Off to North Korea

September 27th, 2011 at 3:00 pm by David Farrar

The Dom Post reports:

Porirua city councillor has accepted an invitation to visit communist next week.

Ms Ah Hoi is the Labour activist who called some-one a dumb-ass coconut because they praised Hekia Parata. I’m all in favour of her flying to North Korea. Less sure about the return trip though.

The city’s ties with North Korea began in the 1970s when councillors first visited, followed by former mayor John Burke and Porirua MP Graham Kelly in 1988. A Whitireia performing arts group also visited in the mid-1990s to perform in a spring festival.

I am sure Graham felt really at home there. In hindsight he should have been appointed Ambassador to North Korea rather than High Commissioner to Canada.

However, Mr Burke, who has talked to Mrs Ah Hoi about what to expect, said he questioned how worthwhile his 1988 trip had been.

He turned down opportunities to create formal links, including a sister city relationship. “I just didn’t think the time was in any way right and I don’t think it is now, to be honest.”

During his five-day trip, his every step was watched by an interpreter who would barge through the hotel door every morning and keep Mr Burke in his sights until he went to sleep at night.

This is what I object to. Anyone who goes get a state-controlled tour, which has no reality to the real North Korea.

I’ve visited countries such as Iran, which have regimes I disapprove of. But in Iran I could tour around the country, meet locals and pretty much do whatever I wanted so long as I was dressed appropriately. And Iranian people were free to talk about their Government and what they think of their President etc.

North Korea is not like that. Anyone going on a friendship tour is a dupe for the regime.

While Mrs Ah Hoi intends to showcase Porirua, she is not going as a city councillor and is personally funding 40 per cent of the cost of the trip, with society chairman Don Borrie paying the remainder.

Oh yes, Rev Borrie. North Korea’s No 1 fan. He writes letters to Government ministers imploring them to rule out any military action – even if North Korea invades South Korea. Well at least good on him for putting his money where his beliefs are.

She was aware that North Korean officials were keen to talk about creating a sister city, however, Porirua Mayor Nick Leggett said the council had no desire to create links with North Korea.

What a sensible Mayor.

 

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35 Responses to “Off to North Korea”

  1. sthn.jeff (100 comments) says:

    Nick Leggett has actually impressed so far in his 12 months as Mayor of Porirua.

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  2. mikenmild (10,766 comments) says:

    Some people yesterday were praising Singapore for its tough anti-drugs policy. Perhaps the good councillor will get some tips on how to combat obesity in NZ after observing North Korea’s anti-food policy.

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  3. ross (1,454 comments) says:

    What’s the problem with her visit to North Korea? According to Sarah Palin, North Korea is one of the US’s allies…

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  4. hmmokrightitis (1,515 comments) says:

    “While Mrs Ah Hoi intends to showcase Porirua…”

    Oh god, my bad, I lol’d at that I really really did.

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  5. RightNow (6,676 comments) says:

    Let’s hope she’s her usual expressive self, and that some-one has taught her the Korean for ‘dumb-ass’.

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  6. BeaB (2,060 comments) says:

    These Leftie troughers never turn down a junket but this one is gruesome. Hasn’t she got anyone to take her aside and give her some advice.
    Where do all these repellent Labour women come from? And I hasten to add the men are just as bad, before the misogynists all start to rant about lesbians, personal appearance etc etc.

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  7. Johnboy (14,998 comments) says:

    As long as she doesn’t say ‘short-ass’ anywhere near Dear Leader she probably won’t get shot unfortunately.

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  8. KiwiGreg (3,181 comments) says:

    If it’s a personal trip, paid for by herself and the good Reverend why did she go to the media and why did they report it?

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  9. peterwn (3,168 comments) says:

    “During his five-day trip, his every step was watched by an interpreter who would barge through the hotel door every morning and keep Mr Burke in his sights until he went to sleep at night.”

    Sounds like how Kiwis looking to buy apartments on Gold & Sunshine Coasts in Queensland are treated. The high power salespeople want to keep them right away from real estate shopfronts where equivalent apartments are listed at a far lower price.

