Monday, November 29, 2004

CIA link

I'm not sure if this has come up before. Here is a link to the CIA's website on the DPRK. It's very interesting and provides a ton of statistical material.


According to this very short article, the IAEA "cited" South Korea as making small amounts of weapons grade plutonium.. Why doesnt the north jump all over that? I think that both sides need to see each other as equals before anything can happen, and the DPRK may be thinking the south is getting away with their programs, why should we stop..

Also, this article brings up the extension of the freeze of the light water reactors for the north. It was originally intended to expire 12.1.04 and has been extended a full year. They say construction is 1/3 complete, and they're doing maintenance work on the site, i guess to keep it ready for a miraculous return to construction. if we ever finished the reactors, the north would not really have much weight behind the argument that we never tried to help them, and that we were causing the energy crisis. We stopped the shipment of fuel oil after the 2002 discovery of the HEU program.

if KEDO finished the reactors, do you think the north would feel pressure to stop its nuclear program or just continue on like nothing has developed in its relations with the international community?

Sunday, November 28, 2004

Korea Watch

Stumbled across this site......It gives two different explanations for the removal of Kim Jong Il's photos...

The experts: This consequentially leads to my assumption that, by reducing his own role for the ideological stability of the system, Kim Jong-il might be resolving one of the most pressing issues in North Korean domestic politics: his succession.

The bloggers: I'm still not convinced. I think there has been a coup or some sort of physical ailment or death to the leader. In my previous entry I reported that media had also stopped referring to him as "Beloved Leader".

Psychological Warfare

Apparantly NK has accused the US of using psychological warefare against them in effort to cease peace talks. NK accuses the US also of using mass propaganda against them. The good news out of this is that six party talks are supposed to take place in mid-Dec which is a very positive.

NK Moving Closer to a Market Economy?

Hello again,

This is another article from the same newspaper that describes changes in the North Korean economy, as the government has established "markets in every corner of the financially-strapped state and extend business hours late into the evening."

It is an intersting read because North Korea is described differently from the reading, North Korea Through the Looking Glass; indeed, a lot has changed.

Mongolia Will Aid North Korean Refugees

Hello all,

According to this article from Chosunilbo, the Mongolian government has decided to help North Korean refugees transfer to a third country of their choice:
The Mongolian government opposes establishing a refugee camp for North Korean defectors, but will assist in their transferal to a third country of their choice, said Mongolian Ambassador to South Korea Perenlei Urjinlkhundev.
There is also a collage of photographs that shows starving North Korean children.

Tuesday, November 23, 2004

more than just nukes...

this article says that north korea also has chemical weapons at its disposal. it says that north korea tested different gases on humans as part of its weapons of mass destruction program. im not sure how reliable the source is because the sources are scientists from north korea who defected, so they may have ulterior motives. nevertheless, the prospect of chemical weapons is just as frightening, in my opinion, as nukes because chemical weapons can be delivered much easier and would be easier to sell to terrorists. anyway, i dont know if this story is true but if it is it is just one more reason why we can't leave the DPRK on the "back burner"

More on NK social defianace of Kim

More leaflets, posters, and even banners advocating Kim's overthrow have been reportedly appearing in northwestern North Korea, presumably from student protestors. Experts are convinced, however, that this activity is not a sign of significant trouble for the "dear leader." Full story: (sorry again for lack of linkage)

Monday, November 22, 2004

Strange Goings-on in N. Korea

I saw this article both on the New York Times website and then on Prof. Larsen's blog. With Kim Jong Il's pictures disappearing, speculations abound. This particular article deals with Japanese perceptions of this. Acting secretary general of the Japanese Liberal Democratic Party Shinzo Abe senses that a regime change in North Korea is imminent.

One high-ranking North Korean defector mentioned, however, that Kim himself gave an order to remove pictures of him from one building years ago, but no one had the nerve to do it.

One Korean News Service official denies anything unusual about the removal of the portraits, writing it off as solely routine updating and cleaning. This makes sense to me, that they would want an updated picture of Dear Leader. It would seem strange to me if they now said it was just for cleaning and some kind of military coup develops. It would make them seem like liars to the people. (Not like they're not already lying.) Only time will tell, but I don't anticipate any significant power shift soon.

Sunday, November 21, 2004

Bush at it again

Bush is again telling North Korea and Iran to get rid of the weapons. Apparently though, he is being more flexible with North Korea this time, giving them some incentives. Iran is apparently more of a problem now.

North Korean embassy in Mongolia

People's rights groups in the United States are calling for Mongolia to be neutral state for North Korean defectors.

