It took a while, since our funding ran out and we had to make do, but as inventive, creative and badass ninja academics we got going when the going got tough. So here is the Korean translation of our research report on DPRK forced labour in the EU, episode 1. We’d thought we make life a bit easier for the Pyongyang apparatchiks tasked with being indignant about our research (please send your complaints here or here; AFAIK anything you’ll send will end up at the second address also). You’ll just have to look past the South Korean spelling, comrades, but the sunny side is that you won’t have to translate it yourself.
The report on DPRK forced labour in the EU by the Slaves to the System research team is receiving much attention. Not just from the media, some of whose less esteemed members are having a field day misquoting me in different languages, but also from non-media folks, such as for example members of the EU parliament (who asked question in parliament),
The initial findings of the Slaves to the System project have just been published at the LeidenAsiaCentre website. Peruse the report at your own risk, for it is a ‘grave provocation’ to the DPRK, an ‘act of hostility’ and an “attempt to damage the dignity” of the Supreme Leader. Judge for yourself and read the report. But first back up your hard drive, because if only one tenth of the stories about DPRK hackers is true, they are already listening in on your phone and watching you saving your precious bitcoins.
The blog post I wrote for Policy Forum just went live here. According to my computer it went live tomorrow, November 27. Yes, that is right, I am using the past tense for something that happened tomorrow (there! I did it again!). Not because I am a time traveller (coincidentally – or not – I was sent this link today on time travel and the proper use of grammar),
Een experiment. Een opiniestuk voorgelezen als podcast (een opedcast?), de eerste van een serie: Bureau Breuker. Deze keer over de nieuwe diplomatieke notie van separative engagement, voorgesteld door prof. Jang Jin-sung (Universiteit Leiden).
Hier is het mp3-bestand (320kbps):
Er zal nog van alles niet optimaal zijn qua opname, maar dat zal naar ik aanneem langzamerhand verbeteren.
I told myself that I wasn’t going to write anything about Shin Dong-hyuk and his confession that key elements of his escape narrative were omitted, changed around or left out. I have never met Shin and I’ve never been able to vouch for the veracity of his book. I have talked about his book in public, however, and have always maintained that I did not doubt his story. Altough I could not verify the details, I believed its general structure to be valid.
I was part of the examination committee for this PhD thesis today: Writing under wartime conditions : North and South Korean writers during the Korean war (1950-1953), by Jerôme de Wit (now Dr de Wit!). The thesis is an exhaustive analysis of wartime literature, both from North and South Korea, and has unearthed a number of works previously thought lost. The thesis is
This has been quite a week, I must say. I have been subjected to everything ranging from intense media attention (just google OGD or Organisation and Guidance Department; Organization of course if you’re a cousin from across the pond), vilification, accusations of mystification (my personal favorite) to patronizing passive-aggressive advice/inquiries on what it is real academics do (as opposed to what I am doing, I hazard a guess) and made the New York Times
It seems as if after the successful conclusion of the Leiden conference A State Of Non-Legitimacy in which the Organisation and Guidance Department (OGD for its intimi) was dissected in some macaber detail, the OGD has been in the news rather a lot. Which if you think about it is ironic for a “shadowy organisation”