You gotta laugh…


Ok, so maybe the banging of drums and rattling of sabres is nothing to take lightly.  War is hell and lives are at stake and all that.  Still, for sheer audacity and rhetorical flourish, you have to give the Gold to the NORKs.           

Here’s the official response from the Korean People’s Army (KPA) to the sanctions imposed by South Korean President Lee:

Important notice from the Korean People’s Army [KPA] General Staff: “Shall Smash, Without Mercy, ‘Countermeasures Against the North’ the Traitorous Gang Brought Forth”:


In a so-called “address to the people” on 24 May, traitor Lee Myung-bak declared all-out anti-Republic confrontation as a “national policy.” Then, top-level servant bastards of the puppet Ministries of National Defense, Unification, and Foreign Affairs and Trade unanimously began clinging to the realization of an already concocted manuscript of confrontation with fellow countrymen.


Such moves by the traitorous gang are acts of complete abrogation of the historic 15 June Joint Declaration, a joint achievement of the nation, and its practical program, the 4 October Declaration, and specially gross criminal acts of driving North-South relations into a state of war.


Inasmuch as the traitorous gang has dared to start making a clumsy fire of all-out confrontation against us, the KPA General Staff solemnly notifies that our revolutionary armed forces’ actual important measures  will be taken in response.


1. With respect to North-South cooperation and exchange, we will completely withdraw all military assurance measures that our army is supposed to implement.


For the present, we will begin reviewing closing the military communications liaison offices in the East and West Sea [Sea of Japan and Yellow Sea] Districts and completely cutting off overland passage related to the Kaeso’ng Industrial Complex.


2. Regarding the anti-Republic psychological warfare maneuvers the puppet military is attempting to resume, we will respond mercilessly across the entire front, as the commander of our army front’s central zone has already warned the enemy side.


3. [We] will completely nullify the bilateral agreement that was concluded to prevent a contingent clash in the West Sea of Korea.  In connection with this, [we] will completely stop using international maritime ultra-short wave walkie-talkies and will immediately cut off the communication line that was opened to handle an emergency situation.


4. An immediate physical strike will be inflicted upon an act of violating our side’s maritime demarcation line in the West Sea of Korea.


5. [We] will completely disallow the passage of the traitor gang’s naval vessels, aircraft, and other means of mobility through our territorial waters, territorial air, and territorial land.


6. We will strictly ban the traitorous group, including the puppet authorities, from coming in and out of the premises [kyo’ngnae] of our Republic.


7.  We will disclose to the end the identity of “the fabricated act” and “the smear act” as long as the act of blocking our National Defense Commission [NDC]’s inspection team continues.


The aforementioned measures are our revolutionary armed force’s first-stage response to the reckless anti-Republic confrontational maneuver of the traitorous gang who are confrontational fanatics and flunkeys nation-sellers.

The traitorous gang will fully realize how big a price they will pay for the consequence for having driven the 15 June Joint Declaration and 4 October Declaration to a complete rupture.


Yoja of the Week

Ok, back with the YOTW feature after a brief hiatus.  It’s going to be tough to top this video of some fine Korean models over at ROKdrop.  Well, I can’t top it, but let me introduce Ms. Yoon Sun Hee, a popular “racing” model…


Hot cars and fast women, what’s not to like?


She could be the girl next door.  Nah, I’ve actually seen the girl who lives next door….


See guys, she’s got an umbrella.  No need to wear a raincoat…  Yeah, that was bad.  Very bad…

Opinions are like, er well, navels…

…everybody has one.

This guy speculates on what war would like should things take a worse turn here on the Korean peninsula.

A North Korean Attack: Though war would be catastrophic for both countries, South Korea would suffer the most in the first days of a full-scale conflict. Its capital of Seoul lies just 50 miles south of the Demilitarized Zone (DMZ) — as big a misnomer as you will find, since the area is one of the most heavily militarized areas on the planet. On this de facto border, North Korea has amassed about 13,000 artillery pieces, rockets, missiles and other ordnance that can reach Seoul in a matter of minutes. Seoul, a city of 1 million, could be flattened; also at risk are the 28,500 American troops stationed in the country. Additionally, North Korea could release its dams and flood much of the South, writes Christopher Hitchens. There’s also its 1.2 million-member army to consider. And were North Korea to deploy nuclear and chemical weapons, the devastation would be much much worse.

Is he wrong?  Well, the fact that he says Seoul has a population of 1 million doesn’t inspire much confidence.  I have probably a million people living in my neighborhood (Seoul has well over 10 million citizens).  Now, Kim Jung-il could certainly rain some fire, death, and destruction down on our heads, but there ain’t no way he could flatten the city (unless his nukes are a lot bigger than what he’s tested thus far).

