Tag Archives: North Korea

US-South Korea Urge Human Rights In North Korea

The leaders of South Korea and the United States urged the North Korean government to improve its human rights programs and to accept vigorous terms for nuclear program verification procedures. Presidents Lee Myung-bak and George Bush reaffirmed their commitment to improving human rights in North Korea by emphasizing to leaders of that country excellent human relations will translate into excellent relations with the world and improved economic development. Bush also expressed his concern about the fatal shooting of a South Korean tourist by a North Korean soldier earlier this month which has caused great concern in South Korea.

Bush told reporters he expressed his views to the president of South Korea “about North Korea’s human rights record. I’m concerned about uranium enrichment activities as well as nuclear testing and proliferation and ballistic missile programs.” Bush threatened North Koreans if they refuse close inspection and continue violating human rights, they’ll “continue to be the most sanctioned regime in the world.”

Any sensible leader supports human rights. President Bush has a habit of talking and threatening when calmer speech and fewer threats might obtain better results.

North Korea Will No Longer Be A Terrorist Nation

In the heady days of the early Bush administration when Republicans insisted they would never negotiate with any “terrorist” nation, North Korea was cited as an example of how the weak policies of the Clinton years must be replaced with tough minded George Bush. Of course, somewhere along the way, Bush decided to embrace negotiations with terrorist nations and, voila, the world now sees an end to nuclear weapon development in North Korea. Six nations signed an agreement with the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea under which the “terrorist” nation has agreed to dismantle the last remaining parts of its nuclear weapon program. A team of experts will visit North Korea to verify completion of this task.

Assistant Secretary of State Christopher Hill, who has been working on this issue, noted, “we would like the protocol to be reached within 45 days and secondly to begin verification within 45 days. We’re anticipating that and don’t see any obstacles.”

One can only wonder if George Bush will not support the candidacy of Barack Obama who agrees America must negotiate with terrorist nations.

Did Musharraf Approve Nuclear Sales To North Korea?

Abdul Oadeer Khan, the master mind behind nuclear development in Pakistan told the AP in a telephone interview that President Musharraf was involved in the sale of used centrifuges to North Korea in 2000. Many experts for years have doubted Khan alone could have masterminded and carried through alone an operation requiring extensive cooperation from Pakistan security forces. He claims Musharraf had “complete knowledge of the shipment. “It was a North Korean plane and he(Musharraf) had complete knowledge about it and thee equipment.”

The use of planes and the complexity in getting the centrifuges onto them suggests some involvement of Pakistan security personnel in the sale of the equipment to North Korea. It was the same Pakistan Intelligence forces who created the Taliban and aided their initial conquest of Afghanistan. Musharraf is now placed in an awkward position given his constant cries his country must cooperate with the United States.

US Intends To Strike N. Korea From Terrorist Nation List

The United States government has informed Japan it intends to strike the name of North Korea from its list of nations that support terrorism provided North Koreans file a statement describing its nuclear facilities and activities. The government of Prime Minister Yasuo Fukuda is pleased and not pleased with the American decision. Japan has been insisting that North Korea must provide information concerning Japanese citizens who were abducted and brought to North Korea, but there has not been adequate response to Japanese requests for information.

Prime Minister Fukuda is in a difficult position, as he noted to the press, “if the nuclear problem will be resolved, isn’t that something desirable also for our country? It’s something we should welcome.” But, accepting the North Koreans without obtaining information about the kidnapped Japanese citizens is a political hot potato.

The decision by America to go it alone on this issue simply makes it more likely Japan will find its own foreign policy for Asia and cease always trailing behind that of America.

In 2001, upon assuming office, President Bush made it clear he would not follow the ideas of Bill Clinton who negotiated with North Korea. Early this year, Bush told the Israel parliament, it was appeasement to negotiate with terrorist nations. How times have changed.

Korean Jitters Impacts Aid Programs

A team of South Korean diplomats are flying to Washington to discuss Bush administration plans to provide aid to the North Korean government. There is absolutely no reason for South Korean diplomats to fly thousands of miles to Washington D.C. to discuss an American aid program to North Korea that has been promised due to the communist regime’s agreement on nuclear disarmament. A South Korean government official said: “the trip is being made to show North Korea that the United States’ rice aid is being conducted with discussion and cooperation from the South Korean government. Through this we are trying to send a message to the North that any attempts to get closer to Washington while isolating Seoul will not work.”

For some reason South Korean diplomats are under the illusion the United States govenment will make a dramatic turn and become friends with North Korea while abandoning close ties with the south. This ploy supposedly will make the North more mindful about listening to south Korean demands for cooperation.

Such is the madness of modern life and politics.

