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Ironduke
25 Aug 03,, 01:13
Brawl threatens Korea games hopes

DAEGU, South Korea (AP) -- North Korea threatened to pull out of the World University Games on Sunday after a brawl between North Korean reporters and human rights activists protesting the communist country's leader.

The melee set back hopes that the games would symbolize inter-Korean solidarity ahead of six-nation talks seeking to resolve a standoff over North Korea's suspected nuclear weapons program. The negotiations begin Wednesday in Beijing.

The fight, which lasted about 10 minutes, erupted as the reporters from the North's state-run media tried to seize banners critical of North Korean leader Kim Jong Il from about 20 protesters outside the stadium.

"Down with Kim Jong Il. Rescue our Northern brethren," one banner read. Protesters also held pictures of starving North Korean children lying in hospital beds.

North Korean team chief Jun Kuk Man later vowed to pull his delegation from the games unless the South Korean government apologized and guaranteed it would prevent a recurrence.

He criticized the protest as "an unacceptable crime by human scum," and defended the conduct of the North Korean reporters.

"South Korean authorities, rather than stopping and dispersing the anti-communist, right-wing group's anti-North rally, not only acquiesced in it but protected it by mobilizing its police force," Jun said.

"We cannot but reconsider our participation if ... protest continues under the protection of hundreds of policemen like this," Jun told reporters.

More than 100 South Korean riot police were at the scene and helped break up the scuffle. Dozens of uniformed and plain-clothed officers also swarmed in as the skirmish moved from the sidewalk toward the University Games main media center.

Norbert Vollertsen, a German doctor and human rights activist, was knocked to the ground. Riot police formed a cordon around him before he was carried by stretcher to an ambulance. Injured in another human rights protest Friday near the border with North Korea, Vollertsen was wearing crutches and a neck brace when he arrived at the protest.

Vollertsen was treated and released from a local hospital. Fellow protester Douglas Shin said Vollertsen had been vomiting, and that the North Koreans had targeted the German, who once worked in the North and has championed the cause of North Korean asylum-seekers.

Angered by the banners and pictures, at least four North Korean reporters stormed out of the nearby media center and approached the activists.

"What is this? Take that away immediately," Ri Gwang Nam, one of the reporters, shouted.

Another North Korean reporter punched a South Korean activist who hunkered down with a banner tightly wrapped in his arms. The activists said they fought back in self-defense.

"You communists! Come here!" activists shouted as security officials pulled the North Korean reporters back into the media center and blocked the activists from entering.

The organizers of the University Games, which began Thursday, were hoping North Korea's participation would help boost inter-Korean reconciliation ahead of this week's meeting in Beijing.

Representatives from the United States, China, Russia, Japan and the two Koreas are to meet for three days of talks in a bid to ease the nuclear standoff.

More than 7,180 athletes and officials from 172 nations were entered for the 22nd games, or Universiade, which was open to athletes ages 18 to 27 who are in full-time study or have graduated within the past 12 months.

North Korea had said before the competition that it would cancel its participation to protest the burning of its national flag and picture of Kim Jong Il in demonstrations in Seoul. Pyongyang withdrew the threat after South Korean President Roh Moo-hyun said the burning incident was "inappropriate" and "regrettable."

The Koreas were divided in 1945 and share a heavily fortified border. The 1950-53 Korean War ended without a peace treaty.

http://www.cnn.com/2003/WORLD/asiapcf/east/08/24/korea.brawl.ap/index.html

bigross86
25 Aug 03,, 10:36
Well, as long the North Koreans struck the first physical blow, it's their fault.

ChrisF202
25 Aug 03,, 14:44
Well, as long the North Koreans struck the first physical blow, it's their fault.
Isent it always there fault?

bigross86
25 Aug 03,, 14:49
Not always. Usually.

Ziska
04 Sep 03,, 00:50
lol, Right-wing human rights activists. That's a first.

Over here the human rights activists much prefer to harass the Commonwealth Government over our handling of illegal immigrants or to generally scream about evil americans than anything else.

Praxus
04 Sep 03,, 01:01
First off the North Korean were violating the South Koreans right to free speach and assembly, they deserved to get their ass whooped if they struck the first blow or not.

bigross86
04 Sep 03,, 08:01
And second off...

Ziska
04 Sep 03,, 08:58
Trouble is, whooping Kim Jong Il does nothing to aid the plight of the people of North Korea. The leaders of North Korea deserve to be roasted over hot coals, but do the people they repress? Not at all.

