North Korean defector a 'nice guy' who likes watching CSI – surgeon
Doctor says 24-year-old known as Oh needed two bodies’ worth of blood transfusions to save him and has nightmares about being sent back over border.

North Korea’s latest defector, a young soldier being identified only by his family name Oh, is a quiet, pleasant man who has nightmares about being returned to the North, his surgeon has said.

“He’s a pretty nice guy,” said lead surgeon John Cook-Jong Lee, who has been operating and caring for the 24-year-old. Oh has become a focus of worldwide attention after he was shot and badly wounded by fellow North Korean soldiers as he scrambled across the border in the demilitarised zone (DMZ) that separates North and South on 13 November.

Video of Oh’s escape released on Wednesday showed him stumbling over the border and being dragged unconscious through the undergrowth by South Korean troops.

Lee has been one of very few people to speak with Oh since he arrived at the hospital, the surgeon said in an interview at his office at Ajou University Hospital, a few floors away from where the defector lies guarded by South Korean special forces and intelligence officers.

The surgeon, who has hung a South Korean flag in the soldier’s room, said he is avoiding subjects that may disturb his patient. Oh is eating his first “clear liquid” food such as broths, and can smile, talk, and use his hands, Lee said. But when his patient woke on Sunday he cried out in pain, and Lee said he is still anxious about the South Korean guards.

Lee said Oh told him that he had joined the North Korean army when he was 17, after secondary school graduation. The soldier’s hair was styled “like a jarhead, like a US marine, so I actually joked ‘why don’t you join the South Korean marines?’ He smiled and said that he would never ever go back to the military system again.”

Medical teams have worked for days to remove the shards of at least four bullets from Oh’s body, stitch up his shredded organs, and treat pre-existing conditions including tuberculosis, hepatitis B, and a case of massive intestinal worms, Lee said.

“He’s a quite strong man,” said Lee.

Since Oh’s defection, North Korea appeared to have replaced all its security guards on the border, an intelligence source in the South told Yonhap news agency on Thursday.

Lee said that when the defector arrived in an American military helicopter at the hospital – which is equipped with state-of-the-art diagnostic equipment and is used to treat VIP visitors such as visiting US presidents – he came with zero personal information.

On the flight in, American army flight medics had fought to keep Oh alive, jabbing a large needle into his chest to treat a collapsed lung.

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ANDROGYNOS. [2017-07-08 - BARKS live report]

ANDROGYNOS. “Just what the hell is this Megiddo and Acro? Can’t we all just get along?”


I really thought this wouldn’t take that long to translate but with all the militarily terminology and the damn wording of this thing it was like giving birth to a baby for three days straight. 

So please, LOOK AT MY BABY. 

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A Japanese perspective on imagery in Mothra vs Godzilla

Hiya both,

Great job on the podcast, guys, I just recently started listening as I am midway through my own non-chronological run through the bulk of Godzilla films. I was glad to see you both enjoyed Mothra vs Godzilla as much as I did. It is one of the very best in my opinion also. I just wanted to add a little wrinkle from my Japanese cultural background that might not be obvious but might make MvG that much more poignant to the non-Japanese observer.

Two points to make, really…

One: The scene when the kindergarten/primary school teacher is fleeing Godzilla with the pupils to the other side of the island.

This scene, needless to say, is incredibly affecting just on the surface of it. The scene sells the high stakes - losing innocent children to the monster (rather than just greedy/stupid fishermen and their homes) and the manic desperation of the headmaster ashore on the mainland. However, in addition to that, some cultural background makes this scene even more chilling. By way of explanation, first, indulge me a short paragraph of history.

During WWII, Japan’s battlefront with the US was mainly aerial bombing of strategic targets, and the main ground warfare avenues were in Japan’s imperial conquests, the Pacific islands, famously Guadalcanal in the Solomons. The only time US-Japanese forces clashed on either country’s home turf was in the closing stages of the war when American forces reached Okinawa. For the first time civilians were forced to reckon with a physical enemy presence in their towns and homes, and the self-sacrificing, brainwashed nature of contemporary Japanese society would manifest in unimaginably awful incidents.

