Posts Tagged ‘North Korea’

h1

Kim Jong-il Dead

December 19, 2011

Bye-bye!

Yikes, I was planning to put a few words up here about the death of Christopher Hitchens but looks like events have taken a rather dramatic turn in my neck of the woods. Breaking news coming from north of the 38th parallel and hitting the rest of the world is that the North Korean leader, Kim Jong-il, died on Saturday, December 17th 2011.

North Korean State TV says Kim Jong-il has died

North Korean leader Kim Jong-il died Saturday on a train trip, a tearful state television announcer, dressed in black, reported Monday.

The announcer said that the 69-year old had died of physical and mental over-work on his way to give “field guidance.”

He had suffered a stroke in 2008, but appeared to have recovered.

It’s a tad too early to tell what any of this is going to mean but hopefully we aren’t going to see some crazed, random attack as a propaganda exercise to solidify the position of his son, heir apparent Kim Jong-un. I’ll try to update this post as and when I know more.

Read the rest of this entry ?

Advertisements
h1

Sea of Fire Care

November 30, 2011

Is today’s pun title a tad too subtle? Bear with me folks, I want to fulfil my personal quota of at least four blog posts per month.

Light 'em up!

*Yawn* The nefarious Norks have officially threatened yet another “Sea of Fire” on South Korea for the egregious crime of not quite putting up with their shit.

North Korea threatens ‘sea of fire’ on South over island military drills (Guardian link)

North Korea has threatened to turn Seoul’s presidential office into a “sea of fire” after South Korea conducted military drills near an island attacked by the North last year.

The exercises marked the first anniversary of North Korea’s artillery attack on the South Korean island of Yeonpyeong that killed two marines and two civilians.

The North Korean military warned on Thursday that “a similar sea of fire” may engulf Seoul’s presidential Blue House if South Korean forces ever fired a single shot into North Korea’s territory. The warning was carried by North Korean state media.

Read the rest of this entry ?

h1

Nuts, Norks and Indirect Confessions

May 17, 2011

Carter, doing it wrong.

Meant to post on this a while ago.

Renowned peanut farmer and clown figure of international diplomacy, Jimmy Carter, recently undertook a trip to North Korea accompanied by three other members of The Elders NGO of public figures. He was, rather amusingly, snubbed by both Kim Jong-il in Pyongyang and later by President Lee Myung-bak of South Korea when his group journeyed to Seoul following their hapless jaunt north of the 38th parallel. At a press conference in the South Korean capital, Carter rather incredibly blamed the US government for North Korean food shortages and made blatantly erroneous statements regarding US sanctions targeting the North Korean people. The current US sanctions target Nork money laundering, weapons proliferation and the import of luxury goods. Humanitarian assistance is specifically exempt from these sanctions. The foolish bollocks spilling out of Carter’s face was also undone by the glaring reality that North Koreans were starving before these sanctions were put in place and then, as now, they were starving because of the disastrously inept economic policies of the North Korean government.

Read the rest of this entry ?

h1

American held in North Korea…again

April 22, 2011

"Well, hey there, c'mon in. Welcome to friendly Chosun!"

From the BBC –

North Korea confirms US citizen is arrested

North Korea has confirmed that it has arrested a US citizen and is preparing to charge him with “committing a crime” against the country.

Jun Young-su was arrested in November last year, the official KCNA news agency said.

The US state department announced the arrest on Tuesday and is calling for the detainee’s release on humanitarian grounds.

Here’s a thought, and it’s going to come across as a tad harsh but hear me out, leave him the fuck there. Of course, ask politely for his release but when the Norks inevitably respond with demands for a senior US official to be dispatched to North Korea to talk about it stump up whatever ransom demands they have, hang up the phone.

Read the rest of this entry ?

h1

Nork Going to Last?

February 1, 2011

An optimistic forecast reported in the Chosun Ilbo –

Is The N. Korean Regime Unraveling?

Chun Young-woo, the presidential secretary for foreign affairs and national security, reflected government views when he said Friday that North Korean regime would face “a short cut to its demise,” experts believe.

Under the Lee Myung-bak administration the North has received no aid from the South in the past three years, in contrast to 2.7 million tons of grains and 2.56 million tons of fertilizers a year under the previous administrations. The aid was worth $3.2 billion.

Pyongyang used to earn some $300 million a year through trade with Seoul, mainly from fishery products and sand, but trade was stopped after the North sank the Navy corvette Cheonan in  March last year. The only hard currency the North earns now from the South is $50 million a year in wages for the joint Kaesong Industrial Complex.

As the North resumed nuclear armament and military provocations, aid from the international community also dried up. Radio Free Asia, quoting an official of the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, reported in December that international aid to the North in 2010 was about $20.6 million, a mere 35 percent of the $58.75 million that flowed there in 2009.

North Korea’s domestic economy is a mess. Grain production this year is estimated to reach 3.8-3.9 million tons, which is 200,000-300,000 tons less than last year, the Institute for National Security and Strategy under the National Intelligence Service said. The food situation in the North is directly linked to public support for the regime.

Read the rest of this entry ?

h1

Pyongyang Pressure Points

December 23, 2010

As mentioned in an earlier post, a second Korean War, even in light of escalating tensions here on the peninsula and the continued belligerence of North Korea, appears unlikely (though not impossible). North Korea isn’t seeking such a conflict. Neither is South Korea, nor the USA, nor China. The North Korean regime is no doubt interested in self-preservation and, although the rogue state has been described as being the most perfect totalitarian system in human history, it nonetheless remains perpetually vulnerable on the grounds that neighbouring South Korea represents an exponentially more attractive place to live for North Koreans, in terms of how much more free, wealthier and healthier a society it is. North Korea, for its part, has a long-term dependency on foreign aid due to its utterly shitcanned economy and its inability to feed the population. Attacks like the sinking of the Cheonan and the bombardment of Yeonpyeong are aimed at extorting further concessions and aid from the surrounding powers on the understanding that preserving the status quo, and preventing collapse in North Korea, is broadly preferable to whatever uncertain crisis would occur otherwise. However, some analysts and commentators have been arguing in favour of an approach that differs from rewarding bad behaviour and which would instead punish North Korea for its continued aggressions and provocations. Some have suggested that North Korea would not have been so emboldened as to attack Yeonpyeong Island had it been sufficiently penalized for sinking the Cheonan in March of this year. Now, analysts have begun highlighting the unique weaknesses that can be exploited in order to gain leverage over the government of Kim Jong-il and family.

Read the rest of this entry ?

h1

Winnie the Nork

December 21, 2010

No, seriously, what in the fuck is this?

This picture is taken from an event that took place in downtown Seoul recently staged by a group of NGO radio broadcasters that broadcast into North Korea. It was a small public rally aimed at drumming up support for their actions and which called on the South Korean government to help them through a wider sharing of frequencies.

Groups like Open Radio for North Korea and Radio Free Chosun are awesome, that’s beyond dispute, but my question is what hell is with the evil mascot carrying the Nork missile? What is the story there?

Read the rest of this entry ?