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Unswerving cyclist
14 Mar 2002
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Pyongyang problems prompt boom in bodyguard business

"Most of my clients used to be people like those gentlemanly types who'd lost a lot of money when the economy collapsed and were being chased by the yakuza, or others who were targeted by stalkers. But my top customers now are those who've got something to do with North Korea," Flash hears from Terence Lee, the father of the bodyguard business in Japan who describes himself as a mongrel with blood links to just about every Asian country, including the Land of the Rising Sun. [...]

"These people are involved in pachinko, real estate and barbecue restaurant chains in Japan, which means they were sending money to Kim's administration in North Korea and earned the name of the Pyongyang Purses. They've sent hundreds of millions of yen to Pyongyang over the years," Lee says.

"But these Pyongyang Purses have decided that they no longer want to fund that regime. And the rebellion all started last year when (North Korean leader) Kim Jong Il said that North Korea had kidnapped Japanese. Loads of Koreans in Japan started to doubt Pyongyang after that. But, having discarded their support for the regime, they're beginning to fear for their lives. A lot of them used to send considerable sums of money and know a lot of the secrets of Chongryun (North Korea's fifth column in Japan). They know that treachery exacts revenge. It might be them who cops it and it might not. But they're all scared." Some of Lee's clients fear the worst. [...]

=> http://mdn.mainichi.co.jp/waiwai/0302/0212bodyguard.html

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