Thursday, September 30, 2004


I'm watching the debate right now and they've moved into the North Korea area...and it got me so angry that I had to post right now. Bush is claiming that "opening up a dialoge with Kim Jong Il" will not solve the North Korea problem because "that is what Kim Jong Il wants," (for us to open up a dialogue with him.) That seems to be entirely incorrect to me, seeing as how Kim Jong Il has been digging in his heels to these bilateral talks with China, Russia, etc., and has pulled out of the next one. Moreover, even if it is what Jong Il wants, wouldn't that be the first step in structuring some sort of civility and moving towards a more stable relationship and thus more stable world??? Am I the only one who sees the stupidity and fundamental IDIOCY in this?!?!

Kim Jong Il's Wife Dead?

I was browsing the web for articles on North Korea and found this. It is about a month old but pretty detailed.......And speaking of Kim Jong Il, his son was supposedly spotted in Beijing last week.

Here is an excerpt from that first article:
TOKYO -- South Korean officials said Thursday they were investigating reports that the woman considered to be North Korean leader Kim Jong Il's most influential wife has died after a long battle with breast cancer.

"U.S. Plan for Preemptive Attack on DPRK under Fire"

...headline today (Sept 30) from KCNA. The article goes on to discuss how the U.S. is secretly planning to attack North Korea, using the nuclear threat as an excuse. Here's the link

"The United States is making desperate efforts to bring down the dignified socialist system in the DPRK by use of double-dealing tactics of dialogue and military option. "

Another article references a release calling for both North and South to unite against the U.S.

"To this end, it is necessary for the north and the south to get united and cooperate with each other to foil the U.S. attempt to launch a new war of aggression. They should fulfill their responsibility and role in the struggle to protect the destiny of the nation as they are responsible for the peace, security and reunification of the Korean peninsula and wage a coordinated struggle against the U.S. and war. It is also necessary to take a fixed stand and will to trust the nation and depend on its strength in this struggle. The U.S. does not wish the peace and reunification of Korea. So it does not care whether the Korean nation remains divided for an indefinite period or whether the peninsula suffers a nuclear calamity, only seeking to meet its own interests as an aggressor. It is a daydream to harbor any illusion about the U.S. or calculate that the nation can avoid the danger of war and ensure economic stability when it depends on the U.S. The Koreans in the north and the south and abroad should struggle with transparent spirit of national independence that they have to avoid the daily increasing danger of war by their concerted efforts."

While the anti-American sentiment is surely nothing new, is the paranoia justified? Do the U.S.'s recent actions in Iraq imply that the DPRK is the next target of the American military scope? DPRK propaganda certainly gives that conclusion.

Wednesday, September 29, 2004

The U.S. and North Korean Nukes

I have been reading and watching the news to hear about North Korea and its nuclear program. Yesterday North Korea claimed that it has turned its enriched uranium and plutonium in real nuclear weapons. It kind of sickens me that the North Koreans have been able to complete such a task. It also sickens me that George W. Bush went into Iraq "because of claims", now claims is the key word, that Saddam had nuclear weapons, yet North Korea now says it actually has nuclear missiles, and yet George W. Bush is doing nothing about it but "talking peacfully."

North Korean refugees

Heres a link to the CNN story about the asylum seekers

just one more thing to add to the ever growing list of North Korean topics. One of the refugees says "We have nothing to eat in North Korea," she said. "Life is very hard. We all want to go to South Korea." The story goes on to mention that in the long run, they will probably end up in South Korea. According to what was discussed in class, we have a country that has nuclear capabilities and now humanitarian issues. When are we (the international community) going to do something about it?

Tuesday, September 28, 2004

activity around missile bases

A Japanese news agency is reporting that there is increased activity around several of North Korea's missile bases. The article says that the activity could be attributed to either preparation for a launch or possibly just as a "diplomatic and strategic ploy." Do you all think that an intentional missile launch on Japan is within the realm of possibility? I personally think that North Korea would have to be very desparate to do such a thing, because such an act would lead to an extremely severe response from the international community. I think North Korea is more rational than that. They would gain very little by attacking Japan.

The Debates: Beyond Iraq

Later this week President Bush and Senator Kerry will likely debate each other on the one issue that could very well determine the outcome of this election. But regardless of what happens in Iraq, developments unfolding elsewhere are more likely to be a top concern for the next administration. As the Sun Herald was apt to point out "The Presidential debates could be a forum to discuss these dangerous hot spots in a serious, concrete way. But they probably won't be. Presidential debates are notorious for not eliciting fresh observations from candidates eager to say nothing that might alarm voters." The debates are likely to consist of Bush mumbling something that not even O'Reilly can translate and Kerry debating with himself over weather he actually does or does not support the war. Still, it would be a nice change of pace if either of the candidates would approach this issue with more veracity.

N. Korea says it has nukes

Oh, was this a surprise? It may be if it actually has nuclear weapons, but the DPRK's been taking the stance of possessing (or atleast seeking to possess) nuclear deterrents for awhile. Now the DPRK has told the U.N. officially that it seeks to use its nuclear arsenal to deter U.S. and other foreign aggression in Asia. Here's the article.

Monday, September 27, 2004

North Korean missile testing

Colin Powell said that he has received intelligence reports stating that North Korea is about to test a short-range missile system. This could be dangerous for Pyongyang's neighbors, who would be in range of these missiles.

"U.S. Is to Blame for Failure to Open Six-Party Talks"

A couple weeks ago I posted a blog about a possible six party talk that was to include North Korea and led by the U.S. This week the U.S. is sending around a rumor that six-party talks are being delayed due to the DPRK. Yet truely it is the U.S. that has demolished the possible talks according to the article. The article could be found at (

KCNA release about Koguryo

Because we've been discussing the association between the North and South Korean governments and historical time periods, I found this Sept. 27 article "Koguryo, Pride of Korean Nation" from KCNA to be enlightening. Their take reflects the themes we've been talking about in class, like the "Korea as the center of influence" world-view, as well as the vision of Koguryo as militarily strong and unsubmissive. Another interesting tidbit is that they list the founding of Koguryo as 277 B.C., not 37 B.C., to further emphasize the longevity of Korean culture.

In a general sense, I find it interesting to explore the historical perspectives given off by the KCNA articles. We can probably assume that if this is the only source of news for the North Korean people, then they probably have an identical mindset.