Six-party talks again?

This is th NY Times version of the talks in Chile.

Saturday, November 20, 2004


This is an article about the meeting in Chile where North Korea is on the agenda

Friday, November 19, 2004

It was all an imperialist plot...

...if you listen to the DPRK, which firmly denies any missing portraits of Kim Jong Il and vehemently asserts that the whole matter is a plot by the U.S. to overthrow the regime and destroy the socialist paradise. Maybe they think it's the doing of John Bolton, since they have such a high opinion of him, as Reese indicated. In any event, after the discussion yesterday about "Kremlinology," I think this story may fall into the category of reading into something a bit too much.

Thursday, November 18, 2004

John Bolton and the DPRK

For those of you who don't know of him, John Bolton is undersecretary of State for arms control and international security and is considered the highest ranking "Neocon" in the State Department. His name has been mentioned in the past few days as a possibility for Undersecretary of State so I thought I'd share these few articles I found. Reading them gave me a laugh.

The first article:

The Bush administration declined Monday to respond to North Korea's description of the State Department's top arms control official as "human scum." "We're not going to dignify North Korean comments about our undersecretary of state," spokesman Philip Reeker said. North Korea's official news agency vilified Undersecretary of State John Bolton after he characterized North Korean Chairman Kim Jong Il as a "tyrannical dictator" in a speech last week to a gathering in South Korea.

I searched on KCNA and found the article. I don't know if this link will work but it was on August 4, 2003. Here is the text:

Spokesman for DPRK Foreign Ministry Slams U.S. Mandarin's Invective Pyongyang, August 2 (KCNA) -- A spokesman for the Foreign Ministry of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea today gave the following answer to a question put by KCNA as regards a string of vituperation let loose by Bolton, U.S. under-secretary of state, against the DPRK. According to a press report, during his recent visit to south Korea and Japan Bolton hurled malignant abuses at the top leader of the DPRK. Bolton asserted that "while he lives like royalty in Pyongyang, he keeps hundreds of thousands of his people locked in prison camps with millions more mired in abject poverty" and "for many in north Korea, life is a hellish nightmare." Bolton's remarks make one doubt whether he is a man with an elementary faculty of thinking and stature as a man or not, to say nothing of whether he is a politician belonging to a hawkish faction or to a dovish one. We know that there are several hawks within the present U.S. administration but have not yet found out such rude human scum as Bolton. What he uttered is no more than rubbish which can be let loose only by a beastly man bereft of reason. Bolton was so completely seized with the inveterate habit of rejecting others out of reason that he made a malignant personal attack even on the top leader of other country. If he is allowed any longer to speak for the u.s. policy on the nuclear issue, this would adversely affect not only the fate of the policy but that of the administration itself. Bolton's reckless remarks cast a doubt as to whether the U.S. truly wants to negotiate with the DPRK or not. There is no change in our stand on holding the six-party talks including the bilateral talks between the DPRK and the U.S. for the peaceful settlement of the nuclear issue on the Korean peninsula. A caravan is bound to go ahead though dogs bark. Such human scum and bloodsucker is not entitled to take part in the talks in view of either the importance of the talks aimed to decide on peace and stability in Northeast Asia or human dignity. On the basis of a serious analysis of Bolton's outcries in the light of his political vulgarity and psychopathological condition as they are quite different from the recent remarks of the U.S. president, we have decided not to consider him as an official of the u.s. administration any longer nor to deal with him. We may exercise self-restraint as regards other matters but will never allow anyone to slander the top leader of the DPRK whoever he is and wherever he is on earth.

Bolton took another stab at the DPRK recently.

English Camps in South Korea

I found this article in the Washington Post today. It talks a lot about the development of South Korea since World War II and is interesting to compare to the DPRK.

English Camps Reflect S. Korean Ambitions
By Anthony Faiola

Thursday, November 18, 2004; Page A25
ANSAN, South Korea -- "Next!" barked Joanne Richardson, a bureaucratic-looking Canadian sitting behind a desk in a bustling hall marked "Immigrations." She beckoned to a timid looking 15-year old girl wearing a Mickey Mouse shirt.
"Good morning, what is your name?" Richardson, 27, asked using clear, enunciated English.

The South Korean girl beamed, suddenly excited at the sound of a language she has come to love through Britney Spears songs and Disney movies. "Hello, my name is Hu Jung Hee," she blurted out in brave but labored diction, "and I want to be a movie star! I know first I have to learn good English."
"Then you came to the right place," said Richardson, one of 40 native English teachers from six countries at this novel, government-funded language complex on a small island 40 miles southwest of Seoul. "Welcome to English Village. Enjoy your stay."