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  10. davidp (3,540 comments) says:

    Maybe Ah Hoi can try and get Oh Kil-nam’s family out of the prison camp they have been living in for the last 25 years? Apparently North Korea has recently admitted that his wife and daughters are still alive after they dissapeared for 19 years without news.

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/02/21/AR2010022103690.html

    What a mistake to make… Believe that the North Korean government is anything other than evil personefied, emmigrate there, and sentence your own family to a lifetime of the most wretched poverty and governmental abuse.

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  11. Manolo (13,395 comments) says:

    The pathetically laughable Rev. Don Borrie, Chairperson NZ-DPRK Society, must be smiling.

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  12. Longknives (4,471 comments) says:

    I’d take the trip just to watch Kim Jong il play golf!

    And how the hell do you “showcase” Porirua??

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  13. Rich Prick (1,557 comments) says:

    I’m pretty sure Porirua and Pyongyang shared the same architect though.

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  14. Johnboy (14,998 comments) says:

    Don’t say that to the good folks of Waitangirua North (Whitby) who paid top dollar for the designs of their leaky plastic McMansions Rich Prick! :)

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  15. backster (2,082 comments) says:

    AH HOI should reflect on how much rice could be bought to feed starving North Koreans peasants with the money being remitted by that Government through their puppet Borrie to pay for 60% of her trip.

    On the other hand she may be a spy for the Imperialist New Zealand Government.

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  16. plebe (271 comments) says:

    Rich Prick (913) Says:

    September 27th, 2011 at 3:59 pm
    I’m pretty sure Porirua and Pyongyang shared the same architect though.

    Have you ever been there??????? prick

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  17. RightNow (6,676 comments) says:

    “And how the hell do you “showcase” Porirua??”

    Turn the lights off.

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  18. ben (2,399 comments) says:

    What is wrong with links?

    I think we could have reasonable confidence that other things being equal isolation will prolong North Korea’s agony, and dialogue will accelerate normalisation. If those links allow only a few in North Korea to glimpse life outside (of course we have no guarantee it will, but they certainly will not if we isolate them) then perhaps that will lead to change sooner.

    There is plenty for us to learn from North Korea about the desolation and danger of government run amok, and why due process and liberty and the vote matters, things rather few New Zealanders seem to appreciate.

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  19. Johnboy (14,998 comments) says:

    ‘Turn the lights off.’

    No need to do that the locals have already smashed them! :)

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  20. CHFR (219 comments) says:

    She doesn’t care it is a free trip. Leteia is the epitome of a dumb-ass coconut.

    Shame really as I used to have alot of respect for her. A bit rough round the edges (as I can be at times) but a good person.

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  21. RightNow (6,676 comments) says:

    “‘Turn the lights off.’

    No need to do that the locals have already smashed them! ”

    Yeah, they had a showcase already.

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  22. Bob R (1,340 comments) says:

    A sister city arrangement might be useful if some of the unemployed in Porirua could do an exchange with some North Koreans.

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  23. Rich Prick (1,557 comments) says:

    “Have you ever been there??????? prick”

    Err, what’s your point? There are these dang-fangled things called pictures.

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  24. MyNameIsJack (2,415 comments) says:

    She was aware that North Korean officials were keen to talk about creating a sister city, however, Porirua Mayor Nick Leggett said the council had no desire to create links with North Korea.

    What a sensible Mayor.

    Dropkick, more likely,

    I remember that sort of thing was once said about China, then Gough Whtlam and Tricky Dicky made their visits and gradually began a thaw with China. Ping Pong Diplomacy, it was called.

    Yes, you can cut off North Korea, or try to engage it and wencourage change.

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  25. davidp (3,540 comments) says:

    ben>I think we could have reasonable confidence that other things being equal isolation will prolong North Korea’s agony, and dialogue will accelerate normalisation.

    I have no confidence that this is true. The NK regime seems to treat any sort of official contact as evidence to their own people that they aren’t an international pariah. They also use it to beg and threaten. If that is the case, I don’t see any reason for rewarding the people who oppress the NK population even if that reward is giving them good publicity.