PBS Frontline North Korea

The PBS newsmagazine Frontline aired an episode on North Korea and its nuclear program about a year ago. I remember seeing it on TV. Anyway, Frontline has a good site where you can watch the original program in its entirety and browse other supplimentary materials. It is definitely worth watching if you haven't seen it.

Sunday, September 26, 2004

Matter of perspective

Here is an article that represents a North Korean view about North Korea's nuclear program. This article points out the difficulties of the nuclear talks. I personally can't see a way these talks will prgress unless someone gives up some major ground, which I don't find very likely.

Japaneese Abductees

Here is a short but interesting article about an abduction situation that took place during the 70's and 80's involving Japan and North Korea. I don't know much about this topic and would apprectiate any information anyone has.

"6-Nation North Korean Nuclear Talks in Doubt"

According to this article, political analysts outside of North Korea are doubtful of the six-party talks taking place anytime soon. This comes only a week after speculation over North Korea’s possible missile testing over Japan.

North Korea initially projected that a six-party meeting would take place in early November, yet after South Korea’s nuclear weapons testing was disclosed, North Korea refused any talks until the US stopped its “hostile policy based on double standards” toward North Korea.

What does everyone think? Is North Korea justified in its refusal to negotiate over its nuclear weapons program?

Friday, September 24, 2004

North Korea's Missile Test?

According to this article, there had been speculation that North Korea planned to test its missiles that were capable of reaching Japan. What is odd is that talks of this came on the day that North Korea was scheduled to speak to several countries about possibly dismantling their nuclear weapons programs. Yet North Korea is committed to postponing talks until the election is over and a presidential candidate is officially elected into to office. This way, “Washington’s policies are defined.”

While Japan’s Prime Minister says there is little chance this will occur, the article does in fact mention the incident in 1998 when North Korea fired a missile over Japan.

What does everyone think? Did North Korea sincerely plan on testing its missile or was it just a rumor? If it was true, do you think they would actually test it? It seems to me that it would be absurd to test a missile, especially during a time when North Korea is under careful surveillance.

South Korea exports chemical to North Korea

For some reason, I am not able to make a hyperlink on my computer. Whenever I try to create a new post the toolbar Professor Larson showed us in class does not show up. I think the problem may be that I have a Mac and not a PC. If someone could help me that would be great. For now cutting and pasting may have to do. I found this Associated Press article tonight. According to the article, North Korea imported 107 tons of chemicals from South Korea that may be used to make sarin nerve gas. South Korea has been having problems with controlling its exports of such serious materials. Here is the link to the article, sorry you have to cut and paste it.

Tae Guk Gi: The Brotherhood of War

Has anyone watched Tae Guk Gi: The Brotherhood of War? I saw the movie and found it to be very gory and intense but do recommend anyone interested in the Korean War to watch it. While the movie focuses on the familial bond of two brothers suddenly drafted into the army, there are several important issues that are raised. The division between North Korea and South Korea, China’s entry into the war and its impact, and the persecution of “communists” in Korea are just a few of the significant ideas and events that are addressed in the movie.

What I find most effective in the movie is the director’s ability to essentially draw the audience into experiencing the Korean War. Historical facts alone at times fail to do so, but Tae Guk Gi effectively emphasized the gravity and dire consequences of a war.

Should anyone be interested in watching Tae Guk Gi, you can visit the official website of the movie and take a look at the some clips.


Thursday, September 23, 2004

The Ambassador's Speech

I just got back from seeing South Korean Ambassador to the US Han give a speech at the Elliot School. I was very impressed by it. Dean Harding of the Elliot School and President Trachtenberg both gave introductions before the Ambassador spoke.

The Ambassador himself was very well-spoken. More importantly, he covered a lot of issues pertaining to South Korea and addressed them clearly and well. The official topic of the speech was the Korea-US Alliance, and Han spent a lot of time covering this subject. He said that he feels the Alliance between the US and Korea is strong and growing stronger. He closed his speech by saying he remained "bullish" about our alliance. He spoke about the US plan to withdraw troops from Korea as well as the Republic of Korea's decision to keep troops in Iraq despite Iraqi insurgents' threats.

Han also spent a lot of time devoted to discussing the North Korean "situation." He mentioned that the DPRK does indeed have Nodong missiles; these missiles have the potential range to hit Japan if the North Koreans so desired. He argued that because the US is hostile toward the DPRK because of its nuclear policy, the DPRK is unwilling to engage in multi-party talks, which would hopefully solve the quagmire. And if North Korea won't participate, of course, such discussions are for naught.

Abassador Han also touched upon Sino-Korean relations, especially those between China and North Korea. He concluded that China is pretty sympathetic with Pyongyang but also wants to participate in the multi-party talks regarding the nuclear program.

Besides the dean of the Elliot School and the university president, there were a number of other interesting guests in the room. Asking questions to the ambassador after his speech were both a Belarussian diplomat and a Defense Department analyst. Well-regarded and -respected North Korean History Professor Kirk Larsen also attended the forum. I didn't notice anyone else from our class, though.

I'm not sure if my earlier short posting actually counts as a posting, but I think we can agree that we can combine the two to create a SUPER-posting.


A former student of mine who is currently in China (check out his blog here) sent me some interesting links to articles about current relations between North Korea and China. The first article recounts the brouhaha that surrounded the publication of a startlingly frank criticism of North Korea in a PRC policy journal. Having read the piece (NK Zone mentioned it here)in question, I was not surprised to find that the PRC authories recalled the journal and that, according to the Asia Times (online)
The previous day, a suspiciously well-written polemic blast at Wang's article was posted on the S&M website; it was entitled "Some of our Intellectual Elites Advocate Selling North Korea Down the River" [5]. It said the United States is China's traditional enemy, North Korea is China's friend, and anyone that suggests otherwise is "even more corrupt that the Qing government of over a century ago".

The second article (from the Washington Post) adds some more detail to the controversy and hints that the offending journal may be closed down for good.

Thanks to Matt for the links. Happy reading!

HAN Sung Joo

I also RSVPed for the speech but never received any reply back. However, I did call the office dealing with the RSVP and just received an email stating that there are no remaining seats!

For those of you that will be attending, have fun!

Be sure to discuss the issued raised by HAN Sung Joo on the blog.

Yay, I'm Seeing the Ambassador!

I RSVPed for the South Korean Ambassador Han Sung Joo's speech as soon as Professor Larsen posted the announcement but never heard back to confirm whether I was actually registered. I started getting worried because I heard that other's could not get in because it was full. So I called the Elliot School Public Affairs Office a few days ago and left a message asking whether or not I was registered. I just got a call back saying I was! The woman said to get there early because it was going to be full.
Is anyone else from the class going to this event tonight?

