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FTR #1140, Deep Politics and the Death of Park Won-Soon, Part 1,

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FTR #1140 This pro­gram was record­ed in one, 60-minute seg­ment. [5]

[6]Intro­duc­tion: The first of three pro­grams deal­ing with the sus­pi­cious death of Seoul (South Korea) may­or and prospec­tive pres­i­den­tial can­di­date Park Won-soon, this broad­cast chron­i­cles the many pow­er­ful polit­i­cal inter­ests whose feath­ers were ruf­fled by his activ­i­ties. In addi­tion, Park Won-soon was a trail­blaz­er for sev­er­al dif­fer­ent aspects of pro­gres­sive pol­i­tics.

In the series, we present key aspects of the Japan­ese con­quest and col­o­niza­tion of Asia, includ­ing and espe­cial­ly Korea. This his­to­ry is fun­da­men­tal to a seri­ous under­stand­ing of Asian pow­er pol­i­tics. Sig­nif­i­cant­ly, with the incor­po­ra­tion of the spec­tac­u­lar wealth of the Japan­ese Gold­en Lily loot into the Amer­i­can and glob­al finan­cial sys­tems, the U.S. “signed off” on Japan­ese war crimes com­mit­ted pri­or to, and dur­ing, World War II. This his­to­ry will be pre­sent­ed in greater detail in the sec­ond and third pro­grams in the series.

(FTR #‘s 427 [7], 428 [8], 446 [9], 451 [10], 501 [11], 688 [12]689 [13], 1106 [14], 1107 & 1108 [15] deal with the sub­ject of the Gold­en Lily pro­gram suc­cess­ful­ly imple­ment­ed by the Japan­ese to loot Asia.)

With Park Won-soon being a pos­si­ble pres­i­den­tial can­di­date in 2022, there are a num­ber of aspects of his polit­i­cal his­to­ry and agen­da [16] that would have made him the tar­get of the deep polit­i­cal forces stem­ming from Gold­en Lily and before:

  1. He made ene­mies from the cor­rupt cor­po­rate elite of Korea: ” . . . . The People’s Sol­i­dar­i­ty for Par­tic­i­pa­to­ry Democ­ra­cy, a civic group he helped found, has become a lead­ing watch­dog on cor­rupt ties between the gov­ern­ment and big busi­ness­es, launch­ing inves­ti­ga­tions and law­suits that have often led to con­vic­tions of busi­ness tycoons on cor­rup­tion charges. The group was involved in the law­suits that led to the 2009 con­vic­tion of Lee Kun-hee, chair­man of Sam­sung, on charges of embez­zle­ment and tax eva­sion. . . .”
  2. He was instru­men­tal in effect­ing reforms in numer­ous areas: ” . . . . In his nine years as Seoul’s may­or, Mr. Park, drove an end­less series of pol­i­cy ini­tia­tives. He low­ered col­lege tuitions, installed a free Wi-Fi con­nec­tion in pub­lic park­ing lots and munic­i­pal parks, and con­vert­ed part-time work­ers in city-financed cor­po­ra­tions to full-time employ­ees. . . .”
  3. His crit­i­cism of Japan­ese pol­i­cy vis a vis its col­o­niza­tion of Korea made him an ene­my of the deep polit­i­cal Korean/American/Japanese fas­cist milieu deriv­ing from Gold­en Lily. ” . . . . He has also been an out­spo­ken crit­ic of Japan’s colo­nial-era poli­cies toward Korea, includ­ing the mobi­liza­tion of Kore­an and oth­er women as sex slaves for Japan­ese sol­diers. . . .”
  4. His push for rec­on­cil­i­a­tion with the North would have made his pos­si­ble pres­i­den­cy anath­e­ma to South Kore­an and U.S. nation­al secu­ri­ty pol­i­cy­mak­ers: ” . . . . Pro­test­ers have often pick­et­ed City Hall, call­ing Mr. Park a ‘com­mie’ for pro­mot­ing rec­on­cil­i­a­tion with North Korea and for his past oppo­si­tion to the deploy­ment of troops from South Korea to Iraq. . . .”
  5. Note, also, that (as touched on above) Park was a major reformer on behalf of wom­en’s rights in South Korea: ” . . . . As a lawyer, he won a host of land­mark cas­es for press free­doms and women’s rights. After win­ning the country’s first sex­u­al harass­ment case, he was hon­ored with the ‘women’s rights award’ in 1998 from the nation’s top women’s groups. . . . He also pushed to make Seoul’s streets safer at night for women, by deploy­ing escorts for women walk­ing in desert­ed alleys where crimes had tak­en place. He also intro­duced a smart­phone app for women that alerts the police when they face dan­ger at night. Female ‘sher­iffs’ also check pub­lic toi­lets for women in Seoul to find and destroy hid­den sex cams. . . .”
  6. Last­ly, Mr. Won-soon filed suit [17] against the 12 heads of the Shin­cheon­ji fas­cist mind con­trol cult. The cult has oper­a­tional and doc­tri­nal over­lap [18] with the Uni­fi­ca­tion Church. ” . . . . Kim Kun-nam, one of the two authors of Shin­tan, which can be called the first doc­trine of Shin­cheon­ji, is from the Uni­fi­ca­tion Church. Kim also served as a lec­tur­er in the Uni­fi­ca­tion Church. It is no exag­ger­a­tion to say that Shin­cheon­ji doc­trine devel­oped on the basis of what Kim made. . . .”
  7. In FTR #1118 [19], we exam­ined the Shin­cheon­ji cult in con­nec­tion with the Covid-19 out­break. The cult was the major appar­ent vec­tor for intro­duc­ing the virus into South Korea. With a branch in Wuhan, we have spec­u­lat­ed that it may have been a vec­tor for Chi­na as well. Might that suit have been a con­tribut­ing fac­tor to Park Won-soon’s death?

Despite his life-long pro­fes­sion­al efforts on behalf of women, Park Won-soon was charged by a sec­re­tary [20] (anony­mous to date) with hav­ing sex­u­al­ly harassed her. Imme­di­ate­ly fol­low­ing the lodg­ing of that accu­sa­tion, he alleged­ly took his life.