So you have to hold your nose and deal with these creeps if you want to get a favourable end result (The freedom of the entire penninsula, sans warfare). Which is why I think the US should butt out and let the Koreans (North and South) settle their differences on their own. Sure, the US can keep an eye on things to make sure their interests aren't being compromised, but North Korea is a matter for the Koreans.

bigross86
04 Sep 03,, 09:49
Yeah, but letting them work ot out by themselves will mean quite a few casualties and fatalities.

Ziska
04 Sep 03,, 10:40
How so? Amongst whom?

Sure, they have incidents along the DMZ all the time, but compared to a full scale invasion...

Neither side hates the other, many South Koreans would rather the Americans piss off and let them get on unite with their 'Northern bretheren'.

So if the North Koreans don't want the Americans there, and the South Koerans and Japanese don't want them there...

bigross86
04 Sep 03,, 11:13
I think that with everyone pulling out and leaving N.K. and S.K. to themselves, one of them will eventually break and attack.

Ziska
04 Sep 03,, 11:25
I'm not that well read on the issue, but I can't see it happening. NK is the worst place in the world to invade, I mean, they have over 30,000 AA guns!

Likewise, I don't think SK could be taken over by NK, unless china stepped in. In which case they would start WW3.

NK doesn't have the resources to invade, and SK doesn't have the inclination. Most people on both sides just want peace, and if they could only unite without the NK's losing face they would...

bigross86
04 Sep 03,, 11:33
They can only unite peacefully if the civilian's overthrow BOTH governments. They are both so bent on war that removing all restraints will lead up to a mutual goal-war

Ziska
05 Sep 03,, 08:42
? I wasn't aware that the SK gov was violently opposed to uniting with NK. In fact, I was pretty sure that there is nothing they would like more than for the whole penninsula to be united peacefully.

SK is democratic. The people in SK, for the large part are happy with their administration.

bigross86
05 Sep 03,, 10:51
IMHO, there are many people in the SK government that would pay alot to go to war with NK.

Ziska
05 Sep 03,, 11:31
And I'm sure there are many people in the Israeli government just itching to get rid of the palestinians once and for all. Thing is, they aren't in a majority (well, that's debateable, but anyway).

I mean, America has as much justification for being in the Korean Penninsula as it does to send a few units to Israel to keep an eye on things. And I'm sure you'd like that...

Leader
05 Sep 03,, 17:39
The melee set back hopes that the games would symbolize inter-Korean solidarity

LOL I do not think the South Koreans get it. Instead of condemning the North for starting a fist fight maybe they should try to get them to stop building Nukes, or they can just roll over and then there will be real "Korean solidarity."

Ziska
07 Sep 03,, 15:06
What does NK have to gain by building/using nukes? Nothing.

What do they have to gain by threatening to build/use nukes? Everything.

The leadership of North Korea's problem is that they have no bargaining chips. They have no resources, no cash. All they can do is bluster. Even if they had nukes, what possible benefit could they get by using them? They would just bring the wrath of everyone, including their Chinese allies, on them like a ton of bricks.

See, the NK's know communism sucks. If there was only a way they could admit they were wrong witout losing face, they would. Trouble is, they can't, so they won't. However, it is the leadership of NK that is a fault here, not everyone who lives there. Obviously, many North Koreans would much prefer to live in democratic South Korea.

Punishing NK only hurts the people, not the leadership. I'm not saying I know how to solve the problem, because I don't know all the details, and it really isn't my business.

Let the Koreans and their immediate neighbours solve their own problems. America has enough on its plate in the Middle East.

Leader
13 Sep 03,, 00:58
Originally posted by Ziska
What does NK have to gain by building/using nukes? Nothing.

What do they have to gain by threatening to build/use nukes? Everything.

The leadership of North Korea's problem is that they have no bargaining chips. They have no resources, no cash. All they can do is bluster. Even if they had nukes, what possible benefit could they get by using them? They would just bring the wrath of everyone, including their Chinese allies, on them like a ton of bricks.

See, the NK's know communism sucks. If there was only a way they could admit they were wrong witout losing face, they would. Trouble is, they can't, so they won't. However, it is the leadership of NK that is a fault here, not everyone who lives there. Obviously, many North Koreans would much prefer to live in democratic South Korea.

Punishing NK only hurts the people, not the leadership. I'm not saying I know how to solve the problem, because I don't know all the details, and it really isn't my business.

Let the Koreans and their immediate neighbours solve their own problems. America has enough on its plate in the Middle East.


The problem is if they have nukes and missile that can reach the US, then they have to be taken out.