kim_jong-il   40

Kim Jong-il, Dictator Who Turned North Korea Into a Nuclear State, Dies - David E. Sanger, New York Times
Called the “Dear Leader” by his people, Kim Jong-il presided with an iron hand over a country he kept on the edge of starvation and collapse, fostering perhaps the last personality cult in the Communist world even as he banished citizens deemed disloyal to gulags or sent assassins after defectors.
Kim_Jong-il 
december 2011 by jrick
Kim Jong-il death: 'Nature mourns' N Korea leader
Strange natural phenomena have been witnessed in North Korea since the death of the country's leader Kim Jong-il, the state news agency KCNA reports. Ice cracked on a famous lake "so loud, it seemed to shake the Heavens and the Earth", and a mysterious glow was seen on a revered mountain top, KCNA said. The personality cult surrounding North Korea's founding father and son bestows near-divine status on them.
superstition  North_Korea  Kim_Jong-il  death  nature  20111222  totalitarian 
december 2011 by Vacilando
The Rise of Kim Jong-Un | Foreign Policy, April 29, 2009
According to Kim Jong Il's former personal chef, Kim Jong-un was born in 1983 or 1984 to Kim's third wife, Ko Hyong-hui, and is allegedly his father's favorite son. Unlike his brother Kim Jong-chol, Kim Jong-un has a more forthright character and, some sources say, has exhibited leadership skills. He is rumored to have studied at the International School of Berne in Guemligen, Switzerland. Upon returning to North Korea sometime after 2000, his studies continued, most likely at Kim Il Sung Military University. There are varying reports that he speaks German, French, and English.

In February 2009, Yonhap reported that Jang (director of the KWP's Administrative Department, which oversees much of North Korea's security apparatus) had shifted his support to Kim Jong-un in light of Kim Jong Il's special affection for his third son and out of consideration for his own future political power. According to senior North Korean defectors in South Korea, Jang reached a deal with Kim Jong Il. Worried about being purged, as he was in 2004 for becoming too powerful within the regime, Jang agreed to throw his support behind Kim Jong-un. In return, Kim Jong Il has allowed Jang to engineer the succession by placing his allies in key posts throughout the regime. Many of the recent key appointments allegedly have Jang's backing. The new chief of the general staff, Yi Yong-ho, is allegedly close to Jang, as is the new minister of the People's Armed Forces.
succession  kim_jong-il  Kim_Jong-Un  North_Korea  politics 
december 2011 by elizrael
Hysterical Crying on Devour.com
This footage of North Koreans sobbing over the death of Kim Jong-il will be the most bizarre three minutes of your day.
kim_jong-il  north_korea  devour  grief  dictators 
december 2011 by rufous
ynet הדמעות זולגות מעצמן: מדוע בוכים בצפון קוריאה? - חדשות
"הם נמצאים במצב כמו של ילד, גם כאשר מדובר באנשים מבוגרים, שעברו התעללות תחת המנהיג", מסביר קלר, מומחה לקוגניציה חברתית וחשיבה יומיומית, את היחס למנהיג במשטרים דכאניים. "הם מרגישים חסרי ביטחון, הם לא מבינים איך הם יתנהלו בלעדיו, זה התוצר של שטיפת המוח. הם מרגישים כמו ילדים בהסתלקות של אחד ההורים. ילדים שתוהים מה נעשה עכשיו, התייתמנו".



קלר מעריך שרוב ביטויי האבל הקשים שנראו על מסכי הטלוויזיה הם אותנטיים. "כשאתה חי במציאות מסוימת, זה מה שאתה מכיר, וזה מה שאתה מבין - שכל מה שטוב מגיע מהשליט. אז גם אם המציאות היא של בית כלא ורעב, כשאתה מאבד את המנהיג אתה מאבד הכול. וזו עבורם תחושת ההתייתמות", סיכם קלר.