....I only posted the first few paragraphs of the article.

Kim's Calculated Move

CNN had an article about Kim's apparent removal of portraits and the use of "Dear Leader" being exempt from North Korean broadcasts. The article gives reasons why Kim Jong Il is being calculated in an attempt to halt the criticism coming from more and more North Koreans about his regime and the impoverished country he is ruling. Chances are its not a loss of power or a coup attempt, but this is an interesting strategy from Kim. I know I never thought he'd give up his cult of personality.

Downsizing the cult of Kim Jong Il

This directly relates to what we were discussing in class last week. Apparently, some portraits of the "dear leader" are being removed from various public places. Also, some news stations have stopped the honorific "dear leader" when referring to Kim. Perhaps this is Kim's own doing? See the full story here: (sorry again for the lack of linkage)

Wednesday, November 17, 2004

Kim Jong Il conducts military visit

This article says that shortly after the portraits were reported as being removed, Kim visited a military unit near the DMZ. It's impossible to know what the motives behind it were and the article doesn't really try to guess. But the trip does provide some interesting scenarios. Did Kim visit the unit because he was worried about their loyalty or at least wanted to reaffirm it? Was the move part of a larger motive to regain some respect and good will from the military? Probably not, the visit was most likely routine. As Bob said, the removal of the pictures themselves probably aren't significant either. After all, why would anyone wanting to start a coup begin by removing the leader's portraits from a couple public buildings? However, since we know that support for the Dear Leader is limited at best, I suppose a coup or at least the threat of one isn't out of the possibilty.

Tuesday, November 16, 2004

Some diplomats report removal of Kim Jong Il portraits in DPRK

Here's an article that makes little sense:

Though it has yet to be confirmed, some foreign diplomats in North Korea have reported seeing wall displays that include Kim Il Sung's portrait, but lack that of his son, Kim Jong Il. Here's the article from Yahoo. So, does this really mean anything? Well, the article says that
It was unclear what might motivate their removal, but the South Korean official said his country's analysts did not have indications that Kim was facing significant internal political challenges.
If you read later on in the article, another diplomat reports nothing strange going on and he'd recently seen "many Kim portraits during a visit to a hospital on Tuesday."

It truly looks like the media is reading into this way to much here. The perceived absence of Kim Jong Il portraits really might not be that significant (maybe they were removed for cleaning!)

Monday, November 15, 2004

Bush and Rice

Long, but funny!

Bush and Rice:
George B.: Condi! Nice to see you. What's happening?
Condoleeza R.: Sir, I have the report here about the new leader ofChina.
George B.: Great. Lay it on me.
Condoleeza R.: Hu is the new leader of China.
George B.: That's what I want to know.
Condoleeza R.: That's what I'm telling you.
George B.: That's what I'm asking you. Who is the new leader of China?
Condoleeza R.: Yes.
George B.: I mean the fellow's name.
Condoleeza R.: Hu.
George B.: The guy in China.
Condoleeza R.: Hu.
George B.: The new leader of China.
Condoleeza R.: Hu.
George B.: The Chinaman!Condoleeza
R.: Hu is leading China.
George B.: Now whaddya' asking me for?
Condoleeza R.: I'm telling you Hu is leading China.
George B.: Well, I'm asking you. Who is leading China?
Condoleeza R.: That's the man's name.
George B.: That's who's name?
Condoleeza R.: Yes.
George B.: Will you or will you not tell me the name of the new leader of China?
Condoleeza R.: Yes, sir.
George B.: Yassir? Yassir Arafat is in China? I thought he was dead!
Condoleeza R.: That's correct.
George B.: Then who is in China?
Condoleeza R.: Yes, sir.
George B.: Yassir is in China?
Condoleeza R.: No, sir.
George B.: Then who is?
Condoleeza R.: Yes, sir.
George B.: Yassir?
Condoleeza R.: No, sir.
George B.: Look, Condi. I need to know the name of the new leader ofChina.Get me the Secretary General of the U.N. on the phone.
Condoleeza R.:Kofi?
George B.: No, thanks.
Condoleeza R.: You want Kofi?
George B.: No.
Condoleeza R.: You don't want Kofi.
George B.: No. But now that you mention it, I could use a glass ofmilk. And then get me the U.N.
Condoleeza R.: Yes, sir
.George B.: Not Yassir! The guy at the U.N.
Condoleeza R.: Kofi?
George B.: Milk! Will you please make the call?
Condoleeza R.: And call who?
George B.: Who is the guy at the U.N?
Condoleeza R.: Hu is the guy in China.
George B.: Will you stay out of China?!
Condoleeza R.: Yes, sir.
George B.: And stay out of the Middle East! Just get me the guy at theU.N.
Condoleeza R.: Kofi.
George B.: All right! With cream and two sugars. Now get on the phone.(Condi picks up the phone.)
Condoleeza R.: Rice, here.
George B.: Rice? Good idea. And a couple of egg rolls, too. Maybe weshould send some to the guy in China. And the Middle East.