Of course, I will be sure to post another entry detailing what will have been talked about tonight.

New Blog

This is rather off topic, but I've decide to start my own blog: The Red Armchair. I'd apprecaite support and passing it along to any of your friends who you think would enjoy reading it.

GW North Korea

One of the American deserters discussed in the Idiot's Guide has surrendered to the U.S. Army, and is now peforming clerical work at the rank of Sergeant. I believe his upcoming trial will have little bearing on U.S.-North Korean relations.

This man has appeared in anti-American propaganda movies. His trial, though it will have little bearing on international relations, will be high-profile.

DPRK May Prepare to Launch Missle

Posted one hour ago the Reuters News Agency reports the following:
The United States and Japan have detected signs that North Korea is preparing to launch a ballistic missile with a range capable of hitting almost all of Japan, Japanese government sources said on Thursday.

Tokyo and Washington had detected the signs after analyzing data from reconnaissance satellites and radio traffic, the government sources said.

North Korean military vehicles, soldiers and possibly missile engineers were converging on several Rodong missile bases in the northeastern part of the isolated communist state, they said.

The signs were first detected on Tuesday, the sources said.

"At this stage we don't think North Korea's missile launch is imminent," one source told Reuters on condition of anonymity. "But we still don't know whether North Korea is serious about missile launches."

Some serious developmetns here with our relations to North Korea, especially when the deadlock seems to be a move that will last at least until after the US Election.

Wednesday, September 22, 2004

Japan and North Korean Talks

Japan and North Korea are supposed to have talks this weekend about 10 missing Japanese and the nuclear situation.. heres the link

heres another link to North Korean news

Anybody heard anything about this?
Hey Everyone- I just got this alert from CNN in my email. This article about new developments in the North Korean nuclear weapons front is fascinating but more importantly frightening.

Dan Rather "Apology"

I know this doesn't have much to do with Korea, but I felt since our class sometimes gets in discussions of politics and the inherent bias in media, liberal or conservative, this was worth a look....

Dan Rather Statement after backing the authenticity for nearly 2 weeks.

Last week, amid increasing questions about the authenticity of documents used in support of a "60 Minutes Wednesday" story about President Bush's time in the Texas Air National Guard, CBS News vowed to re-examine the documents in question-and their source-vigorously. And we promised that we would let the American public know what this examination turned up, whatever the outcome. Now, after extensive additional interviews, I no longer have the confidence in these documents that would allow us to continue vouching for them journalistically. I find we have been misled on the key question of how our source for the documents came into possession of these papers. That, combined with some of the questions that have been raised in public and in the press, leads me to a point where-if I knew then what I know now-I would not have gone ahead with the story as it was aired, and I certainly would not have used the documents in question. But we did use the documents. We made a mistake in judgment, and for that I am sorry. It was an error that was made, however, in good faith and in the spirit of trying to carry on a CBS News tradition of investigative reporting without fear or favoritism.Please know that nothing is more important to us than people's trust in our ability and our commitment to report fairly and truthfully.

What do you guys think. Is this enough to save Rather or should action be taken against him and the network...If anyone read the Post article a couple days ago wth pictures of an authentic document and the one issued by CBS, a fourth grader could tell one was a piece of junk.

So let me know what ya'll think.

Korean Food

Check out this link to read about the general characteristics of Korean food. Also, these two sites have cool recipes for those of us who have kitchens in our dorms. This guy seems to have the ultimate kimchi recipe.....For a recipe that is 7 pages long, it must be good!

I don't think there are any Korean restaurants in Washington DC but there are a few outside the city.

Two sample recipes:

Barbequed beef--Barbequed beef ("pulgoki") is the one of the most popular dishes in Korea, and also Westerners are pleased with the taste. "pulgoki" literary means "fire beef", but it is called generally called "korean barbecue". Thin, tender slices of beef are marinated in a sauce and cooked over a hot charcoal grill at table.

Rice Beef Noddle Soup--"Sollongtang" is rice beef noodle soup seasoned with sesame seeds, salt, pepper, scallions, and sesame oil. It is served with rice as the main meal and is accompanied by side dishes and a radish "kimchi" called "kaktugi."

P.S. If you go through those sites, you will be hungry...... :)

North Korea and James Bond

I know this post isn't exactly academic, but seeing part of the recent James Bond flick, Die Another Day on TV yesterday made me think. The movie casts North Koreans as the main antagonists. Bond spends months enduring torture in a North Korean prison, and battles North Korean renegades who plan to use a superweapon to blow up the mines in the DMZ and attack South Korea. While this is obviously an inflated work of Hollywood, being in this class made me think about how popular films project perceptions, in this case, the notion that North Korea is an imminent threat with unspeakable doomsday plots.

While academics can take a step back, examine the facts, and scoff at fiction, do films like this promote misplaced fear among the general public? Or do most people not think or care about it?

Human Rights In North Korea II

I was originally planning on using this article to support Rob Hicks' blog posting, but decided to create a separate post so that people can actually notice the article. Apparently North Korea finally admitted to its labor camps, as well as putting human rights on the bottom of its list of priorities. Of course, the information presented in these admissions shouldn't come to us as a surprise, but I found the fact that North Korea finally admitted these things to be quite surprising.


In the National Geographic website, there is an article on the Korean War and several pictures of South Koreans patrolling the DMZ. According to the caption under a particular picture, South Korean farmers own large rice farms that are just a few yards from the North Korean border. This is an area that is therefore heavily guarded by South Korean soldiers. What is more intersting is the fact that these farmers actually have picnics during the day for lunch, which I find to be very fascinating.

Tuesday, September 21, 2004

Visiting North Korea

Most Americans aren't allowed into North Korea, but evidently other toursits are. This is an article about what a tourist would have to go through to get into North Korea and what that tourist might find once admitted.


Found an artice here about North Korea making comments how South Korea is also making weapons so they don't understand why the US has a "hostile" policy toward them and not South Korea. So they use this excuse to not to come to any peace talks. Very childish way NK is handling the situation.

Korean Music

I thought this site was interesting. This is music that is supposed to inspire the reuniting of Korea. The music doesn't sound like traditional Korean though.

Monday, September 20, 2004

Human Rights in North Korea

Apparently the first British government minister to go to North Korea, Bill Rammell, feels that he is making progress in bringing human rights discussions to the table in North Korea. He hopes eventually they will even allow U.N. human rights monitors into the country. This could end up being very beneficial for North Korean citizens.