פרופסור יוסי שיין, ראש בית הספר לממשל ולמדיניות באוניברסיטת תל אביב הסביר כי גילויי האבל נובעים מהבסיס של המערכת הטוטליטרית - השקר. "זוהי מערכת הפועלת תוך שליטה אידיאולוגית מוחלטת, פיזית ומנטלית, הבנויה על עינוי הנפש, הגוף ורוח האדם. היא משיגה זאת באלימות בלתי מוגבלת במטרה להכפיף את האדם למנהיג הנתפס כביטוי לאדם עצמו. כך היא יוצרת את השקר הגדול - המנהיג שגורם סבל בלתי משוער, הוא הטוב בהתגלמותו".
North_Korea  personality_cult  kim_jong-il  psychology 
december 2011 by elizrael
North Korean party rock anthem
Ain't no party like a Pyongyang party, 'cause a Pyongyang party is ABSOLUTELY MANDATORY. Perhaps all those synchronized marching demonstrations for Kim Jong-Il were because he just wanted to get down.

[Video Link] via Submitterator. Thanks letterj and Dannel!
Post  Submitterator  kim_jong-il  north_korea  party_rock  from google
december 2011 by mdshw5
Rick Perry in Kim Jong the Second gaffe - Telegraph
The statement by the Republican hopeful mistook the last word of Kim Jong-il as a dynastic numeral (II). Kim was indeed the second in his family line to run North Korea but his father's name was Kim Il-sung. Even more confusingly Kim has been succeeded by his own son, Kim Jong-un, the third word being the French and Italian for one.
Though Mr Perry's campaign is widely viewed as doomed as a result of his 'oops' moments of forgetfulness in debates, he can take comfort in
the fact that a successful presidential candidate made the same mistake.
George W Bush referred to the dictator as Kim Jong Two when he was running for president.
kim_jong-il  rick_perry  telegraph 
december 2011 by rufous
N. Korea test-fires short-range missile | YONHAP NEWS, Dec 19, 2011
North Korea test-fired a short-range missile into the sea off its east coast on Monday morning, a Seoul official said, hours after the North announced the death of leader Kim Jong-il.
North_Korea  missile  nutjobs  kim_jong-il 
december 2011 by elizrael
Jimmy Carter: 'We never dropped a bomb. We never fired a bullet. We never went to war'
He may live a modest life in a one-horse town, but Jimmy Carter, now 86, retains his global vision. And 30 years after leaving the White House, the peanut farmer turned president is still a man on mission. In Plains, Georgia, we found the 39th US president full of energy… and determined to make a difference
Where does Jimmy Carter live? Well, close your eyes and imagine the kind of house an ex-president of the United States might live in. The sort of residence befitting the former leader of the most powerful nation on earth. Got it? Right, now scrub that clean from your mind and instead imagine the sort of house where a moderately successful junior accountant and his family might live.
It's what in America is called a "ranch house", or, as we'd say, "a bungalow". There are no porticoes. No columns. No sweeping lawns. There's just a small brick single-storey structure that Jimmy and his wife, Rosalynn, built on Woodland Drive back in 1961 when he was a peanut farmer and she was a peanut farmer's wife, right in the heart of the town in which they grew up. Though Plains, Georgia is barely a town. A street, might be a more accurate description. A single road going nowhere much.
At the end of the drive there's a fleet of black Suburbans, giant SUVs with blacked-out windows: not too many junior accountants would have a crack team of secret service agents on site, it's true. But it's hard to overstate how modest it is. It's not much of an exaggeration to say that the whole thing would fit comfortably into the sitting room of just one of Tony and Cherie Blair's nine houses.
If you're under 40, you may not even remember Jimmy Carter. But you might recall President Bartlet. From The West Wing. When I chat to Phil Wise, vice-president of the Carter Center – the foundation Carter set up after leaving office – he reminds me that Martin Sheen partly based his character on Carter. Wise grew up next door to the Carter family, and as a college student he volunteered for the governor's campaign alongside Chip, the middle son. He worked for the presidential campaign "as the youngest gopher", and ended up in the White House as Carter's appointment secretary. (His character in The West Wing? "The African-American man who sits outside the president's office.")
Was Carter really like President Bartlet? I ask Wise that question as we drive from the Carter Center in Atlanta to Plains through the rolling Georgian countryside, passing signs for catfish buffets and churches that exhort us to "Get out of Facebook and into God's Book". He considers the question seriously: "They were both former governors. Could both be very stubborn. And they both had a certain moral tone." He concludes: "There was a lot of Carter in the part."
