Friday, June 27, 2008

Bush will push for North Korea to be taken off the terrorist list

So Bush is actually going to recommend that Congress take North Korea off the terrorist list.  The New York Times article here talks about the controversy over the decision.  I really hope this helps show the US's intention for peace.


I found this video on youtube and thought it was really important.  I was not able to watch the entire thing, because it is an hour long, but the parts i did watch are really powerful.  Before taking this class i had not idea about the extent to which concentration camps and this type of human rights abuses were occurring.  It is pretty unbelievable to hear the first guy talk about the ways in which North Korea is extremely controlled and repressive

Must See: Demolition of Yeongbyun Nuclear Reactor Cooling Tower

This film shows demolition of the Yeongbyun Nuclear Reactor cooling system. You should see this clip. It's historically very symbolic and let's hope that the Six-Part-Talk will progress further.

N. Korea Destroys Cooling Tower at Its Nuclear Facility

As announced last week, North Korea blew up the cooling tower of its nuclear reactor in Yongbyon Friday afternoon to symbolize its commitment to nuclear disarmament, one day after declaring its atomic programs. Interestingly, it was televised live through the CNN. Yongbyon is at the heart of U.S.-led diplomatic efforts to shut down the North's nuclear program in exchange for energy aid and major diplomatic and security benefits.

As President G. W. Bush said, it is an important step.
It may affect positively for the time being in the point that North Korea decided to move first.
This grand bargain can work? Does it put an end to the stalemate between the U.S. and the DPRK? We do not know yet. It is hard to predict. But, one certain thing is that it is nothing but a begining of the whole process. The process of verification might be very thorny for both sides in the near future. We thus should not be agitated by NK's symbolic demolition of its nuclear facility. Perhaps, Washington has such a precautious perspective toward North Korea, as seen in the remark from President Bush and Secretary of State, Condi Rice.

"We will trust you only to the extent that you fulfill your promises" [G. W. Bush]

"It is important to get North Korea out of the plutonium business, but that will not be the end of the story'' [Condoleezza Rice ]

Check out a diversity version of articles.


[Washington Post]

[New York Times]


Thursday, June 26, 2008

New Data Found on North Korea's Nuclear Capacity
Glenn Kessler
Washington Post
Saturday, June 21, 2008; Page A08

The reason that I chose this news piece is that it shows that the issue of North Korea's desire of becoming a very formidable nuclear power is a complex one. The new intelligence obtained through 18,000 pages of North Korean documents, shows that there is a high possibility that North Korea has a B-plan. That is to say that, North Korea might have pursued an alternative path to producing a nuclear weapon. If this has been the case, then, this new information has to be incorporated into the framework of the upcoming talks. Or to put it differently, the U.S. negotiators need to be more concerned about the intentions and capabilities of North Korea within the context of nuclear armament.

Jung Dae Sae VS Park Ji Sung

North Korean Striker, Jung Dae Sae

South Korea and North Korea had soccer match and the result was not good for South Korean because both Korea tied.

North Korea's star member who leads the most of offense is Jung Dae Sae. He plays soccer in Japanese team, Kawasaki Protalren It is very rare case that North Korean sports man playing soccer in foreign country. Not only he is playing soccer in Japan but also he went to school in Japan which is very surprising. Currently he is the only player in North Korea's team who plays soccer in Japanese league (J-league).

Lee Yong Pyo (Tottenham)
Ahn Jung Hwan (used to play in Italy)

Seol Ki Hyun (Fulham FC)
However, In South Korean team, there are number of players who played soccer in overseas like Netherlands, Italy, England, and Japan. Especially Park Ji Sung is one of the best player in South Korean team. His team is the Machester United.
There are more players who played in Europe; Ahn Jung Hwan, Seol Ki Hyun, Kim Doo Hyun, Lee Young Pyo, and more but despite the number of experienced players in South Korea, the result was tie not victory. Therefore I hope South Korea do better in the future, may there is chance to have another match with North Korea. North Korea's continuous participation in foreign countries sports event is surprising and shows that Kim Jong Il's interest of sports.
Here's soccer match Video clip b/w two Korea
RED color is North White is South
Guy who scored from N.Korea is JUNG DAE SAE

N.Korean Tae Kwon Do & South Korean Tae Kwon Do

There are varieties of Tae Kwon Do, not all Tae Kwon do styles are same there are slight difference between WTF(World Tae Kwon Do Federation) ITF(International Tae Kwon Do Federation) and Pro Tae Kwon Do.

Most popular version would be the WTF Tae Kwon Do which is now playing in Olympic. The Taekwondo institute in Ameica is also mostly WTF style. Some of them are known as ATA (American Teakwondo Association) but still shares most of style with WTF.