Sunday, November 14, 2004

South Korean Nuclear Weapons

Here is a follow up to earlier stories about South Korea's nuclear program. This article explains how the IAEA found that South Korea produced small and insignifcant amounts of nuclear material. The IEAE does, however, express frustration with S. Korea's failure to report the program in a timely matter.

Stay the course with North Korea

I found this article from the American Enterprise Institute, which is one of Washington's most prominent conservative thinktanks. It is by James Lilley, who was once US ambassador to South Korea. I guess now that Bush won, Lilley will be happy!

Whoever has won the U.S. presidential contest should support continuing the multilateral approach to convince North Korea to give up its nuclear program. John Kerry, the Democratic candidate, has strongly backed holding direct talks with Pyongyang as the best way to get the communist state to disarm. But should he have won, he must quickly realize that President George W. Bush's preference of the "six-party talks" is the best approach.

The talks, hosted by China, provide the most effective means of resolving Pyongyang's nuclear threat and of putting it on the path of economic reform. China, the United States, South Korea, Russia and Japan--the five parties facing North Korea--have already agreed on four basic principles: 1) No weapons of mass destruction should be allowed on the Korean peninsula; 2) North Korea is in desperate economic condition and needs both economic reform and humanitarian aid; 3) There will be no preemptive military attack, and 4) the negotiations must be multilateral.

Roh Opposes Sanctions Against North Korea

Hello again,

I have come across another article, this one from The Korea Times, that describes Roh's opposition to the use of military force or imposition of sanctions against North Korea. According to the article, Roh stressed the following:
The current standoff over the North's nuclear weapons program should be resolved peacefully through the six-party dialogue. [...] The use of force lacks effectiveness as a negotiation tactic. I believe the United States, which has greatly contributed to the national economic development, will well understand this. [Also, any economic embargo] will only prolong the sense of instability and threat indefinitely.
You can access the article here.

President Roh's Comments Spark Controversy

Hello everyone,

According to this article, South Korean President Roh's remark at a recent meeting in LA "spurred instant controversy as it indicates a strong divergence in opinion regarding the North Korean nuclear issue from the U.S., South Korea's longstanding ally."

While many critics believed that Roh "should have expressed his gratitude for U.S. efforts to resolve the North Korean nuclear issue," Roh instead remarked that "there was no evidence to support [US] claims that North Korea was linked to terrorist organizations, adding that the reclusive enclave had already embarked on the path of reform in opening itself up to the international diplomatic and economic arena."

The article goes on to indicates the fact that Roh may be placing too much trust into the North Korean government "to act rationally." What does everyone think about this? Is North Korea to be trusted, or is it absolutely essential to intervene through six-party talks?

Saturday, November 13, 2004

North Korea and Turkey

This article from the Daily Star says that North Korea and Turkey have signed a commercial and economic deal aimed at boosting bilateral trade. Apparently, there had been limited trade between the two countries before but it is hoped that the deal will increase the economic cooperation between the two. This is definitely a step in the right direction for North Korea. Foreign trade should improve its economic situation and may possibly, as Quinones said, allow some foreign information to seep into the country. While its good in purely humanitarian terms that North Korea is stabilizing I am worried that this will mean that Kim will remain in power longer. Which do you guys think is a more preferable alternative: North Korea to collapse economically which would lead to a massive humanitarian crisis but would probably spell the end of the Kim Jong Il regime or for North Korea to rebound, as it is doing now, which will end or at least reduce the starvation problem but will probably mean that Kim stays in power until he dies?

"N. Korea Refuses U.N. Aid"

Hello all,

This is an article about North Korea's refusal to participate in the UN-run CAP (Consolidated Appeals Process) aid program. Apparently, the North Korean government "continued to require humanitarian assistance, but it preferred aid through development bodies and NGOs rather than through CAP."

It is amazing how the North Korean government regards itself as an important figure in the international system, and believes it can pick and choose the type of aid it wants, despite the country's economic cirumstances.