You can Google “Okinawa children mass suicides” for details (Reuters, The Guardian, NY Times have covered it), but in a nutshell, the military would hand out two grenades to classroom teachers to use when cornered - one to throw at the enemy, and the other to commit suicide instead of being taken alive. On small islands like in the Okinawa archipelago, there’s only so far you can run before the enemy catches you.

Of course, the Godzilla movies are no stranger to stoic death (the family in the 1954 original accepting their fate at the mercy of Godzilla so that they could meet their deceased father comes to mind) but the mechanics of this scene really stand out to me as the product of deliberate, conscious choices:
• The fact that the scene plays out on an island, with the mainlanders unable to offer support to the women and children - an obvious reference to Okinawa’s physical separation from mainland Japan
• The children, crying as their female teachers console them, are forced to grow up before their time, being made to “march” over a steep hill to get to the far side of the island
• Godzilla, the embodiment of atomic might (wielded by the United States over Hiroshima & Nagasaki in the context of WWII) is the force of doom
• The children and teachers hide in a cave on a sandy beach - in popular culture, the child and infant suicides from WWII are often depicted taking place in hiding spots at the edges of islands - usually stone cliffs and coastal caves

Even without straying from the text of the film, the scene is an emotionally wrenching one, but with the added historical and cultural background (women and children in peril at a coastal cave), the effect is a bone-chilling pathos and dread.

(sorry if that got a bit heavy!) Now for the second point, which I swear will be shorter…

Two: the Japan-specificity of the criticism of (a) theme park construction and (b) over-development of coastlines.

As you’re doubtless aware, in the immediate post-war period following the rewriting of the new demilitarised constitution in 1947, Japan experienced high economic growth, basically from the 1950s through the 1980s. This included wholesale embrace of American pop cultural entertainment-business products such as the movie studio system, Disney and Warner mascot characters, and theme parks.

Even today, Japanese theme parks and extreme rides rank highly in international lists of extreme rides, and Tokyo Disneyland was the first Disneyland in Asia, even before Hong Kong or Singapore, international playgrounds of the Asian affluent. I appreciate you touched on the criticism of capitalism, but I might just add that theme parks are particularly central to Japanese society as an affordable entertainment venue.

Lastly, I’m not sure if you’ve been to Japan, but many coastlines are covered in concrete “tetrapods” as a measure against coastal erosion and tsunamis. These sorts of large-scale, concrete-heavy (in many cases) white elephant projects in rural areas came under intense criticism, especially in the 1990s, as it was revealed that many projects had been fronts for yakuza-related local government corruption. It was also in the 1990s that many opulent theme parks that had sprung up in economically unviable situations in the 1960s through the 1980s went out of business and decayed (the inevitable hangover from three decades of heady development).

The principled messaging of Mothra vs Godzilla, and its optimistic depiction of the idea that the press could influence the people for good, should be commended, especially with a view to how specifically Japanese the major social-economic problems raised in the film are.

Anyway, sorry about the long message. Keep up the good work! Loving the podcast.


Thank you so much for this! 

the boy king

(I felt like trying my hand at writing some fic, as a change from just drawing!)

Summary: It’s 1947, and they’re supposed to be picking up the pieces. Alfred makes a scene, Ivan is unmoved and Arthur reflects on how the world has changed- and what Alfred has become. 

Warnings: historical!hetalia. allusions to various real events. profanity.  

The silence is shattered by the sound of Alfred’s chair scraping across the floor.

Alfred is smiling, as always. There is no want for jauntiness in his manner, nor in the casual friendliness of his relaxed slouch, palms pressed to the table. He’d always been good at that. Putting people at ease. Not for the first time, Arthur thinks of the tall blonde surrounded by a ragged semi-circle of German children, cracking jokes, ruffling heads, handing out sweets and chewing gum. They took to him easily; he was every bit that straightforward and handsome boy-next-door, who might’ve been their older brother in another life.

