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The President of Mongolia preaches freedom to North Korea – in North Korea

This report (spotted by the ever alert Mick Hartley), describes a remarkable speech made by the President of Mongolia, at the end of a visit he made in October to North Korea.

A speech given at Kim Il Sung University in Pyongyang by the president of Mongolia late last month has caused raised eyebrows for its starkly critical portrayal of the follies of tyrannical rule and the repression of human rights.

President Tsakhiagiin Elbegdorj delivered the speech on the final day of his visit to North Korea. Mongolia has traditionally maintained friendly relations with the North, but the tenor of the speech is bound to have caused surprise even though it was delivered before an audience of relative loyalists.

Relative loyalists. Now there’s a choice phrase. I’m guessing it does not mean people who are literally blood relatives of the ruling dynasty.

Under this report, Daily NK reproduces the full text of the President’s speech, and it is well worth a read.

Quote (and it is very quotable):

I believe in the power of freedom. Freedom is an asset bestowed upon every single man and woman. Freedom enables every human to discover and realize his or her opportunities and chances for development. This leads a human society to progress and prosperity. Free people look for solutions in themselves. And those without freedom search for the sources of their miseries from outside. Mongols say, “better to live by your own choice however bitter it is, than to live by other’s choice, however sweet”.

See what I mean about quotable?

No tyranny lasts forever. It is the desire of the people to live free that is the eternal power.

You surely do now.

In 1990 Mongolia made a dual political and economic transition, concurrently, without shattering a single window and shedding a single drop of blood. Let me draw just one example. Over twenty years ago, the sheer share of the private sector in Mongolia’s GDP was less than 10%, whereas today it accounts for over 80%. So, a free society is a path to go, a way to live, rather than a goal to accomplish.

As I say, remarkable. Pessimists may say: it’s just words. But words matter. Why would any of us bother with reading and writing the stuff here at Samizdata if words did not matter?

I never used to like those Mongols much. Now, I find myself warming to them.

11 comments to The President of Mongolia preaches freedom to North Korea – in North Korea

  • Paul Marks

    It is a good speech – and speeches DO matter.

    One correction of the President of Mongolia’s figures – it may well be true that 80% of production is now out of the hands of the state in Mongolia, but that is not the same as “the economy”. Like the West much of production is taxes and borrowed away.

  • Mr Ed

    One might ask if the Chinese ‘put him up to this’, not wishing to take anything away from the speech, but a coded message perhaps that the President was happy to deliver?

    One might hope that a ‘Ceausescu’ moment might be in the offing.

    And in passing, who could forget, once they knew, a previous ruler of Mongolia from the chaos after WW1, Baron von Ungern-Sternberg! If he had not existed, he might have qualified for Michael Wharton’s Peter Simple column as a columnar hero.

  • maxim

    By some estimates the state controls close to 50% of the economy now in Mongolia.

  • Midwesterner

    So, a free society is a path to go, a way to live, rather than a goal to accomplish.

    This important distinction has been lost in the West. “There out to be a law” mentality of fixing this and fixing that for one purpose or another has lost track of freedom as a way of life rather than freedom as an ideal to be achieved and protected at some future point if we only do this or that right now.

  • CaptDMO

    “Freedom is an asset bestowed upon every single man and woman.”

    Freedom….”bestowed”.
    Almost NEVER.
    And why is it a never ending “civil” battle to KEEP it?

  • The question is when will the Norks discover they’re dorks? They’ve been fed the socialist superman drivel for so long. I really think we need to reboot our approach to these real life Dungeons and Dragons dweebs. Perhaps parachute in a battalion of ‘Mean Girls’ to mock them mercilessly.

    Their little twerp – the Near Leader or Dear Leader or whatever wouldn’t last long in an American high school. He’d be hanging from the flagpole by his Hero of The People underpants before home room was done.

  • Vinegar Joe

    “Their little twerp – the Near Leader or Dear Leader or whatever wouldn’t last long in an American high school. He’d be hanging from the flagpole by his Hero of The People underpants before home room was done.”

    I doubt it. Obama went to an American high school and seems to have floated to the top.

  • Ellen

    Notable: the president of Mongolia did not suffer a Tragic Accident before he got home. That’s a start.

    But he’d better up his personal guard, and not go back to North Korea.

  • I wouldn’t worry about that, Ellen. I’m sure the president is not suicidal, but rather that he’d promised NK something they need
    - which these days is pretty much anything you can think of.

  • William T Reeves

    But Obama was a stoner, not a pudgy dweeb in a commie track suit. You could never hoist a stoner by his BVDs because they were so randomly unpredictable that you couldn’t find them and besides they rarely wore underwear.