In the con­text of Park’s alleged sui­cide, recall a strate­gic syn­op­sis of the coun­ter­in­tel­li­gence appli­ca­tions of the #MeToo strat­a­gem, pre­sent­ed in FTR #1001 [21]:

” . . . . From the stand­point of counter-intel­li­gence analy­sis, the #MeToo phe­nom­e­non sig­nals a superb tac­tic for polit­i­cal destruc­tion: a) infil­trate a woman into the entourage or pro­fes­sion­al envi­ron­ment of a male politi­cian, media or busi­ness fig­ure tar­get­ed for destruc­tion; b) have her gain the trust of her polit­i­cal tar­get and his asso­ciates (the car­di­nal rule for a good dou­ble agent is “make your­self indis­pens­able to the effort”); c) after suf­fi­cient pas­sage of time, sur­face the alle­ga­tions of sex­u­al harass­ment; d) IF the oppor­tu­ni­ty for actu­al sex play and/or flir­ta­tion presents itself, take advan­tage of it for lat­er use as political/rhetorical ammu­ni­tion; e) with accusers hav­ing the tac­ti­cal lux­u­ry of remain­ing anony­mous, the oper­a­tional tem­plate for a form of sex­u­al McCarthy­ism and the prece­dent-set­ting con­tem­po­rary man­i­fes­ta­tion of a sex­u­al Star Cham­ber is very real–the oper­a­tional sim­i­lar­i­ties between much of the #metoo move­ment and the Salem Witch Tri­als should not be lost on the per­se­ver­ing observ­er [Park Won-soon’s accuser has had the ben­e­fit of anonymity–D.E.]; f) prop­er vet­ting of the accu­sa­tions is absent in such a process; g) for a pub­lic fig­ure in the U.S., prov­ing delib­er­ate defama­tion (libel/slander) is extreme­ly dif­fi­cult and lit­i­ga­tion is very expensive–the mere sur­fac­ing of charges is enough to taint some­one for life and the exor­bi­tant expense of lit­i­ga­tion is pro­hib­i­tive for all but the wealth­i­est among us. . . .”

In the audio of the pro­gram, Mr. Emory dis­cuss­es var­i­ous sce­nar­ios in which a secretary/administrative assis­tant could have sub­vert­ed Mr. Won-soon’s sit­u­a­tion. Weaponized fem­i­nism employs a dynam­ic in which accused males are pre­sumed guilty until proven inno­cent. The prov­ing of inno­cence is exceed­ing­ly dif­fi­cult in alleged instances of sex­u­al harassment–there are gen­er­al­ly no wit­ness­es to, nor audio and/or video record­ings of the inci­dent in ques­tion.

In light of the pow­er­ful polit­i­cal, eco­nom­ic and his­tor­i­cal dynam­ics chal­lenged by Park Won-soon, the pos­si­bil­i­ty that he was yet anoth­er vic­tim of weaponized fem­i­nism should be tak­en into account. We bet that it won’t.

Oth­er top­ics high­light­ed in this broad­cast include:

  1. The back­ground of Har­ry B. Har­ris, Jr., the U.S. Ambas­sador to South Korea. Har­ris was for­mer “head of the Unit­ed States Pacif­ic Command”–a very impor­tant and pow­er­ful indi­vid­ual. He also had been the com­man­der of the Guan­tanamo deten­tion center–one of a num­ber of counter-ter­ror assign­ments in his mil­i­tary career. Like anti-sub­ma­rine war­fare (anoth­er ele­ment of his mil­i­tary CV), counter-ter­ror is an intel­li­gence func­tion. We won­der if Har­ris is either ONI and/or CIA, and play­ing a key role in the full-court press against Chi­na.
  2. An account of the Com­fort Women, one of the focal points of Park Won-soon’s crit­i­cism of the Japan­ese colo­nial occu­pa­tion of Korea.
  3. The begin­ning of an account of Japan’s cen­turies long plun­der of Korea–a top­ic that will be cov­ered at greater length in the fol­low­ing pro­gram. Note that this ele­ment of analy­sis involves the Black Drag­on and Black Ocean soci­eties, two of the patri­ot­ic and ultra-nation­al­ist soci­eties that appear to be the fore­run­ner of the Uni­fi­ca­tion Church.

1. We begin the first of our pro­grams with dis­cus­sion of the alleged “sui­cide” of Seoul (South Korea) may­or Park Woon-soon. This analy­sis is in the con­text of the Shin­cheon­ji fas­cist mind con­trol cult, an appar­ent vec­tor for the intro­duc­tion of Covid-19 into South Korea and, pos­si­bly, into Wuhan, Chi­na as well.

Park Won-soon court­ed pow­er­ful, far right ene­mies. He has been an out­spo­ken crit­ic of Japan’s colo­nial-era poli­cies toward Korea, includ­ing Japan’s use of “Com­fort Women”–forced pros­ti­tutes. His crit­i­cal atti­tude and actions toward Japan­ese rule over Korea inevitably put him at log­ger­heads with the Gold­en Lily milieu, at the foun­da­tion of the post World War II U.S., Japan­ese and glob­al economies, as well as the nation­al secu­ri­ty estab­lish­ment of the U.S.

Park was a fierce oppo­nent of for­mer right-wing Pres­i­dent Park Geun-hye. He open­ly sup­port­ed the mil­lions of peo­ple who flood­ed the city’s streets in late 2016 and 2017 call­ing for her ouster over a cor­rup­tion scan­dal. In a larg­er con­text,  he was a ris­ing star left-wing politi­cian seen as a poten­tial pres­i­den­tial can­di­date in the next elec­tion. Park was also a long-stand­ing cham­pi­on of women’s rights in South Korea.

Sub­se­quent­ly, he was found dead a day after a sex­u­al harass­ment com­plaint was filed against him – that makes this a sto­ry to keep an eye on.

In the con­text of Park’s alleged sui­cide, recall a strate­gic syn­op­sis of the coun­ter­in­tel­li­gence appli­ca­tions of the #MeToo strat­a­gem, pre­sent­ed in FTR #1001 [21]:

” . . . . From the stand­point of counter-intel­li­gence analy­sis, the #MeToo phe­nom­e­non sig­nals a superb tac­tic for polit­i­cal destruc­tion: a) infil­trate a woman into the entourage or pro­fes­sion­al envi­ron­ment of a male politi­cian, media or busi­ness fig­ure tar­get­ed for destruc­tion; b) have her gain the trust of her polit­i­cal tar­get and his asso­ciates (the car­di­nal rule for a good dou­ble agent is “make your­self indis­pens­able to the effort”); c) after suf­fi­cient pas­sage of time, sur­face the alle­ga­tions of sex­u­al harass­ment; d) IF the oppor­tu­ni­ty for actu­al sex play and/or flir­ta­tion presents itself, take advan­tage of it for lat­er use as political/rhetorical ammu­ni­tion; e) with accusers hav­ing the tac­ti­cal lux­u­ry of remain­ing anony­mous, the oper­a­tional tem­plate for a form of sex­u­al McCarthy­ism and the prece­dent-set­ting con­tem­po­rary man­i­fes­ta­tion of a sex­u­al Star Cham­ber is very real–the oper­a­tional sim­i­lar­i­ties between much of the #metoo move­ment and the Salem Witch Tri­als should not be lost on the per­se­ver­ing observ­er; f) prop­er vet­ting of the accu­sa­tions is absent in such a process; g) for a pub­lic fig­ure in the U.S., prov­ing delib­er­ate defama­tion (libel/slander) is extreme­ly dif­fi­cult and lit­i­ga­tion is very expensive–the mere sur­fac­ing of charges is enough to taint some­one for life and the exor­bi­tant expense of lit­i­ga­tion is pro­hib­i­tive for all but the wealth­i­est among us. . . .”