But now, there is also something distinctly calculating in the tilt of his head, in the sharp alertness of his eyes.

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autopilotsoul  asked:

Do you mind my asking, what the argument against a two state solution is, provided of course, Israel doesn't include the recent occupied territories, and the states share claim & access to Jerusalem? (I'm out of characters to elaborate) - Thank you

Okay territories and Jerusalem aside -

The primary argument against a two state solution is based on three things: its refusal to hold Israel accountable for its injustices, the right of return, and the lack of acknowledgment of land ownership prior to 1948.

Secondly, the right of return. Palestinians cannot return to a place which they do not belong, and for most of them they do not belong in the West Bank or Gaza. Not to mention, a considerable part of the population are already refugees and living in refugee camps. Most aren’t interested in becoming citizens in a future state of Palestine, but are more concerned with returning to their homes and ancestral lands, most of which lie in Israel (proper). This also ties into the fact that majority of the land prior to the creation of Israel was owned by Palestinians who fled or were evicted from their lands.

There is also the issue of settlers in the West Bank. They number over 750, 000 and the question is will they easily be able to be absorbed into the Israeli population, even though they are Israeli citizens and travel freely throughout Israel and the West Bank. What will happen to the settlements?

I think my main concern with a two state solution is one must envision what it looks like. The problem with the whole idea of a two state solution is that there is no set concept as to what it looks like, and thus it must be negotiated so how can we envision what it looks like when we have no idea? One thing for sure though is that it’s going to leave both their West Bank and Gaza destabilised and its citizens living in poverty due to the economic blockade on the Gaza Strip, and of course the economic limitations as a result of the occupation. For example, Netanyahu is proposing a demilitarised Palestinian state. Other Israeli politicians have proposed land swaps, and even politicians like Lieberman have proposed ridiculous things like absorbing Palestinian citizens of Israel as part of the Palestinian state which would rid them of their Israeli citizenship and the rights they have.

Another issue is that it’s Israeli politicians who make these proposals despite the Palestinians being the ones who make concessions, and as Israel gets more right-wing, the two state solution becomes impossible even more. I also do think that not much is going to change, Israel is going to remain hostile towards the Palestinians and I doubt it’ll allow travel between the two territories as much. It’ll have a reason to keep its checkpoints and its walls which in turn is suffocating the West Bank.

I mean, there’s really no set concept for what a one state solution looks like as it can also take on many forms however most people who support it envision either a unitary democratic state or a binational state.

There’s so much more I can get into so if you’re looking for more answers, just check out my #two state solution tag

just staring at this gorgeous work makes me think oh god, i need a sci fi au so much.

bilbo as an ordinary denizen of the shire, a very fertile planet with a demilitarised civilisation whose only commerce with the neighbouring planets in the galaxy are those of trade, scientific research, diplomacy. they’re protected (though many of the hobbits don’t realise it) by a paramilitary group called the dunedain. the dunedain are extremely good at their job, as the shire has not seen war in a very long time.

erebor as a mining planet, maybe even a diamond planet? its golden towers and spires of its metropolises are the stuff of legend; it was dripping in wealth. and then smaug, a great machine of destruction, a giant AI dragon of nuclear might, destroyed the people of erebor, and thorin and his family, the royal family of erebor, had been evacuated at almost the last minute. 

they live a life of wandering from job to job, mostly mechanics, sometimes thieves, and thorin’s ship is a ragtag thing he named after his lost planet, cobbled together from parts he gets for cheap at scrapyards. they’re constantly on the run from patrols from gondor and the elves, as they are really the only law enforcement folks in this galaxy.

gandalf as a mercenary of sorts with a wide variety of connections, concerned about the return of the necromancer in the old space station of dul guldur orbiting mirkwood, as well as the destructive force of smaug, decides to encourage thorin to retake erebor, but stealthily. no need to retake erebor wth an army when you can instead get a saboteur to enter the dragon and shut it down, right? 

and of course, gandalf chooses bilbo for the job.

seriously though, talk to me about a space au.