However what North Korea mostly likely to do is ITF style of Taekwondo. ITF style was created by Korean-Japanese people in Japan which allows more aggressive attacks using knees and more variety of hand use. Since N.Korea had contnuous interaction with Japan that N.Korea brought most of Taekwondo martial artist from Japan that becomes the standard style of N.Korea's Taekwondo.

Since its allowance of using knee and hand technique consider more brutal and powerful than WTF style. WTF Style is more suitable for sports and standarization for Olympics.

South Korea and North Korea, both teaches Taekwondo as necessary military martial arts. The military version of South Korean Taekwondo is almost aggressive as ITF style. There is also Pro TaeKwondo which is somewhat similar to ITF version of Taekwondo that allow to use knees and direct punch attacks on the head. Also the uniform (도복, Do Bok)shapes are different. ITF Taekwondo wears uniform with some stripe lines on the side where as WTF wears mostly plain white color uniform

WTF Taekwondo has standard rule in Olympics and still changing rules in order to achieve more dynamics of game.

1. No direct attack on head by hand
2. Fancy kick counts more points (New Rule)
3. Stron Punch below sholder only counts as a point
4. No attack on the person on the ground
5. No attack on the behind

Also they add new gears that counts points automatically which will show in 2008 Olymoic.

so on.

Here's video clips compare the difference.

North Korean TKD (Taekwondo) Demo team

South Korea's WTF TKD

Besides TaeKwonDo there variety of Martial Arts that are originated in Korea.
There are so many Korean Martial Arts

This is South Korean military Martial Arts besides TKD known as Teokong MuSul

Korean Traditional Martial Arts similar to TKD, Taekkyun
It has combination of kick in the distance and grappling in close range
This Takkyun's basic movement looks like a dancing but it is the key element of Taekkyun. The flexibility reveals the most when the person is relaxed without any tension therefore they continously move with flexible gestures. The strong stick can be break easy but flexible things never breaks but bend. This is the key terminology behind the Taekkyun.

Korean Wrestling, SSIREUM, similar to Mongolian Wrestling

Most recently invented South Korean Martial Arts Gong Kwon Yu Sul, created in 1997
It is creadted by a guy who have done various martial arts and combine the best of each martial arts and becomes the Gong Kwon Yu Sul. Most of moves are combination of Mixed Martial Arts(MMA) resemble to UFC or Pride.

Funny Video

We talked a lot about Juche and how North Korea emphasizes the group rather than the individual. Here is a commercial about one of the performances that went wrong and is funny.

Kim Jong Il's Bodyguards

Check this out. It is a video on the training and expectations of Kim Jong Il's bodyguards with first hand accounts. I thought at first it wasn't real. If it is its pretty amazing.

Kim Jong Il Jokes

I was looking around and stumbled across these jokes a while ago and didn't understand a lot of them but now that the class is complete, comprehension is a little more complete. See what you guys think.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Issues with taking North Korea off of terrorist list

An article in the New York Times today illustrates the current issue of North Korea's nuclear weapons, its relationship with Japan, and the likelihood of removing North Korea from the US's terrorist list. Japan, who plans to discuss this issue when Condoleezza Rice visits soon, wants North Korea to discuss issues of Japanese abductions that occurred in the 1970s and 80s, of which some were returned and some were pronounced dead. Before sending any aid, Japan wants to know details about the deaths of those kidnapped. What is interesting about this article is that North Korea could possibly hand over a list of their nuclear activity as early as Thursday. This would be a huge step in normalizing North Korea's relationship with the United States and other foreign powers in regards to nuclear stability and a slight opening of North Korean society. Yet the article continues saying that the removal of North Korea from the blacklist is not eminent and will be a long process, but will consider Japan's request. Yet, from this article, there is obvious connotations of the eventuality of removing North Korea off the terrorist list as well as the possibility of getting to the bottom of the North Korean nuclear capability, which up until now has been marred with secrecy.

