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allezfred
02-23-2011, 09:12 PM
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

Except cholla didn't mention Vietnam. We're discussing North Korea here. :P


The relationships between Japan and North Korea are uncomparably worse than between the Czech Rebublic and Japan.

Well duh. :lol:


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


Yeah, well she is Russian now why would they? :confused:




Compared to all mentioned cases North Korea is an angel.

So you have no problem with a foreign government forcibly abducting teenage girls from another country and making them train spies? :eek:

I remember when I lived in Japan and heard the stories of the families who were campaigning to find their lost children I'm embarrassed to say I thought it was too outlandish to be true. :o

Just imagine if one of your loved ones was taken away from you and you have no idea if they are dead or alive. Would you think that the country that did that was an angel? :blah:

That said Russia and North Korea have strong diplomatic ties and the participation of Russian skaters could come under the umbrella of cultural exchange. If I was a skater I would probably choose not to go, but I can see why some might.

kia_4EverOnIce
02-23-2011, 09:37 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

thank you! in fact, poor Tomas...it's twenty years skater go there (there were Othman, Sebestyen, Yagudin, Anissina-Peizerat, etc...russians, bulgarians and ukrainians, english...he himself was there years ago..) and I don't remember such negative comments in the past...This year instead he's getting all this bad press...

icedance21
02-24-2011, 01:39 AM
My post wasn't directed to you but to icedance21 who accused me of spreading propaganda. I thought I had made it clear that I was making a distinct difference between your answer and hers/his. I've never had any trouble keeping any kind of friendship alive even with people not sharing my views. Accusing me of something I wouldn't be caught dead doing, is very different though, and precisely, you didn't do that. If I felt entitled to defend myself, it wasn't against you or your opinion, but against something said by someone else that I found very unfair. Just to make things clearer if they were not.
Cholla, I definitely was not accusing you of spreading propaganda, and I definitely was not insulting you. I think you're overreacting to my comment, and here we're getting into semantics. I was just making a general comment about the idea of skaters going there, although now I see I shouldn't have quoted anyone because of the risk of misinterpretation. Quoting posts is just my way of keeping the conversation going, and is not necessarily a direct attack on anyone. Quoting is highlighting a point I may disagree with, and giving my opinion on it. I don't know how on earth you interpreted from my post that I was calling you a "reactionary fiend," good lord. :yikes: Just because a person does not have a problem with these skaters going over there does not mean that they support the regime or anything like that; it's just not as black and white as all that, and I know that. I've edited my post if that makes you feel better, and I do apologize for any misunderstanding. I do think you have a good point about exchanges between ordinary people, which are needed, but I have to distinguish that from festivities celebrating the "Dear Leader" which just reinforces the brain washing over there. With that, I'll just move on.

dinakt
02-24-2011, 02:37 AM
While I see both sides to North Korea argument, I find it very wrong that Tomas was singled out. He has not done anything that dozens of skaters have not done before him and with him, and does not deserve to be a whipping boy.
IMHO, if the skaters were skating for the private Birthday party, it would be more of an "endorsement of the regime", but growing up in Soviet Unipn, I remember how very special it was when somebody like, say, Brubeck came to play. It was perceived as a voice of freedom, an acquaintance with something we were normally denied, not as an "endorsement of the regime". Quite the contrary- it reminded people there is the whole world outside of the country. So if Tomas actually got to teach some kids, I say it's worth it.
It's a complex subject, which should be discussed- I just hope Tomas was not too shaken by the media.

Asli
02-24-2011, 02:50 AM
While I see both sides to North Korea argument, I find it very wrong that Tomas was singled out. He has not done anything that dozens of skaters have not done before him and with him, and does not deserve to be a whipping boy.

It looks like the Czech media is more sensitive on this issue than others and he is the only Czech skater to have gone there. He is not being otherwise singled out.

Of course at the moment the international spotlight is on dictatorships in the Middle East and North Africa and indirectly on other dictatorships. So this kind of news is more likely to attract interest compared to the other years when skaters participated in this festival.

dinakt
02-24-2011, 03:03 AM
It looks like the Czech media is more sensitive on this issue than others and he is the only Czech skater to have gone there. He is not being otherwise singled out.

Of course at the moment the international spotlight is on dictatorships in the Middle East and North Africa and indirectly on other dictatorships. So this kind of news is more likely to attract interest compared to the other years when skaters participated in this festival.

I was pondering that. Also, I bet the emotional response might be generational. Possibly people in Czech Republic who remember 1968, stand- off with the Soviet Union, and fight for independence, are more sensitive to the subject than young people, like Tomas, who grew up as a part of European Union, without oppression.

let`s talk
02-24-2011, 05:12 AM
http://www.tomasverner.com/About-Tomas/News-and-actualities/Interview-about-the-show-in-North-Korea/13S-145-2Yu.article.aspxGood interview, Tomas!

Except cholla didn't mention Vietnam. We're discussing North Korea here.I know since I started with "You can't compare Vietnam with North Korea." The point in the post I replied on was people who live in no-democracy regimes. While the regimes in two coutries, or in the USSR, are/were different, still they all are/were of "no democracy." But it doesn't necessary mean that people there are/were automatically and always unhappy. They have/had a lot of fun, which somehow doesn't match the definition of "rotting victims" fully.