In Britain we assumed that a politician that upright, that pure, could only be fictitious, and the expenses scandal has only reinforced that. But everything about Jimmy Carter's life – what he did as president, and what he's done since – has proved that "certain moral tone". And his home somehow encapsulates this. Inside, there's no hallway, just a patch of carpet separating a small dining room from a tiny sitting room. Then, all of a sudden, there's Jimmy.
Strictly speaking, he's still Mr President, but it's hard to give the office its true gravitas in what looks like my mum's living room. And there's a plain, homespun quality about him that's reminiscent of that other great Jimmy, the patron saint of small-town American life: Jimmy Stewart. He'll turn 87 in October, and is recovering from having both his knees replaced this summer, but the dazzling smile that once captivated America is still there. Though it's a terrible cliché, not to mention patronising and ageist, to describe any octogenarian as "twinkly", he undeniably is.
He leads me slowly into the family room at the back of the house. Photographs of the children, grandchildren and great grandchildren line the walls, and an old throw covers an even older sofa. Mary, the housekeeper who's been with the family for 40-odd years, brings Carter coffee in an ancient plastic cup, so old that the "Royal Caribbean" logo on it has faded nearly clean away. (Mary first came to work at the governor's mansion as a convicted murderer on day release, and – how's this for living your liberal beliefs? – the Carters asked her to look after their three-year-old daughter, Amy.)
It's a tiny place, Plains, two-and-a-half hours' drive from Atlanta, but there was never any doubt that Jimmy and Rosalynn would come home. "Oh no. Never. My folks have been here since 1860. And Rosalynn's folks since the 1830s, so our families have been involved with the Plains community for a long time. Our land is here, and our churches are here, and the schools that we went to are here. We have a full life here. No matter what we do around the world – and we now have programmes in maybe 70 countries – we can work from here as easily as anywhere. This is where we've always come back to."
It was even more of a political Siberia in the pre-internet age of 1981 when they first returned after Carter was defeated by Ronald Reagan. Wise came with them as their chief of staff. He recalls: "I was horrified when they said they were coming back here. I had to go and live with my parents. I thought they'd at least go to Atlanta." Thirty years on, the Carters are still incredibly involved with the town. I stay in the Plains Inn, a former funeral parlour turned into a hotel – and decorated by Rosalynn – at the Carters' instigation a few years back. One of my fellow guests works for the national park service at Carter's childhood home, now a museum, and tells me that the Carters still pop by to pick vegetables from the garden. And on most Sundays Jimmy wanders down to the Maranatha Baptist Church to teach Sunday school.
In the Carters' family room there's a Harry Potter book on the coffee table. At Christmas they're taking the entire family to the Wizarding World of Harry Potter at Universal Studios in Florida, and "so I thought I ought to acquaint myself with Harry Potter first," he says. He's never been one to skimp on the homework. Wise tells me: "My entire life, I've only ever managed to tell him one thing he didn't already know. I told him about how in the second world war the Japanese tried to develop a folding aeroplane, and he said 'I did not know that.' And I swear that's the only time that has ever happened."
Jimmy's early years on the family farm just outside Plains coloured his entire life. As a boy during the Great Depression, he recalls, "streams of tramps, or we called them hobos, walked back and forth in front of our house, along the railroad". Even more influentially, it was a mostly black community. "I learned at first hand the deprivation of both white and black people living in a segregated community, which was then not challenged at all." Except by his own mother; thanks to her liberalism all his earliest playmates were black.
Politics was never on the agenda. He's adamant about this, and when Rosalynn joins us she's bemused at the idea that he had any desire to be president when she married him.
"Oh no. I assumed he'd be in the navy and I'd be a naval wife. And he did too."
What would you have made of it had you known?
"I'd have thought it was tremendously exciting," she says.
"But ridiculous," he interjects.
