We hope this issue will give an idea of the bum trip being laid upon the people of South Korea. South Korea has become the whore of the pimp Park Chung Hee, a psychopathic dictator who -once earned a living as an officer in the Japanese Imperial Army, putting down his own countrymen. Like the Korean women shangaied into prostitution in the name of "export tourism," the Park govt has leased he country out to Japan and the U.S. for protection.
South Korea provides an ideal setting for state repression. Park Chung Hee even has a choice of "foreign threats." According to time and whim, he can raise the specter of a new invasion from the north, or fan the embers of anti-Japanese hatred engendered by 35 years' colonialism. The reason is the key role the country lays in the strategies of the US and Japan. For the former, South Korea represents the next rotting plank of the tottering "bulwark against communism." As for Japan, the Korean Resistance has summed it up: "What South Korea is to Japan is what a narcotic addict is to a pusher." Japanese "economic aid," the narcotic, exerts profit-making control while offering nothing but hunger and misery in return.
America's 42,000 troops, stationed right up to the Demilitarized Zone as the "tripwire" assuring the immediate entry of the US into any fighting, are intended primarily to protect foreign economic interests. As of December '74, the Japanese share of such investment in South Korea was 65.4%, that of the US 27.6%. As in any colonial situation, the personal rake-off stakes are also high. 4% of Japanese investment funds goes directly to the cabinet.
Kim Chi Ha wrote his "Statement of Conscience" with prison floor dirt on toilet paper, using a filed-down toothbrush. The fact that voices like his still ring out in South Korea today is living proof of the strength of the human spirit under the most savage repression.
We were talking about the bread side of things the last few weeks. We really don't like the idea of "sub rates"- makes it sound like we charge a fee for the dubious pleasure of reading our outpourings. So what we propose to do from now on is continue sending to anyone who has an exchange with us, has sent us bread, is corresponding with us, and so on. We'll also send to prisoners or anyone who's broke, so if you can introduce some friends or if you can distribute extra copies for us, please let us know. Since Japanese postal rates went up 100% in January, it now costs us about L1.50 or $3.00 to send out a 4-issue sea-mail sub. Send what you can. Incidentally, we're now sending only to people who have contacted us up to the time of publication.
Just space to throw in a few quickies... Chinese, Korean and Japanese names are always given in their natural order-family name first. Kim Chi Ha's surname is Kim, given name Chi Ha... The use of "south" and "north" (uncapitalized) before "Korea" does not necessarily make one a libertarian: being divided only temporarily, Korea is only "one country," in the eyes of Koreans we've talked to.... The third part of "The Federation Issue in Japan" series will appear next time; no space this time, sorry... To all those who write asking for a copy of LI No.1, it's now out of print. Maybe we'll reprint someday... See you next time 'round!