    Seriously… Every photo that shows Ah Hoi posing by a Kim Il Sung statue and every gift she presents to the NK regime will be used to tell the NK people that their government is respected. That must hurt their morale, and suggests that we don’t take their plight seriously.

    (Bill Clinton was forced to visit NK a couple of years ago in order to secure the release of a couple of American hostages. He understood the purpose of the official photo with Kim Jong Il, which is why he was careful not to show even a hint of a smile: http://www.koreanbeacon.com/2009/08/03/bill-clinton-going-to-north-korea/ )

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  26. s.russell (1,565 comments) says:

    I am reminded of the old claims that the best way to convert a Kiwi commie was to send them on a study tour of the Soviet Union. I therefore hope that this trip will have a similarly enlightening effect and thus be a good thing.

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  27. RRM (9,478 comments) says:

    Sister city Porirua? Wow.

    Aim high, North Korea.

    Today, Porirua; tomorrow, Palmerston North?

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  28. Pongo (371 comments) says:

    Bit like Willy Jacksons relations heading off to Libya when they were funding the IRA and dropping Yankee planes on Scotland

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  29. IHStewart (388 comments) says:

    ” Ms Ah Hoi is the Labour activist who called some-one a dumb-ass coconut because they praised Hekia Parata. I’m all in favour of her flying to North Korea. Less sure about the return trip though.”

    Actually I was thinking of sticking my hand up as a deep penetration agent for the vrwnllwc but even the concept of the Whale Cycling across Auckland at 2.45 am to deliver me the huge funds Farrar offered me didn’t do it it for me. I just knew that my inevitable exposure would be trumped by a Labour MP the next day saying something bloody stupid. Hey Darien you just prevented me getting gainful employment.

    Well spotted Cameron and repeated by David, I will engage with new Labour MP’s but I don’t have many, I will not support Labour on the grounds that that was who I last voted for, I will destroy my ballot that is not a vote for National it is a vote against you.

    The Whale has suggested that some throats be slit, he is not wrong.

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  30. Steve Wrathall (243 comments) says:

    Ben & MNIJ: Your naive faith that being friendly to a psychopathic crime family will turn them nice has already been tested to destruction. All through the “Sunshine Policies” of the 1990s these thugs were showered with aid. Even the taxpayers of nuclear-free aotearoa were hit up to fund the North’s “peaceful nuclear development”. Result: they took the loot, build the bomb anyway, and their people still starve.

    Obviously the world learned nothing from the 1930s: Once again real security has been sacrificed in exchange for empty promises from an odious dictatorship.

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  31. Bob (480 comments) says:

    To Ben: that reminds me of the old Soviet Union. Russians who did see the West such as diplomatic staff were told to say nothing about the reality of the US and other western countries. Instead they were told what to say to friends and family to pass on the propaganda lies.

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  32. Liberty (236 comments) says:

    The left really are divided into different factions
    Clark who once attended a training camp in South America or was it picking coffee.
    Then Dawn raided the First Nation people for reportedly holding training camps.
    Now we have a lefty off on a Fact finding/ Goodwill/ Training camp at one of the last axis of evil countries.

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  33. libertyscott (356 comments) says:

    Actually you’d be very surprised as to how much freedom to talk you get on a tour of North Korea. Once North Korean tour guides are on their own, they are remarkably candid about the reality of the place and very curious about the outside world.

    The totalitarianism is breaking down, and any serious North Korea watcher is being astounded by the flood of south Korean DVDs and now flash drives entering the country – the educated classes know the truth and outside Pyongyang there is a booming black market.

    However, going on any official trip is feeding propaganda. It is an indictment on the mainstream media that Don Borrie’s appalling sycophancy for this regime has never been reported – he has appeared in North Korean propaganda praising Kim Il Sung and the economic policies of the country.

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  34. Put it away (2,888 comments) says:

    Attn US military – if you’re planning to drop the big one on North Korea, could you possibly manage to do it while this clown is over there? Cheers.

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  35. Mark (497 comments) says:

    Why bother, in another 50 years time there will be no one left alive in North Korea because they would of all straved to death.

    Its a green paradise – can we ship Keith Locke there on a one-way only ticket.

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