RSS

Tag Archives: North Korea

North Korea: The Really Serious Options on the Table

“Information Clearing House” – The National People’s Congress in Beijing made it clear that China in the 21st century as led by Xi Jinping now relies, as a state, on the  “core” leader’s “four comprehensives” as the letter of the law.

The “four comprehensives” are to build a moderately prosperous society; deepen economic reform; advance the law-based governance of China; and strengthen the Communist Party’s self-governance.

No foreign-policy adventure/disaster should be allowed to interfere with the “four comprehensives,” which, extrapolated, are also linked to the imperative success of the New Silk Roads (One Belt, One Road), China’s ambitious outreach across Eurasia.

Source: North Korea: The Really Serious Options on the Table

 
Leave a comment

Posted by on March 24, 2017 in Asia

 

Tags:

Caught Between Two Koreas, Malaysia Dithers on Kim Killing 

South and North Korean diplomats are battling to persuade Malaysian authorities of diametrically different versions of the February 13 Kuala Lumpur International Airport assassination of North Korean leader Kim Jong-un’s half-brother Kim Jong-nam, who had exiled himself out of a well-founded belief he could be murdered.
http://www.asiasentinel.com/politics/caught-between-two-koreas-malaysia-dithers-on-kim-killing/

 
Leave a comment

Posted by on March 4, 2017 in Asia

 

Tags: , ,

North Korea’s Abduction Project

On the evening of July 31, 1978, Kaoru Hasuike and his girlfriend, Yukiko Okudo, rode bikes to the summer fireworks festival at the Kashiwazaki town beach. They whisked down the winding lanes of their coastal farming village, a hundred and forty miles north of Tokyo. Then they parked their bikes and made their way past a crowd of spectators to a remote stretch of sand. As the first plumes rose in the sky, Kaoru noticed four men approaching. Cigarette in hand, one of them asked him for a light. As he reached into his pocket, the men attacked, gagging the couple, binding their hands and legs. “Keep quiet and we won’t hurt you,” one of the assailants said. Kaoru and Yukiko were thrown into separate sacks and loaded onto an inflatable raft. Peering through the sack’s netting, Kaoru saw the warm, bright lights of Kashiwazaki City fading into the background.

Source: North Korea’s Abduction Project – The New Yorker

 
Leave a comment

Posted by on December 14, 2016 in Asia

 

Tags:

Last resort? Suing for peace on the Korean peninsula 

North Korea’s latest nuclear escapade leaves the U.S. with one option that might appear as abject concession, if not surrender, to the DPRK’s demands.
What about if the U.S. were to sue for peace – that is to say: “at last we’d like to discuss your demand for a ‘peace treaty’ marking the formal conclusion of the Korean War?”
What if the next U.S. president concluded that a “peace treaty,” which the Americans have long rejected as a trick to increase North Korea’s leverage and prestige, really represented a realistic way to defuse tensions on the Korean peninsula?
Some analysts think a treaty is what Supreme Leader Kim Jong-un wants as his scientists and engineers move inexorably closer to fixing a nuclear warhead to the tip of a missile capable of zooming to targets in Japan and South Korea – and much further afield as well.

https://www.nknews.org/2016/09/after-a-fifth-nuclear-test-the-u-s-could-sue-for-a-peace/

 
Leave a comment

Posted by on September 19, 2016 in Asia

 

Tags:

Night and day 

AS ERIC CLAPTON played the first bars of “Cocaine”, the country’s transformation seemed complete. The former “May 1st” stadium in Pyongyang, renamed “December 1st” to commemorate Korean reunification in 2018, was packed. Before the fifth-anniversary concert, the organisers had shown that their old mastery of mass pageantry had not been lost. After a stunning callisthenic display, children from the Ban Ki-moon High School arranged themselves to form portraits. Mr Ban himself, first president of a unified Korea, was followed by President Hillary Clinton, whose staunch support had eased reunification. Then came Kim Jong Chul, “special adviser” to the interim governments of the northern provinces, grandson of North Korea’s founding leader, Kim Il Sung, and elder brother of its last leader, Kim Jong Un.
http://worldif.economist.com/article/12135/night-and-day

 
Leave a comment

Posted by on September 19, 2016 in Asia

 

Tags:

Another Korean war is not in the cards

Once again, the world media are busily telling their audience that “the heightened tensions in Korea are creating a risk of war”. And once again, these panicky reports are met with little – if any – interest by the vast majority of Korea watchers and, for that matter, the South Korean public.

This quietness has reasons: First, Koreans – and Korea experts, too – have seen similar developments many times. Second, there are valid reasons to be certain that the tensions have no chance to escalate. Both sides are seriously afraid of war, and rightly so.

via Another Korean war is not in the cards — www.aljazeera.com.

 
Leave a comment

Posted by on August 24, 2015 in Asia

 

Tags:

In North Korea: Wonder & Terror

he northeast of China used to be called Manchuria. Another name was “the cockpit of Asia.” Many wars were fought there. A French priest who traveled through the region in the 1920s wrote: “Although it is uncertain where God created paradise, we can be sure He chose some other place than this.” The quote is from Michael Meyer’s splendid book In Manchuria.

