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June 23, 2004



I heard Tom Sullivan bring up these points also. I had heard that Kim Sun Il was a serving as a translator but I do not know what languages he was fluent in (obviously his native language and equally obvious by demonstration, English.) but if his captors had been addressing him in English, it would be natural for him to respond to them in English. And if his captors did not know Korean, they might have demanded he plead in English so they could make sure he was saying what they wanted him to say (and not "I'm in the third house on the left off the main drag held in the basement" however you would say that in Korean). That said, I'll be honest, I'm speculating since I did not see the videos.
The second point of Al Jazeera not airing the tape could be just that since Kim was not an American, it does not suit their purpose to air it.
Still, you and Tom are correct, it is an interesting set of questions.


Mark, you make a good point about his captors possibly not understanding Korean and thus making him speak in English. I have no idea what their resources may be, possibly there are very few Arabs who speak Korean - and none that are terrorists. It's a reasonable explanation in any case.

I just think - how effective would Paul Johnson's message have been here at home, if they had made him deliver it in Arabic?


I would think it's fairly obvious. He wanted someone to save his life, so he spoke the language of the people who could help him.

Now if he would've spoke French, I'd have been shocked.


LOL - French... Think they'd listen? - maybe if some oil revenue was part of the deal...

Actually I was just kinda thinking aloud in this post. Wasting time while the back of my mind was pondering a work problem. If I'd waited to post it, as I should have, I probably wouldn't have posted at all. *G*


It's actually a good question and worthy of consideration, because it IS odd on its face. I'm glad you brought it up.

Then again, I love pretty much everything you write, so I'm biased.

Unless I was CBS, in which case I'd be impartial and objective :-/

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