Friday, May 28, 2010

An open letter to Misters Obama, Lee, Hu, and Kim

Dear Sirs,

I know you are very busy these days, but I hope you can find time to read this letter. I’m not one to interfere with those that run the world, but I can’t help but notice that your recent course of action seems to be leading down a path that will result in me being dead. As a rule, I am opposed to any policy, foreign or domestic, that results in me being dead. If you don’t mind, I will first address each of you individually, followed by collectively.

To Mr. Kim, Dear Leader of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea: You have a great deal of say on this matter. I know that you are planning to cede power to your son in the near distant future, and you want to make a splash on the international stage beforehand. I implore you to find another way to make such a splash. I know, it must be fun to troll your neighbors and the most powerful nations on earth, and I know that there’s a decent chance that you’re just doing it for the lulz. If I ran a country, I’d be tempted to pwn n00b heads of state as well. However, I am afraid I must interject when your trolling interferes with my being alive.

There are better ways to build your son’s legacy outside of threatening a war that will kill me and millions of other people. You could follow the example of the other Korea and become the “hub” of something. I would recommend air travel. It’s no secret that flights through Seoul and Tokyo are massively overpriced. Beijing and Shanghai are cheap to fly through, but nobody wants to deal with the clusterfuck that is Chinese visa regulations if it can by avoided. If you update Air Koryo’s fleet and build a world-class airport in Pyongyang, you can easily undercut Tokyo and Seoul in price while creating a more convenient transit point than the Chinese hubs. I would also suggest that you start building relations with other countries. Start small, but not too small. Don’t bother with third world kleptocracies. Also skip over island nations like Kiribati or Palau that nobody cares about. I’d go with minor northern European states, like Luxembourg or Estonia. Remember, the South moved from being your redheaded stepchild economically to the 15th largest economy in the world in 30 or 40 years. Your half of the peninsula is blessed with more natural resources than the South.

To Mr Lee, President of the Republic of Korea: I know the whole Cheonan sinking thing has kinda got you by the balls (assuming you’re telling the truth about its sinking), but settle the fuck down. Restoring North Korea as the State’s Official Archenemy? Are you in high school? We’ve grown to accept these sorts of shenanigans from your peer north of the DMZ, but you should know better. Apply sanctions and close sea lanes as punishment for the Cheonan incident if you must. Resorting to juvenile pedagoguery along the lines of this “archenemy” thing is downright Bushian. Remember, Bush’s needless “Axis of Evil” horseshit was how this most recent nonsense with the North started to begin with.

Second: Stop with the threats to set up the propaganda loudspeakers at the DMZ. If you proceed with this foolishness, you are just begging the North to shell the speakers. They have already said that they will destroy them, so they pretty much have to now to maintain credibility. Blaring propaganda and K-pop at the border is a ridiculous plan. This isn’t 1957. All you will succeed in doing is to further antagonizing the North, which in turn greatly raises the odds of the North making me dead.

To Mr. Hu, President of the People’s Repbublic of China: You largely hold all the cards here. You are the only state that has any real influence in the North. I’m not going to sugarcoat this. Your country is responsible for the deaths of more civilians than Hitler or Stalin. Historically, that’s a lot to answer for. While these crimes can never be fully paid for, you are now in the singular, unique position to prevent the deaths of millions of more civilians, and the death of me. Help a brother out, yo.

To Mr. Obama, President of the United States of America: Long time fan, first time writer. I understand that you don’t have a whole lot of say regarding what happens on this little peninsula. American sanctions against North Korea are already to the point that there isn’t a lot more the U.S. can take away from the North. I realize that U.S-North Korean relations have never been particularly rosy, and that your predecessor, as he was wont to do, took a bad situation and made it far worse. As there is not much you can do at this point to influence the North, I have one simple, modest request. If hostilities do commence and Seoul is reduced to a fiery hellscape, please dispatch President Clinton to get me and (time permitting) my friends to safety.

Gentlemen, as you can see, this potential war is simply a bad idea . This war would level the second largest city on earth, cause the total destruction of North Korea, obliterate the world’s economy, kill millions of people, and discontinue the future prospects of this blog. Take a deep breath, collect your wits, and create a plan that results in my ongoing existence. I would totally owe you guys a solid.



P.S. Should all this fail, I’m going to have to go with Plan B: An open letter to Mr. Norris. Trust me, you don’t want that.


Aaron said...

This might be the best thing you have ever written. Pure genius.

Carston said...

I think you should next write similar letters to Taco Bell and ethanol. Maybe they will spare your life, too.

C. Cryn Johannsen said...

I am gonna gush - this piece is GREAT, GREAT, GREAT!!! It's so great, I posted about it on South of North Korea.

-Cryn Johannsen
Founder of Education Matters (student loan debt advocate) -


South of North Korea -

If you are interested in sharing your stories about life in S. Korea, please contact me! I am eager to have writers share their take on everyday life in Korea. My email is

Again, this piece is superb. Keep it up! I wanna reference you more often.

eric said...

this should go viral. i'll eslcafe link it