Yeah, well she is Russian now why would they? :confused:
Probably the same reason why they wrote about her in the first place, in spite of her being a Russian citizen. But Yuka is not the first Japanese-born celebrity who went to North Korea with the show. Hikida Tenko, a very famous magician in Japan, both a Japanese-born and a Japan-passport holder, went to North Korea more than once and didn't get lynch for that by J-media. The relationships between Japan and North Korea is just :scream:. Such visits, as well as the invitation for Yuka from Kim Jong-il and her acceptance of it, while surely cannot solve the bunch of political problems, still have the right to exist as the examples of diplomacy and good will. I never heard from a Japanese saying anything bad about Hikida's or Yuka's visit to DPRK.
Hikida Tenko's official website:
www.tenko.ne.jp/index.html
Some of her past interviews where she speaks about her visits to North Korea:
http://search.japantimes.co.jp/cgi-bin/fl20070204x1.html
http://www1.korea-np.co.jp/pk/042nd_issue/98051301.htm

bek
02-24-2011, 05:25 AM
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.


I wouldn't call any of those cases worse. The N. Korean government starves out their own people while they are building these weapons. I'm not sure the answer is nobody from the West should go to N. Korea because I think the country needs to be seen. But I think the skaters should be ashamed to take Kim's money. That's literally blood money, and should at least be donated to charities.

luCN
02-24-2011, 06:42 AM
I feel strange.Western country always said Sport shouldn't relate with Political,but blame skaters this time.

It's just skating.why all the people wast time on talking about Political things?

and remember,don't presume the situation on a place you never went.Do you think all the CNN-like media said is real?They said Iraq has nuclear weapons so the US amies kill hundreds and thousands innocent people there,and now they said they were wrong.╮(╯_╰)╭

equatorial
02-24-2011, 06:50 AM
I was pondering that. Also, I bet the emotional response might be generational. Possibly people in Czech Republic who remember 1968, stand- off with the Soviet Union, and fight for independence, are more sensitive to the subject than young people, like Tomas, who grew up as a part of European Union, without oppression.

From what I know, the younger generation in Czech Republic is way more right-wing than the older one.

dinakt
02-24-2011, 07:08 AM
From what I know, the younger generation in Czech Republic is way more right-wing than the older one.

I have no knowledge of current political opinions there. Might ask my cousin, she just spent a year in Chrudim:) But it was a pure speculation on my part.
This thread went way off course, though it is an interesting topic. I sense a train wreck in the making though :yikes:

MacMadame
02-24-2011, 07:23 AM
But I think the skaters should be ashamed to take Kim's money. That's literally blood money, and should at least be donated to charities.

I agree and I am mystified by the idea that these skaters skating for Kim and his friends and political allies is somehow helping to overcome oppression by bringing joy to the oppressed. Do you really think political prisoners and poor laborers were invited to Kim's birthday celebrations?

dinakt
02-24-2011, 07:34 AM
I, for one, would NOT go to North Korea to skate in a show, but I've tried to go for other purposes and I'm trying to be a little bit less clearcut than the general opinion here. We are talking about people, not principles nor political ideals. 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 ? I don't agree with this. 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 (and to me, money is an unfortunate reason but it's an opportunity) so maybe people in North Korea will also have the opportunity to understand that there is another way of living a life than obeying a dictatorship. Maybe it will take ages and centuries, but it's not with letting a country totally closed on itself that totalitarism can be fought. You may disagree, and like Orientalplane, agree to disagree, but calling me a propagandist is unfairly close to an insult. I'm a member of 5 different Human Rights organizations, I've been a volunteer in 2 different countries at war in the last 20 years. That taught me that things are never entirely black or entirely white. Maybe if you were not so eager to get all huffy and sanctimonious, you'd see that there are different approaches to every matter. I'm certainly not supporting any kind of totalitarist views and to me, rejecting an idea en masse and without thinking twice is part of totalitarism. That's why I'll always be keen to play the devils' advocate. I'm an idealist, true, but that doesn't make me a na´ve or someone easy to influence. So propaganda, from wherever it comes, can screw itself. The only thing I wish for these skaters going to North Korea is that they know where they are setting foot. And I've my doubts about it too. But I'm not going to crucify them right away for just going. I also know they'll see nothing of the real life of North Koreans. But at least they can go (and some artists and sportmen make excellent recruitee for foreign intelligence...) when I, as a RH activist, have been declined a visa twice some years ago and asked not to re-apply.

Just got to read it... An amazing post, thank you.

Domshabfan
02-24-2011, 07:36 AM
I agree and I am mystified by the idea that these skaters skating for Kim and his friends and political allies is somehow helping to overcome oppression by bringing joy to the oppressed. Do you really think political prisoners and poor laborers were invited to Kim's birthday celebrations?

Do you think that not going helps... There should more effort to engage North Korea in culture and sports, and not just few politicians from selected countries deciding to make up decision to how to engage them with rest of the world.

Well, the presence of these skaters at least may break some stereotype like how westerners or for that matter their immediate people may not that evil as the propaganda may have told them. (or not everybody around the world feel obliged to add the great leaders name whenever they talk to the media.)

I think there is no point in living in fear of North Koreans, i think we should engage them.

Fashionista
02-24-2011, 09:37 AM
So you have no problem with a foreign government forcibly abducting teenage girls from another country and making them train spies? :eek:
I have problems with all those cases I mentioned above and don't see how NK stands out.


Would you think that the country that did that was an angel? :blah:
Are you sure you read that sentence carefully? Wasn't there a word "compared to"?


That said Russia and North Korea have strong diplomatic ties
Really?