"But totally ridiculous," she agrees.
They're not a couple, one senses, to shy away from stating bald truths. She's four years her husband's junior, and his equal in no-holds-barred energy. Until his knee operations temporarily prevented him, he swam "at least" 40 lengths a day. And she does two-and-a-half miles around the property on a trike. They travel all over the world. And Peggy, who works for the Carter Center in Plains, tells me: "Every minute of every day is scheduled. They make us mere mortals look bone idle."
They're also – rather amazingly, given that they've just celebrated their 65th wedding anniversary – still as soppy about each other as two lovebirds. Everyone tells me this. Wise, four employees at the Carter Center, a man in a shop in Plains. And Jimmy and Rosalynn themselves. "They hold hands all the time," says Kelly Callahan, the assistant director of the Carter Center's health programme. "They're just so cute. It's unbelievable. They do everything together. They come to all the staff meetings, and he'll always say, 'Did I forget anything, Rosalynn?'"
The story of Jimmy Carter's rise to power is, even 35 years on, still extraordinary. He truly was the man from nowhere. What was it, I ask Rosalynn, that enabled him to achieve the highest office in the land?
"Well, he was elected governor after a long campaign…" she begins.
He interrupts her. "But what do you think propelled me from Plains to the White House?"
"Well, it was not until you were governor that you ever dreamed of being president, I don't think." And she continues in this vein until he interrupts her again.
"I'd be interested in hearing your answer to the question she asked," he says. And he really is. He's genuinely amused, and anticipating her potential reply. I get the sense she's not one to carelessly drop extraneous compliments. And eventually, after I rephrase it, she answers: "Well, I think he was always just looking for something more to do. In the navy he always got the best job, and always went one step up, and then another step. And I think it's in his nature to be adventurous. He's always said, 'If you don't try something, you won't succeed.' So he's never been afraid of failure."
It's not the most glowing of encomiums, all things considered, but he seems just about satisfied with this.
The thing you have to remember about Jimmy Carter, explains Steven Hochman, a Jefferson scholar who's worked with him for the past 30 years, helping research his books, is that he's a problem-solver by nature. "He's very independent. If you grow up on a farm, you have to do things for yourself. When some problem comes up, he's used to solving it. His dad would do it. He would do it… [more]
Jimmy_Carter  US_foreign_policy  US_politics  The_West_Wing  Radio  Television_&_radio  Culture  Ronald_Reagan  Tony_Blair  Barack_Obama  Nelson_Mandela  Michele_Bachmann  Kim_Jong-il  The_Observer  Features  Interviews  World_news  from google
september 2011 by blah
Jimmy Carter: 'We never dropped a bomb. We never fired a bullet. We never went to war'
He may live a modest life in a one-horse town, but Jimmy Carter, now 86, retains his global vision. And 30 years after leaving the White House, the peanut farmer turned president is still a man on mission. In Plains, Georgia, we found the 39th US president full of energy… and determined to make a difference
Where does Jimmy Carter live? Well, close your eyes and imagine the kind of house an ex-president of the United States might live in. The sort of residence befitting the former leader of the most powerful nation on earth. Got it? Right, now scrub that clean from your mind and instead imagine the sort of house where a moderately successful junior accountant and his family might live.
It's what in America is called a "ranch house", or, as we'd say, "a bungalow". There are no porticoes. No columns. No sweeping lawns. There's just a small brick single-storey structure that Jimmy and his wife, Rosalynn, built on Woodland Drive back in 1961 when he was a peanut farmer and she was a peanut farmer's wife, right in the heart of the town in which they grew up. Though Plains, Georgia is barely a town. A street, might be a more accurate description. A single road going nowhere much.
At the end of the drive there's a fleet of black Suburbans, giant SUVs with blacked-out windows: not too many junior accountants would have a crack team of secret service agents on site, it's true. But it's hard to overstate how modest it is. It's not much of an exaggeration to say that the whole thing would fit comfortably into the sitting room of just one of Tony and Cherie Blair's nine houses.
