Radio Interview: Radio France Internationale

For those of you who can speak French, my interview with Frédéric Ojardias for Radio France Internationale was broadcast today. As I don’t speak French beyond some vulgarities I picked up from French friends drinking and playing pétanque, I don’t really know how it went, but you can hear me pause and stutter and chuckle every now and then. There is also commentary from Amnesty International at the end, or so I’ve been told.

rfi_editedThe article

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5 Responses to Radio Interview: Radio France Internationale

  1. bighominid says:

    A bit short, as interviews go, but awesome all the same. The word keeps gettin’ out. Hope this is helping sales somewhat.

    The French spiel begins by talking about your attempt to leave the country, the narrator (Fred, I guess) talks about how you joined the US Army and were in line for the plane out of Korea before you got picked up by Immigration and sent to a Korean base. The next part talks about the state of your Korean-language ability—that you could say little more than “How are you?” or “Good morning.” The spiel then mentions your book (“Young Chun raconte dans son livre…”—”YC recounts in his book…”), focusing on what you say re: poor treatment and even sadism from your superiors. There was physical violence, but for you it was more psychological because of your language deficit. The radio narrative then shifts to your time in Afghanistan, where you served along with American soldiers, and at the end of your service, a new surprise awaited you: you had to renounce one of your citizenships because, at the time, the ROK didn’t recognize dual citizenships. You thought it rational to renounce the Korean side; you had been an ROK citizen for two years, during which time you served in the army. The focus then moves over to Amnesty International; Nicolas Béclin (if I heard his name right—Béclain? Béglin? Béglain?—he’s the Asia director of AI) says South Korea imprisons more conscientious objectors than the rest of the world combined. Several hundred people are languishing in Korean jails simply because there is no alternative to military service. Fred comes on at the end and notes that objectors are ostracized in Korean society, which makes it difficult for them to find jobs.

    I kind of wish the RFI had done more to promote your book. “Dans son livre” (“in his book”) is the only phrase making explicit reference to what you’d written. They don’t even mention your book’s title. Still, I’m glad you got some promo from this; Fred was a real sport to hook you up.


    • Young says:

      I thought you’d like the interview. Thanks for taking the time to give me a summary of what was discussed. French was my first second language, and yet I can’t speak a lick of it. It was a stretch for Fred to get them to agree to broadcasting the interview so it means a lot, even if there isn’t much mention of the book.


  2. bighominid says:

    “your attempt to leave the country,”

    Whoops. That should be a semicolon. And to think that I was your proofreader…


    • Young says:

      Haha. I didn’t even notice the mistake. There was a reason why you were my proofreader. Only a proofreader would go back and proofread his own comment.


  3. Avery Carter says:

    bookmarked, magnificent blog!


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