Still, it wouldn’t be pretty, that’s for sure.  It would also be an act of suicide for Mr. Kim and his regime.  I am of the opinion that Kim may be a maniac, but he’s not stupid.  The big wildcard in all of this will be where China comes down.  I haven’t seen many positive signs in that regard, but I can’t believe having the North initiate a war would be in China’s interests.  And the Chinese are cold, hard calculators who will likely protect their interests by prevailing on the North to back down.

But that’s just one navel gazer’s opinion…

UPDATE: Here’s another opinion perhaps more worthy of consideration.

My affair with Nikki Haley


Yes, it is true.  I had a torrid love affair with South Carolina gubernatorial candidate Nikki Haley.

My evidence?  Well, I lived in South Carolina at one time.  And I’m a blogger.  And during my recent trip home I was invited to visit the Statehouse grounds to witness Sarah Palin’s endorsement of Ms. Haley (although due to jetlag I didn’t attend).  In fact, since Nikki Haley is not an insomniac, I can irrefutably assert that while I was in the Palmetto state, Nikki and I definitely slept together.

So, I would say my proof is at least as strong as the claims made by “douche bag” Will Folks.  Who, based on this account, is nothing but a man-slut anyway.

What, me worry?


So, as you may or may not have heard, tensions are rising to a seemingly fever pitch here on the Korean peninsula.  I don’t have any real insights into where this might go, although I obviously am hoping that the heated rhetoric doesn’t morph into artillery rounds raining down on my balding head.

The sinking of the Cheonan in South Korean waters was a bit more than the usual provocation we’ve come to expect from the idiots up North.  And the ROKs are blessed with an impressive leader in President Lee who isn’t going to let this act of war go unpunished.  But other than the sanctions and further isolation of Kim Jung Il and his cohorts, there’s nothing else short of war to be done.  And war would of course be disastrous.

So, Obama has told our military to be ready for any contingency.  Thanks for that advice Mr. President.  It’s kinda sorta what we do here on a daily basis anyway.

North Korea has responded by severing all ties to South.  An act akin to cutting the proverbial nose from your face.  Or more literally, biting the hand that feeds you.
So we shall see where this goes.  I’ve got 97 days left.  Here’s hoping I live that long.

Photographs and memories

So, I was pleasantly surprised to find that my vacation photos had not in fact been lost when I put the memory card in my new camera…


Southbound from Virginia I received a hearty welcome from NC and a place to answer nature’s call.


I was rollin’ down the highway in this fine example of American steel–a retro Chrysler 300.


A fine ride indeed!


Although she did drink the fuel…thankfully Pedro was waiting for me just South of the Border in SC…


Picked my son up from work at the radio network and headed out for dinner in Columbia’s upscale Congaree (river) Vista neighborhood.


Granddaughter Gracyn kept me company at my parent’s house…


The next morning mom and dad and me and Gracie headed out to the ol’ Cracker Barrel for an American-style breakfast.


There’s a knack to doing one of those self portraits…one I obviously lack…


Kevin with the newest addition to the clan, Alexander.  Just turned one year old!


Proof that Kevin was born lucky–sweetheart Lauren…


Lauren, mom and Renee…


Nephew Joshua…


Me and the kids (proof that I’m lucky too!)


Lauren and Renee enjoying Sunday brunch at California Dreaming…


That’s a LG from Korea!


Ain’t he sweet?


I really enjoyed the Smithsonian Air and Space Museum at Dulles…


Ah, give me the days when airlines cared about service…and legroom!


The long trip across the Pacific makes you wish supersonic transport was still available…if not affordable.


That reminds me, I still need to post my photos from Pearl Harbor…


Blackbird singin’ in the dead of night…


The space shuttle Enterprise never left Earth’s atmosphere, but still impressive…


It was really great to see old friends Duke and Dave again and to throw some darts like old times.  Duke’s lovely wife Ji Young seems to have put on a little weight though…


In fact, I do believe she’s even bigger than me these days.  I understand she will be losing the weight in dramatic fashion next week…


Congrats to Duke and Ji Young on the impending birth of their daughter Kyla Kim.

Looking forward to their visit to Korea in August…

100 days

I’m back in Korea after a long exhausting trip.  Physically and emotionally.

Back for the last 100 days of my life in the Land of the Morning Calm.  And my last hundred days as a working man.

Suffice to say it is all getting real.  Very real.  I don’t think I’m scared, but I’m definitely starting to freak out.

Ah well.  Time marches on.

Every picture tells a story…

…but I have no pictures.

