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Kim kidnaps Korea’s ‘lucky’ triplets
The Sunday Times ^ | March 9, 2003 | Michael Sheridan

Posted on 03/08/2003 4:07:19 PM PST by MadIvan

ALL baby triplets in North Korea are being removed from their parents and placed in bleak state orphanages where they are fed by foreign aid.

The policy has prompted concern among diplomats and aid officials, who have witnessed sets of babies kept in special “triplet rooms” in orphanages across the country.

“There is no doubt that the policy is compulsory and universal,” said a seasoned diplomatic visitor to North Korea who has seen the rooms. He said he had not noticed family members visiting the children in his many calls at the orphanages. Conditions when foreigners are allowed to enter appear to be spartan but clean, according to several witnesses.

Food supplies to orphanages are a priority for both the United Nations relief agencies and the North Korean authorities. Local officials have assured inquirers that the babies are being given privileges to relieve their parents of the anxiety of feeding three mouths while the impoverished Stalinist nation endures an eighth year of food shortages.

But diplomatic experts who understand the Korean language and culture cast doubt on the official explanation.

They believe the true reason is linked to some of the most bizarre aspects of Kim Jong-il’s dictatorship. The number three is auspicious in Korean mysticism and triplets are revered for exceptional good fortune. Some believe they may be destined for power and great achievements, which would account for the regime’s desire to keep them under observation.

Diplomats and international aid officials also doubt that poverty is the explanation, because not even triplets born to high-ranking party members are exempt. “It may be officially atheistic and Stalinist but essentially North Korea operates a state religion infused with superstition, astrology and a personality cult which glorifies Kim as a unique individual,” said the veteran diplomat. “You don’t take any chances with rivals in that system.”

Power conferred by blood descent is also important in Korea’s Confucian tradition. The North Korean capital, Pyongyang, was rebuilt by its communist rulers along principles of Chinese geomancy, with “power lines” linking the purported birthplace of the previous dictator, Kim Il-sung, with the purported tomb of Tangun, founder of the Korean race. As heir to the world’s only communist dynasty, the younger Kim exploits every such tradition to exalt himself, while keeping a careful watch on his clan network of intermarried army and party men.

Children of the elite are usually taken from their parents by the age of two and placed in party-controlled schools to break family bonds and to consecrate their devotion to Kim. Foreign observers believe the triplets are kept together and transferred to these schools when old enough.

The segregation of triplets has provoked debate among UN aid agencies and non-governmental organisations delivering help to North Korea.

Although there appear to be no reasons to fear for the physical safety of the triplets, regular visitors to North Korean orphanages report desperate scenes of isolation and sadness.

On a recent visit a member of a foreign delegation entered a room to see infants placed several to a cot, all rocking backwards and forwards.

“Our people were stunned into silence,” the delegate said. A paediatrician outside North Korea who assessed evidence collected on the visit diagnosed severe emotional trauma.

Witnesses said they had noticed better nursing attention and care for triplets in the special rooms. “But none of those infants knows what affection is,” said one visitor. “Our staff try to cuddle them for a few minutes but then, of course, we have to leave.”

Up to 300 sets of triplets a year are believed to be born in North Korea. In an official statement to the UN Human Rights Commission in Geneva, North Korea said: “Triplets are supplied by the state free of charge with clothing, bedding, a one-year supply of dairy products and a pre-school subsidy, and special medical workers take charge of such mothers and children and care for their health.”

The UN’s World Food Programme has reported a sharp improvement in children’s health in North Korea thanks to foreign aid. Since 1998 cases of acute malnutrition in children under seven have fallen from 16% to 9%, and the number of underweight children has decreased from 61% to 21%.

As tension mounts between North Korea and the United States over Pyongyang’s nuclear programme, however, aid officials fear that any military clash could put at risk their ability to feed the children.

There is little doubt of the regime’s cold-hearted approach to paediatrics. In 1998, Médecins sans Frontières pulled out of North Korea, alleging that aid agencies were denied access to so-called 9-27 camps in which sick and disabled children had been dumped under a decree issued by Kim to “normalise” the country.

UN agencies are still arguing for access to closed districts in the northeast of the country, where prison camps and military facilities are located.

TOPICS: Crime/Corruption; Extended News; Foreign Affairs; Government; News/Current Events; US: District of Columbia; United Kingdom
KEYWORDS: kidnapping; kimjongil; northkorea; strange
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To: MadIvan
Oh just wait...I am sure he will top this one.
21 posted on 03/08/2003 4:55:29 PM PST by RummyChick
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To: b4its2late
Kim Jung Il is...

A squirrel with big b@lls? Well, if you say so.

22 posted on 03/08/2003 4:56:20 PM PST by Bloody Sam Roberts (®)
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To: MadIvan
My immediate reaction to this, warranted or not, was that KimmyJong has got him a Dr. Mengele and he wants these infants for experimentation.
23 posted on 03/08/2003 5:02:33 PM PST by Migraine
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To: Migraine
That was mine too. Especially knowing Kim's interest in cloning, etc.
24 posted on 03/08/2003 5:40:19 PM PST by paolop
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To: MadIvan
IVAN why does Kim Jong II remind me of wacky King Herod of Bible times

WHYYY also Ivan did you know that dude spent 1 million pound recently to update his Porno movie stash

That was on Ananova weird item sites
25 posted on 03/08/2003 7:29:09 PM PST by SevenofNine (Get ready for SMACKDOWN Saddam)
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To: SevenofNine
I believe everything Kim does can be explained by applying that charming American term to him: "he's a Fruit Loop"

Regards, Ivan

26 posted on 03/08/2003 7:33:53 PM PST by MadIvan (Learn the power of the Dark Side,
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To: MadIvan
Yeah I think this take the cake

Ripping triplets out of their New moms arms

THAT IS WEIRD and disgusting

Kim is farrrr away from Korean waters if I say so much

This is same guy that has BIG FAT Finger on Nuke button

Perish the thought
27 posted on 03/08/2003 7:40:49 PM PST by SevenofNine (Get ready for SMACKDOWN Saddam)
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To: MadIvan
"Some believe they may be destined for power and great achievements, which would account for the regime’s desire to keep them under observation."

Just think how Hitler used multiples and consider that governments past actions and intentions, shudder and pray.

It is hardly possible that an orphange can replace parental love or guidance no matter how humble. I consider this inhumane, just like everything else out of that environ.
28 posted on 03/08/2003 8:03:09 PM PST by Spirited
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To: RichInOC
This is the east Asian version of Animal Farm...

29 posted on 03/08/2003 9:28:59 PM PST by JerseyHighlander (®)
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To: JerseyHighlander
All Koreans are equal...but some are more equal than others?

Now that you mention it...Kim does look like a pig in a uniform.

30 posted on 03/09/2003 12:47:04 AM PST by RichInOC (I didn't know you could perm razorback bristles.)
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