Funny North Korean Ad video

I was searching through Youtube and found this.
I have no idea what this is an ad for, but there are things about it that are very insightful. First, the militarism that is shown in the beginning with the practicing of the huge football-like signs is directed by a military official. In addition to this, there is footage of a huge parade, obviously for Kim Jong-il (although, obviously, played by someone else - which in itself is interesting that anyone would want to take up that role considering the type of possible backlash that could have). But when the main guy - who is frustrated over his inability to conform - wakes up, the alarm clock has at its center a picture of the great leader. It then flashes to the parade, where the military is walking perfectly in line, people are overjoyed and emotional by the sight of the great leader, and there are military personnel surrounding Kim Jong-il. At the end, when there is a gap in his teeth, and the leaders reaction to it, is indicative of how important uniformity and participation in such events are essential to North Korean life. The main issue with this ad is the very last part when you see the main guy sleeping - there is no way, he could EVER be sleeping so calmly knowing the consequences to his actions. But either way it is a fun video

One Blogger's Trip to North Korea

I found this great blog from this guy who travelled to North Korea in October 2005. His descriptions of the organized day trips to different sites are detailed and give us interesting insight into daily life. His account is pretty funny too because he adds a lot of his own commentary. He was able to take a ton of great pictures, which kind of surprised me because I thought they were pretty strict about that. I thought it was interesting that the tour group stayed in a hotel on an island in the middle of the Taedong River to isolate them from the locals. The description and pictures of the local food and beer were interesting and a lot of the stuff looked really good.

Reading the blog, I felt like North Korea was a lot more approachable than the media tries to convey, and could even be a nice vacation spot. But of course, one must keep in mind the atrocities that are simultaneously happening outside the city, where access to food is unreliable and concentration camps are fully operating.

Defectors Face New Challenges as the Olympic Torch Relay Continues in China

Emir had posted a while back about the Olympic Torch passing through North Korea. Not surprisingly, it was met with beautifully arranged festivities. The same is not true of the rest of the world. Protests have followed the torch throughout its world tour and have not entirely settled since it has reached China. The torch now continues to travel throughout China as part of the Mainland China Torch Relay and the latest concern for many people, especially in South Korea, is the treatment of North Korean defectors. The Mainland China Torch Relay is to hit every province, including the Jilin Province which borders North Korea. The city chosen to welcome the torch is Yanji, an interesting choice because its population largely consists of North Korean defectors. Chinese officials are now staging large-scale resident registration investigation in preparation for the torch’s July 19th arrival in Yanji. Though the investigation is not specifically targeting defectors, many have been arrested or are forced to spend this next month in hiding. This article explains further.

I would like to hope that this situation will increase world-wide awareness of the defector problem, as is true of Tibet. However, it does not seem like either China or North Korea isready to change its ways, no matter the amount of worldwide criticisms.

The Korean War was premeditated by U.S.

It is June 25th tomorrow, which is the day that the Korean War broke out 50 years ago. While negotiating with the U.S., the DPRK's Roh-dong newspaper repeatedly claimed that the Korean War was schemed by the U.S. in a covert way.

They place an emphasis that U.S. President, Harry Trumen appointed warmonger, the Gen. Douglas MacArther and commanded reorganization of military for provacation in Korean peninsula. To back up their argument, they presented the fact that the U.S. reviewed the whole war sceanarios and issued NSC-68, reflecting on U.S. hegemony. NSC-68 was a classfied report which guided U.S. behavioral directions in the formative stages of the Cold War, which has become one of the classic historical documents of the Cold War.

The Roh-dong newspaper argues that the U.S. did military provocations near the 38th parallel, waiting for DPRK to react, with a purpose to pass the buck to DPRK as an initigator of war. It also contends that the Gen. MacArthur summoned Syngman Rhee, the ROK president to give 11 special directions concerning the approaching war as the plan was set up in Feb, 1950.

Well, as we discussed in class, anti-Amerianism in North Korea is no surprising, rather a typical strategy for North Korea. They have made propaganda to instill such an idea to people's mind. Regardless of the fact, it is evident that it must have been played a critical role in maintaining Kim's regime as a solid ground, demonstrating another tier of DPRK politics, which is for domestic control. What a deceitful kingdom it is!

Monday, June 23, 2008

Taepodong 1 and Taepodong 2 missiles

Below are two links to wikipedia articles with details about the Taepodong 1 and Taepodong 2 missiles. I chose the wikipedia articles because they contain the most amount of information on the two missle types. They are really interesting and don't take long to read, so I suggest everyone take a look!

Taepodong 1

Taepodong 2

North Korea's missiles

Here is an article from the Asian Times from 2006. The article discusses North Korea's Hwasong programme and its relatively new Taepodong missiles. Although it is about 2 years old, it is incredibly interesting and suggest everyone reads it.

