These Women Have Crossed the Line: 30 activists march over North Korea DMZ for peace


#1

[Read the post]


#2

The article is unclear on whether they have crossed the DMZ or plan to cross the DMZ. If its the former I congratulate them. Otherwise I wish them well and hope they come out okay.

Also, the article says they plan to do this from north to south. I was under the impression that the North Koreans try hard to let people do that, otherwise, everybody would do it.


#3

When are we going to get around to updating that idiom about ‘balls’ denoting bravery to include ‘ovaries’?

“Holy Crap the ovaries in this one!”

This is astoundingly brave.


#4

Could we compromise with “huevos”?


#5

I wonder if Urban dictionary has it right?

The word means “eggs,” but the reference to “balls” is so strong that you have to watch out using the word at all. Polite girls would probably order blanquillos (little white things) from a male waiter.


#6

Seems like that could go horribly wrong…


#7

On so many dimensions.


#8

Thanks to this post and my reaction to what these woman are trying to do, I’m now trying to figure out if the phrase “more ovaries than brains” is horribly offensive. Opinions?


#9

A historic, an 'istoric, or an uh historic would be easier to pronounce.


#10

I certainly wouldn’t attempt to order that in a restaurant.


#11

Of course it’s horribly offensive…isn’t everything?
Please post an insincere self-criticism and ritual apology so we can get on with this thread.


#12

Not a good idea. That will only end up with the priests of ideological purity claiming that the ritual was done wrong and that it will attract the wrath of gods (through themselves) and that it has to be done again (and again…).


#13

Yeah, I am going to go with hopelessly naive. Suggesting that the lack of a peace with North Korea is because a lot of North Koreans died and they remember is hilariously naive. First, the North Korean people I am pretty sure have other thing to think about than a war that ended nearly 70 years ago. The casualties were a drop in the bucket next to the millions killed or starved to death by the current rulers. Second, the opinion of the North Korean people doesn’t matter anyways, because it is only their brutal and authoritarian rulers that have a say in politics, and they are busy living the high life off the backs of their slave state.

I am pro peace and pro engaging with people you have disputes with. That said, North Korea is a special case because its small handful of rulers have so much power and are so insanely brutal to their people. They don’t want peace. They want to rule above all else. The Sunshine policies of South Korea, an attempt to be open with North Korea and offer them aid more unconditionally, finally ended when North Korea decided to detonate a nuclear bomb.

There is a very good argument that we should be sending aid to North Korea unconditionally in an attempt to alleviate the suffering of the North Korean people. If they were making that argument, I would understand. The idea though that the poor wronged North Koreans are just waiting an open South Korean hand though is hilarious naive and wrong. North Korea sloughed off 5-10% of its population in the 90s and anyone born in the 90s is physically deformed from starvation. I’m going to go waaay out on a limb and suggest that maybe the people don’t have any power there.


#14

Um, yeah, the people in NK don’t have power, but how much do those in SK have?

Interesting how your comment says nothing about the enormous coercive power that the U.S. wields over SK, and how much land and resources their military take up (a freaking golf course right in the middle of Seoul?!), and how little say South Koreans have in trying to push back against demands, both personal and large-scale, of the squatting U.S. military.

Let’s not pretend that the bad actors are all on one side. And who knows, if we could see and hear past the constantly cartoonish version of NK leaders, they might be saying some things that we in the West should hear.


#15

About as much as any other democracy. It isn’t perfect, but public opinion actually does matter. They do swap governments that change policies. If 10% of the population died of starvation, I think it is safe to say that the government of SK would have been overthrown.

I am pretty violently against the US gallivanting around the world. If I was dictator of the US, I would probably slash the military budget to at least a fourth of its current size. I would prefer the US to leave South Korea entirely as I think they should bare the full weight of paying for their defense.

That said, if you look at all the US missions around the world, South Korea is probably the most legitimate. We have a mutual defense treaty with South Korea, South Korea is a legitimate democracy more or less minding its own business, and there is an actual threat to South Korea, especially if North Korea collapses and a military leader does something stupid. The US has enough forces sitting in South Korea, at South Korea’s request, to make a Northern invasion problematic and ensure that the US would join any such war. If the South wanted the US out, they could make it happen. They like the US there because it means that they can slack off on their defense budget.