A Hard-Line Approach

I came across this article at It says that South Korea wants to take a hard-line approach to North Korea's proliferation of nuclear weapons.
``Our commitment to a denuclearized Korean peninsula is ... clear. As to our position that North Korean nuclear capability can by no means be tolerated -- this issue must be resolved peacefully through the six-party talks,'' said Roh, referring to negotiations that involve both Koreas, China, Japan, Russia and the United States.

This article also talks about how President Roh avoided questions regarding the IAEA report on South Korea's nuclear proliferation. The tensions between North and South Korea seem to be heightening to an even greater level.
Here's the link:

Friday, November 12, 2004

IAEA: "Seoul's Lab Tests Not Linked to Nukes"

Hello again,

I just came across another article on the South Korean nukes. The following is a response from the deputy head of the National Security Council, who is currently visiting the United States: "Our government has dealt with the issue transparently in active cooperation with the IAEA, and it is not a matter to attract suspicions."

However, Lee added that US officials, including John Bolton, the chief US arms control official, shared this view, but Bolton "expressed the view that South Korea should face U.N. scrutiny over its recently revealed nuclear experiments."

Reports of the nuclear experiments include only "objective" facts concerning South Korea's nuke tests:
According to the 8-page report, the average enrichment level of the 0.2-gram uranium produced in the 2000 experiment was 10.2 percent, but a very small amount was close to 77 percent. As far as the quality is concerned, uranium enriched to 90 percent is generally considered weapons grade.
So the question remains: Should they refer the report to the UN Security Council for greater scrutiny, or just resolve it at a board metting on November 25? What does everyone think?

South Korea's Nuke Tests Deemed "A Mistake"

Hey all,

I noticed that the South Korean nuke tests was the topic of discussion so here is another article on the whole ordeal. It is quite evident that the IAEA is not too happy about it either:
The report clearly states, however, that the "failing to report to the IAEA was an objective mistake," and it appeared there was still the possibility South Korea's past nuclear experiment would be referred to the U.N. Security Council during the IAEA Board of Governor's meeting on Nov. 25.
Hmm, what was South Korea's response to all of this?

Thursday, November 11, 2004

South Korean nuke tests

In regards to the claim that South Korea has conducted enrichment experiments in order to produce weapons-grade materials, the International Atomic Energy Agency has stated that this indeed did occur but not a large quantity of material was made. The agency also stated that this program has not continued in South Korea. Here is an excerpt from the IAEA's report: "Although the quantities of nuclear material involved have not been significant, the nature of the activities -- uranium enrichment and plutonium separation -- and the failures of the ROK to report these activities in a timely manner ... is a matter of serious concern," You can find the rest of the article at

DPRK holds off on nuclear talks

This from BBC:

North Korea has indicated it is not ready to resume stalled multinational talks
on its nuclear weapons ambitions.
Analysts believe Pyonygyang had been
holding off in the hope that a new US president would be elected.
But in
their first comments since George W Bush's re-election, officials from the North
reportedly said an early resumption of talks was not possible.

This really isn't anything unexpected, considering North Korea has to reevaluate how it's going to gain anything from nuclear talks. Obviously it didn't get the outcome it wanted in the U.S. election (though it's debatable whether or not Kerry would have conceded more), so it's only recourse is to wait and see how Bush changes his NK policy (if at all).

Wednesday, November 10, 2004

Korean War bombing

Professor Larsen had a quote in his powerpoint last week about the bombing campaign in North Korea, it was something to the effect of "Everything has been destroyed, there is nothing there left worth bombing." Does anyone know the exact quote or who said it? If you can help me out e-mail me at Thanks

Nuke Korea

More information on the declassified documents that stated the U.S. had plans to nuke North Korea if the country attack South Korea. What's really interesting is the U.S. had kept nuclear weapons in South Korea until 1998 despite saying they had taken them out in 1991. Take a look.

Japanese NK Human Rights Bill

The Japanese are pushing for a North Korean human rights bill to be instituted, perhaps similar to the US North Korean Human Rights Act. This would place more international pressure on North Korea in relation to human rights issues. Doesn't seem like a bad idea at all. See the full story here: (Sorry the link thing doesn't work on my computer)

More sea border conflict

just got an email update from cnn about this story.. it is another incident near the place that the ones occured last week... the North wants to push the line farther south, and in 1999 declared it invalid.. it seems to me like they are pushing the south more and more in the recent weeks, and then blame the south saying that they are trying to start a clash. The north claims it was keeping Chinese boats under a watchful eye.