Sorry about the lack of posts.  I had several written in my head to go along with the photos I took en route and while I was in South Carolina with the family.  Then my camera crashed.  I bought a new one yesterday, but when I installed the memory card from the old camera it erased all my pictures.  I’m beyond irked about that and too irritated to put thoughts to pixels without the accompanying photos.

I will say I had a too short but wonderful visit with the folks, kids and grandkids.  Everyone seems to be doing as well as can be expected.  There seems to be a theme to this trip but I’m going to let those thoughts perculate a little more before I try to articulate them.

Back in NoVA now.  Threw some darts last night with Duke and Dave New.  Always great to see old friends from Korea  adapting well to their new environs.

Slip slidin’ away

So, I have completed the official business portion of my trip.  Nothing worthy of note took place at the meetings.  In fact, it occurred to me as I sat through what will be my last gathering of this type just how little things had changed in 30 years of this type meeting.  The same tired issues, the same failed solutions, the same talking heads with all the answers.  Government in action.

Highlight of the week was that the last day was held inside the Pentagon.  That was a first for me and I’m glad I got to experience it.  Quite the building.

And to be completely honest, notwithstanding the pointlessness of most government meetings, with each new “last” I feel an odd sense of loss and sadness.  It is what I have known and done these many years.  Feels almost like losing an old friend somehow.

God only knows
God makes his plan
The information’s unavailable
To the mortal man
We work our jobs
Collect our pay
Believe we’re gliding down the highway
When in fact we’re slip slidin’ away

Slip slidin’ away
Slip slidin’ away
You know the nearer your destination
The more you’re slip slidin’ away

–Paul Simon


Long days journey into night…

and back to day again…

The trip across the wide Pacific was 24 hours door-to-door.  The Seoul/Narita/Chicago/DC iteniary was as miserable as it sounds.

United Airlines is a big step down from my preferred Korean Airlines is every aspect imaginable.   The equipment (747s without seatback entertainment systems), food, service, and flight attendent attractiveness were all disappointments on this trip.  Worse, United is extremely chintzy with leg room in coach.  When I sat down my knees were already bumping the seatback in front of me.  When the SOB in front of me reclined his seat, well, it was like being captured in a spider’s web (there was a big size guy in the middle seat next to me spilling over into my space exacerbating my claustrophobic conditions).  It was pretty much a tortuous journey but it is over and I can only look forward to the return trip next week with dismay.

(this is the first of a series of catch-up posts.  I’ve been too busy and too jetlagged to have regularly updated the blog.  For which I apologize and hereby begin the process of making amends.)

I’ll fly away

Heading back to the USA this morning.  Have a meeting in DC next week, then I’ll take care of some personal business, spend a few days visiting family in South Carolina, and fly back home to Korea on the 21st.

Adding to my list of “lasts”, this will be my final TDY in the service of my Uncle Sam.  I’m happy about that for a variety of reasons, but I am really pissed about the way this trip is going down.  The trip is about 17 hours in the air.  In a cramped couch seat.  And that make me grouchy anyway.  But check out this itinerary:

Seoul to Narita (Japan) to Chicago to Washington (and the reverse coming back).  That adds 5+ hours to the trip assuming everything goes right.  It used to be you could catch a direct from Seoul to Dulles or in the alternative a direct to Atlanta with a short hop on to DC.  I hate the layover in Japan and I dislike flying on United (Korean Air has spoiled me).

Oh well, I guess the old saw about the man who was upset with his flight schedule until he met a man with no wings should give me some perspective.

Nah, it still sucks.

See y’all on the other side.

A logical inference?

Two news items caught my eye this morning:

The new poll finds 61 percent of voters nationally think Arizona was right to take action instead of waiting for the federal government to do something on immigration. That’s more than twice as many as the 27 percent who think securing the border is a federal responsibility and Arizona should have waited for Washington to act. 


Only 39% of voters said they would vote to re-elect Pres. Obama if the election were held today, while 50% say they would vote for someone else. A quarter of voters would definitely vote to re-elect Obama, while 37% would definitely vote for someone else. 

Not saying there is correlation between the items, but folks are beginning to notice…


via: PowerLine

Sold down the proverbial river

Meanwhile in the Middle East, Obama continues to undermine Israel.  Supporting a resolution in the UN for “a nuclear-free” Middle East while doing nothing to impede the efforts of Iran in acquiring nuclear weapons.  Nothing good can come of this of course.  I suspect Israel will do what she must for self-preservation and it will likely get ugly.

I think the growing anti-Semitic sentiment among the Left generally and in Washington in particular is also pretty scary.  I mean there is fairly recent history that should raise some red flags when folks start talking about  “good Jews and bad Jews”.  And no, I’m not referring to Nazi Germany.


hat tip: Lileks