If you're under 40, you may not even remember Jimmy Carter. But you might recall President Bartlet. From The West Wing. When I chat to Phil Wise, vice-president of the Carter Center – the foundation Carter set up after leaving office – he reminds me that Martin Sheen partly based his character on Carter. Wise grew up next door to the Carter family, and as a college student he volunteered for the governor's campaign alongside Chip, the middle son. He worked for the presidential campaign "as the youngest gopher", and ended up in the White House as Carter's appointment secretary. (His character in The West Wing? "The African-American man who sits outside the president's office.")
Was Carter really like President Bartlet? I ask Wise that question as we drive from the Carter Center in Atlanta to Plains through the rolling Georgian countryside, passing signs for catfish buffets and churches that exhort us to "Get out of Facebook and into God's Book". He considers the question seriously: "They were both former governors. Could both be very stubborn. And they both had a certain moral tone." He concludes: "There was a lot of Carter in the part."
In Britain we assumed that a politician that upright, that pure, could only be fictitious, and the expenses scandal has only reinforced that. But everything about Jimmy Carter's life – what he did as president, and what he's done since – has proved that "certain moral tone". And his home somehow encapsulates this. Inside, there's no hallway, just a patch of carpet separating a small dining room from a tiny sitting room. Then, all of a sudden, there's Jimmy.
Strictly speaking, he's still Mr President, but it's hard to give the office its true gravitas in what looks like my mum's living room. And there's a plain, homespun quality about him that's reminiscent of that other great Jimmy, the patron saint of small-town American life: Jimmy Stewart. He'll turn 87 in October, and is recovering from having both his knees replaced this summer, but the dazzling smile that once captivated America is still there. Though it's a terrible cliché, not to mention patronising and ageist, to describe any octogenarian as "twinkly", he undeniably is.
He leads me slowly into the family room at the back of the house. Photographs of the children, grandchildren and great grandchildren line the walls, and an old throw covers an even older sofa. Mary, the housekeeper who's been with the family for 40-odd years, brings Carter coffee in an ancient plastic cup, so old that the "Royal Caribbean" logo on it has faded nearly clean away. (Mary first came to work at the governor's mansion as a convicted murderer on day release, and – how's this for living your liberal beliefs? – the Carters asked her to look after their three-year-old daughter, Amy.)
It's a tiny place, Plains, two-and-a-half hours' drive from Atlanta, but there was never any doubt that Jimmy and Rosalynn would come home. "Oh no. Never. My folks have been here since 1860. And Rosalynn's folks since the 1830s, so our families have been involved with the Plains community for a long time. Our land is here, and our churches are here, and the schools that we went to are here. We have a full life here. No matter what we do around the world – and we now have programmes in maybe 70 countries – we can work from here as easily as anywhere. This is where we've always come back to."
It was even more of a political Siberia in the pre-internet age of 1981 when they first returned after Carter was defeated by Ronald Reagan. Wise came with them as their chief of staff. He recalls: "I was horrified when they said they were coming back here. I had to go and live with my parents. I thought they'd at least go to Atlanta." Thirty years on, the Carters are still incredibly involved with the town. I stay in the Plains Inn, a former funeral parlour turned into a hotel – and decorated by Rosalynn – at the Carters' instigation a few years back. One of my fellow guests works for the national park service at Carter's childhood home, now a museum, and tells me that the Carters still pop by to pick vegetables from the garden. And on most Sundays Jimmy wanders down to the Maranatha Baptist Church to teach Sunday school.
In the Carters' family room there's a Harry Potter book on the coffee table. At Christmas they're taking the entire family to the Wizarding World of Harry Potter at Universal Studios in Florida, and "so I thought I ought to acquaint myself with Harry Potter first," he says. He's never been one to skimp on the homework. Wise tells me: "My entire life, I've only ever managed to tell him one thing he didn't already know. I told him about how in the second world war the Japanese tried to develop a folding aeroplane, and he said 'I did not know that.' And I swear that's the only time that has ever happened."