Sunday, September 19, 2004

cnn special on north korea

Apparently there was a show on CNN this morning (sunday at 11:00 am) on the nuclear capabilities of North Korea. I meant to watch it but slept through it. Did anyone see it and if so, how was it?

Not Ruling Anything Out

The IAEA (International Atomic Energy Agency) has not ruled out the possibility of the blast being nuclear in nature. Indeed, ElBaradei the director general said it was unlikely. He also used the opportunity to say that he does believe North Korea probably has a nuclear weapon given the amount of plutonium that they possess, adding that North Korea has not allowed inpsections for the last two years.

Saturday, September 18, 2004

Behind the Iron Curtain

A rare look into North Korean life was recently revealed by a BBC correspondent during British Foreign Minister's historic visit behind the DMZ. He describes a nation under communist rule, with a lifestyle so foreign and so forgotten by the rest of the world it probably belongs in a museum. People there are clearly suffering; with all the strides the government made to put up a facade of prosperity it was all to evident that there has been little change in the standard of living since the fall of the Soviet Union. The ease with which North Korea's leaders chuckle at reports of human labour camps is perhaps what is most disheartening.
When Britain's minister challenged his North Korean counterparts, they laughed off terrible torture allegations, but they did concede that forced labour is an integral part of what they call "rehabilitation".

Friday, September 17, 2004

Waiting waiting waiting...

According to this article, it looks as though the US and South Korea won't do anything about North Korea until they actually begin testing their nuclear weapons. Seems to me as though they're risking a whole lot by waiting.

Kerry's Position on North Korea

We were talking about Kerry and North Korea in class on thursday. Most people didn't really know what his position was so I thought I'd investigate. This link has Kerry's position.

Thursday, September 16, 2004

Innocent victims of experiments?

I have been discussing North Korean history with my family since this class began and just recently has my father told me that a North Korean has escaped. This particular escapee told sources that the North Korean government held experiments on human bodies that in essence mimicked those carried out by the Nazis during the Holocaust.

I do remember watching a documentary on the North Korean prison camps and how one generation's persecution led to the subsequent persecution of two generations following the first in order to completely 'wipe out' the ‘rebels.’ While these stories and other related accounts do indeed stem from facts and truths, I am a bit hesitant to deem these arguments as being completely valid.

Well, my question is, has anyone else heard about the escape in the papers recently? While the horror stories about the torture camps and experiment labs are not new, I do not believe they have ever been completely addressed. It would be interesting to see if anyone has or finds any articles pertaining to the information above.

South Korea skeptical of North's explanation of explosion?

Sorry to bring up the explosion mystery again...
from CNN, South Korean hydroelectric experts have doubts that the DPRK was telling the truth about the explosion last week. If it wasn't a hydroelectric plant, than the DPRK is hiding something, which is sure to add fuel to the fire of those who view the DPRK as a grave threat to international security.

I'm not trying to say the DPRK is or is not a threat, but how the next few months unfold should be interesting for the discussion of international diplomacy.

EDIT (9/17): Just an update to this story, which seems to get weirder by the day. South Korea now says there never was an explosion, the strange clouds were probably natural, and that the whole story was due to faulty intelligence. Read about it here.

Let us hope that any future "intelligence failures" regarding the DPRK won't seem so innocent. It seems that many people (myself included) were quick to jump to conclusions. It will probably be weeks before we know what really happened, if we ever find out at all, given the DPRK's secrecy.

Foreign Invasion

Looks like Mr. Trump and some American corporations are invading S. Korea. I found this interesting because it seems that S. Korea is very quickly becoming globalized and beggining to drop the fear of foreigners.

No Discussion.

Shortly after British Foreign Office Minister Bill Rammell left Pyongyang yesterday a spokesman for the North Korean government announced that North Korea will not be joining the United States in talks with China, Japan, Russia, and South Korea about North Korea's pursuit of nuclear weapons.

North Korea "...can never sit at the table to negotiate its nuclear weapon program unless truth about the secret nuclear experiments in South Korea is fully probed."

Strikes me as childish that everytime North Korea to face up to some sort of scrutiny they duck away as it approaches.

In response to criticism of Bush's policy towards North Korea I'd like to distinguish one common theme prevalent in both Bush's and North Korea's foreign policy, they both are never wrong and its always someone elses fault (in this case, South Korea)

As John Kerry said recently, "His is the Excuse Presidency: Never wrong, Never Responsible, Never to Blame."

A Timeline

I came across this timeline on the British Broadcasting Company website that gives a detailed timeline on the nuclear crisis in North Korea. The timeline goes from fall of 2002 to today. I think it is informative and gives insight on the tension this crisis has caused throughout the world. Here's the link:

Wednesday, September 15, 2004

Bush Doctrine

Here is an article about the so called Bush Doctrine. It accurately chronicles how the doctrine has failed. The Iraq war very much affects the North Korean situation at the moment. What doesn't it affect?

No Talking

It looks like there is going to be no sign of a compromise anytime soon about this weapon situation at least until the elections are over

On the Prospect of Trade Liberalization

In Tuesday's class we discussed the "Open Port" period and the distrust, seemingly deserving, Koreans have long held for foreigners and their interests. I was reading an article from one of the links Prof. Larsen provided, NKZone and on there I came to an interesting article, "Why Trade Won't Change Kim Jong-Il's North Korea". I think mere quotes of the article would not do it justice, and it should be read in its entirety to gain a picture of what the author is describing.

The reason this article I feel is so pressing is a hallmark of the Bush plan to deal with North Korea is disarm and we will give you grand economic rewards. Many who look at the North Korean problem point to the example of China and say that we only need to liberalize their trade and everything will be solved: radios, computers, and information of the rest of how the world lives will flow into North Korea and everything will improve. Yet, taking into account the author's review of the DPRK's intense grasp it holds on any foreign influence and most of all trade that does seem quite unlikely.

The author also brings up points of juiche, the idea of self-reliance that we discussed.

So all things considered, is the view of opening North Korea to trade a worthy route to pursue. I feel that if we were able to accomplish the liberalization of trade that we would see the positive effects of a free market society. Yet when we take into account the reluctance of the leaders and the KWP does this leave US diplomatic routes barking up the wrong tree?

North Korean Military Capability

I found this site which has a pretty good overview of the North Korean military:

If you browse the site, you can find the military capabilities of other countries. Enjoy.

Was Bush actually "right?"