“Miss­ing Seoul mayor’s body found after mas­sive search” by Hyung-Jin Kim and Kim Tong-Hyung; Asso­ci­at­ed Press; 07/09/2020 [20]

The miss­ing may­or of South Korea’s cap­i­tal, report­ed­ly embroiled in sex­u­al harass­ment alle­ga­tions, was found dead ear­ly Fri­day, more than half a day after giv­ing his daugh­ter a will-like mes­sage and then leav­ing home, police said.

Police said they locat­ed Park Won-Soon’s body near a tra­di­tion­al restau­rant in wood­ed hills in north­ern Seoul, more than sev­en hours after they launched a mas­sive search for him.

Choi Ik-su, an offi­cer from the Seoul Met­ro­pol­i­tan Police Agency, told reporters there were no signs of foul play and no sui­cide note had been found at the site or in Park’s res­i­dence. He refused to elab­o­rate on the cause of Park’s death.

Choi said res­cue dogs found Park’s body, and police had recov­ered his bag, cell­phone and busi­ness cards.

His daugh­ter called police on Thurs­day after­noon and said her father had giv­en her “a will-like” ver­bal mes­sage in the morn­ing before leav­ing home. She didn’t explain the con­tents of the mes­sage, said an offi­cer at the Seoul Met­ro­pol­i­tan Police Agency who was respon­si­ble for the search oper­a­tion.

Police said they mobi­lized about 600 police and fire offi­cers, drones and track­ing dogs to search for Park in the hills, where his cell­phone sig­nal was last detect­ed. They said the phone was turned off when they tried to call him.

His daugh­ter called police after he couldn’t reach her father on the phone, the Seoul police offi­cer said, request­ing anonymi­ty because she was not autho­rized to speak to the media about the mat­ter.

Kim Ji-hyeong, a Seoul Met­ro­pol­i­tan Gov­ern­ment offi­cial, said Park did not come to work on Thurs­day for unspec­i­fied rea­sons and had can­celed all of his sched­ule, includ­ing a meet­ing with a pres­i­den­tial offi­cial at his Seoul City Hall office.

The rea­son for Park’s dis­ap­pear­ance wasn’t clear. The Seoul-based SBS tele­vi­sion net­work report­ed that one of Park’s sec­re­taries had lodged a com­plaint with police on Wednes­day night over alleged sex­u­al harass­ment such as unwant­ed phys­i­cal con­tact that began in 2017. The SBS report, which didn’t cite any source, said the sec­re­tary told police inves­ti­ga­tors that an unspec­i­fied num­ber of oth­er female employ­ees at Seoul City Hall had suf­fered sim­i­lar sex­u­al harass­ment by Park.

MBC tele­vi­sion car­ried a sim­i­lar report.

Choi, the police offi­cer, con­firmed that a com­plaint was filed with police against Park on Wednes­day. He refused to pro­vide fur­ther details, cit­ing pri­va­cy issues.

Police offi­cer Lee Byeong-seok told reporters that Park was last iden­ti­fied by a secu­ri­ty cam­era at 10:53 a.m. at the entrance to the hills, more than six hours before his daugh­ter called police to report him miss­ing.

Fire offi­cer Jeong Jin-hyang told reporters on Thurs­day night that res­cuers used dogs to search dan­ger­ous areas on the hills.

Park, 64, a long­time civic activist and human rights lawyer, was elect­ed Seoul may­or in 2011. He became the city’s first may­or to be vot­ed to a third term in June 2018. A mem­ber of Pres­i­dent Moon Jae-in’s lib­er­al Demo­c­ra­t­ic Par­ty, he had been con­sid­ered a poten­tial pres­i­den­tial can­di­date in 2022 elec­tions.

Park had most­ly main­tained his activist col­ors as may­or, crit­i­ciz­ing what he described as the country’s grow­ing social and eco­nom­ic inequal­i­ties and cor­rupt ties between large busi­ness­es and politi­cians.

As a lawyer, he was cred­it­ed with win­ning the country’s first sex­u­al harass­ment con­vic­tion. He has also been an out­spo­ken crit­ic of Japan’s colo­nial-era poli­cies toward Korea, includ­ing the mobi­liza­tion of Kore­an and oth­er women as sex slaves for Japan­ese sol­diers.

Park also estab­lished him­self as a fierce oppo­nent of for­mer con­ser­v­a­tive Pres­i­dent Park Geun-hye and open­ly sup­port­ed the mil­lions of peo­ple who flood­ed the city’s streets in late 2016 and 2017 call­ing for her ouster over a cor­rup­tion scan­dal.

Park Geun-hye, a daugh­ter of late author­i­tar­i­an leader Park Chung-hee, was for­mal­ly removed from office in March 2017 and is cur­rent­ly serv­ing a decades-long prison term on bribery and oth­er charges.

1c. With Park Won-soon being a pos­si­ble pres­i­den­tial can­di­date in 2022, there are a num­ber of aspects of his polit­i­cal his­to­ry and agen­da that would have made him the tar­get of the deep polit­i­cal forces stem­ming from Gold­en Lily and before:

  1. He made ene­mies from the cor­rupt cor­po­rate elite of Korea: ” . . . . The People’s Sol­i­dar­i­ty for Par­tic­i­pa­to­ry Democ­ra­cy, a civic group he helped found, has become a lead­ing watch­dog on cor­rupt ties between the gov­ern­ment and big busi­ness­es, launch­ing inves­ti­ga­tions and law­suits that have often led to con­vic­tions of busi­ness tycoons on cor­rup­tion charges. The group was involved in the law­suits that led to the 2009 con­vic­tion of Lee Kun-hee, chair­man of Sam­sung, on charges of embez­zle­ment and tax eva­sion. . . .”
  2. He was instru­men­tal in effect­ing reforms in numer­ous areas: ” . . . . In his nine years as Seoul’s may­or, Mr. Park, drove an end­less series of pol­i­cy ini­tia­tives. He low­ered col­lege tuitions, installed a free Wi-Fi con­nec­tion in pub­lic park­ing lots and munic­i­pal parks, and con­vert­ed part-time work­ers in city-financed cor­po­ra­tions to full-time employ­ees. . . .”
  3. His crit­i­cism of Japan­ese pol­i­cy vis a vis its col­o­niza­tion of Korea made him an ene­my of the deep polit­i­cal Korean/American/Japanese fas­cist milieu deriv­ing from Gold­en Lily. ” . . . . He has also been an out­spo­ken crit­ic of Japan’s colo­nial-era poli­cies toward Korea, includ­ing the mobi­liza­tion of Kore­an and oth­er women as sex slaves for Japan­ese sol­diers. . . .”
  4. His push for rec­on­cil­i­a­tion with the North would have made his pos­si­ble pres­i­den­cy anath­e­ma to South Kore­an and U.S. nation­al secu­ri­ty pol­i­cy­mak­ers: ” . . . . Pro­test­ers have often pick­et­ed City Hall, call­ing Mr. Park a ‘com­mie’ for pro­mot­ing rec­on­cil­i­a­tion with North Korea and for his past oppo­si­tion to the deploy­ment of troops from South Korea to Iraq. . . .”
  5. Note, also, that (as touched on above) Park was a major reformer [16] on behalf of wom­en’s rights in South Korea: ” . . . . As a lawyer, he won a host of land­mark cas­es for press free­doms and women’s rights. After win­ning the country’s first sex­u­al harass­ment case, he was hon­ored with the ‘women’s rights award’ in 1998 from the nation’s top women’s groups. . . . He also pushed to make Seoul’s streets safer at night for women, by deploy­ing escorts for women walk­ing in desert­ed alleys where crimes had tak­en place. He also intro­duced a smart­phone app for women that alerts the police when they face dan­ger at night. Female ‘sher­iffs’ also check pub­lic toi­lets for women in Seoul to find and destroy hid­den sex cams. . . .”