This all supposes that the US is happy with a divided Korea and is fucking it all up on purpose. It isn’t. If the US had a magic wand, it would unify Korea and make them play nice with Japan so that there could be a unified front around China. The US clearly doesn’t have that power. The US can’t even get Korea to play nice with Japan despite the fact that their interests are basically in perfect alignment.

North Korea is a clusterfuck because it is run by people who are literally mass murdering slavers who wield absolute power. You can talk peace all you want, but at the end of the day, you somehow need to convince folks who clearly don’t give two shits about their own people to do something useful. Honestly, if I were to suggest policy,I would simply offer a bribe. Tell them that they can have an island supplied with everything they could ever want and a few billion dollars if they just fuck off.


#16

So the U.S. isn’t a self-interested, de facto empire, and its only role in that part of the world is a sometimes fruitless effort to play umpire between countries when they won’t play nice together.

Got it, thanks, have a good day.


#17

Empire umpire! Now that has the ring in it!


#18

While I do like this compromise, and can actually seen it gaining traction, I have to point out that our ovaries are not really analogous to “balls” in the urban slang sense. Ovaries aren’t full of pain sensors, they’re productive just once a month, and for only a limited number of years. I would suggest the cervix - having things done to the cervix like biopsy or IUD insertion (“OW OW OW pain at 11!” sez this chronic migraine sufferer) are incredibly painful, and of course they’re called upon to open up from a pinhole size to a whopping 10 centimeters when giving birth.

Unfortunately, “Wow, that took one strong cervix!” just doesn’t have the right ring to it. I think you’re best with “huevos”. :sunny:

…and pretty much the rest of Rindan’s thinking here. Folks are always quick to dismiss symbolic movements as useless. I can’t help but remember the press and people who dismissed Occupy as so unfocused as to be effectively useless; and what could a one-day fast food walkout ever hope to accomplish?

But somehow debates about minimum and liveable wages ensued, and we are seeing $15 minimum wage legislation all over the country. It’s not perfect, but it is a start in the right direction. Who are we to say that increased engagement with the Koreas won’t be part of effecting substantive change?


#19

Did you read what I wrote? Of course the US is self interested. It really isn’t the US’s interest to have two separate Koreas, one of which is a barely controlled Chinese puppet. If the US could snap its fingers and remake that entire region, there would be one democratic Korea, and they would be BFFs with Japan, the Philippians, Taiwan, and Vietnam. The idea of a unified Korea on China’s border gives the US a raging hard on, which is basically the only reason why China has put up with North Korea as long as it has, and the reason why China intervened in the Korean War… Hell, even then, China is slowly coming around to the idea that fuck it, maybe a unified Korea it can trade with and maybe slowly shift out of the US sphere is better than the hot mess that is North Korea which is functionally useless except for poking the US with t stick when it gets bored.

Please, don’t misunderstand me. I am a devout anti-interventionist. I would pull the US military back inside the border and slash the military budget to nearly nothing if I was the dictator of the US. That said, ignorance of reality to fit my own ends is of no use. The idea that the US is really thrilled about having a North Korea is plain ignorant when in put in the context of literally everything else the US is doing in the Pacific. The US is building a coalition against China in the Pacific, and it is trying like hell to get that coalition to take the lead and stand on its own. The strategy is plain as day. South Korea and Japan don’t hate each other because the US wants them to hate each other; they desperately want them to kiss and make up. The US isn’t becoming BFFs with Vietnam because it is really sorry about that whole Vietnam war thing; they are best of buds these days because Vietnam wants a shield against China, and the US want regional players to counter balance China. The US doesn’t let Korea unify because they are against it; they just have no fucking clue how to make the insane Junta that runs North Korea throw in the towel and do an East Germany.


#20

Symbolic movements have their place, but that place tends to be in a place where political power can at least vaguely draw a line back to the people. North Korea isn’t unified because North Korea doesn’t want to be. A bunch of internationalist feminist isn’t going to make the North Korean military leadership, the only people with any power at all realize that maybe murdering off large percentages of the population and running massive slave labor camps is a bad idea. That sort of symbolic movement might have an effect on South Korea, or even the US, but so what? Exactly what policy change do you think South Korea or the US can do that will suddenly make North Korea decide it doesn’t want to be the most brutal and repressive military government in the world? The people that make up the North Korean government are people that stood idly by as 5-15% of the population dropped dead of starvation. East Germany had already shown them how to end that sort of suffering that they decided to just stick it out.

North Korea isn’t going to unfuck itself until it collapses.