Showing posts with label International The Koreas'. Show all posts
Showing posts with label International The Koreas'. Show all posts

May 6, 2013

The Kid in North Korea in Danger of Loosing Allies

North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un (AFP Photo/KCNA via KNS)adamfoxie*
Because everything that goes up is got to come down Pyonyang playing with his miniature soldiers and scuds that can fly and kill,  for no apparent reason but for boredom.  Will see in the future that these games will cost his country.                          
The world still remembers the 7 days of October, words can easily become missiles and I don’t mean scuds. 
The popularity of North Korea among Russians has almost halved in a month even though Pyongyang’s belligerent statements have not been aimed against Russia. 
According to the latest poll released by the Public Opinion Foundation (FOM) only 34 percent of Russians think North Korea is friendly compared to 58 percent in early April.
Russians in general are concerned by North Korea’s active military preparations and its staunch refusal to stop the development of nuclear weapons.
60 percent of respondents hold that North Korea’s nuclear arms pose a threat to other countries with 28 percent having the opposite opinion and 13 percent undecided. 44 percent of those who think North Korea could use its nuclear weapons also think that Russia could become a target of such an attack.
At the same time, only 17 percent of respondents estimated the probability of war as high and 39 percent claimed that in their view the start of the war in Korea was impossible regardless of any developments. 25 percent said that the probability of the war existed but was extremely low.
The majority of Russians said that even if war breaks out on the Korean Peninsula their country must remain neutral, with only 8 percent saying that Moscow should offer its support to Pyongyang and 4 percent voicing support for North Korea’s supposed future opponents.  

Another poll conducted by the All-Russian Public Opinion Center (VTSIOM) at the same time showed that 47 percent of Russians see North Korean activities as a real threat and 39 percent saying that Pyongyang was bluffing.
Russian officials also do not believe in the possibility of war between North and South Korea in the near future. Deputy secretary of Russia’s supreme security body – the Security Council – said this week that no one would profit from such war and therefore it will never happen.
Yevgeniy Lukyanov told the press that North Korea’s leader Kim Chong-un was a very young politician and if he wanted his rule to be long he had to evade the unnecessary risks and threats.
Meanwhile, the North Korean authorities continue apparent preparations for war, creating anti-tank barricades near the border.
Last week Pyonyang demanded that South Korea and the USA removed all nuclear weapons from the region setting this as a condition for future dialogue. Both Seoul and Washington rejected this demand as absurd.

April 10, 2013

North Korea Starving and Having A Young Dictator Not Totally in Control

Although nowadays he is firing nuclear threats to theUSA, there was apparently a time when Kim Jong-un fully embraced American culture, according to Britain’s The Sun newspaper.
Once upon a time, when Kim Jong-un starred in Grease…

He Loves American Culture particularly the more Childish and geeky parts:
The tabloid reported on Wednesday that, as a student at the International School of Berne in Switzerland in the 1990s, the North Korean leader had a role in a school play of Grease, clad in leather jacket and sunglasses.
The newspaper published photos of Kim Jong-un with his classmates, with whom he studied in Switzerland from 1994 to 1997, claiming that he “enjoyed singing along to hits such as Summer Nights and You’re The One That I Want.”
Ex-classmates say that he also loved to read comics and watch films such as Jurassic Park. “Everyone now looks at him as a lunatic who hates the world, but the kid I remember was the quietest person I have ever met” the tabloid quotes 34-year-old Israeli Tal Rapp as saying.
Kim left the International School of Berne in Switzerland in 1997 and, after a two-year spell in the public “Liebefeld Steinhölzli” school in Köniz near Bern, he headed back home to North Korea.

He Keeps His People Starved for food and information:
north korea farmers STARVED of facts and quite literally starving to death. That's the brutal reality of life for North Korean people under the dictator Kim Jong-un, who has continued in the tyrannical steps of his father Kim Jong-il and grandfather Kim Il-sung.

Three generations of Kim family totalitarianism have reduced their small north Asian nation to a basket case which cannot feed itself or meet any of its own basic needs.

Things are so bad the populace is shrinking. Literally. North Koreans used to be taller than their South Korean brothers and sisters. Now, most men are lucky to exceed 150cm in height. That's five feet on the old scale.

The shrinking is related to nutrition, and first became widespread in the mid 90s when North Korea experienced a famine so severe people were reduced to eating weeds and grass.

There was a memorable anecdote about how to cook weeds and grass in the book on North Korea, Nothing to Envy, by American journalist Barbara Demick.

The "recipe", if you can call it that, came from a doctor who worked at a hospital where there were no medicines, no bandages, no bedding and no IV drips, unless you brought your own bottles and rigged one up yourself.

Starving person after starving person came to the hospital. The doctors could do nothing.

Their only advice was to grind the weeds and grass down finely so that the vile, soupy broth they created would be even half digestible.

Remember, this was no warzone. This was not ancient history. This was North Korea in the 1990s, and the famine occurred not just because of heavy rains, but because of the total failure of the centrally-controlled government.