“Scan­dal Taints A Polit­i­cal Star At His Sui­cide” by Choe Sang-Hun; The New York Times; 7/11/2020; pp. A1-A11 [West­ern Edi­tion]. [16]

. . . .  A #MeToo alle­ga­tion threat­ened the very core of Mr. Park’s polit­i­cal iden­ti­ty. In the mayor’s office, he called him­self a “fem­i­nist” and cre­at­ed the country’s first munic­i­pal com­mit­tee on gen­der equal­i­ty. . . .

As a lawyer, he won a host of land­mark cas­es for press free­doms and women’s rights. After win­ning the country’s first sex­u­al harass­ment case, he was hon­ored with the “women’s rights award” in 1998 from the nation’s top women’s groups. The People’s Sol­i­dar­i­ty for Par­tic­i­pa­to­ry Democ­ra­cy, a civic group he helped found, has become a lead­ing watch­dog on cor­rupt ties between the gov­ern­ment and big busi­ness­es, launch­ing inves­ti­ga­tions and law­suits that have often led to con­vic­tions of busi­ness tycoons on cor­rup­tion charges. The group was involved in the law­suits that led to the 2009 con­vic­tion of Lee Kun-hee, chair­man of Sam­sung, on charges of embez­zle­ment and tax eva­sion.

In his nine years as Seoul’s may­or, Mr. Park, drove an end­less series of pol­i­cy ini­tia­tives. He low­ered col­lege tuitions, installed a free Wi-Fi con­nec­tion in pub­lic park­ing lots and munic­i­pal parks, and con­vert­ed part-time work­ers in city-financed cor­po­ra­tions to full-time employ­ees.

He also pushed to make Seoul’s streets safer at night for women, by deploy­ing escorts for women walk­ing in desert­ed alleys where crimes had tak­en place. He also intro­duced a smart­phone app for women that alerts the police when they face dan­ger at night. Female “sher­iffs” also check pub­lic toi­lets for women in Seoul to find and destroy hid­den sex cams.

His lead­er­ship shined in the coro­n­avirus bat­tle in Seoul, a city of 10 mil­lion that has con­tained the out­break to 1,390 cas­es. Mr. Park was quick to insti­tute aggres­sive social-dis­tanc­ing poli­cies, includ­ing ban­ning out­door ral­lies and shut­ting down night­clubs.

There has been plen­ty of crit­i­cism about his tenure as well. Pro­test­ers have often pick­et­ed City Hall, call­ing Mr. Park a “com­mie” for pro­mot­ing rec­on­cil­i­a­tion with North Korea and for his past oppo­si­tion to the deploy­ment of troops from South Korea to Iraq. But Mr. Park had always tak­en such crit­i­cism in stride, con­sid­er­ing it the cost of hold­ing a high-pro­file job. . . .

2a. Might Park’s death have been a coerced ‘sui­cide’ that involved oth­er forms of per­sua­sion.

In that con­text, we note than Park recent­ly filed suit against the leader of the Shin­cheon­ji cult, which has doc­tri­nal and oper­a­tional links [22] to the Uni­fi­ca­tion Church.

In FTR #1118 [19], we exam­ined the Shin­cheon­ji cult in con­nec­tion with the Covid-19 out­break. The cult was the major appar­ent vec­tor for intro­duc­ing the virus into South Korea. With a branch in Wuhan, we have spec­u­lat­ed that it may have been a vec­tor for Chi­na as well.

Might May­or Park Won-son’s suit against Shin­cheon­ji have led to his destruc­tion?

“Seoul may­or sues South Korea reli­gious group for ‘mur­der’ and ‘injury’ over spike in coro­n­avirus cas­es” by Sahe­li Roy Choud­hury; CNBC; 03/01/2020 [17]

Key Points

* Seoul City May­or Park Won-soon has sued key lead­ers of a church at the cen­ter of South Korea’s sud­den surge in the num­ber of con­firmed cas­es for the new coro­n­avirus that has infect­ed over 87,000 glob­al­ly.
* Park said on Face­book that he was suing the Shin­cheon­ji lead­ers “for mur­der, injury and vio­la­tion of pre­ven­tion and man­age­ment of infec­tious dis­eases.”

The may­or of Seoul has sued key lead­ers of the Shin­cheon­ji reli­gious group at the cen­ter of South Korea’s sud­den surge in the num­ber of con­firmed cas­es for the new coro­n­avirus.

May­or Park Won-soon said on Face­book he was suing the key lead­ers of Shin­cheon­ji “for mur­der, injury and vio­la­tion of pre­ven­tion and man­age­ment of infec­tious dis­eases,” accord­ing to a trans­la­tion from NBC News.

Park report­ed 12 lead­ers to the Seoul Cen­tral Dis­trict Prosecutor’s Office on Sun­day.

South Korea has the high­est num­ber of infec­tions out­side main­land Chi­na. On Mon­day morn­ing, the total num­ber of cas­es in South Korea stood at 4,212, and 22 had died from the infec­tion. Just two weeks ear­li­er, the num­ber of cas­es stood at around 30.

Con­tribut­ing to the expo­nen­tial rise in cas­es was the city of Daegu, and specif­i­cal­ly, the secre­tive reli­gious group called Shin­cheon­ji, accord­ing to the country’s Cen­ters for Dis­ease Con­trol and Pre­ven­tion. As of Sun­day morn­ing, the group account­ed for almost 60% of all cas­es in the coun­try, with most of them cen­tered in Daegu.

