
02-23-2011, 06:06 PM
P.S. I'm sorry for the off topic but what did North Korea do to the rest of the world that everyone is so insulted about this event? I mean did it bomb your countries or what?

Just for starters:

What North Korea has done to its own citizens (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Human_rights_in_North_Korea)

What North Korea has done to South Korea (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/North_Korea_%E2%80%93_South_Korea_relations)

What North Korea has done to Japanese civilians minding their own business on Japanese territory (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/North_Korean_abductions_of_Japanese)

You could also do some reading on your own instead of asking to be spoonfed information. :)

let`s talk
02-23-2011, 06:17 PM
Even with an American passport, you're asked many questions and viewed suspiciously.
"Welcome" home!!! :D :rofl:

People living in North Korean are actually human beings and victims. Do I have to understand that, according to most of you, it's way better to let them rot under their tyran's iron rules and never set foot in their country?
Last February I "set foot" in the Vietnamese Hanoi. Of course you can't compare Vietnam with North Korea. But still, VN is a socialist country with a bunch of communist features, one of the poorest countries in the world and surely the poorest country that I have ever been to. We arrived in the city from the airport at about 23:30 local time. A lot of people were sitting in outdoor cafe/restaurants, which in fact were some sets of small plastic chairs and tables, the food was cooked right outdoor (what a horor by western sanitary standards!), the folks with kids and elderlies were chatting, laughing, drinking bia hoi, smoking and enjoying the life. Some kind of relaxed and easy-going Paris with the Vietnamese economy. :) In one indoor place they were still celebrating the wedding, I assumed for a few hours, the bride was in a simple white dress in a traditional Vietnamese style, with flowers in her basket, the groom was in a shirt and trousers, probably it was one of a few days in his life when he was wearing them. They were all full of life, as well as the people who we saw everywhere in Hanoi. I wonder if some cholla-tourist told them that they were some rotting victims, what kind of drink they would offer the confused foreigner? :lol:
Even if people live in not the best political regime, they may have more fun in their lives and feel much happier than somer blessed foreigners do. :P

There is/was a lot about Tomas and the show in North Korea in Czech press in General. A lot of people in CZE are giving him shit and talking trash about him right now because he skated in NK.
The relationships between Japan and North Korea are uncomparably worse than between the Czech Rebublic and Japan. But J-media didn't lynch Yuka for being the first Japanese-born skater who ever skated in North Korea:
http://mdn.mainichi.jp/mdnnews/sports/news/20110216p2g00m0sp035000c.html
a very short video from the ice show:
www.youtube.com/watch?v=oMmtq1bdSGU

Asli
02-23-2011, 06:41 PM
I hope more and more Westerners will get to enter this country, and I don't care under what reason or opportunity, whether it's for money or not

I see your point cholla, there would be nothing wrong with skaters participating in any other show in North Korea. However this figure skating festival is part of Kim Jong-Il's birthday celebrations, a series of events glorifying him throughout the month of February. That is what I find unacceptable. :(

The big difference between other dictatorships and that in North Korea is the level of the personality cult around Kim Jong-Il, as I'm sure you know. The whole world revolves around him. A life without him is unthinkable. Indeed his birthday is one of the most important public holidays.

The regime also tries to make it look like the whole world reveres Kim Jong-Il and any such participation by world and European champions in his birthday celebrations helps them give this message. Here are the best in the world, glorifying the Supreme Leader. :rolleyes:

Every year they invite the best skaters and they all go, it's not just this year. I'm not going to turn against Pechalat/Bourzat or anyone else because they have done what Anissina/Peizerat and many others have done. However, if any skaters turn down this offer for the right reasons, they'll be my heroes and I'll show up at events with banners saying that they saved the world. ;) :mitchell:

deedeelocks
02-23-2011, 06:55 PM
I updated the website of Tomas with a small interview regarding the issue:

http://www.tomasverner.com/About-Tomas/News-and-actualities/Interview-about-the-show-in-North-Korea/13S-145-2Yu.article.aspx

Fashionista
02-23-2011, 06:57 PM
Just for starters:

What North Korea has done to its own citizens (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Human_rights_in_North_Korea)
And what? 90% of African states have the same human rights violation rate but I haven't heard anyone refused to go there by ideological reasons or whatever.


What North Korea has done to South Korea (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/North_Korea_%E2%80%93_South_Korea_relations)
well, it happens time to time all over the world and there are even worse cases like Israeli-Palestinian, Russian-Georgian, American-Iraqi conflicts, etc. I just don't get why North Korean case is so special.


WhatNorth Korean has done to Japanese civilians minding their own business on Japanese territory (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/North_Korean_abductions_of_Japanese)

It was quite some time ago. I just don't see how what Koreans did is worse than for example this
http://www.yale.edu/cgp/Walrus_CambodiaBombing_OCT06.pdf
or American Secret war in Laos, or Soviet tanks in Czech republic and Budapest, or what Americans did in Grenada, or NATO in Afghanistan, or... I can go on for ages.

Compared to all mentioned cases North Korea is an angel.

Squibble
02-23-2011, 07:02 PM
Entire post except the last sentence

And if you want to criticize non-American skaters for competing at Skate America or 2009 Worlds because of something the U.S. Government (which does not sponsor figure skating) did decades ago, go right ahead. That is your prerogative.


Compared to all mentioned cases North Korea is an angel.

:lol: & :scream:

Fashionista
02-23-2011, 07:28 PM
And if you want to criticize non-American skaters for competing at Skate America or 2009 Worlds because of something the U.S. Government (which does not sponsor figure skating) did decades ago, go right ahead. That is your prerogative.
Well, I thought I was the one who didn't criticize anyone and wasn't trying to find another evil empire in this thread. I just want some consistency in our opinions.