North Korean diplomacy, with a side of slaw

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29 Responses to “North Korean diplomacy, with a side of slaw”

  1. bcsizemo says:

    “Mr. EGAN: I’m a trusted friend. I have access to the country. You know, so there’s a lot of difference. We’re friends, but whichever role as a friend, you’re a friend. You know, there’s a lot of roles friends play. You know, not just one role and too specific. We’re friends, which is multifaceted.”

    That’s not double talk, that’s more talk to the power of talk…

  2. kP says:

    Cubby’s is conveniently located in Hackensack just down River Street from Costco and the jail (not the same place).
    As a bonus, Cubby’s BBQ features a pig serving up ribs on its logo!http://www.cubbysbarbeque.com/

  3. decisiontheorist says:

    This was a ‘great moment for you’? Finding out about a news story on Facebook? Really?

    • Yeah. I think it’s really interesting when social media beats media-media to the punch. Your mileage may vary, as they say. But that’s why I said, “for me.” 

      • Even if they had been beaten by half a day, does that really make that much difference?

        First, the timeliness of that news makes little difference to people in their daily life (no action/decision, unlike an environmental disaster).
        Second, who knows when he actually died and how long it took for the news to make it onto social media.
        Finally, is time-to-release the only feature that matters for news? How about trustworthiness and fact checking?

        • Julien, 

          You’re getting really defensive here and I’m not sure that’s necessary. I don’t think social media is going to replace media-media, or that it should. I just, as a journalist who likes to get wonky about my own industry, enjoy seeing journalists use multiple means of communication to tell a story. 

          I think that a short announcement of something, followed by a more in-depth piece later, is a completely legitimate way to do journalism. In fact, I think that what social media allows you to do in that case is slow down the process of writing the longer piece a bit. So that it’s actually more likely to be accurate and well-written than if you’d been trying to slam it out so you could be the first person out the door. 

        • bcsizemo says:

          Ironically I was on 4chan…

          -A whole lot of “not sure if trolling” going through that thought process.

          Needless to say I confirmed it with some slightly more credible sources.

      • Mitchell Glaser says:

        I was on HuffPo when I saw the news on the AP scroller at the top of the page. I hustled over to BoingBoing and that was quick enough to get me the first post on the thread announcing his death. Our lives are measured by such tiny triumphs.

      • Bad Juju says:

        Not sure what it says about my news-gathering habits that I found out from Know Your Meme.
        On a related note, don’t you think it’s weird that all the press pictures making the rounds are from http://kimjongillookingatthings.tumblr.com/ ??

  4. awjt says:

    It says a lot about a stupid little country if they’d rather negotiate through a rib joint owner in Hackensack than through the diplomatic channels…

  5. Dan mcgovern says:

    I’ve eaten there a dozen times, never knew this weird factoid.  

  6. obeyken says:

    I listened to the NPR report and can’t help but feel that a big piece of the story is missing.  To paraphrase: he had some buddies who were in the Vietnam war, he helped them out with some stuff, yadda yadda yadda… and then he was the unofficial ambassador between North Korea and the US.

  7. arcfinn says:

      Must be more interesting Facebook friends than mine, they just post zynga game requests. I heard about it on Yahoo news myself, then wondered about the possible consequences of a succession crisis over there. 

  8. sean says:

    He may be a friend to Korea but he’s no friend of mine, charging $15 for a cheesesteak. I go down the street to WHITE MANNA for their sliders,  a much better deal.

  9. thezarray says:

    A country going through a constant famine has an unofficial consulate in a … restaurant?

    The mind boggles.

  10. allium says:

    I learned about it from Wikipedia’s front page, where I had gone in order to learn why Detriot Lions wide receiver Calvin Johnson is nicknamed “Megatron”.*

    * I was hoping he could turn into a Walther P38, but it turns out it’s because of his large hands.**

    ** No, I don’t get it either.

  11. its funny .Anorth korean sidekick which sucks up to America to convince white countries to be convinced with North Korean prostitution

  12. Jaron Hendrix says:

    I remember reading a long article / interview with Mr. Egan two or three years back…it was in The New Yorker, iirc.  One of his most poignant memories?  The ambassador finally admits that he has a small toothache.   So Egan takes him to the dentist, only to discover that “Well, yeah, he’s got a toothache. All his teeth ache. We’re going to have to pull them all out and give him implants.”

    The Korean’s response?  ‘I’m North Korean, you understand that? You know how tough we are? So when I said I had a toothache, it means that all my teeth are rotten, I got gum disease, and I have to have them all pulled out. What did you think, that I would complain about one tooth, like you?’”

    After having all of his teeth pulled, they went back to the restaurant, same day.  Egan offered mashed potatoes, Han requested a rack of ribs.  Yeah, that’s tough alright.

    Here’s the full article.  It’s a great read.  http://www.newyorker.com/reporting/2007/10/08/071008fa_fact_mead?currentPage=all

  13. ClintonD says:

    Someday, he’ll have to tell his story about how he came to this position. This whole thing sounds like it would make for a great movie.

  14. Art says:

    “I learned about a news story from Facebook first, at least a good 10-15 minutes before stories started popping up on Google News last night.”

    Exactly the way I learned about it also! I Googled it after FB and it wasn’t up yet!

  15. John Napsterista says:

    OK, just when you thought this story couldn’t get any weirder:

    James Gandolfini to Play Hackensack, New Jersey BBQ Joint Owner Who Served as Intermediary in Top Secret US-NK Nuclear Talks

    http://www.hotchkissandassociates.com/?p=336

  16. Marc Macoy says:

    I keep passing by this restaurant and sticks out like a sore thumb. Makes me always wonder who the owner was. I ate there once, and the BBQ was pretty decent. It’s not the greatest that I have tasted, but not bad either.  It made me wonder how it keeps it’s business going in the middle of nowhere. It’s not even near a lot of major restaurants or a plaza. I don’t see it advertised in the local news. Maybe it’s some secret government facility underneath like that show “Chuck”. I don’t know, it just seems so out of place compared to the other fast food chains.

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