“We can han­dle the COVID-19 sit­u­a­tion as soon as pos­si­ble only when we force­ful­ly inves­ti­gate the twelve branch heads of the Shin­cheon­ji sect along with Lee Man Hee, the Chair­man of the sect,” Park said in his Face­book post on Sun­day. Lee is the founder and spir­i­tu­al leader of Shin­cheon­ji Church of Jesus.

“The pros­e­cu­tors need to car­ry out a rig­or­ous inves­ti­ga­tion and make sure it leads to a strict pun­ish­ment on the Shin­cheon­ji lead­er­ship that is at the cen­ter of this cri­sis,” Park added in a sep­a­rate state­ment post­ed to the mayor’s office web­site [23].

Lee apol­o­gized on Mon­day at a news con­fer­ence for his group’s inabil­i­ty to stop the spread of the virus and called the epi­dem­ic a “great calami­ty,” Reuters report­ed.

The may­or accused Lee and oth­ers of evad­ing tests for the virus and for fail­ing to take ade­quate mea­sures to get mem­bers of the group to work with health author­i­ties in pre­vent­ing trans­mis­sion of the infec­tion. Park also alleged that the Shin­cheon­ji pro­vid­ed false infor­ma­tion that obstruct­ed the work of the health author­i­ties.

The reli­gious group denied alle­ga­tions that its mem­bers hid their atten­dance at wor­ship ser­vice and car­ried out mis­sion­ary work in secret.

“The Gen­er­al Assem­bly Head­quar­ters of Shin­cheon­ji Church called for an imme­di­ate ban on all meet­ings, wor­ship gath­er­ings and access to its church­es through­out Korea after it was con­firmed that a believ­er in Shincheonji’s Daegu church had been infect­ed with COVID-19 (“Patient 31?) on 18th of Feb,” the group said in a state­ment.

2b. In con­nec­tion with Park Won-soon’s “sui­cide,” we review infor­ma­tion about Shin­cheon­ji– a cult/church in South Korea which is the epi­cen­ter of a burst of coro­n­avirus cas­es in that coun­try. A reput­ed pres­ence of a branch of the orga­ni­za­tion is in Wuhan, which has direct­ed dis­cus­sion in the direc­tion of the virus hav­ing migrat­ed from Hubei province to South Korea.

Against the back­ground of Uni­fi­ca­tion Church activ­i­ty dur­ing the Cold War, in con­nec­tion with CIA, in con­nec­tion with the fas­cist pow­er elite in Japan that is con­tin­u­ous with that coun­try’s activ­i­ties dur­ing World War II, we won­der about the pos­si­bil­i­ty of the use of this cult as a vec­tor­ing agent.

(For more about the Uni­fi­ca­tion Church, see–among oth­er pro­grams–AFA #‘s 7 [24], 14 [25], and 27 [26], as well as FTR #‘s 186 [27], 551 [28].) It is impor­tant to see the Uni­fi­ca­tion Church in its posi­tion as a man­i­fes­ta­tion of the Japan­ese patri­ot­ic and ultra-nation­al­ist soci­eties. Back­ground infor­ma­tion on this dynam­ic can be found in–among oth­er pro­grams, FTR #‘s 905 [29], 969 [30], 970 [31].)

Might it be pos­si­ble that it was used to intro­duce the virus into Chi­na in the first place?

“. . . . Jung Eun-kyeong, direc­tor of the Korea Cen­ters for Dis­ease Con­trol and Pre­ven­tion, said the author­i­ties were inves­ti­gat­ing reports that Shin­cheon­ji had oper­a­tions in Hubei, the Chi­nese province that includes Wuhan, where the virus emerged. The South Kore­an news agency New­sis report­ed on Fri­day that Shin­cheon­ji had opened a church in Wuhan last year, and that ref­er­ences to it had been removed from the church’s web­site. Church offi­cials could not imme­di­ate­ly be reached for com­ment. . . .”

“Shad­owy Church is at Cen­ter of Coro­n­avirus Out­break in South Korea” by Choe Sang-Hun; The New York Times; 2/21/2020. [32]

. . . . Now, health offi­cials are zero­ing in on the church’s prac­tices as they seek to con­tain South Korea’s alarm­ing coro­n­avirus out­break, in which mem­bers of Shin­cheon­ji and their rel­a­tives account for more than two-thirds of the con­firmed infec­tions. On Fri­day, the num­ber of cas­es in the coun­try soared above 200 — sec­ond only to main­land Chi­na, if the out­break on the Dia­mond Princess cruise ship [33] is exclud­ed from Japan’s count. . . . . As of Fri­day, more than 340 mem­bers of Shin­cheon­ji, which main­stream South Kore­an church­es con­sid­er a cult, still could not be reached, accord­ing to health offi­cials, who were fran­ti­cal­ly hop­ing to screen them for signs of infec­tion. . . .

. . . . Jung Eun-kyeong, direc­tor of the Korea Cen­ters for Dis­ease Con­trol and Pre­ven­tion, said the author­i­ties were inves­ti­gat­ing reports that Shin­cheon­ji had oper­a­tions in Hubei, the Chi­nese province that includes Wuhan, where the virus emerged. The South Kore­an news agency New­sis report­ed on Fri­day that Shin­cheon­ji had opened a church in Wuhan last year, and that ref­er­ences to it had been removed from the church’s web­site. Church offi­cials could not imme­di­ate­ly be reached for com­ment. . . .

2c. The Shin­cheon­ji orga­ni­za­tion appears to over­lap the Uni­fi­ca­tion Church. In addi­tion to net­work­ing between ele­ments of both orga­ni­za­tions, the Shin­cheon­ji Church has many doc­tri­nal sim­i­lar­i­ties to the Moon orga­ni­za­tion.

“Rival Kore­an mes­si­ah builds work­shop next to UC / FFWPU Cheong­pyeong Cen­ter: Bench­mark­ing the Uni­fi­ca­tion Church and Shin­cheon­ji of Lee Man-hee;” howwelldoyouknowyourmoon.tumblr.com; 1/15/2015. [18]

com­put­er trans­la­tion, there will be inac­cu­ra­cies:

One Shin­cheon­ji for­mer mem­ber was instruct­ed to bench­mark the Uni­fi­ca­tion Church. Lee Man-hee imi­tates doc­trines and activ­i­ties of the Uni­fi­ca­tion Church.

Lee Man-hee’s con­nec­tions with the Uni­fi­ca­tion Church

Lee Man-hee’s rela­tion­ship with the Uni­fi­ca­tion Church con­tin­ues to be cap­tured. On Novem­ber 15, 2012, Lee and his wife, Kim Nam-hee, bought land from Hyundai-Kia, Hyundai, Gyeong­gi-do, Gyeong­gi Province for 3.15 bil­lion won. A three-sto­ry train­ing cen­ter with a mari­na was built at the loca­tion.