The North Korean government had relied for years on loans and cheap imports from sympathetic neighbours China and Russia. All that ended when the Soviet Union broke down.

As the cheap imports stopped flowing, the crucial sectors of the economy crashed, one after the other. First there was no fuel, then no factory production, then no electricity, then eventually, no way to feed the masses.

That's when the starvation started. Even the military wasn't immune. In fact, the soldiers often died first. They were fed in the army but when they returned home to civilian life, their bodies wasted away from lack of food.

But if you think civilian life was bad, spare a thought for those who were incarcerated in prison camps like Shin Dong-hyuk, 30.

Mr Shin was featured recently on American 60 Minutes and his story is beyond shocking. His crime? The accident of his birth.

North Korean army 'split' over Kim Jong-un
Having Problems in Controlling Military:

The tittle to this segment offers the reason why the young inexperience dictator is got all his feathers ruffled and it will seem for no reason. But someone some said and wisely so “Everything happens for a reason.”

First Lieutenant Kim, 42, said he had been forced to flee North Korea after he murdered a rival officer as the factions within his army unit battled for control.
"I killed a three-star company commander, the same rank as me," he said. "He was the head of the faction supporting Kim Jong-un. There were two fights. In the first fight, they surrounded us and arrested a lot of people.
"But I got away and gathered others from the barracks. We found them and I shot the commander. After that, I escaped".
The battles occurred at the end of 2011, shortly before Kim Jong-un succeeded his father as the "supreme commander" of the Korean People's Army, the 1.2 million-strong standing force that remains at the heart of North Korea's "military-first" society.
"It was before he came to power, but we all knew for a long time that he was going to be made the leader. There were a lot of people who were against him. But everyone in that faction got arrested after he came to power," said Lt. Kim.
His group, he said, supported Kim Yong-nam, North Korea's 85-year-old president.
Divisions within the military, and the desire of a leader who may be only 30-years-old to consolidate his position, could be one factor behind the current spate of aggression.
"The further north you go (in North Korea), the more you hear rumours of dissension and divisions over who is or who would have been a better leader," said Joseph Bermudez, an expert on the North Korean military and an analyst at DigitalGlobe.
He added that there had been rumours last year of a possibly violent falling-out between two major departments over who would be in charge of army reconnaissance. That, he said, might have alarmed Kim Jong-un, who subsequently reshuffled a host of leading generals.
Lt Kim, who would not give his first name, said he was from Uiju county, close to the Chinese border city of Dandong. He has spent the last two years lying low in China, rarely venturing out, and waiting for his chance to travel to South Korea.
"We knew that South Korea was on a path to democracy and they had a good life and they had enough food. I had never eaten rice, and I cried the first time I smelled it cooking here in China," he added.
Wearing a pair of cheap Chinese trainers, a patterned jumper and a green Chinese army surplus great coat, a palpably scared Lt Kim was unable to offer any formal identification. His left arm hung awkwardly from an old wound to his shoulder.
If he is caught by the Chinese, he will be sent back to face either the death penalty or life in a gulag.
A halting interview with him, in the back of a taxi parked in the sparse countryside outside Dandong, was arranged through an agent who is helping to smuggle him to the South, and who charged £100 to speak to the former officer.
"I give him food," the agent said. "He used to be skinny, but after staying indoors these years, he has eaten well.
"I have contact with the South Korean spies who are here in Dandong. They keep an eye on relations between China and the North, but they also pay for me to deliver North Koreans to them. He will probably be sold next month, but until then the North Koreans are searching for him." The agent, a trim ethnic Korean in a nylon bomber jacket, declined to give his name.
He claimed that he had smuggled out 60 to 80 people out last year, many of whom were escaping after internal riots last year in Manpo, another city close to the border. "Only three in 10 defectors are successful," he said. "The others are arrested or are shot as they escape."
After two years outside of the country, Lt Kim said he had "no idea" what lay behind this month's aggression. "I do not know why they are doing what they are doing now," he said.
"Before I left, we used to hear that there was fighting between Kim Jong-un and his brother, who does not like China. They have different mothers so they are struggling against each other."
But he predicted there would be "no war" and that the regime would continue its hold on power, despite the desperate problems in many parts of the country.
"The situation is very bad. People are starving. There are some rich people, some rich politicians, who have a lot of money, but the rest of the people do not have anything. My father and mother both starved to death and my older brother died of illness," he said.
Lt Kim said he had commanded a construction company which excavated mountains for military installations.
"We were digging fortifications to prepare for war," he said. "Some of the projects would last for six years."
Mr Bermudez said there was still not enough information to establish the motive for North Korea's war footing. "We have not seen this before. We might be seeing that the generals have been given far more room and they are exploiting that, without really understanding the effect on the international community."
When asked if the North Korean army is still strong, Lt Kim answered automatically: "Yes, very strong". The man who smuggled him out of North Korea, however, doubled up laughing at the officer's response.
"They are taught that they are the strongest army in the world, and the best equipped. But in reality, their equipment is what we were using in China 60 years ago!" he said.
This section comments, editing by Adam Gonzalez, International Affairs

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