At least they have something that the North Koreans might feel the pain of doing without. And since Korea as a whole, and Japan have a long and mostly ugly mutual history. I was told many times while I was assigned to Yongsan, how we had best play down the fact that the Yongsan Army Garrison, slap in the middle of Seoul, had been an Imperial Japanese Army garrison for thirty years before the US Army took it over more or less after WWII. Any news feature that I did on historical features of the post was supposed to leave unmentioned any factoid that might suggest that the new occupying power had merely taken over the concession from the old occupying power. Not that I think the Japanese feel much residual guiltâ€¦ and after sixty years, they might very well be quite willing, thank you, to get in touch with their inner samurai. Again. North Koreaâ€™s systematic kidnapping of Japanese citizens, from various lonely beaches and small towns over twenty years, and their accounts of having been forced to tutor North Korean spies in the finer points of the Japanese language and customs with an eye towards infiltrating them into Japan had a rather predictable result. It inflamed public opinion against North Korea, something that appeared to have rather surprised North Korea. It has been an education, of late, watching North Korea pull one pratfall after another, slowly alienating by miscalculation those states and parties which, if not strong allies, were rather inclined to sit back and allow them free rein.
Sgt Mom is a freelance writer and retired Air Force NCO who blogs at www.sgtstryker.com and lives in San Antonio, Texas.