18 June 2004

Flowers, Time and Other Musings

Well, once again as I was browsing the KCNA ([North] Korean Central News Agency), I came across what sometimes seems a regular feature - a brief article reporting the delivery of a floral basket to Kim Jong Il, from Yassir Arafat.

Here is the Article:

Floral Basket to Kim Jong Il from Palestinian President
Pyongyang, June 17 (KCNA) -- Leader Kim Jong Il received a floral basket from Yasser Arafat, president of the State of Palestine, on the occasion of the 40th anniversary of his start of work at the Central Committee of the Workers' Party of Korea. The floral basket was conveyed to Foreign Minister Paek Nam Sun by Palestinian Ambassador e. p. to the DPRK Shaher Mohammed Abdlah on June 17.

Anyway, every time I see this (which comes out like every month), I have the strangest image of a long-distance one-sided love affair, with carp-faced Arafat sending roses to an increasingly exasperated Kim Jong Il, who can't quite figure out how to stop the unrequited love of a distant revolutionary.

But anyway, while I enjoyed sharing that visual image, that was an example of why the internet is a place where, despite (or because of?) the massive amount of useful information, it is very difficult to sort between the proverbial wheat and chaff. At one point in time, news and information was expensive to produce and distribute, thus keeping most of the chaff out. Now, all it takes is a little time, and around the world it goes.

And speaking of time, if I may digress further, I really haven't had much since I returned home, hence the rather infrequent posts. But much has been going on in Korea and East Asia. The next round of six-party talks are coming up soon, the South and North Koreans are removing propaganda materials and speakers from the DMZ, and President Roh Moo Hyun is trying to prove his strength, pushing through the troop deployment to Iraq and breaking a campaign promise for a referendum on the capital move, instead simply pushing through with plans for the move.

Well, with that, I bid you good night, and will try to update a little more frequently. I still have plenty of photos from the trip I can add in.

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