This week saw some pretty sensational scenes unfold on the normally serene Panmunjom Joint Security Area that divides the two Koreas. South Korea unification activist Roh Su-hui, who had illegal entered North Korea this March to try and promote Korean unification (although many normal Koreans in the South see him as a dictator-worshipping useful idiot) suddenly became centre stage for the North Korean propaganda machine as hundreds of people stood on the Northern side of the border to see him off.
However, almost as soon as he set foot on South Korean soil (or, gravel, as that particular side of the border actually is) everything went a bit Checkpoint Charlie. Roh was immediately restrained by South Korean authorities (after a short struggle) and carried away by a group of security officers, handcuffed and bound with rope (see above — South Korean media has incidentally censored the rope and handcuffs in much of their coverage). Useful information on subsequent the events that unfolded can be found here.
The Twittersphere was awash with frustrated netizens who were less than sympathetic to Roh’s aims. The below two YouTube videos are from the official North Korean YouTube account (South Korean readers beware: viewing North Korean material in South Korea is illegal but the government hasn’t got round to censoring YouTube… yet! View at your own risk).
The first clip documents Roh’s visit to Pyongyang and the rather dramatic broder crossing. The second official video can only be described as the 1980’s Kenny G inspired porn music remix of the first video, but more dramatic.
Top Tweets from Twitter:
하태경 @taekyungh [Saenuri politician and North Korean defector]:
Given the fact that Roh Su-hui wasn’t able to meet any North Korean elites, it’s probably fair to say that he’s just a tool for the North Korean regime — but he has no idea, just like his fellow North Korea sympathisers.
jungkwon chin @unheim [Prominent academic]:
What I hate about this Roh Su-hui fiasco is that the newspapers are saying ‘conservatives protest, liberals welcome Mr Ro’. The thing is, the people protesting aren’t really conservatives, and those greeting him aren’t really liberals.
독수리3호 @ 3Eagle3rd:
Chin jung-kwon said ‘Hey, Lee Seok-gi and Kim Jae-yeon! Why don’t you go and welcome Roh Su-hui?’ http://news.chosun.com/site/data/html_dir/2012/07/05/2012070501824.html Chin Jung-kwon is basically anti-rightist, yet he’s on the same page regarding commie issues. What’s he hiding by criticising commies?
byun hee jae @pyein2 [Political pundit and founder of Bignews]:
If it’s necessary, I’m in full support of the investigation and punishment of Roh Su-hui. But what are you gonna do about Princess Park Geun-hye [who also illegally visited North Korea]? Is it money that decides whether who’s innocent or not?
I think this Roh Su-hui guy seems suspicious. He sneaked into the North right before the general election (24th March) and stirred-up the whole ‘anti-North’ sentiment thing. Look at the timing of his return to the South: The Senior Secretary to the President for Public Relations showed his intention to resign today because President Lee tried to push the Korea-Japan military agreement. The funny thing is, the press has been informed about Mr Ro’s every move for all those months.
His specialty is demonstrations and disseminating propaganda, which is useless in North Korea, the ‘paradise on earth’, as he calls it. He can sell off this country along with all the fucking leftists and the Democratic United Party.
jung moon lee @shjm1908:
Roh Su-hui came back through Panmunjom: what a huge chunk of meat for the conservatives! A North Korean defector called Mr Park is talking to the tabloid press as if he was an experienced national security officer on North Korean affairs. The information provided by him is far too specific to believe its validity. You North Korean defectors better just shut up and eat your meal!
He is officially a spy, yet no significant measure against him seems to be taking place. I can’t sleep! //A prominent ally with the opposition parties, Mr Ro came back from an extravagant trip to North Korea. http://t.co/gxq3lB6H
Some people are trying to dismiss his act as a trivial criminal case. But he’s the vice president of the Han-race Association that deeply engages in the general election on behalf of the opposition parties.
‘Roh Su-hui apologised to North on behalf of President Lee’ http://bit.ly/MXackj The government has to punish this moron with the immigration law. Don’t make him a hero. Shit.
Roh Su-hui illegally went to the North on the 24th March and he’s coming back through Panmunjom, which we must not allow. We’ve got to send him back!
Roh Su-hui, vice president of the Han-race Association spent more than 100 days in the North, mourning Kim Jong Il’s death. Now he’s coming back. We’ll allow you to come on one condition: follow the same way North Korean defectors normally have to use to escape from the North.
Roh Su-hui is South Korean yet he illegally visited the North and praised the regime. He’s worse than a spy. Despite all of what he did, is it fair to abolish the National Security Act as pro-North people demand?
Roh Su-hui has to stay in North Korea, praising the dictators. Then we can ship all those North Korea sympathisers off to the North.
Brian Lee @evilbreaker2012:
Roh Su-hui is coming back as soon as the pro-North issue gets stabilised. He didn’t dare come back, to keep pro-North people out of harm’s way, as they were in deep trouble. He’s just like the North having been anxious about protecting Juche followers.
Kang Jun hu @marineviolet01:
Roh Su-hui didn’t even bother to think about the consequences of his illegal visit to the North; the National Security Act must be a joke for him. I don’t think he would be so comfortable with the prospect of serving time in jail after such an extravagant trip. He’s got such thick skin.
Roh Su-hui, who was served by North Korean beauties day and night during the illegal visit to the North, is coming back. Now he’s facing his own harsh reality. I wonder what’s going through his mind right now. Hey, Roh! You must be so scared!
Roh Su-hui, who illegally visited the North and praised the Dictator Kim’s family, is coming back. The law has to punish this guy with a maximum sentence, setting an example to prevent copycat visitors to the North.