Jimmy's early years on the family farm just outside Plains coloured his entire life. As a boy during the Great Depression, he recalls, "streams of tramps, or we called them hobos, walked back and forth in front of our house, along the railroad". Even more influentially, it was a mostly black community. "I learned at first hand the deprivation of both white and black people living in a segregated community, which was then not challenged at all." Except by his own mother; thanks to her liberalism all his earliest playmates were black.
Politics was never on the agenda. He's adamant about this, and when Rosalynn joins us she's bemused at the idea that he had any desire to be president when she married him.
"Oh no. I assumed he'd be in the navy and I'd be a naval wife. And he did too."
What would you have made of it had you known?
"I'd have thought it was tremendously exciting," she says.
"But ridiculous," he interjects.
"But totally ridiculous," she agrees.
They're not a couple, one senses, to shy away from stating bald truths. She's four years her husband's junior, and his equal in no-holds-barred energy. Until his knee operations temporarily prevented him, he swam "at least" 40 lengths a day. And she does two-and-a-half miles around the property on a trike. They travel all over the world. And Peggy, who works for the Carter Center in Plains, tells me: "Every minute of every day is scheduled. They make us mere mortals look bone idle."
They're also – rather amazingly, given that they've just celebrated their 65th wedding anniversary – still as soppy about each other as two lovebirds. Everyone tells me this. Wise, four employees at the Carter Center, a man in a shop in Plains. And Jimmy and Rosalynn themselves. "They hold hands all the time," says Kelly Callahan, the assistant director of the Carter Center's health programme. "They're just so cute. It's unbelievable. They do everything together. They come to all the staff meetings, and he'll always say, 'Did I forget anything, Rosalynn?'"
The story of Jimmy Carter's rise to power is, even 35 years on, still extraordinary. He truly was the man from nowhere. What was it, I ask Rosalynn, that enabled him to achieve the highest office in the land?
"Well, he was elected governor after a long campaign…" she begins.
He interrupts her. "But what do you think propelled me from Plains to the White House?"
"Well, it was not until you were governor that you ever dreamed of being president, I don't think." And she continues in this vein until he interrupts her again.
"I'd be interested in hearing your answer to the question she asked," he says. And he really is. He's genuinely amused, and anticipating her potential reply. I get the sense she's not one to carelessly drop extraneous compliments. And eventually, after I rephrase it, she answers: "Well, I think he was always just looking for something more to do. In the navy he always got the best job, and always went one step up, and then another step. And I think it's in his nature to be adventurous. He's always said, 'If you don't try something, you won't succeed.' So he's never been afraid of failure."
It's not the most glowing of encomiums, all things considered, but he seems just about satisfied with this.
The thing you have to remember about Jimmy Carter, explains Steven Hochman, a Jefferson scholar who's worked with him for the past 30 years, helping research his books, is that he's a problem-solver by nature. "He's very independent. If you grow up on a farm, you have to do things for yourself. When some problem comes up, he's used to solving it. His dad would do it. He would do it… [more]
Jimmy_Carter  US_foreign_policy  US_politics  The_West_Wing  Radio  Television_&_radio  Culture  Ronald_Reagan  Tony_Blair  Barack_Obama  Nelson_Mandela  Michele_Bachmann  Kim_Jong-il  The_Observer  Features  Interviews  World_news  from google
september 2011 by sanshiro_sugata
Kim Jong-il in talks with Russia's Dmitry Medvedev
North Korea's leader Kim Jong-il has held rare talks with Russian President Dmitry Medvedev on Pyongyang's nuclear programme and economic co-operation.
North_Korea  Kim_Jong-il  train  Russia  nuclear_proliferation  pipeline 
august 2011 by Vacilando
Koreas Clash: Howitzers Blast, Jets Readied, 2 Dead
At least two South Korean marines are dead and over a dozen are wounded after North Korea fired off hundreds of artillery rounds at a South Korean island. Seoul called it a clear violation of the shaky armistice that’s held between the two nations since 1953. Can the Koreas back down before another disastrous war starts on the peninsula?