Nuclear Talks Move Forward With North Korea

North Korea has handed over key records of its plutonium activity to the United States which will allow nuclear negotiation to proceed towards its final resolution of important issues. Sung Kim, director at the State Department of talks with North Korea, is bringing back to Washington the documents. Some observes say the move is a gesture on the part of North Korea to show hard liners in Washington D.C. that it is committed to negotiation. Most probably, the documents can become the basis for future verification of the North Korean nuclear program.

The estimated 18,000 documents are an important first step in allowing the United States to decide if North Korea can be removed from the terrorist list of nations. American officials currently are discussing with North Korean representatives the possibility of instituting a food aid program.

Upon assuming the presidency, George Bush attacked the Clinton administration for attempting to negotiate with North Korea. How times have changed.

Did North Korea Provide Nuclear Aid To Syria?

The United States and Israel insist North Korea provided assistance to Syria in order to begin construction of a nuclear facility. Syria’s Al Kibar reactor was destroyed in an Israel raid on September 6, 2007. US Central Intelligence Director, Michael Hayden, said the reactor was “similar” in size and technology to North Korea’s Yongbyon reactor and it would have had the capacity to produce sufficient plutonium for one or two nuclear weapons. At the six nation talks in September, 2007, North Korea agreed to disable all existing nuclear facilities and reaffirmed its pledge not to transfer nuclear materials, technology or information to other nations.

Both North Korea and Syria deny cooperating on any nuclear exchange, but there is sufficient evidence to doubt their statements. North Korea wants its name removed from the American terrorist list, but conducting such covert assistance to third party nations to facilitate construction of nuclear weapons will not result in that removal. Perhaps, it is time to ask the UN to send an investigating team to Syria and investigate the site and discuss with Syrian leaders the importance of not attempting to construct nuclear weapons.

Sweeping Government Changes In North Korea

Drastic changes appear to be taking place in Noth Korea as its leader, Kim Jong II tackles three difficult issues: who will succeed him, how to deal with the new more conservative govvernment in South Korea, and how to normalize the nation’s strained relations with Japan. The reigning Korean Workers’ Party is making appointments and dismissing officials at a rather high rate and the person who apparently is in charge of these actions, is Kim Johng Choi, second son of Kim Join II. The son appears to be following in the footsteps of his father who also was placed in charge of purging those not deemed trustworthy. Senior officials in the North Korean government are trying to circumvent Prime Minister Yasuo Fukuda in order to establish positive relations with Japanese government officials.

A key issue is the failure of North Korea to accept responsibility for kidnapping Japanese citizens in past years. Until that issue is resolved, North Korea will experience difficulty winning over many politicians in Japan. North Korea also has to resolve issues pertaining to its atomic energy program and support of terrorists in other parts of the world.

War Of Words In North And South Korea

The war of words continues to escalate in North and South Korea as both sides found themselves responding to comments by the other. North Korea was upset at comments made by a South Korean general who said his nation would militarily respond if attacked from the north. The paranoid North Korean government interpreted his remarks as a threat and warned they would unleash a sea of fire that would destroy South Korea. Part of the problem stems from the election to the office of president of Lee Myung-bak, who had campaigned on a platform of being more pragmatic and clear in dealing with North Korea. His comments were interpreted in the North as representing a shift from the past 10 years in which South Korean governments have attempted to develop positive economic relations with the Communist North.

The South Korean president should never forget he is dealing with a paranoid government and they must be handled with care and diplomatic use of language. North Korea fired som missiles into the sea to prove it could fire missiles. The best response is silence and ignoring the action.

Issues of nulcear weapons in North Korea are best addressed by the international community including China and the United States. There is no need for South Korea to assume some type of leadership role, let the world handle it.

Sounds Of Silence In North Korea

The North Korean government is presently engaged in tearing down anti-American posters that line the streets of Pyongyang in preparation for the New York Philharmonic’s unprecedented visit. Muscicians preparing for the strip that that begins today hoped their personal contacts with North Koreans will aid in the effort to reduce hatred in the country toward the United States. But, some are worried that tomorrow evening’s performance will somehow be used to further propaganda efforts by the North Korean leaders. However, the government has promised the largest possible audience will be able to hear the concerts.

Philharonic musicians will also hold master classes for North Korean students and play chamger music with members of the North’s State Symphony Orchestra. Among members of the American touring group will be eight ethnic Koreans. A few musicians expressed concern their presence will only be known to the elite portion of North Korea while average citizens will not be in attendance. It is not known if North Korean leader, Kim Jong Il, will attend any performances.

Sometimes in life one takes what one can get. A good evening of music with Americans is better than the silence of nonstop hate generated by the North Korean government toward the United States.