I feel like since I signed up for these email alerts, there have been quite a few in the past few weeks, between the skirmishes on water, the refugees escaping, and the hole in the fence on the DMZ.. maybe it is just because i havent really kept track of these issues before this, but i dont recall this many problems in as short a time..

suggestions as to if these may be intentional or truly what the North claims?

Tuesday, November 09, 2004

Team America: World Police

Hello all,

Today in class, someone mentioned the movie, Team America: World Police and asked if anyone had watched it. I actually saw the movie in theaters this past weekend, and I must say, it was very funny. In the film, Kim Jong Il wanted to destroy other countries in an attempt to have North Korea as the new superpower of the international system. Of course, he fails, but he is not completely destroyed (I do not wish to ruin it for those who have yet to watch it) which adds a comical twist to the ending.

Here is the link to the official website of Team America: World Police.


Nukes talks

Here is a bit of news: Russia today renewed its call for North Korean nukes talks. I wonder if North Korea will feel compelled to act now that the presidential election in the US is over.

Monday, November 08, 2004

Pyongyang Diaries

Finishing up the library assignment today, I took the opportunity to watch (half of) the documentary "Pyongyang Diaries." It was filmed by an Australian team shortly after Kim Il Sung's death. It reminded me in many ways of that documentary we started watching in class on Thursday. It captured anti-American sentiment in the North and demonstrated the DPRK government's control over its people's interpretation of history. It truly is amazing to me how effective the DPRK's government is insofar as being totalitarian. In the film, one North Korean woman expressed her desire and vision for a united Korea all paying tribute to Kim Il Sung and Kim Jong Il... I sincerely doubt that will ever happen.

On a secondary note, I enjoyed the beginning of the *new* North Korean documentary we watched in class and look forward to finishing it. It isn't very often Americans (or any other foreigners in that regard) can take a glimpse inside of the DPRK.

While we were finding WMDs in Iraq....

North Korea was busy shipping off nuclear materials to Iran.
According to the Shimbun, North Korea air transported several kilograms of
fluorine gas, a requisite material for producing the "fluorinated uranium
(UF6)," a material needed for making enriched uranium, to Iran on May 20.

Now, I don't know if this source is credible, but if it is, this topic should be cause for much concern. Also, an anti-war blog discusses Why North Korea Needs Nukes.

Sunday, November 07, 2004

change in bush policy?

This is an interesting article written by an asian news agency about how the Iraq war could influence Bush's policy in Iraq. It says that the primary lesson learned by the Bush administration during the Iraq war is that he cannot "go in alone" which he basically did in Iraq, with the exception of Poland. This will have two effects on his policy towards Iraq, the article says. One, it will further cement Bush's opinion that bilateral talks will not work. And second, in the event that military action is taken against the DPRK, Bush will first seek widespread international support and build a true coalition before going in. The article also says that even if North Korea did dismantle its weapons programs, Kim would never let weapons inspectors search the entire country. Finally, the article says that human rights should be as important an issue as nuclear proliferation if Bush wants to maintain a consistent foreign policy. He can't go into Iraq and then, when no weapons are found, claim that it was to remove a horrible dictator, and then let Kim reside in Pyongyang for ten more years. Do you guys think it would be hypocritical for Bush to invade Iraq and then let the North Korea situation simmer?

Bush Wants Multilateral Talks, but are they the right choice

Unfortunatly, now that President Bush has been re-elected, there will be multilateral talks with North Korea on there nuclear policies. Bush has promised to make talks with N.K. one of his top priorities in his next term. There is one problem, should there be multilateral talks, or nilateral talks. It is undersstood that over the past term of George W. Bush the six-party talks have been stalled many times. And, if Bush thinks that the six-party talks will ever continue he is out of his mind. How stupid can you be to continue something that has never worked in the past. He must be to lazy think of something new.

Nuclear Simulation

I found a very interesting article about the US simulating a nuclear invasion on NK if by any chance NK invades SK. Aircrafts would drop mock 30 warheads on numerous sites. This article also gives concrete info on the existence of the weapons sites in NK.

Saturday, November 06, 2004

resumption of talks?

According to this article, Bush and South Korea's President have agreed to resume six-party talks with North Korea. Japan also agreed to resume talks. I think that no matter what deal the U.S. and other countries present to North Korea, weapons inspectors are an essential condition. Obviously, having Kim Jong Il simply say that the weapons are gone isn't enough. I think if you remove the chance that North Korea has WMDs, then Kim loses a lot of bargaining room. I don't really think that we will have any chance at removing Kim; I think we have just have to wait until he dies. But, if we know that he doesn't have Weapons of Mass Destruction, it will make waiting easier.

