Thursday, October 24, 2002

Those Unreasonable Japanese

The Japanese would like their citizens kidnapped by the North Koreans to stay in Japan (the survivors, anyway; the rest died in various tragic and unlikely accidents). However:

According to media reports, a North Korean Foreign Ministry official said Pyongyang will allow the five Japanese to return to Japan permanently with their children if they choose.

But the reports said the official balked at returning the children to Japan right away and criticized Japan for overreacting to the abductions.

What an interesting window into North Korea. Japan is “overreacting.” Just like the North Korean reaction to being caught cheating, they feel aggrieved! Threaten neighbors with destruction and actually secretly build the means to carry out those threats? In defiance of international agreements? Kidnap foreigners to help spy on other nations more effectively? All part of the diplomatic game, don’t you know? Kind of like diplomats illegally parking under the protection of their immunity. It would be wrong to pass out tickets for that. This is just the same, right?

We can certainly sit around over coffee and kimchee and discuss the different viewpoints we hold on the justness of kidnapping innocent individuals and compelling them to work against their own country. We can work out the meaning of “we will not develop nuclear weapons,” right? Probably just cultural or language issues. We say TOE-MAY-TOE, and you say WE’LL TURN SEOUL INTO A FIRESTORM. We’re all just reasonable people after all. No difference at all.

Certainly no reason to overreact.