Sunday, May 29, 2005

North Korea "facing food crisis"

This article highlights the major humanitarian crisis facing North Korea. Since North Korea continues to pursue a nuclear program, many countries refuse to send food. This policy could lead to major food crisis that will affect the people more than the government. Kim Jong Il may not give into to such international pressure, and could continue to develop nuclear weapons while the people starve. The "dear leader" has put his country is a precarious place by refusing the discuss his weapon arsenal. If famine conditions grow worse and the people are deprived of food, Kim Jong Il may face retaliation from his people.

Thursday, May 26, 2005

North Korean and South Korean Conflict Timeline

Hey guys,
I was looking for a summary of the relationshp between North Korea and South Korea. CNN gives a nice timeline that helps provide a good understanding of what happened from 1950-2003. Its a bit old, but it helps show what happened before and how the past plays a part on future relations.

China as possible muscle against NK nuclear program?

Found this article in my browsing of current news that suggests China may in fact serve as some muscle against North Korea's insistance on being a nuclear power. Could these two nations come to blows or how will KJI react to an ultimatum of "dire consequences" imposed by China regarding a spoke of nuclear test in NK?,10117,15407123-401,00.html

MIA recovery halted in North Korea

I had no idea that the US even had a thought out agreement/system in place in order to try and retrieve remains of soldiers that never returned from Korea... unfortunate to read this agreement is now on hold.

Wednesday, May 25, 2005

Pre-emptive Nuclear threats

In the article below, the possiblity of pre-emptive nuclear strike by North Korea against the US is mentioned as the latest diplomatic turn between the two countries. Quinones' work suggests that North Korea may have enough plutonium for about 8 nuclear warheads and also that there are nuclear research facilities in North Korea. Also, the media recently has devoted much attention to the possibility of North Korea's conducting their first experimental detonation, as shown by a big hole dug, and then filled up again. As Quinones points out however, North Korea may not be able to back up their threats. We still do not know if the trigger for the bomb will work, and even if it does, North Korea does not appear to have the technology to launch a nuclear weapon at a great distance. While North Korea could 'pre-emptively' destroy Seoul and many American lives and bases, one must consider skeptically a North Korea-lead nuclear attack on North American soil.

Pyongyang refuses to rule out first strike amid nuclear standoff

Nothing new really, however, it seems N.Korea has once again put "nuclear first strike" on the table as a means of negotiation,1,6042259.story?coll=bal-nationworld-headlines

US Considering Food Aid to NK

Here's an AFP story highlighting US discussion on working with the UN's WFP to deliver food aid to famine-stricken North Korea, despite heightened nuclear tensions.

CFR, North Korea: The Nuclear Threat

I found this good question and answer piece published by the Council on Foreign Relations.

It gives a brief account of the supposed current state of the North Korean nuclear arsenal, and the U.S. administration's refusal to engage in direct negotiations with the DPRK, as doing so would be engaging in "nuclear blackmail"

Tuesday, May 24, 2005

North Korean Art

Hello All,

I found an interesting article online at NY Times entitled "A Gallery Peers Into the Closed World of North Korean Art," published May 18, 2005. Since much of what North Korea does is often closed to the public, it is nice to get a glimpse of some of its cultural expressions. Over 1,000 pieces of artwork that was produced in the Pyongyang Art Studio are now being displayed in Beijing due to a negotiation between the North Korean Government and a Briton named Nicholas Bonner. There is not much creative or individual expression allowed in North Korea, so painting is probably one of the few ways artists can express any form of creativity. However, the article explains that this creativity is limited and strictly regulated. There are basically only two types of artwork produced: Soviet-influenced socialist realist depictions of industrial workers, and traditional studies of nature. The article also goes on to discuss how North Korean artists are trained, "artists are still trained largely so that they can celebrate the state's accomplishments and help guide the people according to the government's wishes." I recommend the article to get a taste of North Korean culture. If you go to the article, you can also view a picture of one of the paintings entitled, "Breaktime at the Ironworks."