North Korea's Response to Election

I found two articles from this website.....I'm not sure how accurate one of them is, seeing that it comes from the "Tehran Times" but I figured I would post it anyway.

SEOUL (Reuters) -- The deputy chief of North Korea's mission at the United Nations doubts newly reelected President George W. Bush will change U.S. policy toward Pyongyang, a South Korean newspaper reported on Friday.
Han Song-ryol told Hankyoreh, a left-wing daily, it was impossible to resume six-party talks on North Korea's nuclear programs at the moment although the multilateral talks format was nonetheless a good one

The second article talks about policy now, after the election.

BEIJING. Nov 6 (Interfax-China) - Pyongyang believes bilateral talks between North Korea and the United States would be the best way to seek a solution to international problems caused by North Korean nuclear programs, a North Korean diplomatic source said on Saturday.
The source told Interfax that North Korea and the United States would then be able to come to terms on 90% of their points of dispute.

More on Charles Jenkins

This is another article about Charles Jenkins. It is not necessarily a direct interview, but there are many direct quotes from Jenkins that is included throughout the article. For those who have not read about Jenkins yet, here is a brief overview of what happened:
  • Jenkins vanished from South Korea in 1965
  • For years he lived in a bare one-room hut with three other Americans
  • He and his wife were happily united in their hatred of the regime, he says
  • Jenkins, seeking leniency from the U.S. Army, is offering details on North Korean espionage

Despite defecting to the North, Jenkins is willing to accept what the Americans give him:

What he wants now is an end to a nearly four-decade odyssey as he prepares to turn himself over to the Americans. He has no interest in getting a civilian attorney. "The American army has supplied, assigned a very capable man to me, to help me, bring me to military justice. I don't think I need no civilians. All I want to do is clear myself with the American army.

North Korea's Nuclear Crisis

Now that the President has been reelected, North Koreans are demanding a shift in US policy toward North Korea. According to this article, North Korea will not engage in talks unless there are changes to US policies. A left-leaning writer for The New York Times said the following:
I’ve seen how the Bush administration manages its policy towards North Korea for four years, and I doubt that they will make any shift in policy in the future. [...] We will never give up our deterrence as long as the Bush administration keeps its hostile policy toward North Korea.
It would be interesting to see US-North Korean relations unfold throughout the course of the next few months.

Friday, November 05, 2004

More on Jenkins......

I found this article today containing Jenkin's description of his life in North Korea. It seems he and other American defectors were virtually prisoners, as they were confined to certain areas, often beaten, and forced to study and memorize the works of the Great Leader for up to sixteen hours per day. Jenkins tells of how he and his fellow prisoners once tried to escape at the Soviet embassy, but were turned away as soon as officials realized they weren't Russian. Interesting to read.

Thursday, November 04, 2004

Charles Jenkins

I've been keeping track of the Charles Jenkins case and he was sentenced I believe yesterday. He defected to North Korea in 1965 and stayed there until early this year. While he was in North Korea he taught students English and took part in propaganda announcements. He pleaded guilty to defecting in his trial. What suprised me about this case is that Jenkins was only sentenced to thirty days in prison. Apparantly plea bargained with U.S. Military Officers. I was expecting a sentence that was much more harsh. According to "I walked away from my squad ... for the purpose of going to North Korea," Jenkins told the court in a soft voice, adding that he had planned to desert for 10 days and had tied a white T-shirt to his rifle to signal his surrender, The Associated Press reported.

You can find the article here:

What a second term means for North Korea

All partisan affiliation put aside, I believe that the re-election of George W. Bush may benefit negotiations with North Korea more than Democrats are willing to admit. Though I believe John Kerry's bilateral approach to North Korea would be more effective than the current multilateral talks, Bush's relection forces North Korea to begin negotiating sooner than later. Suppose Kerry won the election, it still would have been about 3 months before he assumed office. All the meanwhile Kim Jung-il would be free to continue his nuclear proliferation and excuse his absence from negotiations by pointing the finger at the transition of administrations in the US. And then even after Kerry would take office (January 20) it would be difficult to expect him to drastically improve relations with North Korea as quickly as we'd like. Now Kim has no such excuse. For all of shrub's shortcomings, I hope he lives up to his tough talk in the weeks to come. Neither Bush nor Kim any longer have excuses to ignore one another.

