The games must go on
From Yonhap News-
It does seem odd for a Gymnastics event to go on when a summit of North and South Korean leaders was canceled due to the recent floods. Bloomberg reports the following damage from the floods.
SEOUL, Aug. 21 (Yonhap) -- North Korea is continuing its mass gymnastics performance despite heavy floods that devastated much of the communist country, the North's state media reported Tuesday.
"Arirang," named after a famous traditional Korean folk song, was held in 2002 and 2005, but was cancelled last year due to floods.
The first part of this year's show, which ran about 80 minutes starting at 8 p.m. every day except for Sunday, was held between mid-May and May 20. The second part started on Aug. 1 and is to last until mid-October.
Devastating floods are believed to have destroyed 11 percent of the North's farmland, and the number of dead and missing is estimated to reach more than 300, with the homeless numbering about 300,000. An estimated 46,580 homes of 88,400 families were destroyed or damaged, according to the North's media.
The UN said today that 58,000 homes were damaged in the flooding, 50 percent of the country's health clinics were destroyed, and as much as 70 percent of arable land was under water. More than 800 public buildings, 540 bridges, 70 sections of railway and 500 high-voltage power towers also were destroyed, according to the UN.Nomad asks
Does anyone else find it odd that despite the massive damage from the floods in North Korea, the Arirang Festival is still on, but the North-South summit got cancelled?GI at ROK Drop thinks Nomad is on to something.
It doesn’t make sense that the Arirang Mass Games would continue if these statistics that represent a nation wide mass disaster are true. That is because these statistics are probably not true and the flooding is being used as a convenient excuse to delay the summit to October so it has maximum impact on the South Korean presidential election, allow NK to have more time to make demands, ask for increased international aid that will not be monitored, as well as exact maximum propaganda value from the summit:Boy GI is cynical for someone wearing a uniform. LOL. I do suspect he and Nomad 's suspicions to be correct. There were bribes involved with the last Koreas summit, and why should we believe its any different now? Roh is even less popular in South Korean polls than President Bush is here in the US. A politician calling a summit to help save his floundering career seems more than plausible to me as does the actual damage done by recent floods being inflated in order to postpone the same summit.
Finally the biggest reason for playing up the flooding damage is that President Roh can use it as cover when he locks South Korea into an extended bribery yearly humanitarian aid package to North Korea. He can claim it is the "North Korean Marshall Plan" to rebuild the country after the flooding. Talk about a well time flood. I bet Roh and Kim were both jumping at the chance to delay the summit when the rain started falling.
My only trouble is why was a change of dates necessary? Some unexpected hitch in plans? For the summit was only announced a few weeks prior to the floods. That seems a pretty small time frame for the leaders to decide they needed a postponement. Why not plan the conference for October all along?
I'm just throwing some ideas of my own out there.
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