Natalie Solent

Politics, news, libertarianism, Science Fiction, religion, sewing. You got a problem, bud? I like sewing.

E-mail: nataliesolent-at-aol-dot-com (I assume it's OK to quote senders by name.)

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Monday, November 06, 2006
 
Take a break, catch a spy According to the Korea Times,
A yearly event for school children in the 1970s was learning how to distinguish North Korean spies from ordinary people and memorizing the phone number they had to dial when they found people behaving suspiciously.

Frequently found on vending machine cups, admission tickets for theaters and in public facilities such as toilets were posters warning people about spies and telling people how much money they could get if their tips led to a successful capture.

The Korea Times article talks as if all this were long-gone Cold War arcana, but this article about the Korean subway system says that similar posters are still up on the trains. Future Perfect has a picture. The number to ring is 111, in case you ever need to know. How quaint - er, wait a minute. North Korea really was inserting spies and assassins into the South. It really was kidnapping both Japanese and South Korean citizens to train their spies.

There are times when one must reassert that "just because you're paranoid doesn't mean they aren't out to get you" is an impeccably logical statement.

I meant to post something worthy about how South Korea, in a less well-publicised way than China, is increasing its economic links with Africa. But I was distracted by the the thought that those vending machine cups ought to be collectable.