I just read the article that Sonia posted, and while interesting I found it to be illogical. The author said that Bush's policy was one devised after "careful consideration" as if that was a clear indication of its righteousness. Well, I'm sure that it was carefully considered (by Bush's administration more than Bush,) but that in no way reflects how successful or progressive it will be. He also crtiticized Clinton's plan for not actively accomplishing its goal...most sensible people, however, would point out that Clinton was willing to negotiate and work towards a solution. This president, on the other hand, is pulling the silent treatment on Kim Jong-Il. Lastly, the author commends Bush for involving the international community. But it seems to me that the rest of the world was fairly involved when they signed the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty. That didn't seem to do much, since North Korea blatantly ignored and then pulled out of the treaty. Essentially I found the article to be lacking a convincing argument (even one,) but it was good to get some background on the issue.

"What Bush Did Right on North Korea"

A few days ago I posted an article about Kerry’s criticism of Bush’s failure to contain or manage the North Korean crisis.

I came across an article that responded to Kerry's sharp attack on Bush. According to this article, while many may argue that the Bush administration does not have a foreign policy, internationalizing the issue alone is a policy in itself because doing so facilitates involvement from neighboring countries in bringing “stability to the region.”

What does everyone think about the two arguments?

For more information, please read the article below.

Media's Role in Informing US of DPRK

I came across an intersting article at another opinion site regarding how the American media handeled the 'mushroom cloud' incident in North Korea. Perhaps the author touches on reasons why 99% of Americans don't know nearly anything about North Korea.
It's ironic that after all the mumbo-jumbo predictions of catastrophe that have been floating around since 9/11, the one time the government couldn't have been handed a more perfect compliance package is ignored.

Completely and utterly ignored.

Granted, yesterday North Korean officials tied the explosion to a controlled demolition of a hydroelectric project. But so what? The press has never been gun-shy about running with unfounded accusations (Iraq having WMDs being one of those pesky year-long snafus), and this is one that has plausible deniability written all over it. The lack of comment from the North Korean government for four days only heightened the mystery and intrigue that newscasts love to lead with.

That the United States casually brushed aside early reports of the nuclear test only underscores how much of a ruse the "war on terror" really is. (Well, that, and Bush admitting the war on terror can't be won. Boffo.)

After all, if American intelligence points to North Korea's legitimacy as a nuclear power, why all the condemnation of Iran's program, which is further behind in development and is committed to building civilian power plants, not weapons?

Iran is hounded daily in the press as a threat to world peace. Congressmen and senators seek to impose sanctions against the need to provide power to the people of Iran. All of this without any verifiable weapons program in operation. On the other hand, North Korea has threatened to nuke the U.S. if it's attacked. And for four days in September, that threat was very real.
What are they going to do now without Kobe?

Tuesday, September 14, 2004

Yet Another US Election/North Korea Story

According to a British diplomat who was recently in North Korea, DPRK officials are closely watching the American election to determine the fate of the nuclear "negotiations." Most American officials, however, can't find a reason why Senator Kerry would take a significantly different stance than this administration. Read the NY Times article here.


If you guys are having some trouble with the MLA format for works cited, the website will help you create it. All you do is type in the information and it makes the works cited for you. Great site.


We mentioned in class last week the conflict over the identity of the Kingdom of Koguryô. While the Republic of Korea has been very vocal in its criticism of the PRC's attempts to portray Koguryô as a Chinese border state, North Korea has been relatively quiet on the issue. Not so any more as the following section of an article on a DPRK official statement indicates:
Chosun Ilbo ("NORTH KOREA TRUMPETS KOGURYO'S 'INDEPENDENCE'", 2004-09-14) reported that the DPRK's state-run Korea Central Broadcasting reported Tuesday that, "Koguryo firmly adhered to its national independence in foreign relations, and it resolutely crushed any attempt to violate that independence... Koguryo was not a large country's ethnic minority administration, regional administration, or tributary state, but a bold, independent nation." This seems to be indirect criticism of PRC distortions of Koguryo history, in which the PRC has claimed that Koguryo was no more than a regional administrative division of the PRC. The broadcaster also said, "Koguryo was well known as dignified strong country because it consistently stuck to its independence seemingly unfamiliar with subservience... In particular, its use of its own chronological era system and independent foreign policy were proof positive of its independence."


The NAPSNET Daily Report (see here if you want to sign up for daily updates) includes a piece on the DPRK reaction to an American "Cultural Invasion." I thought the tone of the piece was in some ways consistent with the themes we discussed in class today about how Korea saw foreign ("alien") threats in the late late-19th century:
The Associated Press ("N. KOREA: U.S. WAGING CULTURAL INVASION", 2004-09-14) reported that the DPRK on Tuesday accused the US of sending midget radios and "impure" publications into the country to destroy the isolated communist state with "rotten imperialist reactionary culture." The DPRK government has reportedly tightened surveillance in recent months, out of fear that some of its hunger-stricken people were receiving smuggled tiny transistor radios capable of receiving outside news. Some US-based Korean groups seeking democratic change in the DPRK have attempted to send small radios carried by balloons into the DPRK. "The US imperialists are now bent on their moves to send midget radios and TV sets into (the DPRK) in an effort to break up the single-hearted unity there and degenerate and disintegrate it from within," the official newspaper Rodong Sinmun said. "Out of the same motive, the US imperialists are trying to send impure publications."
plus ca change ...

Some Humor

This was sent to me from DailyKos, a site that I read just about every day. One of the readers has a well interesting take on the explosion in North Korea, and it's pretty funny. You can read it here.

Monday, September 13, 2004

Kerry Attacks Bush on North Korean Threat

The explosion that occurred last week on the North Korean border with China seems to be the topic of discussion this week. I have included more information on the explosion that I found in The New York Times:

The fire on Thursday occurred near a site where North Korea bases some of its long-range missiles. Because Thursday was a national holiday in North Korea, there was initial speculation that an explosion might have been deliberately set off to make a political statement of defiance.

But there were no signs of radiation, American intelligence officials say. And it was the site of the blast that made American officials suspect that it was an accident: there is a widespread assumption that North Korea would not demonstrate whatever nuclear capacity they have near the Chinese border, where it could irradiate the country that North Korea depends on for food and fuel.

This explosion also seems to have stirred quite a bit of controversy, as Kerry blames Bush for allowing the North Korean crisis to blow out of proportion by investing too many resources in the war with Iraq. As a result, America must deal with North Korea’s deliberate threats, which according to Kerry is a “sign of failed diplomacy.” Further information can be found in the link below.

