And there was indeed some escalation. Here's a brief run down of the last few days:
Thursday, there were scuffles outside the 64 Building (Seoul's tallest) where the day's events were taking place - it was a 3-day event. SCJ thugs were thuggish TO young attendees. 10 thugs shoved me in front of other attendees who looked on in horror just minutes after telling me that, yes, as a matter of fact the summit was a bit weird. A "bit weird" entailed a story of a guy who spoke his mind about the constant monitoring, lack of freedom, everything else cultish, etc. The result was an altercation with SCJ thugs - this was inside the conference. Hoping to contact him.
SCJ thugs pushed and shoved an attendee I had spoken to across the street. He didn't have his summit ID, so when he tried to get back in, they pushed and shoved as usual believing he was one of my evil Korea-based friends. Another attendee watching from inside called out, "Mr X, what the xxxx is going on?" Then the thugs realized their mistake. Oh man what was going through their minds at that moment. Probably nothing, or an image of Lee Man-hee.
A little later, I actually had a police escort into the building's food court. A plain-clothed sargent saw SCJ thugs denying me entry into the Beans and Berries by the front door. I told him I was really hungry and couldn't understand why all these guys didn't want me to go in. Had they just opened up a rival yoghurt shop? He took pity on me and led me all the way into the food court which felt like SCJ HQ. The looks on their faces... A thug tried to stop the cop at one point, but his colleague, who still had an ounce of common sense despite all the indoctrination, told him to let the sergeant through.
The cult booked a few seminar rooms in the 63 building and decided that gave them the right to set up a military perimeter around the whole building. Crazy stuff. Glad one cop realized it was just wrong. The other cops, younger guys, well I guess they were just there to stop things escalating, but by keeping the two sides apart, they helped the cult maintain its perimeter.
Friday night/Saturday I actually spent time behind the security bubble the cult tried to put up around attendees. I booked a room at the Sheraton (don't ask how much... it was worth it) where a lot of their VVIPs were staying. I had some nice chats to I some attendees - at least one is a former president - over breakfast while SCJ goons watching the elevator by the dining room entrance madly called their superiors asking for orders. I think they called the dining hall and said I wasn't a guest. A waitress came over, "What's your room number, Sir? 1401. I said rather proudly. It didn't occur to me until later that I should have said 1402 or 1501 instead (by mistake^).
Anyway, they didn't see the funny side of all that at all.
Thugs later ordered me to leave the hotel after a couple of chats to a couple of people in the foyer.. "I'm a guest here" lol. And one thug actually said he was a cop, but he later retracted that when the real police showed up. He claimed it was an English mistake. I'm going to enquire about taking that further.
I can't tell you how many young people left South Korea today thinking that North Korea might be a nicer place to live. I heard a lot were scared. Several thought their internet access was being monitored. Many left the hotel the cult put them in which was 90 minutes outside of the city and secluded.
More scenes from the first day. Watch from 10:45 as the former world leaders are paraded around the stadium. Compare that to the subsequent arrival of the cult leader and his mistress queen: