Posts Tagged ‘ North Korea ’

To worry about North Korea’s latest threats… or not


Worry? Essentially, no.

While outsiders are perplexed as the sudden increase in outrageous threats from North Korea, people inside the country are not. In the last few years life has gotten a lot worse. Starvation deaths, suicides, crime and divorces (official and otherwise) are way up. The North Korean leadership has less and less to work with. Their armed forces has been falling apart for two decades and little else works up there.

Hence, I and most of South Korea would be very surprised if the North actually went ahead with an all-out attack. They know they’d be finished if they did.

Makes for an interesting 30 seconds of news back home, though.

(Via JM)

North Korea’s new economic reforms


A sliver of light, glimpsed ever so briefly, at the conclusion of a most long and dark tunnel? Perhaps.

The beginning of the end of North Korea’s debilitating socialist economic system?

News reports suggested that [North Korea] has sought to expand its implementation of the so-called June 28 measures, which some observers said are tantamount to the renouncement of the socialist system.

The measures give greater autonomy to state corporations, allowing them to choose their production items, prices, amounts and marketing methods, according to reports.

They also allow farmers to take in 30 percent of their harvest.

Imagine that. North Korean farmers will now be able to keep and sell 30% of the fruits of their labour. Easily mocked in our rich Capitalist society, but it’s a step forward, progress, from the old socialist system whereby farmers could only keep what was left over from the quota the state made them harvest.

And imagine that: companies being allowed to produce what they want and set a price.

Funny old world isn’t it? As rich, free Capitalist countries toy more and more with socialist this and socialist that, a down-trodden, poor-as-fuck, relatively isolated, under-the-boot socialist country toys with the idea of Capitalism.

Ha! North Korea’s leader Kim Jong-un is essentially saying, “Over to you, people,” whilst Obama is saying to every hard worker, businessman and entrepreneur in America, “You didn’t build that!”

But with these latest North Korean economic reforms, I said it’s only a sliver of hope for a reason.

Yang Un-chul, of the Sejong Institute think tank:

“Even if they allow some autonomy to farmers and corporations, when they don’t have any personal property, such incentives would not work. Even though they take in some percentage of their harvest, this would, after all, be taken away by middle-level officers.”

Two days later and North Korea wheels out another rocket


Rolling Eyes OK, so it’s a missile not a rocket but you get the point.

North Korea rolled out what appeared to be a new ballistic missile, Sunday, as the impoverished state marked the 100th anniversary of the birth of its founder Kim Il-sung with a massive military parade.

The unveiling came after the North’s young and untested leader Kim Jong-un vowed to proceed with his late father Kim Jong-il’s “military-first” policy in his first public speech.

What’s that, another few hundred million dollars – just two days after the NK rocket of FAIL – that could have been spent on paved roads, electricity and food for the people?

That bizarre regime won’t stop unless it is stopped.

North Korea’s rocket of FAIL


Three attempts. Three fails. That’s North Korea’s record when it comes to rocket launches.

North Korea’s much hyped long-range rocket crashed into the sea about a minute after launch today, South Korean and other officials said, dealing a blow to the prestige of the reclusive and impoverished state.

Diddums. And the press bus took a wrong turn, too.

A cloud of brown dust swirled down deeply potholed streets, past concrete apartment buildings crumbling at the edges. Old people trudged along the sidewalk, some with handmade backpacks crafted from canvas bags. Two men in wheelchairs waited at a bus stop. There were stores with no lights, and side roads so battered they were more dirt than pavement.

“Perhaps this is an incorrect road?” mumbled one of the North Korean minders, well-dressed government officials who restrict reporters to meticulously staged presentations that inevitably centre on praise for the three generations of Kim family who have ruled this country since 1948.

The thing is, this time the minders didn’t even care when photographers started taking “forbidden” snaps.

Source (more pics here)

More pics

More pics

What a desolate sh*thole.

UPDATE

I’m told the photo of the blue building with the toddler in front of it; that’s a movie theatre. A bit different from a typical South Korean cinema.

When oh when are they going to give up this great comrade Kim crap? The place is pretty much in ruins, no one’s buying this wow-look-how-wonderful-communism-is BS, the people are starving and poor, yet there they are trying to launch a bloody rocket.

FFS

UPDATE II

Michael Ruffles of the SMH was there back in February.

In one furtive encounter in the hotel I was told ‘‘not everything is as it seems’’, and was left, after a mysterious conversation, with the impression that work was being done to bring about change within North Korea.

UPDATE III

They spent $815 million on that dud rocket. That’s a lot of rice and kimchi.

Another North Korean nuke test?


It could well be on the way as a follow-up to their satellite launch – itself regarded as really a test for any future ICBMs.

With new leader Kim Jong-un, son of the late Kim Jong-il, we were told the apple hadn’t landed far from the tree and this is proving true.

More here, including claims by the Opposition in Korea – a group akin to the Democrats in the US – crying foul the intelligence leak occurred just prior to the parliamentary elections to be held tomorrow.

Monday 5/3/12 open/twitter thread


Almost back to the regular schedule… tomorrow I’m told.

Anyway, a couple of stories that caught my eye last night on twitter:

North Korean leader Kim Jong-un is acting pretty ballsy in front of his countrymen. Despite the tubby leader of the starving nation agreeing to stop its nuclear program – yeah, right :roll: – in return for US food aid (this time they’ve designed it in the form of not-so-tasty nutritional bars etc. kind of like the ones distributed to starving Africans in an effort to not have the aid – e.g. rice – merely go to the party elite), he recently strutted his stuff for the first time in the DMZ, specifically Panmunjon which is the Korean name for the JSA, you know, that bit where the North and South guards face off against each other every day. He was literally in range of “enemy” troops. All this, of course, isn’t really sticking it to the South. It’s just so that he doesn’t look like a total ass in front of his fellow Commies and potential usurpers for being a fatty who needs more food.

Also, readers may remember a post from a few months back entitled, “The seige of Wukan”. Basically, a bunch of Chinese villagers got sick and tired of their local officials stealing their farmland and pocketing the proceeds after selling it. So they kicked them out. Predictably, police and what not surrounded the village and a stand-off ensued. Well, good news. The villagers were granted fresh elections, and one of the new officials includes a leader of the protest. Nearby villages are starting to get the same idea, but hey, this is China, so don’t be expecting any precedents – despite what this guy says – or the folk in Beijing to be reading it on the front page. Still, it’s a start. Here’s some piccies.

Oh, and Putin is back in (as if he were ever out). Just don’t be a Russian billionaire and criticise the bloke; it might make him cry (you’ll get that after clicking the link).

Via JM, the Samsung Galaxy S III, a teacher’s new best friend, internet karma, Kumbahyah cancelled, wiki highjinks (language warning, but funny as).

Anything catch your eye today? Bob Carr’s predictable, cringe-worthy backflip on Libya? China’s latest hit TV show?

Let us know.

 

Kim Jong-un and the Eternal Struggle… for cake


The fat-ass really, really loves his cake.

Six more where that came from…

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