Daily Archives: 9 October 2006

DPRK: Obvious and Not So Obvious Reasons

As expected, The Marmot is all over the North Korean nuclear story, but one of the more intriguing pieces of counterconventional wisdom on why the DPRK is going nuclear can be found at DPRK Studies:

The obvious reason is for deterrence of an attack or invasion from a U.S. seeking regime change. However, military action by the U.S. was already extremely unlikely as any such action would put Seoul, South Korea’s capital, in danger of being hit by the thousands of artillery pieces just north of the border and well within range. That’s aside from the U.S. being overextend[ed] in Iraq. So a nuclear deterrent is only another level of deterrence.

The not so obvious reason is that North Korea has been implementing a strategy of disengagement since 4 October 2002, when then U.S. Assistant Secretary of State James Kelly [was] in Pyongyang meeting North Korean Deputy Foreign Minster Kang Seok-Ju. When confronted with U.S. evidence, Kang admitted that North Korea had secretly continued a nuclear-weapons development program.

After that the words “complete, verifiable, and irreversible” became a part of the U.S. negotiating lexicon concerning denuclearization, which caused a shift in North Korean strategy from Regime survival by Extortion of Concessions to Regime survival by Strategic Disengagement.

North Korea cannot accept engagement for two primary reasons. First, invasive inspections would make the regime look weak internally and risk control of the military. Second, inspections on the scale that would be required for any new package deal would likely bring in an unprecedented influx of foreigners, something North Korea does not want.

This is because the legitimacy of the regime is build on a cult mythology that would be in jeopardy if outside information were to reach the isolated and misinformed North Korea population. The exposure of the North Korean people to reality vis-à-vis the cult is an enormous vulnerability for the regime.

via Peaktalk

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A Shocking Marriage: Frances Fulghum & Uehara Nobuaki

The Mission was still reeling from the [missionary resignation] shock of 1925 when Sarah Frances Fulghum dropped a bombshell as unexpected as the resignation of the three couples. On May 29, 1927, her 37th birthday, Fulghum visited the Doziers with Uehara Nobuaki, a 23-year-old medical student. “We are engaged to be married,” she announced. The one-time fiancée of Norman Williamson was widely known and highly respected as principal of Maizuru Kindergarten, where she resided, and founder-director of Seinan Gakuin‘s celebrated glee club. Uehara was a member of an English Bible class that Fulghum taught in her home. He was not a Christian, and his family strongly opposed his marrying the middle-aged foreigner.

Shocked and dismayed, the Doziers thought it their duty to share so consequential a matter with the other members of the Mission. The news triggered a barrage of criticism on Fulghum. Grace Mills, herself a single missionary for 12 years, wrote Frances that her relationship with Uehara embarrassed all single women who taught Japanese men in their homes and that the scandal might lead to the closure of Maizuru Kindergarten (it did not). Florence Walne censured her behavior as “selfish and unworthy beyond words.” In rebuttal, Fulghum insisted that she was “not any longer a baby” and “it will all blow over if the Mission will only keep its head.” But missionaries and Japanese alike urged her to return home for talks with her distressed mother before entangling herself with a Japanese mother-in-law. The Board offered to pay her travel expenses back to the States and asked her to indicate by telegram whether she would come. Her telegram read: NO.

Fulghum resigned from the Board and took a teaching position in Fukuoka’s Kaho Middle School. She moved from her Mission residence to a small private house and made preparations for her marriage to Uehara. “They are acting in such a way,” Kelsey Dozier told his diary, ”as to disgust any sensible people.” The wedding took place on June 30, 1928, and the bride took the name Uehara Ranko. “Ran,” a component of the name Frances as pronounced in Japanese, was written with a Chinese character meaning Dutch or Western [蘭 also ‘orchid’]. The “ko,” meaning child [子], is the most common ending for a woman’s name.

Uehara Nobuaki finished medical school at Kyushu University in 1929. Later he ran a small hospital in Wakayama, specializing in internal medicine and skin diseases. Though the hospital bore a Christian name, Immanuel, Uehara remained aloof from the church and was never baptized. During the Pacific War, Ranko suffered hardship and discrimination as a spy suspect. After the war , when the [Southern Baptist] Convention opened work in Wakayama, she helped with the Sunday school and worship services as organist, pianist, and soloist, until she was too feeble to attend. Upon her death in 1973 at the age of 82, funeral services were held in the Wakayama church. Ranko was survived by her husband and by two daughters and three grandchildren who were living in California and New Jersey.

SOURCE: The Southern Baptist Mission in Japan, 1889-1989, by F. Calvin Parker (University Press of America, 1991), pp. 121-122 

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