Saturday, 14 March 2015

Secrets and Lies in Pyongyang
The Honourable Chairman of the Youtube section of the Ministry of Agitprop

Yep its time for another Korea post, this time we have a newsflash from youtube's -self proclaimed- number one Marxist. Concerning an organisation known to many NK watchers the Korean Friendship Association (KFA). If you're not that familiar with the organisation they're global organisation of supporters of North Korea their three aims are 1: `Show the reality of the DPR Korea to the world` 2: `Defend the independence and socialist construction in the DPR of Korea` 3: `Learn from the culture and history of the Korean People - Work for the peaceful unification of the Korean peninsula` how a small and dispersed (they claim members in over 120 nations with offices in several like Norway and Thailand) band of well wishers could offer Pyongyang any practical assistance in any of these aims isn't really clear. Anyway they do have official offices and relations with the North Korean government and are usually the people you have to talk to if you want access to North Korean officials and permits.

Most documentaries about North Korea will have had to go through someone in the KFA, and most investors in North Korea use the organisation as their first point of contact.

It was founded in the year 2000 by a Spanish IT consultant called Alejandro Cao de Benós de Les y Pérez AKA Alejandro. Apparently not all is well in the KFA and a brave young(ish) whistleblower has stepped forward to disclose the truth.
They gave him some medals a book and some snazzy new threads

Well sort of, actually you'll notice that the Maoist Rebel (MR) at no point offers any evidence to substantiate any of his allegations. Which is strange given that at least some of the allegations should be easy to support. Like the comments that many North Korean officials are critical of Alejandro, if that's true their comments must have been made public and in English, since the MR does not have a privileged relationship with the North Korean government and can't speak Korean so these comments should exist and be easy to point to, but nothing.

And I'd be interested to know where MR is getting his figures for the alleged scams, how does he know Alejandro pockets €35,000's? That seems an oddly specific figure and yet no evidence is shown, no images or links to any further information.

I tried looking myself for information assuming MR was just being lazy but all I found were abusive articles about Alejandro being what's known as a useful idiot.

But there is something else, apparently MR's viewers also shared my problems with his `denunciation` prompting a second video on the subject. So now do we get some proof?

Well sorta I guess? MR reads from a clipboard citing two other people he's spoken too about Alejandro, that's better but it isn't really convincing. He doesn't show transcripts of these conversations nor link to where the people cited have been critical of Alejandro. It also doesn't help that one of them Mike Bassett doesn't say anything specific the allegations are all vague. The second case of the Norwegian businessmen isn't any good either because it doesn't tie with the earlier allegations. MR accused Alejandro of ripping off the North Koreans but the example given (or the way MR frames it) is a case of Alejandro not being able to deliver what he promised. That happens all the time in the business world "You pays your money, you takes your chances." Morally speaking not giving back the money is pretty poor form but unless he was contractually obligated to refund he doesn't have to.

Now I do think the end of this video was much better, many of the reasons MR gives for why evidence is quite possible. People do stay silent about the mistakes and poor behaviour and scamming of powerful colleagues for fear of reprisal in some form. But if you haven't found convincing evidence you can't denounce someone publicly, all you're doing is playing a he said, they said while she said game. Denunciations can be very damaging to political work and personal lives so you have a responsibility to make sure you are convinced of the allegations and have the proof to back it up, otherwise potentially you're causing great harm for an innocent.

If this Alejandro is doing or has done the things that some are saying he has, then he does need to be exposed, hell I'll even repost it here on the off chance it helps get the message across. But that doesn't mean you can just go off on a tangent about how awful you think someone is.

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