Lee attend­ed a per­for­mance com­mem­o­rat­ing the 50th anniver­sary of the found­ing of the Lit­tle Angels arts group [a Moon subsidiary–D.E.] at the Sejong Cen­ter for the Per­form­ing Arts on Sep­tem­ber 7th. Lee and Kim also had a com­mem­o­ra­tive pho­to tak­en with Mr. Pak Bo Hi. The Chun Ji Dai­ly and the Uni­fi­ca­tion Church World Dai­ly News pub­lished favor­able arti­cles.

Peace move­ment copied

Lee Man-hee claims to be a “lion of peace” and has trav­eled all over the world. In Sep­tem­ber and Decem­ber 2014, Mr Lee held con­fer­ences on reli­gions in Seoul and in Los Ange­les in the Unit­ed States. [Sum­mit of the World Alliance of Reli­gions for Peace (WARP) Seoul, Sept. 17–19, 2014] He put for­ward fan­ci­ful claims that he would unite the world’s reli­gions. Lee rea­sons that ‘the con­flicts between reli­gions break peace.’ At the Los Ange­les event Lee said that he is the per­son who is direct­ly con­nect­ed with God and that God’s will is to elim­i­nate con­flicts caused by reli­gion.

Obvi­ous­ly, you will have often heard the word ‘peace’ used in the Uni­fi­ca­tion Church. It was a key fac­tor in deter­min­ing the Uni­fi­ca­tion Church. Sun Myung Moon pre­sent­ed him­self as a peace activist. Moon said in his auto­bi­og­ra­phy, As a Peace Lov­ing Glob­al Cit­i­zen, “Peace will nev­er come on this earth with­out break­ing down the bar­ri­ers between reli­gions.” “For thou­sands of years dif­fer­ent reli­gions have claimed to be the right ones, build­ing high walls. God’s will is for peace.”

In the end, Lee is mere­ly fol­low­ing the old­er suc­cess­ful reli­gious move­ment under the ban­ner of “peace.” Retirees, who were in the plan­ning depart­ment for Shin­cheon­ji activ­i­ties and events, con­firmed this.

Shin­tan was writ­ten by the Uni­fi­ca­tion Church

Most of the doc­trines of Kore­an pseu­do-reli­gions are sim­i­lar. It is because almost all the lead­ers did not receive prop­er the­o­log­i­cal edu­ca­tion. They preach pseu­do-reli­gion. Shin­cheon­ji also bor­rowed doc­trines from the Olive Tree move­ment of Park Tae-seon (b. 1915) and The Tent Temple—or the Tem­ple of the Tabernacle—which was found­ed by Yoo Jae-yul (b. 1949).

But Shin­cheon­ji was par­tic­u­lar­ly influ­enced by the Uni­fi­ca­tion Church. Kim Kun-nam, one of the two authors of Shin­tan, which can be called the first doc­trine of Shin­cheon­ji, is from the Uni­fi­ca­tion Church. Kim also served as a lec­tur­er in the Uni­fi­ca­tion Church. It is no exag­ger­a­tion to say that Shin­cheon­ji doc­trine devel­oped on the basis of what Kim made.

The process by which Lee Man-hee is set­ting up a suc­ces­sion plan for Kim Nam-hee is also sim­i­lar to the Uni­fi­ca­tion Church. The UC refers to Dr. Hak Ja Han as True Moth­er and has dei­fied her. After the death of Moon, the deifi­ca­tion of Han was fur­ther strength­ened. At present, in the Uni­fi­ca­tion Church, Hak Ja Han is the holy and hon­or­able god of the day for the first time in his­to­ry. It was Moon, who called him­self True Father, who made Han like this. Moon has said that Han is the sec­ond great leader of the Uni­fi­ca­tion Church.

Kim Nam-hee has the over­whelm­ing sup­port of Lee Man-hee and became the moth­er of the peo­ple through a spir­i­tu­al sub­sti­tute at the head of a sem­i­nary. In the Gapyeong Shin­cheon­ji Train­ing Cen­ter, … are expressed as Kim. This is a doc­tri­nal foot­step that makes Lee’s suc­ces­sor, Kim Nam-hee, become the mas­ter of Shin­cheon­ji. What remains is the deifi­ca­tion of Kim. Just as the deifi­ca­tion of Moon has been fur­ther strength­ened, it is impor­tant to pay atten­tion to where Kim can go.

The Uni­fi­ca­tion Church became a huge orga­ni­za­tion by using ‘peace’. Although there has been fric­tion between the inter­nal forces after Moon’s death, it is steadi­ly estab­lish­ing suc­ces­sion rel­a­tive to oth­er pseu­do reli­gions. Was it enough of a role mod­el for Lee Man-hee? Shin­cheon­ji has copied the Uni­fi­ca­tion Church in doc­trine and activ­i­ty. How far can Shin­cheon­ji catch up with the Uni­fi­ca­tion Church (FFWPU)?

3a. The next two points of dis­cus­sion con­cern the fact that the cur­rent U.S. Ambas­sador to South Korea was the for­mer head of the Unit­ed States Pacif­ic Com­mand. We won­der if he might be ONI and/or CIA, and if he might have any con­nec­tion to the anti-Chi­na blitzkrieg and the Covid-19 out­break?

Admi­ral Har­ris is also of mixed Japanese/American ances­try, some­thing that, in and of itself, may be alto­geth­er mean­ing­less. That hav­ing been said, if his moth­er had been an oper­a­tive of the Gold­en Lily milieu at the epi­cen­ter of the post­war US, Japan­ese, and glob­al economies and nation­al secu­ri­ty estab­lish­ments, his ances­try might be very rel­e­vant indeed.

“The Amer­i­can Mous­tache Ruf­fling Feath­ers in South Korea” by Choe Sang-Hun; The New York Times [34]; 1/16/2020. [34]

. . . . ​In an inter­view [35]with The Korea Times​ last month​, Mr. Har­ris not­ed that through­out his career, his eth­nic back­ground had come into play ​only ​twice — by the Chi­nese and now by South Koreans​. When he [retired Admi­ral Har­ry B. Har­ris, Jr.] was head of the Unit­ed States Pacif­ic Com­mand, he was out­spo­ken about China’s aggres­sive moves in the East and South Chi­na Seas, and China’s state-run news media ​often cit­ed his eth­nic back­ground when attack­ing him. ​. . . .

3c. As the for­mer Com­man­der of the Guan­tanamo base in Cuba, he cer­tain­ly did have oper­a­tional links with the intel­li­gence com­mu­ni­ty. As will be seen in a future pro­gram, there are also oper­a­tional links [36] between Guan­tanamo and the Uighur World Con­gress, a focal point of ongo­ing U.S. desta­bi­liza­tion efforts.

Admi­ral Har­ris’s Wikipedia entry ref­er­ences three alleged sui­cides of inmates at Guan­tanamo when he was the com­man­der of the facil­i­ty. A Harper’s mag­a­zine piece referred to in that arti­cle can be accessed here [37]–it casts severe doubt on the sui­cide ver­dict.