North Korean Defector's Testimony

I don't remember if anyone's posted this site up or anything like it before, but there you go. The site offers an inside look at North Korea as experienced by a North Korean defector. I don't know how accurate it is, though. Still, it is very interesting and touches on many areas. The following is an excerpt from the site.

"North Korea sees political chaos in South Korea as the best window of opportunity, though US and Chinese reactions to the attack remain important variables. The North will attempt to instigate turmoil in the south through its underground espionage network, and strike when turmoil combines with an international incident that necessitates large-scale dispatch of US troops elsewhere. "

Again, I'm not entirely sure if all he says could possibly be true or not, but it's interesting to read anyway.

Wednesday, November 03, 2004

4 More Years...

So Kerry finally concedes. I watched the returns nonstop last night from 7:00pm-3:00am, predicting, correctly, that Bush would win. And indeed it did all come down to Ohio. As I have said before, I voted for Kerry, but I still truly did not mind a Bush victory. I have said many times there were both advantages and disadvantages to both of them.

I am glad Bush won for his North Korea policy of bilateral talks. Kim Jong Il had been known to be watching the American election closely before negotiating to see if there would be a shift in power. No dice. Maybe now he will submit and realize that multi-lateral talks are the only way he can communicate with us.

Anyway, I wouldn't have been completely happy with either Kerry or Bush becoming president, as each of them is significantly flawed. However, with Bush's victory, it is time to unite the country. I know we have been very polarized as a nation for the past year and more, but we have to accept the voters' decision. In this race, Bush won in both the popular vote and the electoral college, so I don't see this become another 2000 election debacle. It is my hope that such antics do not occur in 2004.

Tuesday, November 02, 2004


Check out the recently updated "Naenara" site. Definitely worth a browse.


According (at one remove) to South Korea's Yonhap News
North Korea on Tuesday urged its people to be armed against foreign liberal culture, saying the "bourgeois wave" is a psychological tactic by the United States aimed at destroying the Pyongyang regime. The U.S. "is trying to send in obscene publications and discrepant rogue recordings using travellers, and worse, mini-radios and televisions using balloons," Minju Chosun, the North Korean Cabinet's journal, said in its latest publication,
This caught my eye in light of Ken Quinones's statements about changing North Korea one mind at a time with DVD's, magazines and the like. It is apparent that some in P'yongyang are aware of the subversive potential of Western media.

DPRK claims southern provocation in naval incident

Of course, probably nothing new here. This BBC article, quoting the KCNA, conveys a North Korean assertion that its ships were on a "routine patrol" and that only the actions of its commanders prevented a bloody encounter.
To follow up Lauren's post, it seems that this kind of incident is nothing new, as similar encounters in years past have actually resulted in shots fired and people killed. I think North Korea is testing the limits of "how far it can go," like it does around the negotiating table.

Monday, November 01, 2004


Hey everyone, this isn't exactly on topic but it relates. Tonight PBS's Frontline will be about the choice between Bush and Kerry. I watched it in 2000 and it was very well done. It's on at 9:00 here, channel 26 for me.

Pressure on North Korea and Iran

here is an article talking about the nuclear situation in both the DPRK and Iran. Notice that he is frustrated by the lack of 6 party talks. He said he was "a bit frustrated" at the inefficiency of the talks and not drawing the North Koreans to negotiate.

He also said, "I'm telling the North Koreans again that the international community is ready to look into your security concerns, ready to look into your economic and humanitarian needs, but a prerequisite is for them to commit themselves to full, verifiable, dismantlement of their weapons program - as they say they have a weapons program,"

Now, if history serves as an indicator, which it has proved not to, ie. Red Sox, Kerry will be the president according to the outcome of yesterday's Redskins game (maybe its something to do with the Red theme...) He'll be for bilateral talks in North Korea, for United Nations involvement, and against the ideas of the UN's IAEA chief?

China's Harsh Words

On the eve of the election, China castigated George Bush for his pre-emptive strike policy and called the war in Iraq disasterous. China's former foreign minister Qian Quichen issued these words today and said that these actions would ultimately be the United States demise. He goes on to say that September 11th created an "Axis of Evil." Is this just another rant or does it hold some truth to it? Take a look and tell me what you all think. HERE

Something Bigger Going On?

Hey All-
Saw this article on this morning. It says that 3 North Korean navy vessels crossed the maritime border in 2 separate locations, causing South Korean patrol boats to fire upon the ships and force them back over the border. My question is, could something on a larger scale being going on here? I think that when you combine this information with the information about the 3 holes in the DMZ fence, chances are pretty high that the two are somehow related and that something is in the works. What does everyone think?