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  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2006
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    NWFL
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    13,207

    Default Forgiveness for a terrorist?

    Forgiveness for a terrorist that killed 115, South Korea https://www.msn.com/en-us/news/world...cid=spartanntp

    I never knew that Asians or least Koreans were so forgiving. I know we would not be and I am sure the Chinese would not.
    But now, the reminders of what Kim Hyon-hui once did again seem to be everywhere. South Korea is hosting the Winter Olympics this month, and even seeing the Olympic rings gives her flashbacks to 30 years ago, the other time this country was preparing to host the Games. Then, Kim was an elite North Korean agent. She was acting on national orders. She boarded a South Korean passenger plane, carrying a time bomb. She left the bomb in an overhead bin. She exited the plane during a layover. The plane blew up. There was a manhunt for the perpetrators. Kim was captured. And then, Kim was taken for the first time to South Korea, arrested for an act of terrorism that killed 115 people and was designed to derail the 1988 Summer Olympics in Seoul.
    She’d been pardoned for her crimes, and she’d tried to build a new version of her life. She got married. She raised two children. She attended church. She went on hikes — relaxing ones, short ones, nothing like the mandatory 60-mile treks she’d taken when training as a spy.

    Part of what broke her down to cooperate

    The day before she opened up about the plot, a team of South Korean special agents gave her a suit to wear and told her to get into a car. What they did was take her sightseeing around Seoul. Kim saw a city that looked nothing like the miserable enemy outpost North Korea had described. She saw families smiling. She saw cars everywhere. She saw crowded shopping malls. She saw street vendors selling food. She saw the Olympic Village. And she started to think that her mission, her whole purpose, had been a sham. "Founded upon lies," she said.
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  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Posts
    1,340
    There is an old Korean saying about getting revenge even if it takes one hundred generations to do it.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2003
    Posts
    3,106
    She wasn't/isn't a terrorist. She was an agent of a (more or less) legitimate government acting under direct orders that were legal under that jurisdiction.

    Spy, assassin, yes.

    Should she have been put to death? IMO yes.

    But she was not a terrorist, she was acting on orders from her "state". That's a different thing.

    She came from an extremely...information starved existence. All she *could* know is what the state let her know, and what the state arranged for her to know. To expect someone from that background to be able to break that conditioning in a week or three of travel is unreasonable.

    Hell, how many of us here have contemplated wrecking a relatively equivalent degree of destruction on *our* enemies? Yeah, we would try really hard to draw the line between "innocent" and "target", but Dresden, Nagasaki, Sherman's march on Atlanta--these were not "accidents", miss-identified targets, or fog of war, these were deliberate acts by the state carried out by individuals.

    States *do* that kind of thing. Evil states do it for short term goals. Less evil states[1] do it because they're boxed into a corner, or because they've temporarily lost their way.

    Forgiveness? I'm not really good at that, so I can't say. But she does seem repentant, which is the first requirement.


    [1] There are no "good" states who are powerful enough to engage the world. You're either a posturing pissant pustule of a state, or you've got a history of doing evil things. That's just history.

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