Har­ry B. Har­ris, Jr.; Wikipedia.com [38]

Director, Current Operations and Anti-Terrorism/Force Protection Division (OPNAV N31/34)

In August 2004, in his first Flag assign­ment, he report­ed to the staff of the Chief of Naval Oper­a­tions, where he was respon­si­ble for Navy cur­rent oper­a­tions, the Navy Com­mand Cen­ter, and anti-ter­ror­is­m/­force pro­tec­tion pol­i­cy.

Commander, Joint Task Force Guantanamo

In March 2006, he assumed com­mand of Joint Task Force Guan­tanamo [39] in Cuba. His ser­vice was notable as he was in charge when three pris­on­ers, Mani Shaman Tur­ki al-Habar­di Al-Utay­bi [40]Salah Ali Abdul­lah Ahmed al-Sala­mi [41] and Yass­er Talal Al Zahrani [42]died in the cus­tody of US forces [43]. Defense report­ed the deaths as sui­cides [44]. Har­ris said at the time,

I believe this was not an act of des­per­a­tion, but an act of asym­met­ri­cal war­fare waged against us.[20] [45]

Har­ris ordered a full inves­ti­ga­tion by the Naval Crim­i­nal Inves­tiga­tive Ser­vice [46] (NCIS), which pub­lished its report in a heav­i­ly redact­ed ver­sion in August 2008.

Main arti­cle: Guan­tanamo Bay homi­cide accu­sa­tions [47]

Main arti­cle: Guan­tanamo Bay deten­tion camp sui­cide attempts [48]

A report, Death in Camp Delta, was pub­lished in Decem­ber 2009 by the Cen­ter for Pol­i­cy & Research [49] of Seton Hall Uni­ver­si­ty School of Law [50], under the super­vi­sion of its direc­tor, Pro­fes­sor Mark Den­beaux [51], attor­ney for two Guan­tanamo detainees, crit­i­ciz­ing numer­ous incon­sis­ten­cies in the offi­cial accounts of these deaths.[21] [52][22] [53][23] [54] The report sug­gest­ed there had either been gross neg­li­gence or an attempt to cov­er up homi­cides of the men, per­haps due to tor­ture under inter­ro­ga­tion.

On 18 Jan­u­ary 2010, Scott Hor­ton of Harper’s Mag­a­zine [55] pub­lished a sto­ry sug­gest­ing that al-Sala­mi, Al-Utay­bi and Al-Zahrani had died as a result of acci­den­tal manslaugh­ter dur­ing a tor­ture ses­sion, and that the offi­cial account was a cov­er-up.[20] [45] Hor­ton had under­tak­en a joint inves­ti­ga­tion with NBC News [56], based on an account by four for­mer guards at Guan­tanamo Bay deten­tion camp. They sug­gest­ed that the men had died at a black site [57], infor­mal­ly called “Camp No [58],” used for inter­ro­ga­tion includ­ing tor­ture. It was locat­ed about a mile out­side the reg­u­lar camp bound­aries.[20] [45]

3a. In their mas­ter­piece Gold War­riors, Ster­ling and Peg­gy Sea­grave chron­i­cled the Japan­ese slave labor, includ­ing the Com­fort Women that were a focal point of Park Won-soon’s crit­i­cism. We doubt that the #MeToo advo­cates will make much of a fuss about this.

 Gold War­riors by Ster­ling and Peg­gy Sea­grave; Ver­so [SC]; Copy­right 2003, 2005 by Ster­ling and Peg­gy Sea­grave; ISBN 1–84467-531–9; pp. 56–47. [59]

. . . . Worst of Japan’s slave pro­grams was that of the Com­fort Women. Young girls, many not even 13 years old, were shang­haied into sex­u­al slav­ery. After the war, Tokyo insist­ed all Com­fort Women were mere­ly pros­ti­tutes who vol­un­teered, and that the entire oper­a­tion was run by pri­vate enter­prise. Both state­ments are demon­stra­bly false. Begin­ning in 1904 in Korea, the kem­peitai took full charge of orga­nized pros­ti­tu­tion for the Japan­ese armed forces. One rea­son was the pos­si­bil­i­ty that mil­i­tary secrets might be passed along in bed, so its agents could fer­ret out care­less sol­diers or spies. At first, the broth­els were sub­con­tract­ed. By 1932, the kem­peitai resumed full con­trol. A typ­i­cal mil­i­tary broth­el had ten bar­racks, each divid­ed into ten rooms, plus a supervisor’s hut, all enclosed in barbed wire to keep the women inside. Rur­al broth­els were tents, while rail­way cars were fit­ted out as mobile broth­els. Kore­an and Japan­ese yakuza pro­vid­ed bru­tal secu­ri­ty. Fees were based on a woman’s eth­nic ori­gin. Japan­ese girls were top-rat­ed, fol­lowed by Kore­ans, Oki­nawans, Chi­nese, South­east Asians. Lat­er, Cau­casian internees were added. Com­mis­sioned offi­cers paid 3 yen, non-com­mis­sioned 2.50 yen, pri­vates 2 yen. Book­keep­ing was thor­ough, with forms for each woman list­ing dai­ly earn­ings and num­ber of clients. Up to 200,000 young women and ado­les­cent girls were forced into this sex­u­al slav­ery, to serve more than 3.5‑million Japan­ese sol­diers. Each was expect­ed to have fif­teen part­ners a day. The­o­ret­i­cal­ly, they received 800 yen a month, minus cost of food, cloth­ing, med­ical care, soap and water. As many girls were illit­er­ate, they were eas­i­ly cheat­ed. Most made zero, and were des­ti­tute at the end of the war.

Because of the extreme secre­cy to this day sur­round­ing Japan’s treat­ment of POW’s, civil­ian slaves, and Com­fort Women, we are pre­vent­ed from know­ing impor­tant details. How­ev­er, among files cap­tured by Britain’s Roy­al Marines in 1945 is a reveal­ing doc­u­ment, writ­ten by the com­man­der of a camp for POWs at Tai­hoku, in Tai­wan. The com­man­der had just received instruc­tions dat­ed August 1, 1944, from the chief of staff, 11th Unit of For­mosa POW Secu­ri­ty No. 10 (kem­peitai). In any emer­gency, he is instruct­ed to deal with his pris­on­ers in the fol­low­ing way: “Whether they are destroyed indi­vid­u­al­ly or in groups, or how­ev­er it is done, with mass bomb­ing, poi­so­nous smoke, drown­ing, decap­i­ta­tion, or what. . . . it is the aim not to allow the escape of a sin­gle one, to anni­hi­late them all and not to leave any traces.” . . . .

3b. The Sea­graves also chron­i­cle the rav­aging of Fil­ip­inas by Japan­ese troops. The #MeToo folks won’t be mak­ing any fuss about this either.

