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Michael, the U.S. Intelligence Chief, was quick to seal the Apache helicopter deal with Boeing for Youngho.
Unfortunately, building a local assembly plant was not accepted. Instead, Boeing promised to deploy Apache helicopters early and build a maintenance depot, so it was not a huge disappointment.
When the U.S. government approved the sale of its tactical weapons, its national interests were directly related, so there was no case in which it was decided overnight. However, the U.S. did not want to miss a big deal to sell as many as sixty expensive helicopters. Also, this showed how important the location of Kazakhstan was in terms of geopolitics.
As evidence, an Apache helicopter was being unloaded at the royal port. On top of that, Boeing sent flying instructors and maintenance technicians.
Patting the helicopter’s body, Park Jong-il continuously exclaimed,
“Man, it’s good to have money. Look at this gorgeous body. The armor’s great too. It’ll be fine even if it was shot by a machine gun.”
“The armor is supposed to withstand a 20-millimeter bullet although it will detect the enemy’s machine gun even before it’s fired.”
“This guy’s like an Aegis in the air. You’ve brought a real thing here.”
“The Defense Minister was bent over to get this.”
Cho Chul-hwan smirked to hear Youngho and Jong-il’s conversation.
“Do you like it?”
“Are you kidding? This will defeat even a decent fighter. If this hides in a valley or around the cliff and fired a missile, a fighter will be helpless.”
“By the way, since when did you guys know about the Apache helicopters so well?”
“This is common sense. Did you forget that I and Chul-hwan are still serving in the field, Mr. Duke?”
If the intelligence chief or the commander of the Royal Bodyguards did not know about the weapons of allies or enemies, it would be a problem. They should know about any new weapon.
Youngho was relieved that his friends were feeling a sense of pride to be in the field. On the other hand, he was grateful that they did not complain even though they were extremely busy as the heads of two defense divisions.
“You’ve had a hard time outside the country for a month, but I’m afraid you’d have to go to America again. We need to finalize our contract with Boeing and stop by the U.S. Department of State and the Intelligence Service.”
“Of course I’ll go. But that Chief Michael will be making a lot of orders…”
“If he needs cooperation at the intelligence service level, we should provide it. But please shush about President Nazarbayev’s slush fund.”
“What are you talking about?”
“Michael wouldn’t budge when I nagged that I don’t have money, so I said I’ll pay it with cash. I said I had some U.S. treasury bonds from the former president in my custody, and he asked me if Nazarbayev had any gold stored.”
“Alright. I won’t say a thing.”
After Park Jong-il signed a charter boat contract with Greek shipping companies, Kurdish migrants began pouring in many numbers.
There were 24 car ferries that left the port of Seleucia in the Turkish city of Antakya, so nearly 10,000 people could be transported once. The charter ships were contracted under the condition where it would sail once a week, so 40,000 Kurds would be transferred in a month.
It was breathtaking if 10,000 Kurds arrived at the royal territory a week, but Youngho and the Kazakh government were greatly excited to receive the huge number of refugees since there would be no other chance to have an explosive increase in population unless otherwise. Since the royal territory was prepared to receive up to 60,000 to 70,000 refugees for now, there was nothing to worry about.
When the refugees arrived, they took a three-day break from the designated area, and then they were immediately sent to work. This system was adopted so that the migrants would adapt to the new environment easier. As they made money for their hard work, they gladly took jobs.
Due to the attention of the world on the Exodus of the Syrian Kurds, there were many foreign journalists in the royal territory now.
The reporters were most interested in whether the refugees were being treated properly by the Kazakh royal family. Naturally, Jelyan’s move was covered by the media. People wondered how Jelyan was accepted by the refugees and what she thought of her fellow countrymen. Since young Kazakh prince and princesses were often seen doing volunteer work, this was a great issue for journalists.
After school, the children, led by Jelyan, had been doing volunteer work in the refugee camp, and their popularity was so high.
Although the Kurds were aware of the fact that they were accepted unconditionally, they were still insecure about living in the new land. But, seeing the princess and the prince working hard for them gave them a new hope. Such reassurance soon became the impetus to bring refugees together. They were actively changing from their usual stance of relying on relief supplies to finding work on their own.
“This looks good. I thought the residents of the royal territory would find the new refugees annoying and cumbersome, but they don’t.”
“They’ve all experienced it before as immigrants. There’s a feeling of brotherhood.”