Every year, the South Korean military holds a massive exercise called Hoguk, or “Defending the Nation,” in which tens of thousands of troops from across the services work on their coordination in the face of an attack. And every year, the North Koreans denounce it as “dangerous war maneuvers” as that simulate an invasion. So this year’s exercise, featuring 70,000 troops, many drilling in the Yellow Sea, should come as no surprise. It’s expected to begin shortly.

Except early today, the North began shelling the inhabited island of Yeonpyeongdo, about two miles south of the maritime armistice line. According to the Korea Times – which headlines its piece “1st NK Attack on S. Korean Soil” — the North’s army is believed “to have about eight 27-kilometer-range 130mm howitzers and eight 76 guns with a range of 12 kilometers,” presumably at use in the strike.

TV cameras captured destroyed buildings on the island spewing black smoke and villagers running in panic. South Korean troops returned fire with their K9 Thunder howitzers and put its F-16 fighter jets on alert. According to the Korea Herald, President Lee Myung-bak has ordered a “multiple-fold retaliation,” including a strike on the North’s “missile base near [its] coastline artillery position” if the North doesn’t deescalate hostilities.

As the New York Times notes, the North fired artillery near Yeonpyeongdo this summer. But Stratfor calls the “the sustained shelling of a populated island” a “deliberate and noteworthy escalation.” Unlike the sinking of the Sorth Korean corvette Cheonan in March — an act that killed 46 South Korean sailors — there’s no initial ambiguity about who fired today’s artillery barrage.

All this is happening as North Korea is undergoing a leadership change, as the ailing Kim Jong-il passes on power to his son Kim Jong-un, who isn’t yet 30. Stratfor wonders if the artillery fire wasn’t the result of “miscommunications or worse within the North’s command-and-control structure, or disagreements within the North Korean leadership,” since the North had just announced its delegates for talks with the South on reuniting families separated by the demilitarized zone. Those talks, scheduled for Thursday, have been suspended by the South Korean government in the wake of the attack.

A different possible explanation: the North Koreans freaked out over yesterday’s news that the South might ask the U.S. to return tactical nukes to the peninsula. They couldn’t justly consider that a provocation, since that prospective move from the South Korean Defense Ministry is a response to the North’s new uranium-enrichment plant. But that doesn’t mean the erratic country couldn’t overreact.

The Obama administration blasted the exchange in a statement emailed to reporters. “The United States strongly condemns this attack and calls on North Korea to halt its belligerent action and to fully abide by the terms of the Armistice Agreement,” press secretary Robert Gibbs said, adding that the U.S. is “firmly committed” to defending South Korea and to “the maintenance of regional peace and stability.”

We’re still waiting on a response from the Pentagon and will update with one as soon as we receive it. Over at the navy blog Information Dissemination, Raymond Pritchett surveys the naval assets that the U.S. could bring into the relief of South Korea if necessary. “Should hostilities break out on a larger scale, the US Navy could surge both the USS Ronald Reagan (CVN 76) and the USS Nimitz (68) very quickly,” he writes, estimating they could arrive in ten days from the west coast.

There’s going to be an emergency United Nations Security Council meeting to calm things down on the peninsula. It’s white-knuckle time.

Image: Stratfor

See Also:

Could Stuxnet Mess With North Korea’s New Uranium Plant?
U.S. Ships in Sim North Korea Missile Smackdown
North Korea Fuels Up for Launch
Inside America’s (Mock) Attack on North Korea
Gates: North Korea Ain’t a ‘Crisis’ Yet
Rogue_States  Kim_Jong-Il  Lee_Myung-Bak  North_Korea  Nukes  South_Korea  Those_Nutty_Norks  from google
november 2010 by clord
The Worst of the Worst - By George B.N. Ayittey | Foreign Policy, July 2010
Like a true Marxist revolutionary, Zenawi has stashed millions in foreign banks and acquired mansions in Maryland and London in his wife's name, according to the opposition -- even as his barbaric regime collects a whopping $1 billion in foreign aid each year.
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june 2010 by elizrael

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