Gold War­riors by Ster­ling and Peg­gy Sea­grave; Ver­so [SC]; Copy­right 2003, 2005 by Ster­ling and Peg­gy Sea­grave; ISBN 1–84467-531–9; pp. 48–49. [59]

. . . . In Mani­la, Japan­ese sol­diers moved through upper class and mid­dle-class neigh­bor­hoods, kid­nap­ping pret­ty wives and daugh­ters who were tak­en to hotels set aside for high­er-rank­ing army and navy offi­cers. Over sev­er­al weeks, moth­ers and daugh­ters were raped repeat­ed­ly until many were in a stu­por, ser­vic­ing up to fifty men a day. The kem­peitai offered to return kid­napped fam­i­ly mem­bers in exchange for hid­den trea­sure or secu­ri­ties, or infor­ma­tion about neigh­bors and rel­a­tives. At hos­pi­tals, nurs­es were sought as mis­tress­es for Japan­ese offi­cers. In poor fam­i­lies with no assets, wives and daugh­ters were herd­ed into broth­els for non-com­mis­sioned offi­cers and ordi­nary sol­diers. . . .

3c. In a tran­si­tion­al ele­ment to the sec­ond pro­gram in this series, the broad­cast con­cludes with the Sea­graves account of the bru­tal mur­der of Kore­an Queen Min, who was slashed, stabbed and burned alive by Japan­ese assas­sins as the begin­ning of their sub­ju­ga­tion of Korea.

Gold War­riors by Ster­ling and Peg­gy Sea­grave; Ver­so [SC]; Copy­right 2003, 2005 by Ster­ling and Peg­gy Sea­grave; ISBN 1–84467-531–9; pp. 14–21. [59]

. . . . Dur­ing the night of Octo­ber 7. 1895, thir­ty Japan­ese assas­sins forced their way into Kore­a’s roy­al palace in Seoul. Burst­ing into the qu4een’s pri­vate quar­ters, they cut down two ladies-in-wait­ing and cor­nered Queen Min. When the Min­is­ter of the Roy­al House­hold tried to shield her, a swords­man slashed off both his hands. the defense­less queen was stabbed and slashed repeat­ed­ly, and car­ried wail­ing out to the palace gar­den where she was thrown onto a pile of fire­wood, drenched with kerosene, and set aflame. An amer­i­can mil­i­tary advi­sor, Gen­er­al William Dye, wa one of sev­er­al for­eign­ers who heard and saw the killers milling around in the palace com­pound with dawn swords while the queen was burned alive. Japan declared that the mur­ders were com­mit­ted by “Kore­ans dressed as Japan­ese in Euro­pean clothes”–a gloss greet­ed with ridicule by the diplo­mat­ic com­mu­ni­ty. Accord­ing to the British min­is­ter in Tokyo, Sir Ernest Satow, First Sec­re­tary Sug­imu­ra of the Japan­ese lega­tion in Korea led the assas­sins.

The gris­ly mur­der of Queen Min was a turn­ing point in Japan’s effort to gain con­trol of Korea. Her hus­band King Kojong was a weak­ling, con­trolled by the queen’s fac­tion, who were allied with Chi­na against Japan. Once the queen was dead, the Japan­ese could eas­i­ly con­trol the king, and put n end to Chi­nese inter­fer­ence.

The coup was planned by Miu­ra Goro, agent of Japan’s aggres­sive Yam­a­ga­ta clique. At first, the killing was to be done by Japan­ese-trained Kore­an sol­diers, so it could be passed off as an inter­nal mat­ter. But to make sure noth­ing went wrong, Miu­ra called for help from the Japan­ese ter­ror­ist orga­ni­za­tion Black Ocean. Many of its mem­bers were in Korea pos­ing as busi­ness agents of Japan­ese com­pa­nies, includ­ing the old­est zaibat­su, Mit­sui. Black Ocean and anoth­er secret soci­ety called Black Drag­on func­tioned as Japan’s para­mil­i­taries on the Asian main­land, car­ry­ing out dirty work that could be denied by Tokyo. They were in posi­tion through­out Korea and Chi­na, run­ning broth­els, phar­ma­cies, pawn­shops, and build­ing net­works of influ­ence by sup­ply­ing local men with mon­ey, sex­u­al favors, alco­hol, drugs, pornog­ra­phy, and Span­ish Fly. While Black Ocean was obsessed with Korea, Black Drag­on (named for the Amur or Black Drag­on Riv­er sep­a­rat­ing Manchuria from Siberia) was ded­i­cat­ed to block­ing Russ­ian encroach­ment, and seiz­ing Chi­na for Japan. Black Ocean pro­vid­ed Miu­ra with the pro­fes­sion­al assas­sins he need­ed, and the rest of the killers were secu­ri­ty men from Japan’s con­sulate. Whether they intend­ed to kill the queen in full view of for­eign observers is anoth­er mat­ter. Japan­ese con­spir­a­cies often began qui­et­ly, then went out of con­trol.

Many Japan­ese lead­ers like states­man Ito Hirobu­mi were enlight­ened and rea­son­able men who would have vetoed the mur­der, had they known. But there was a deep con­tra­dic­tion inside Japan fol­low­ing the Mei­ji Restora­tion in the nine­teenth cen­tu­ry. Two cliques com­pet­ed ruth­less­ly for pow­er behind the throne, and for influ­ence over the Mei­ji Emper­or. Those asso­ci­at­ed with Ito were more cos­mopoli­tan, emu­lat­ing the role of Bis­mar­ck in guid­ing Kaiser Wil­helm, or Dis­raeli in guid­ing Queen Vic­to­ria. Those allied with Gen­er­al Yam­a­ga­ta were throw backs to medieval Japan, where pow­er worked in the shad­ows with assas­sins, sur­prise attacks, and treach­ery. While Yam­a­ga­ta built a mod­ern con­script army to replace Japan’s tra­di­tion­al samu­rai forces, he also built a net­work of spies, secret police, yakuza gang­sters and super­pa­tri­ots. These were key ele­ments of the police state Yam­a­ga­ta was cre­at­ing in Japan. Under­world god­fa­thers were vital com­po­nent of Japan’s rul­ing struc­ture. Mem­bers of the impe­r­i­al fam­i­ly, and the finan­cial elite that con­trols Japan, had inti­mate ties to top gang­sters. When Yamagata’s armies invad­ed Korea and Manchuria, gang­sters were the cut­ting edge. There­after, Japan’s under­world played a major role in loot­ing Asia over fifty years, 1895–1945.

Queen Min’s mur­der marks the begin­ning of this half-cen­tu­ry of extreme Japan­ese bru­tal­i­ty and indus­tri­al scale plun­der. Her killing shows how eas­i­ly the mask of Japan’s good inten­tions could slip, to reveal hideous real­i­ty. . . . .