Manchuria must be one of the bleakest places on earth, hot and dusty in summer and freezing in the long winter months. Although perhaps not quite as blood-soaked as some other places—Ukraine, say, or Poland—Manchuria has had more than its share of violence. On the southern tip lies Port Arthur, once a Russian town. Japanese troops massacred thousands of Chinese civilians there during the Sino-Japanese War in 1894. A vicious modern war—with trenches, bombs, machine guns—between Russia and Japan left about 170,000 men dead in 1905. When the Japanese clashed for three months with the Soviet Red Army on the Mongolian border in 1939, roughly 30,000 men were killed or maimed, most of them Japanese (the Soviets had tanks). And in 1948, during the Chinese civil war, more than 200,000 people were systematically starved to death in the siege of Changchun by the People’s Liberation Army.

via In North Korea: Wonder & Terror | ChinaFile.

 
Leave a comment

Posted by on June 17, 2015 in Asia

 

Tags: ,

U.S. Media Still Regurgitate Government Claims

The identity of the Sony hackers is still unknown. President Obama, in a December 19 press conference, announced: “We can confirm that North Korea engaged in this attack.” He then vowed: “We will respond. . . . We cannot have a society in which some dictator some place can start imposing censorship here in the United States.”The U.S. Government’s campaign to blame North Korea actually began two days earlier, when The New York Times – as usual – corruptly granted anonymity to “senior administration officials” to disseminate their inflammatory claims with no accountability. These hidden “American officials” used the Paper of Record to announce that they “have concluded that North Korea was ‘centrally involved’ in the hacking of Sony Pictures computers.” With virtually no skepticism about the official accusation, reporters David Sanger and Nicole Perlroth deemed the incident a “cyberterrorism attack” and devoted the bulk of the article to examining the retaliatory actions the government could take against the North Koreans.

via ZCommunications » U.S. Media Still Regurgitate Government Claims — zcomm.org.

 
Leave a comment

Posted by on January 5, 2015 in Asia, North America, Reportages

 

Tags: , ,

The dawn of Kim Jong-un’s rule

It has been a few years since the sudden death of the Sun of the Nation, Marshal Kim Jong-il which made his third son, Kim Jong-un, then in his late 20s, the supreme leader of North Korea.Three years is the length of the traditional mourning period that Koreans are supposed to observe after the death of their father or sovereign. Thus, now is the time to make some observations about Kim’s North Korea. What has remained the same, and what has changed since December 2011?

via The dawn of Kim Jong-un’s rule — www.aljazeera.com.

 
Leave a comment

Posted by on December 22, 2014 in Asia

 

Tags:

N Korea: Tuning into the ‘hermit kingdom’

Korea was described as the “hermit kingdom” in the bygone era of the Choson dynasty which ruled from the late 1300s until the early 1900s. At the time, Korea was intentionally isolated by its rulers, with unauthorised interaction between foreigners and Koreans largely banned. Today, North Korea continues this ancient tradition of self-isolation.While all communist regimes have been remarkably unenthusiastic about interactions between their subjects and the outside world, North Korea has been exceptionally zealous in such matters. Indeed, the government in Pyongyang has done everything it can to make sure its people only have one source for information about the outside world: state-controlled media.This policy was first introduced in the late 1950s. Remarkably, in their efforts to keep the country isolated, the North Korean government did not make a major distinction between their supposedly friendly communist allies and the “hostile” capitalist world. In the North Korea of the 1970s and 1980s, all foreigners, even from such “esteemed” allies as the Soviet Union and East Germany, were subject to the same inordinate level of surveillance.How does this system work in practice?Sealing radios and TVsIn the 1960s, North Korea became the only country in the world that criminalised the possession of tunable radio sets. All radio sets sold in North Korean shops had – and still have – fixed tuning, so they can only be used to listen to the small number of official North Korean radio stations.If a North Korean buys a tunable radio in a hard currency shop, or brings one from overseas, he or she is required by law to immediately submit the dangerous machine to the police station – whereupon, police technicians will disable the tuning mechanism and return the radio to the owner interestingly, the owner is charged by the police for this operation. In such a way, the ideological health of the population, regardless of whether they have access to foreign currency and travel or not, is guaranteed.To ensure that the owners of radios do not secretly repair their tuning mechanisms, all radio sets have to be sealed. To ensure that said the seals remain unbroken, local authorities conduct spot checks at random several times a year, usually at midnight. If someone is discovered to either possess an illegal tunable radio or even just to have tampered with the seal of their radio, punishment can be internal exile to remote parts of the country or even a few years’ imprisonment. Though, rampant corruption means that those who have the money can buy their way out of trouble. In areas near the border with China, the authorities also have to fight another threat: The possibility that their people will secretly watch Korean-language Chinese TV broadcasts. Such Chinese broadcasts target the educated and affluent ethnic Korean minority in China, whose members tend to live on the Chinese side of the Sino-North Korean border. Chinese programming is, by North Korean standards, highly frivolous and contains much in the way of dangerous ideas and information. Korean-language Chinese channels also frequently run South Korean movies and serials which are seen by the Pyongyang authorities as especially dangerous. Thus, in the borderland areas, TV receivers have their channel dials, switches and buttons sealed. And until recently, remote controls were also banned.The attitude toward the print media is even stricter. Since the early 1960s, all foreign non-technical publications have been sent to special sections in libraries and only those with the requisite security clearances were allowed to access dangerous uncensored news about the outside world. Tellingly, no exceptions were made even for the publications of supposedly “fraternal” communist countries – Pravda was seen as potentially just as dangerous as The Washington Post.

via N Korea: Tuning into the ‘hermit kingdom’ – Al Jazeera English.

 
Leave a comment

Posted by on June 16, 2014 in Asia

 

Tags: