Posts Tagged Kim

Kim Jong-un Defends Right to Obtain Journalists’ Phone Records : The New Yorker


MAY 14, 2013

KIM JONG-UN DEFENDS RIGHT TO OBTAIN JOURNALISTS’ PHONE RECORDS

POSTED BY ANDY BOROWITZ

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PYONGYANG (The Borowitz Report)—As controversy swirled around the Department of Justice’s move to obtain journalists’ phone records, the White House picked up a vote of support today from an unexpected source, Supreme Leader Kim Jong-un of North Korea.

“I honestly don’t see what the fuss is all about,” Mr. Kim said in an official statement today. “Of course it’s the government’s right to know what people are doing at all times—and journalists would be right at the top of the list.”

Mr. Kim also offered a vigorous defense of the I.R.S. policy of auditing the tax returns of organizations that oppose the government: “Again, this is something I wouldn’t lose a wink of sleep over, and I know Dad felt the same way.”

In what was an otherwise laudatory statement about the activities of the U.S. government, Mr. Kim offered one small critique: “They could save themselves the work of conducting audits and obtaining phone records if they would just get rid of journalists and anti-government groups in the first place. But, you know, baby steps.”

All in all, news of the I.R.S. audits and phone-records scandals have given the mercurial dictator hope that North Korea and the United States might have warmer relations in the future: “We have a lot more in common than I thought.”

 Kim Jong-un Defends Right to Obtain Journalists’ Phone Records  : The New Yorker.

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Why North Korea’s Rocket Mattered – NYTimes.com


Why North Korea’s Rocket Mattered

By SUNG-YOON LEE
Published: April 13, 2012

 

MEDFORD, Mass.

Oliver Munday and Jason Arias

SPECTACULAR failure though it was,North Korea’s latest rocket launching calls for punitive measures from America and its allies. Bad engineering is no reason for complacency; the benchmark for American policy must be North Korea’s intent. And for decades, that government has been determined to develop nuclear-tipped long-range missiles that would give it leverage over the United States on a host of issues.

It’s predictable that the misfire has triggered over-analysis and scapegoating, with calls for calm and tales of an internal power struggle between “hawks” and “doves” in the new Kim Jong-un government. Others say America and South Korea should re-engage the government in Pyongyang. Both views ignore the fact that Kim Jong-un is following a path of alternating provocations and peace offensives paved by his grandfather Kim Il-sung and perfected by his father, Kim Jong-il.

No government enjoys total unanimity. But the notion that in totalitarian North Korea, a few disgruntled military men might put their foot down and reverse a course of engagement set by their leader is foolish. It ignores the nature of the power structure in the North. For more than a half-century, the Kim clan has kept the military in line through vicious purges, competition that fosters loyalty to the leader, selective rewards and a multilayered security apparatus. While a military clique may one day challenge or even overthrow Kim Jong-un, the notion that the military wields a veto now is a mirage that plays into North Korea’s stratagems.

And for those inclined to believe that the North can be persuaded to change its behavior with inducements, consider this: Except for the invasion of the South in 1950, North Korea has never suffered a lasting or devastating penalty for its many attacks and provocations. On the contrary, it has often been rewarded for false pledges.

From January 1968 to December 1969, North Korea acted with impunity: It sent commandos into Seoul in a failed effort to kill the South Korean president, Park Chung-hee; it seized the United States Navy spy ship Pueblo and its crew, killing one sailor and holding 82 prisoners for 11 months until it got an apology from the Johnson administration; it shot down an American reconnaissance plane, killing 31 servicemen aboard, on Kim Il-sung’s birthday in 1969; and it ambushed and killed four American soldiers patrolling the military demarcation line in October 1969.

A thaw followed in the early 1970s, thanks to American rapprochement with China. Talks between North and South ensued. Kim Il-sung called for diplomatic talks with America. But then North Korea resumed attacks. In 1974 it made another attempt on President Park’s life, in which his wife died. In 1976 North Korean guards hacked two American soldiers to death.

In 1983, as North Korea sought talks with America, its agents targeted the South Korean president Chun Doo-hwan, with a bomb in Rangoon, Burma (now Yangon, Myanmar). He survived, but 17 other South Korean officials died. In 1998 North Korea fired a missile over Japan while America, South Korea and Japan were sending energy aid. In 2006 it test-fired a long-range missile on July 5 and staged its first nuclear test three months later. In 2009, it launched a long-range rocket in April and tested a nuclear device on Memorial Day.

In all of these episodes, North Korea was never penalized in any meaningful way. Indeed, several provocations were followed by blandishments — rewards, in effect — in the form of food, fuel and cash from North Korea’s risk-averse adversaries in Seoul and Washington.

This record shows that North Korea doesn’t respond to either rhetorical hostility or diplomatic civility. Its latest ballistic stunt followed a long pattern of ignoring outside warnings. But the American response should not also be the usual — strong on rhetorical condemnation, weak on punitive action and generous in damage-control concessions. North Korea clearly seeks to continue this profitable cycle by dangling before America the possibility of denuclearization, even as it conducts missile and nuclear tests.

Now, as Kim Jong-un is believed to be preparing for another nuclear test, the question remains how much longer America and its allies will take before devising a new collective strategy — one that does not settle for short-term diplomatic gains at the cost of long-term strategic interests.

They can start by responding to the failed launching on Friday as if it had succeeded. The Obama administration is correct to cancel food shipments, which were contingent on a halt to missile and nuclear tests. But it should go further and act with its allies to hit the Kim government itself — by tightening economic sanctions aimed at the privileged few at the top of the Kim dynasty’s power structure; by not relenting in that pressure for the mere privilege of talking with North Korea; and by taking new measures to counter the propaganda apparatus with which the government controls the long-suffering North Korean people.

That may not stem North Korea’s provocations in the short term. But the alternative is, at best, another half-century of putting up with provocations from the North or, far worse, a major nuclear crisis that ends in a devastating war.

 Why North Korea’s Rocket Mattered – NYTimes.com.

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Failed North Korean Launch a Setback for Kim Jong-un – NYTimes.com


Rocket Failure Is Setback for North Korea’s New Leader

Vincent Yu/Associated Press

The North Korean leader, Kim Jong-un, right, attended an unveiling ceremony for statues of late leaders in Pyongyang on Friday

By CHOE SANG-HUN

Published: April 13, 2012

 

SEOUL, South Korea — For the new North Korean leader, Kim Jong-un, his government’s failure to put a satellite into orbit on Friday was a $1 billion humiliation.

David Guttenfelder/Associated Press

A news conference on the rocket launching in Pyongyang, North Korea.

Bobby Yip/Reuters

The Unha-3 rocket at the West Sea Satellite launch site in Pyongyang on April 8.

Mr. Kim wanted to mark his formal ascension to top political power — timed to the country’s biggest holiday in decades, the 100th birthday of his grandfather and North Korean founder, Kim Il-sung — with fireworks, real and symbolic. And the launching of its Kwangmyongsong, or Bright Shining Star, satellite was the marquee event.

On Friday, the satellite disintegrated in a different kind of fireworks. The rocket carrying it exploded midair about two minutes after the liftoff, according to American, South Korean and Japanese officials. The rocket and satellite, which cost the impoverished country an estimated $450 million to build, according to South Korean government estimates, splintered into many pieces and plunged into the gray blue waters of the Yellow Sea.

The launching drew swift international condemnation; the United Nations Security Council has prohibited such tests by North Korea for fear they are pretexts for testing missiles that could eventually deliver nuclear bombs. But the failure was at least as worrisome, injecting a new note of unpredictability at an already uncertain time, with Kim Jong-un still trying to consolidate power just months after his father’s death.

Most analysts believe the failed test will encourage the military — with Mr. Kim as its official leader — to take some provocative action to bolster its credentials, increasing the likelihood of a nuclear test that the country appeared to already be preparing. But the recent machinations over a deal with the United States, in which the North made an agreement for food aid, then reneged quickly, have at least raised the possibility that a power struggle was already under way. That raised questions about whether the launch failure would hurt hardliners and embolden those who believe the North has an opportunity to extract new concessions from the West if it avoids further provocation. At the United Nations, the Security Council met in emergency consultations Friday but took no action to punish the North for the launching. The council said in a statement that it “deplored this launch” as a violation of two Security Council resolutions, 1718 and 1874, which prohibit North Korea from conducting such activity and penalize the country with an arms embargo and other sanctions. The statement said the council would “continue consultations on an appropriate response, in accordance with its responsibilities, given the urgency of the matter.”

Briefing reporters afterward, Susan E. Rice, the American ambassador and rotating council president, declined to specify whether a further response would include new sanctions on North Korea, but she said “we think it’s important that the Council respond credibly. And we will be working in that direction.”

Despite the embarrassing technology setback, Mr. Kim was installed hours after the launching as the new head of the national defense commission, his country’s highest state agency, during a parliamentary meeting in the country’s capital, Pyongyang, on Friday. That was the last among the top military, party and state posts that have been transferred to him from his father, Kim Jong-il, who died in December.

For the launching and probably other future tests, North Korea has recently completed a brand new launch site near the western border with China — at a cost of $400 million according the South Korean estimates.

The rocket reached only about 94 miles in altitude, far less than 310 miles required to place a satellite into orbit and, as North Korean officials liked to say, present “a gift” to the closest the North Koreans had to a heavenly God: Kim Il-sung.

In a socialist country steeped in the traditions of a Confucian dynasty, it is of paramount import for the young leader, Mr. Kim, to embellish his rise to power with events that showed his loyalty to his forefathers while demonstrating his own abilities to lead, analysts said. Both Kim Il-sung and Kim Jong-il, ever fearful of an attack from the United States, had dreamed of North Korea having a functioning nuclear deterrent; American intelligence officials already believe the country has the fuel for several bombs, but they do not yet believe it has figured out how to deliver those warheads on missiles that could threaten the West.

“The main drive behind the rocket launch was domestic politics,” said Kim Yong-hyun, a professor of North Korean studies at Dongguk University in Seoul and a visiting scholar at Johns Hopkins University’s Paul H. Nitze School of Advanced International Studies in Washington. “They wanted to introduce the Kim Jong-un era with a big celebratory bang. They wanted to make their people believe that they were now a powerful nation.”

The government, more famous for shutting off its country from the outside world, had intensified the pre-launch publicity. It trumpeted the satellite program as a key achievement of Mr. Kim, claiming that he had personally directed a previous satellite launching in 2009. It also invited foreign journalists to visit the launch site and command and control center.

The result was more than a loss of face. North Korea lost 240,000 tons of food aid, estimated to be worth $200 million, that Washington had promised in February but then said it was canceling because of the announced rocket launch.

South Korea did not lose the opportunity to jab at the North’s hurt pride.

“It is very regrettable that North Korea is spending enormous resources on developing nuclear and missile capabilities while ignoring the urgent welfare issue of the North Korean people such as chronic food shortages,” said its foreign minister, Kim Sung-hwan.

“It is hard to imagine a greater humiliation,” a North Korea expert, Marcus Noland, saidon his blog at the Web site of the Peter G. Peterson Institute for International Economicsin Washington.

“The North Koreans have managed in a single stroke to not only defy the U.N. Security Council, the United States and even their patron China, but also demonstrate ineptitude,” Mr. Noland said. “Some of the scientists and engineers associated with the launch are likely facing death or the gulag as scapegoats for this embarrassment.”

Launch failures are not uncommon even for rich and technologically advanced nations. But in the myth-filled world of the Kim family, there is little room for failure. The North’s two previous attempts to put a satellite into orbit failed, according to American officials, but both times the government insisted that the satellites were circling the earth and broadcasting songs about its great leaders.

This time, it had to admit to failure, analysts said, because of the presence of so many foreign reporters and because neighboring countries were watching the much-anticipated launch more closely than ever. On Friday, the North’s Central TV interrupted its regular programs to report the news. While this indicated that the government was not withholding the political embarrassment from its people, foreign reporters in Pyongyang said four long hours of eerie silence passed before the government admitted to its abortive launch.

Still, analysts warned, it was not a time for the North’s critics to gloat.

The North’s admission “suggests that, although a major setback to North Korea’s plan to celebrate Kim Il-sung’s centenary with a demonstration of hi-tech prowess, it is not such an embarrassment that they would try to deny it,” said John Delury, a North Korea expert at Yonsei University in Seoul. “There will be more propaganda opportunities over the weekend that perhaps can make up for the satellite’s fizzle.”