President Bush & President Kim Dae-Jung Meet in Seoul

I came across this transcript of President Bush and President Kim Dae-Jung's meeting from 2002, and obviously a lot of time has passed since then but there are some interesting things to note, not just in what they say, but how they say it. President Kim Dae Jung's tone seems more respectful almost while Bush seems like he is talking to just any friend at a bbq. Also, I suppose that this quote was not meant to be sarcastic, but reading it in english is rather funny, Kim Dae Jung says " I would like to warmly welcome President Bush and thank him for taking time out of the war against terrorism to visit our country." I found it sarcastic and funny, but im sure that is not the way it was meant. The entire transcript is basically them saying how important their alliance is rather than actually saying anything of substance, which is telling. There really does not seem to be much to say, because America does have such an influence in most South Korean actions. It is worth taking a look at

The Two Births of Kim Jong Il

I was just looking at random things about North Korea and I came across this. Its just a video about the two births of Kim Jong Il. It covers the legend about him coming from Mt. Paektu and the real story about him being born in Siberia.

Capital of Willows Hotel

This is pretty cool. It is a story about a hotel in Pyongyang that would have been extravagant had it not been for the shortage of funding and electricity. Korea had planned on attracting foreign investors and adding casinos and other attractions but now the hotel is unoccupied and is not open for business. It is a massive empty building in North Korea's capital city.

Sunday, June 22, 2008

"North and South Korea play out drab draw in Seoul"

North Korea and South Korea had a soccer match today successfully. The final score was 0:0. Because both countries were already qualified for next round, I think the tied game was better politically. However, I was surprised to see South Korea couldn't defeat the North even when they have way better facility, equipment, and training program. I also could see one player having Japanese name. It's probably because he was whether born or raised in Japan. But North Korea only uses his Korean name while some other forecasts often use both his Korean and Japanese name. I am glad that they were able to play each other regardless of political tension that had been going on.

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Using Disarming Nuclear facility as a SHOW in N.Korea

Here News Article from Chosun

N.Korean government even using disarming nuclear facility in young byun as a Show Event.
N.Korea is plan to explode the Freezing tower of Young Byun Nuke facility. This Exploding event as a symbol of demilitarizing North Korea. Therefore N.Korea is plan to broadcast Young Byun Nuclear facility to outside broadcasting companies as well. Since they allow outside broadcasting company to join the event that they request more money for the United States government.

So far N.Korea is very cooperative to disarming Nuke facility and the U.S. promised to erase their name from the Terrorist countries. Condi will visit S.Korea at the end of June and discuss more about this N.Korea issue.

Such cooperation from the North Korea is very unsual sign which wonders why the N.Korea is so cooperative to this disarming the nuke facility.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Snapshot of Kim Jung-il's second son, Kim Jung-chol

Recently, the Great leader's son, Kim Jung-il's second son whose name is Kim Jung-chol's photos were released to public by Jung Sung-jang, the researcher in Sejong institute.
These photos were taken the days that Kim Jr. went to school in Switzerland(1993-1998).
For his security, he used his pseudo name, Chol Pak.
In the photos, he just looks like an ordinary youth from a luxurious family.
It is interesting that Kim could afford to send his son to Switzerland.
How benevolent father Kim Jung-il is!

As you know, North Korea suffered from extreme poverty during the period he studied abroad.
This is a big contrast, reminding me of the people that we saw in the video clip in class.
Accoring to recent news article, he led a sort of inspection[Geom-yeol] of Cheon-jin city. Allegedly, his amateurish leadership was object of criticism there.

Despite a lot of rumors, the sucession of leadership is still veiled in mystery
Can North Korean people worship him as their fatherly-caring leader, Kim Il-sung and Kim Jung-il?

Well, he is young. (Oh my goodness, he and I are of the same age. Maybe I can be his friend later.) Besides, he is unexperienced, obviously as seen in the recent inspection.
I am skeptical about another inheritance from Kim Jong-il to whoever it is among his distingushed sons. But, who knows. I guess it is wiser to wait and see Kim Jong-il's decision than make a wrong prediction based on unreliable sources.

North and South Korea

Rocket man v Bulldozer

Apr 3rd 2008 | SEOUL
From The Economist print edition

A rapid return to the bad old days of lurid insults and apocalyptic threats

The reason that I chose this article is that most of the time, in the media, whenever North Korea issue is investigated, it comes dominantly attached to the United States. However, South Korea has been the instrumental player by default. The article made me think that South Korea's perspective is instrumental in shaping the tension between North Korea and the United States. For South Korea unification is important because it will enable broken families to reunite. Also, South Korea expects significant amount of economic benefits from the unification. Already, according to the article, South Korean shipbuilders are planning to open up facilities in North Korea. Furthermore, the article mentions that South Korean businesspeople have lots of investment plans in regard to North Korea. I believe this revealed appetite by South Koreans for the unification is making North Korea a tough bargainer before the United States on the matters associated with the nuclear weapons. I believe South Korea should show that it can do good even there is no unification. South Korea should not forget that the way you look at the car in the dealer will not make you bargain effectively on the price of the car.