After the Serbs migrated in the beginning, it was not easy for Koryoins to settle down in the Arirang State. Of course, there were some conflicts, but they were easily assimilated after admitting that they were in a similar position. Without such process, the residents would not have understood the Kurdish refugees’ hearts.
“Come to think of it, you’ve been through a lot, too, Commissioner. Now I think the title of mayor would be more appropriate than the title of commissioner.”
“What kind of mayor would I be when I don’t have the ability to do it? I’ll be contented to be here with you.”
“You’re already doing a mayor’s job. Nothing will change except that you’ll be leading more people, so just take the job. You need the experience of leading a bigger group to be a governor and even the prime minister.”
Kim Chun was stunned when Youngho mentioned about the prime minister.
“Your Highness, you’re not trying to carry out what you said like a joke before, are you? I’d rather move to another country if you’re going to make me a governor. There are plenty of smarter people to take that role.”
“They say office changes manners. What are you worried about when you’ll be receiving aids and supports from smart subordinates?”
Youngho had a strong belief that Kim Chun would lead the Kurds well.
“I think the title of the commissioner should also be given to the Kurds. It’s time for them to create their own committee.”
“Isn’t it too early? I’m afraid that they’re not prepared enough to do so.”
“It won’t be too difficult for them if the administration of the royal state will help. It won’t be an independent administrative organization, but the Kurdish committee will just play a role to collect opinions from residents and fix small civil issues.”
Youngho planned to have the Kurdish committee as an affiliate of the administrative office and the committee members as council members as representatives so that all opinions of the residents would be delivered through their representatives.
The Syrian Kurds were those who had not lived in a normal society due to the continued civil war and the war against the IS. Even when there was no war, the Kurdistan Regional Government did not receive any help from the central government. What kind of normal human life could they have when they had to carry guns if they had strength?
“They’re so ignorant they have to be taught everything from one to ten. It’s not because they’re unsophisticated. It’s because they’ve never had a normal life like this before.”
“I understand what you mean. Fortunately, it’s not a problem because they firmly believe that this is where they will live for generations. Above all things, Princess Jelyan’s presence encourages them. They will get through any difficulties as long as the princess is with them.”
There was an incident that showed how the Kurdish immigrants perceived Princess Jelyan.
Young Kurdish men had formed an escort group for Jelyan even though she was already guarded by the descendants of the Serbian knights.
No one ordered them to do so, but they voluntarily waited for her to show up and followed her like a shadow whenever she left the palace. What was funny was that they even prepared a Kurdish uniform to stand out as Jelyan’s escort. It showed their will to protect Princess Jelyan no matter what.
Since Youngho did not want to ignore their voluntary effort, he ordered the Serbian knights to train the Kurdish escort group.
Then, Kurdish young men who were not even in the escort group began to snoop to the Royal Bodyguards. They believed that they could become like the knights who protected the royal family.
Cho Chul-hwan, the commander of the Royal Bodyguards, was excited by the unexpected reaction of the Kurdish young men. He had not been able to ask to form the Kurdish special force since it was too premature, but the Kurds were willing to do anything for the royal family.
“I don’t know if it’s because the Kurds have something to be loyal to, but what if they all wanted to become soldiers?”
“What are you worried about? We can accept them all. Considering the length of our borders, it won’t be enough even if hundreds of thousands of soldiers join the army.”
“It’s a problem even if the population of military personnel is too high. How are we going to pay for their wages? You think money just falls from the sky?”
“It’s just a few hundred thousand more people. We can handle that.”
“Oh, you mean the royal family is going to pay for them, not the Kazakh government.”
“We’re the shield for Europe. Why do we spend our precious money when we’re doing it for the countries of Europe? We’ll have them share the defense.”
“Would they do that for us? We’ll have to do it with our own power.”
“I’ll make the U.S. pay since I’ll be visiting there this time.”
“Man, if that’s as easy as it sounds, I will say that too.”
Listening to the conversation between Jong-il and Chul-hwan, Youngho also agreed with Jong-il.
In a way, Kazakhstan was protecting Europe from China’s advance. European countries were offering loans to prevent Uzbekistan from being subjugated to China’s economic sphere, but it was only a means to get gold from Uzbekistan.
If he asked European countries to contribute to the rearmament of Kazakhstan, it would not be an absurd request. Rather than asking to arm Kazakhstan, he would ask European countries to help to arm the Kurds, which would be more agreeable.
In fact, helping the Kurds to get armed would be helping Kazakhstan, so that it could keep China in check, although arming Kurds would be bad news for Turkey.
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