One question that Friday’s failed launch raises is: Where will the new leadership turn now for a much needed legitimization of Mr. Kim’s dynastic succession?

“Now it has become more certain that North Korea will raise tensions and go ahead with its third nuclear test to recover some of its lost face, especially if the United States pushes for more sanctions,” said Cheong Seong-chang, an analyst at Sejong Institute.

 Failed North Korean Launch a Setback for Kim Jong-un – NYTimes.com.

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Borowitz Report – Trump to Run for President of North Korea


Bottom of Form

POSTED DECEMBER 19, 2011

Trump to Run for President of North Korea

Promises Continuity of Leadership

 

 

PYONGYANG (The Borowitz Report) – Within hours of the death of North Korean dictator Kim Jong-Il, real estate mogul Donald Trump roiled the political situation in that Stalinist country by announcing that he would run for its presidency.

“Kim Jong-Il ruled North Korea as the egomaniacal leader of a personality cult,” Mr. Trump told reporters en route to Pyongyang.   “I can offer continuity of leadership.”

But Mr. Trump’s bid may be complicated by reports that, despite his death, the mercurial Kim plans to remain in power until 2024.

“He intended to rule North Korea until 2028,” said one North Korean government source.  “His death moves up that timetable a bit.”

In Pyongyang, North Koreans officially marked the death of Kim by having their first meal in thirty years.

Officials said that in accordance with the dictator’s wishes, Kim will be strapped to a nuclear weapon and buried in South Korea.

 Borowitz Report.

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Kim Kardashian and Other Garbage | breezespeaks


November 1, 2011 by breezespeaks 

 

  Kris vs. Kim Cover Story  

 

I know I should not give Kim Kardashian any more attention than she already gets, but I can’t resist.  Did you see the quote where Kim said she thought marriage was forever?  I don’t know which pool she was in, but I don’t think many went past six months.  Besides Kim, I don’t know anyone in America who gave this marriage a chance.  Even Kim’s brain-dead sisters knew better.

By the way, the fact these three bimbos are famous is a definite sign of an impending apocalypse.

Herman Cain has now been accused of sexual misconduct.  It has been said that he paid two different women six figure sums to make the charges go away back when he headed the restaurant lobby.  The GOP stalwarts are claiming, “Hey, if Clinton can do it, what’s the problem.”  But didn’t Clinton get brought up on impeachment charges by those same Republicans?  If it’s not a problem, why did they try to kick him from office?  And why did they spend 60 million investigating the charges in the first place?  Can you say double standard.

(I love paraphrasing Mr. Rogers.  I’m starting to think we live in the land of make-believe.)

Personally, I don’t care what Cain has done, I hope he doesn’t become president because his ideas are farcical.  The real race is between Perry and Romney.  Cain is a flash in the pan.

And finally, Tony LaRussa, the manager of the World Champion St. Louis Cardinals, has announced his retirement.  What’s that?  You didn’t know the Cards had won the World Series?  Don’t worry, you’re not alone.  Hell, I like baseball and I didn’t watch it.  Plus, I don’t like LaRussa.  He’s an old man but doesn’t have a fleck of gray in his hair.  And he doesn’t like to admit mistakes.  He is often regarded as some sort of baseball genius, but  the fact that Mark McGwire played with him for over a decade while using steroids escaped his attention.  I call this selective blindness, and it is related to selective hearing, an affliction my twins possess.  And, to top it off, the Cards beat my beloved Phillies to knock them out of the play-offs, a major black mark.  I shall not miss LaRussa.

Halloween was last night, and I took Cait out around the neighborhood.  Will decided he didn’t want to go, and resisted peer pressure to change his mind.  He’s different, but in a good way.  Not as many people were trick or treating, or giving out candy.  Cait got only half of her usual haul.  The weather also played a part in this decline, as many towns cancelled Halloween outright, rescheduling it for this weekend.  But the kids didn’t care if there was snow on the ground, and would not be denied.  After all, candy was involved.

I hope you had a good Halloween.

Kim Kardashian and Other Garbage | breezespeaks.

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