Explosion 'Intentional'

The BBC was the first to report North Korea's explanation for the mysterious explosion that stirred the region earlier last week, North Korea holds that the explosion was intentional and that it was part of the construction of a 'hydro-electric project' . Bloomberg confirms this report and writes that British diplomats have been 'invited' to visit the site of the explosion later tommorow.

The Korea Herald tells us exactly how busy North Korea has been recently with visitors. I'd write more, but I have an 8am class...

Sunday, September 12, 2004


I just looked at the CNN article on the explosion that happened on Thursday. 2 questions...what exactly happened? The article was so vague...probably because we dont have as much information as we'd like. But was it an accident or was in a testing situation? 2nd question- why did it take so long for us to get any information on it? Just the current state of communications coming out of North Korea or something else?

NY Times Article

The article in the times makes it abundantly clear how much our government does not know about North Korea. They have been deemed a credible threat for years now and we haven't the slightest idea what is going on there. Two fires and explosions have occurred in the last few days and we have no explanations for them. If they do decide to test a nuclear bomb, where will they do it? Are there some remote mountains they can detonate a bomb in without killing people or giving them all cancer from the radiation? The Times also shows that everyone has a completely different opinion. Some people think it is a bargaining ploy, others think they are serious this time, and the state department keeps calling for negotiations. Who is going to figure out what is going on over there?

More Information on the North Korean Army

Here's an interesting site that gives a good overview of the approximate strength and capabilities of the North Korean army. It describes how North Korea is upgrading its dated weaponry and also predicts how North Korea would conduct an invasion of the South. I had thought that the strength of the North Korean army lay primarily in the numbers but this site contends that the North Korean army is steadily becoming more advanced and capable. Apparently, North Korea has one the largest contingents of Special Forces of any country, with somewhere between 60,000 and 100,000 soldiers. When you go the link, click on the "The Army" link and then read from there to the end of the article. Anyway, check it out if you are interested:


Testing 1..2...3...???

Sometime during the early hours of morning (here in America that is, more exactly, Washington) a "peculiar looking cloud" was spotted from an intelligence satellite looming over the North Korea Horizon. The New York Times, BBC, Chosun Ilbo, and Reuters have all decided to run with the story. The New York Times reports that the Bush administration does not believe the explosion was actually a nuclear test itself, but that it may in fact only be a precursor to future testing (I might suggest that it was a test, a test gone wrong??).

Whether the recent explosions resulted from a nuclear test, or a freak accident, they have managed to reprise the question of how the United States should deal with North Korea's nuclear ambitions.
Hard-liners in the Pentagon and the vice president's office have largely opposed making concessions of any kind in negotiations, and Vice President Dick Cheney has warned that "time is not on our side" to deal with the question. The State Department has pressed the case for negotiation, and for offering the North a face-saving way out. While the State Department has won the argument in recent times, how to deal with the North is a constant battle inside the administration.


I have seen a program on the U.S.S. Pueblo in which they showed the ship on display as propaganda in North Korea. Does the North Korean government still utilize this incident to try to put the U.S. at a disadvantage during diplomatic discourse?

North Korean "Defectors"

There's something that's been on my mind for quite a while now, and I'd like to know what you guys think/feel about this issue. I'm sure you guys know that many of the defectors of North Korea that do make it into China are accepted by South Korea. It just really bothers to think about how many of those "defectors" could be someone sent by the North Korean government. The North and South Koreas are still at war, and for that reason the South's behavior seems extremely irrational to me. Maybe I am overreacting just a little, but it's better to be safe than sorry. What do you think?

Saturday, September 11, 2004

Atomic Activity in North Korea Raises Concerns

An article was posted on The New York Times website about a half an hour ago that says that the United States has recieved intelligence reports stating that North Korea could be ready to have its first test of a nuclear weapon. This is the link just copy and paste. What do you guys think about this?

email updates

Hey Everyone-
I just wanted to let you know that you can get regular updates on your email from if you go to the site and sign up. Go to John's most recent post and click on the hyperlink...there will be a box on the right hand side of that article where you can sign up for it. See you Tuesday!

Jenkins Surrenders to Army

I know there is another post on this, but this article has some new stuff:

Apparantly, there is a rift between the US and Japan because the US wants to see Jenkins punished, and the Japanese want to see him reunited with his family (his wife was kidnapped years earlier to teach Japanese to North Korean spies, but returned to Japan a few years ago).

And this caught my eye: "Speculation has focused on a possible pre-trial deal in which he would plead guilty to one or more charges but offer to tell the U.S. military what he knows about North Korea in exchange for a punishment lighter than the maximum of life in prison."

***EDITED***That link doesn't seem to be working, so here is the complete text of the article:

Accused U.S. Deserter Jenkins Surrenders in Japan
By George Nishiyama
CAMP ZAMA, Japan (Reuters) - U.S. Army Sergeant Charles Jenkins gave himself up to American military authorities Saturday to face charges that he deserted to communist North Korea four decades ago while on patrol in South Korea.

His surrender, at a U.S. army base in Japan, marks the end of a bizarre Cold War odyssey and is a big step toward resolving a diplomatic headache for the United States and close ally Japan. Jenkins, looking solemn and wearing a suit and tie, gave a long salute as he was received by Lt. Colonel Paul Nigara at Camp Zama, the U.S. Army's headquarters in Japan west of the capital.

"Sir, I'm Sgt Jenkins, and I'm reporting," he said.

Unlike some accused deserters thought to be at risk of trying to flee, Jenkins, 64, was not handcuffed or put into leg irons, partly out of sensitivity to sympathy in Japan for his Japanese wife, Hitomi Soga.

"I can assure you that you and your family will be treated with dignity and respect at all times," said Nigara, Provost Marshal for U.S. Army Japan.

Video footage provided by the army showed that Jenkins later changed into a short-sleeved army uniform and signed some paperwork for standard in-processing back on to active duty while his military defense counsel, Capt. James Culp, looked on.

Washington says Jenkins, a native of Rich Square, North Carolina, slipped into North Korea one cold January night in 1965 while leading a patrol near the Demilitarized Zone separating the two Koreas. It says he later joined Pyongyang's propaganda machine, appearing in an anti-American film as a sinister spy.

Jenkins met Soga in North Korea after she was kidnapped by its agents in 1978 to help teach spies to speak Japanese. The couple have two North Korean-born daughters, aged 21 and 19.

"I hope we four can go to Sado Island and live together as soon as possible," Soga told reporters early on Saturday, referring to the small north Japanese island that is her home.

