[KS] Tariq Ali's Diary about North Korea

Afostercarter at aol.com Afostercarter at aol.com
Sun Jan 22 06:05:00 EST 2012

Scott Bug beat me to it. This period piece 
- a 40 year old 'diary'? Surely that's an archive!  -
is valuable for its fascinating  anecdotage.
But caveat lector: it's also full of howlers  when
the author pontificates about Korean history. 
For instance:
The  Red Army marched into North Korea, with Kim Il-sung reportedly in one 
of its  tanks; 
Who  the hell was Kim Il-sung? Where did he come from? 
Had  he ever operated as a guerrilla leader? 
... It  is possible that Kim Il-sung operated as a guerrilla in China
 and  then fled to Russia. We  don’t know for sure.
In the US, serious magazines employ  fact-checkers.
It's a pity the LRB didn't do the same.
Kind regards
Aidan FC
Aidan  Foster-Carter 
Honorary Senior Research  Fellow in Sociology & Modern Korea, Leeds 
University, UK 
E: _afostercarter at aol.com_ (mailto:afostercarter at aol.com)      
_afostercarter at yahoo.com_ (mailto:afostercarter at yahoo.com)    W: _www.aidanfc.net_ 
W in Korea:  
In a message dated 1/21/2012 11:49:44 GMT Standard Time,  
jsburgeson at yahoo.com writes:

In  the current issue of the London Review of Books, there is rather  
amusing and dishy account of two of Tariq Ali's visits to North Korea in the  
early 1970s:  


Ali makes some interesting claims, especially near the end:

"At one stage it appeared that the United States was going to buy out  the 
North Koreans. Clinton despatched Madeleine Albright to Pyongyang in 2000  
to do a deal – loadsamoney for the Kims, denuclearisation of sorts followed 
by  a soft reunification with the South – but it didn’t go through. Bush had 
no  interest at all in contact. Why? I got an answer of sorts after a 
public  debate on the Iraq war in Berlin in 2003. My opponent was Ruth Wedgwood 
from  Yale, an adviser to Donald Rumsfeld. Over lunch I asked her about their 
plans  for North Korea. She was cogent. ‘You haven’t seen the glint in the 
eyes of  the South Korean military,’ she said. ‘They’re desperate to get 
hold of the  North’s nuclear arsenal. That’s unacceptable.’ Why? ‘Because 
if a unified  Korea becomes a nuclear power, it will be impossible to stop 
Japan from  becoming one too and if you have China, Japan and a unified Korea 
as nuclear  states, it shifts the relationship of forces against us.’"

Fun stuff!

– Scott Bug

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