EX-MILOSEVIC PROSECUTOR SAYS U.N. SHOULD “PUT NORTH KOREA ON TRIAL:” Unfortunately, this would require Security Council approval, so the precise means and moment of failure are completely predictable. This isn’t to say that the effort is unworthy. It would make a great thought experiment:
The situation in North Korea is a clarion call for the Security Council and other U.N. members to show courage in a case of political complexity. There can be few places in the world where the human rights situation is more egregious and yet more overlooked than North Korea.
To me, this “more egregious and yet more overlooked” phenom is one of the most interesting and maddening things about North Korea. The same Human Rights Industry that fetishized Gitmo until January of 2009 pays (at best) token attention to the 150,000 men, women, and kids in North Korean prison camps, or (at worst) builds altars to worship its gods in the name of “constructive engagement” — the same policy that was rightfully demonized as enabling apartheid in the case of South Africa. You don’t have to be a scholar of world politics to smell hypocrisy and move your switch to the “ignore” position when the Human Rights Industry speaks thereafter. The sad consequence is that people also ignore a lot of other things they shouldn’t.
MICHELLE BACHMANN CALLS for North Korea to be restored to the list of state sponsors of terrorism. I could have written just about every word of that, except “sunk.” Also, if we’re going to list North Korea as a sponsor of terrorism, then we should do it because North Korea has recently and frequently threatened neighboring nations, cities, and governments; armed other sponsors of terrorism with probable intent to arm their terrorist clients; and tried to assassinate its critics abroad, not because it launches missiles in violation of some other prohibition (though there should be some other sanction for that). But this is a quibble; on this issue, Bachmann gets the ultimate conclusion right. And unlike the State Department, her staff is capable of finding and quoting the statutory definition of international terrorism.
PLAN B WATCH: South Korea is asking the U.N. to blacklist North Korean banks:
Seoul has submitted the list of institutions including Aprok Development Bank and Haesung Trading, suspected of involvement in arms trading and other illegal activities, Dong-A Ilbo newspaper said.
CONGRATULATIONS TO “Open Radio for North Korea, North Korea Reform Radio, Free North Korea Radio and Radio Free Chosun,” which “have today joined together to form a new association of broadcasters whose purpose is to prompt change in North Korea.”
AP WATCH: While I don’t dispute that the DMZ has become a tourist attraction, I think the AP’s correspondent makes a grave mistake by suggesting that it is only a tourist attraction. Anyone who doubts that the so-called Demilitarized Zone is an intermittently active front line must have slept through most of 2010. I fear it will be active again soon enough.
SOMETIMES A MISSILE is just a phallic symbol.
EIGHT NORTH KOREAN LOGGERS who defected from their Siberian camps have arrived in South Korea. May God help their families in North Korea.
FOR SOME REASON, I have a hard time feeling sorry for Oh Kil Nam. It’s sad that his family that paid the price for his poor judgment.
A MUST-READ FOR HISTORIANS: Disclosures about the Pueblo incident and the Blue House raid from Eastern Bloc archives. Apparently, the Soviets and their allies were not pleased.