Soga, almost 20 years Jenkins' junior, was allowed to return to Japan two years ago with four other abductees, but had to leave her family behind.

Jenkins arrived in Tokyo for medical care in July after Japan arranged for the family to be reunited in Jakarta.

Since then, Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi has had to balance the U.S. desire to see Jenkins face court martial with Japanese public sympathy for his wife.


"We hope that this will be resolved taking into account the situation in which Mr Jenkins and his family have been placed," a Japanese government official said, adding that Tokyo could not interfere in the legal procedures Jenkins faces.

Jenkins, who lied about his age to enlist at 15, said in a recent interview with the Far Eastern Economic Review that he had wanted to turn himself in to "clear my conscience."

Jenkins, who is charged with desertion, aiding the enemy, encouraging disloyalty and soliciting other service members to desert, has several legal options.

Speculation has focused on a possible pre-trial deal in which he would plead guilty to one or more charges but offer to tell the U.S. military what he knows about North Korea in exchange for a punishment lighter than the maximum of life in prison.

President Bush is said to be reluctant to give Jenkins special treatment while American troops are fighting in Iraq and ahead of November's presidential election.

But Koizumi, who backed the U.S.-led war in Iraq and sent non-combat troops there in the face of public hostility, wants Soga and her family to be able to live together in her homeland.

The army said Jenkins would be supplied with whatever he needs to resume active duty, including a haircut and a uniform.

His family would be treated like other soldiers' dependants and were expected to be housed on the military base.

Known as "Super" to his family, the jug-eared Jenkins left school early and washed cars at a Ford dealership before lying about his age to enlist in the National Guard when he was 15.

He later joined the army.

Soga was one of five Japanese abductees who returned home in 2002 after more than a quarter of a century in reclusive North Korea. Her poise and a penchant for poetic expressions have won the hearts of many Japanese.

Friday, September 10, 2004

News Article: "U.S., Key Allies Want N. Korea Nuke Talks in Sept."

I was reading this article and I found it somewhat funny that some U.S. allies especially South Korea want to hold a fourth round of six-party talks with North Korea to bring forth the dismantling process of the North Korean nuclear program since South Korea just came forward to the world that they were conducting its own Program on testing Plutonium behind a curtain. The article can be viewed at the following link

Thursday, September 09, 2004


Is there a city on the border of North Korea that NK built for the sole purpose of "showing" South Koreans how great and extravagent life is there? I hear its built perfectly and its beautiful but no one is allowed to live there.


In class today someone asked about the number of reservists in South Korea. I found it surprisingly difficult to locate a current estimate. offers the following, dated, data:
Between 1968 and 1988, males between the ages of eighteen and forty were eligible for defense call-up duty; there was no clear policy on the age at which a recruit was eligible for retirement. In January 1988, a new policy was instituted that reduced the age-group of the male population subject to service in the reserves: only males who had been drafted for service between the ages of nineteen and thirty-four were required to serve in the reserves. The period of service was limited to between six and eight years, depending on the individual's age at conscription.
In 1990 there were 1,240,000 men in the reserves: 1,100,000 in the army; 60,000 in the marines; 55,000 in the air force; and 25,000 in the navy.
If anyone can locate more up-to-date information, please let us know.


Hello everyone.

I saw a documentary several months ago on the Discovery channel concerning “famine gripped North Korea”. After searching through the Discovery channel website, I came across the documentary that I had watched on television: “Children of the Secret State.” Should anyone have access to the Discovery Times channel, I recommend that you watch the documentary. Apparently, a link to the specific site that lists all the showtimes does not work, so I have inserted a link to the Discovery channel. Simply type in "North Korea" under SEARCH and the showtimes will appear.


Yongbyon nuclear weapons facility site

Here is a website that I came across while studying for this map quiz.. perhaps it will be of interest to some of you.

Wednesday, September 08, 2004

Korean Air Flight 7
Here is an interesting link about Korean Air Flight 7, which was shot down by Soviet fighters in the 1983. It still hasn't been determined what exactly happened, but a number of conspiracy theories have appeared, such as:

The most interesting 'off course' theory is that the flight was part of a deliberate US intelligence gathering effort. The theories claiming KAL-007 did not crash relate to a number of issues. It is claimed to be unlikely that a single missile would knock a 747 out of the air, the loss of a single engine is not catastrophic for such a craft. Reports of the crash put the time from missile strike to sea impact at around twelve minutes, which is high for an uncontrolled descent. The crew aboard the airliner never announced a mayday despite there being two further communications from the 747. The amount of material recovered from the accident compares unfavourably with other crashes of roughly equal magnitude as does the type of material retrieved. That only two bodies were recovered, relatively intact, is also surprisingly low. All searches, either by the Soviets, Japanese or Americans were ended in early November, 1983.

The 'no crash' theorists do not go to explain why the plane was off-course, or why the Soviets would want to hold onto 260 or so airline passengers, except through the far-fetched claim that they were targeting a single passenger and felt it was necessary to keep all of the other people in captivity to conceal this.

I read another conspiracy a few months ago that the Soviets were testing a new system that day; the path of the plane took it near a major Soviet submarine base. Some feel that the pilots were on a CIA spy mission when it was shot down.

Gas Chambers and Chemical Weapons,6903,1136440,00.html

This article is interesting because, if the contents are indeed true, it shows the North Korean government committing the very crimes that Bush set out to punish Sadaam Hussein's Iraq for.


A cross-posting from my other blog, It Makes a Difference to the Sheep.

Interesting post at The Shape of Days about Py’ôngyang's biggest incomplete construction project: the Ryugyông Hotel.
I'm no expert on North Korean psychology, but it seems to me that there's only one plausible answer: Building the Ryugyong was a matter of national pride. The North Korean government put the Ryugyong on city maps before ground was even broken; they even put it on a stamp. The Ryugyong was to be a monument to the North Korean virtue of juche, or self-reliance.

The same sense of pride that drove them to build the Ryugyong has driven the North Koreans to an almost pathological level of denial about the building. It's no longer on the city's maps. Guides claim not to know where it is. No one speaks of it. This state of affairs is made all the more surreal by the fact that the almost incomprehensibly massive Ryugyong is visible from every part of Pyongyang. It hangs over the horizon, never far out of sight. The ultimate expression of the idea of the elephant in the corner.

Spot the hotel that isn't really there Posted by Hello

South Korea may be/ may have worked on Nukes as well.

I found this on
It looks as if S. Korea may have had a bit of a nuclear program themselves. It hasn't been really decided if it was accidental or intentional. Regardless, this will probably change the political atmosphere in the region very quickly.

Cell Phones

Thought this was an interesting article on how the North Korean government continues to censor the availability of ideas and communication within its country and the world. This truly attests to North Korea's belief that its nation should be completely issolated from the world around them. Interesting read.

funny link

This link is comical. I guess it's the official website of North Korea. It gives all sorts of propoganda. There is information about a book festival. You can even send emails to the postmaster. (Don't think I would try it though) The site comes up slowly. Perhaps this is an idication that is in fact the real thing.

Tuesday, September 07, 2004

Charles Jenkins

On page 24 of The Idiot's Guide to North Korea there is a passage referring to Charles Jenkins, an American soldier who defected to North Korea in 1965. On September 1, CNN reported that Jenkins is shortly going to turn himself in to face the charges against him. Here is the link Just copy and paste the link because I haven't figured out hyperlinks yet. Thanks.

Personal interest in North Korea?

I think it would be interesting to post why everyone signed up for this class, whether it was because of general interest or something more personal.

As for myself, I practice the Korean martial art of Taekwon-Do. I have been a student since I was seven years old, and currently I hold a III degree black belt and have traveled as far as Australia to compete. The founder of Taekwon-Do was General Choi Hong-Hi (1918-2002), a Korean who, while in the South Korean army scientifically developed the uniquely Korean art from Karate and ancient Korean fighting traditions.

I know a little bit about him and life in Korea from his autobiography. Choi was born in what is now North Korea, but like most others, considered himself to be a member of a homogenous culture undivided by politics. In late 1944, Choi was one of the leaders of a group of 3,000 conscripted student soldiers in Pyongyang who planned to desert their garrison and meet Kim Il-Sung’s opposition forces near Paektu-san. His group was caught, and as one of the ringleaders, the Japanese sentenced him to death. Luckily, Soviet forces liberated the prison where he was held literally days before his scheduled execution.

Though he was a founding member and a general in the South Korean army for decades, through a whole tangle of politics (which I will spare boring you with) he, and his organization, the International Taekwon-Do Federation, eventually affiliated themselves with North Korea. I have had the opportunity to train under him twice at seminars in Denver, and I’m probably one of a select group in the U.S. who’ve actually shaken the hand of a North Korean.

In TKD, we perform "patterns," sometimes called "forms," basically solo practice routines, and they all carry Korean names from history. Some of these include Tan’gun, Hwarang, and Juche (created to appease the DPRK). Some might find it interesting to read some of the pattern histories, which can be found at this link:, though I am sure the spellings are not up to date.

Even though I really didn’t know that much before this class, it’s still interesting for me to read the texts and online histories and recognize certain names and places. I’ve developed a strong interest in Korean language and history that is sure to influence my course selection for the future.

Here is my reason. Why did everybody else take this class?

Construction on North Korean Plant Suspended Again

Some news this Labor Day evening.

Not surprisngly, the US, South Korea, European Union, and Japan have decided to, for the second year, suspend construction on the Nuclear plant that was being built as part of the Agreeded Framework of 1994. Retuers posted the story, it may be read here.

Quoting unidentified Japanese government sources, the Yomiuri said the United States had wanted to scrap the project entirely, but gave in to persuasion from South Korea and Japan to leave room to resume construction.

South Korea and Japan have covered 90 percent of the $1.5 billion construction costs so far.

More than 100 workers are still maintaining the site of the two partially built reactors.

KEDO suspended construction work on the light-water reactors for an initial one year last December, after the United States said in October 2002 that North Korea had admitted working on a secret uranium-enrichment project.

And around we go.

Monday, September 06, 2004


Bill Clinton handled the North Korean situation with skill and prudence. Instead of using inflamatory language and threats, he used diplomacy. Clinton was prepared to use force (and nearly did) if diplomacy failed. But instead a crisis was averted. No, it isn't easy to diplomaticly solve the problem on the Korean Peninsula quickly. But it is easy to quickly create a crisis if diplomacy is abandoned. Clearly, the current President prefers confrontation over diplomacy. He has already evidenced this in Iraq. Force needs to be used only as a last resort. Heavy handed application of force on the Korean Peninsula will only result in the destruction of Seoul and the deaths of many millions of South Koreans. It will be interesting to see how the current crisis, created with the "axis of evil" State of the Union Speech, will continue to unfold.
I can't help but wonder how much the upcomming presidential election will effect our relations with North Korea. The current president seems to think that any country that proves to be too much of a threat should be taken over and reorganized. President Bush is taking a tough stance with North Korea and I worry about what extreme action the United States may take to neutralize the threat. With both sides being unreasonable, someone is bound to make a rash and consequence laden move.

Saturday, September 04, 2004

"Measuring the Threat" of North Korea

Hello everyone.

I was referred to the following website by a close friend and found it to be quite interesting and informative. Those unfamiliar with North Korea’s history will find this information useful in particular. Simply click on the link below and view the bullets under GALLERY & GRAPHICS. Enjoy!

Just a response...

John- I'm not sure if I feel threatened by North Korea... I'm positive that I don't trust the medias spin on it, because I very rarely (if ever) trust the medias spin on anything. I'm very hesitant to listen to the news on TV especially, because on every network there is some inherent bias...Fox news in particular :). I suppose the reason I took this course is because I know so little about this country that is now so important, and I want to find out for myself what role I think North Korea plays on the world stage.
-Lauren Corboy

Friday, September 03, 2004

South Korea's Nuclear Program

I just read that South Korean scientists have succeeded in enriching uranium to near weapons-grade. This work did not seem to be condoned by the South Korean government, but it is now clear that there exists the strong possibility of nuclear weapons on the Korean peninsula. I wonder what effect this will have on the whole North Korean situation. Read the Article

What happened to that ship that was stopped?

I remember a few months back that the US Navy was following and then stopped a North Korean ship off the coast of Spain that was carrying missiles. Does anybody remember what happened with it? Who were the missiles going to? Did the US allow them to proceed?

The North Korean Threat

Just trying to get a discussion started.....
Does anyone feel threatened by the North Korean government or it's military. Do you think the view of a Korean threat as displayed by the media is accurate?

Thursday, September 02, 2004


Here's an interesting list of "everything you wanted to know about blogging but were afraid to ask" from a blog titled Simon World. The "bibliography" (scroll down to the end of the post) might be particularly useful for first-time bloggers. Enjoy!