Open Sources, Jan. 17, 2012

NORTH KOREA PERESTROIKA WATCH:  First it was lipstick, now it’s bicycles.  Where are Christine Ahn and Christine Hong to defend North Korean women against sexism?

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I’VE HAD A LOT TO SAY ABOUT NORTH KOREA’S METH PROBLEM, but this article on North Koreans smoking pot was interesting.  You wouldn’t think pot would catch on in a place without freely available snacks, and where being mellow is strictly forbidden.

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SOME TEA-LEAF-READERS made a really big deal out of Kim Jong Un’s New Year’s speech, and some language in it that they interpreted as conciliatory.  I found those interpretations to be rather strained, and I wonder what they have to say about this exceptionally long and hostile KNCA missive about the U.N. Command, “south Korea,” and alleged Yankee imperialist plans to dominate Asia.  It ends with a definitive statement that North Korea will never give up its “deterrence against all forms of war,” which tea-leaf-readers usually interpret to mean nuclear weapons programs.

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PRESIDENT OBAMA SIGNS BILL to help North Korean kids.  The bill, as you recall, drew fierce opposition from Christine Ahn’s comrades in the struggle, Jennifer Kwon Dobbs and Christine Hong, the latter writing just about the most rambling, disingenuous, and poorly sourced thing 38 North has ever stooped to publish.  (I wove my response into my review of “Escape from North Korea.”)  Congratulations to Young Kim of Rep. Ed Royce’s staff for spearheading this, and to Rep. Royce for showing, so early in his tenure as Chairman of House Foreign Affairs, what an effective champion he could yet become.

Reuters offers this must-read profile of Royce, who certainly didn’t strike me as especially low key in the February 2007 hearing where Chris Hill did his Joe Isuzu act to sell Agreed Framework II to a skeptical House Foreign Affairs Committee.  According to the Reuters piece, Royce intends to make Iran sanctions his number one priority, but in this blog post, Royce appears to advocate the same approach to North Korea.

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NEW NORTH KOREAN SLOGAN:  “Let us live not merely for today but for tomorrow!”  But doesn’t that imply that North Korea is less than an earthly paradise today?  In America, we have Grass Roots who tell you to live for today.  In North Korea, grass roots are something you eat while you’re living for a tomorrow you may not have.


  1. The UN Security Council has condemned North Korea’s rocket launch and tightened the existing sanctions without imposing any new ones. This was the result of a deal between the US and China. Here’s the Reuters story, based on reporting by Louis Charbonneau, with editing by Sandra Maler.

  2. For the convenience of the OFK community, I have copied and pasted the statement of North Korea’s National Defense Commission reacting to the recent United Nations Security Council resolution.

        Pyongyang, January 24 (KCNA) — The National Defence Commission (NDC) of the DPRK issued a statement on Thursday.
        It said:
        Our successful launch of satellite Kwangmyongsong 3-2 was a great jubilee in the history of the nation as it placed the nation’s dignity and honor on the highest plane and a spectacular success made in the efforts to develop space for peaceful purposes recognized by the world.
        The world people who love justice and value conscience unanimously rejoice as their own over the signal success made by our country, not a big one, by its own efforts.
        Even space institutions of a hostile country accustomed to have repugnancy towards others could not but recognize the DPRK’s successful satellite launch for peaceful purposes, from a low-profile stance.
        This being a hard reality, the U.S. at the outset of the year termed our satellite launch “long-range missile launch,” “wanton violation” of the UN resolutions and “blatant challenge” to world peace and security in a bid to build up public opinion on this. Finally, it prodded the UNSC into cooking up a new resolution on tightening sanctions against the DPRK.
        The keynote of the resolution was worked out through backstage dealing with the U.S. as a main player and it was adopted at the UNSC with blind hand-raising by its member nations. This goes to clearly prove that the U.S. hostile policy toward the DPRK has entered a new dangerous phase.
        This shows, at the same time, that those big countries, which are obliged to take the lead in building a fair world order, are abandoning without hesitation even elementary principle, under the influence of the U.S. arbitrary and high-handed practices, failing to come to their senses.
        Moreover, this also indicates that the UNSC, which should regard it as its mission to guarantee sovereign rights and security of its member nations, has turned into a defunct marionette international body on which no hope can be pinned.
        The DPRK National Defence Commission solemnly declares as follows as regards the adoption of the entirely unreasonable resolution on the DPRK:
        We totally reject all the illegal resolutions on the DPRK adopted by the UNSC.
        We have never recognized all forms of base resolutions tightening sanctions cooked up by the hostile forces to encroach upon the DPRK’s sovereignty.
        Sovereignty is what keeps a country and nation alive.
        The country and the nation without sovereignty are more dead than alive.
        The satellite launch was the exercise of an independent right pertaining to the DPRK as well as its legitimate sovereignty recognized by international law.
        Therefore, the U.S. and those countries which launched satellites before have neither justification nor reason to find fault with the DPRK’s satellite launch.
        They are making a brigandish assertion that what they launched were satellites but what other country launched was a long-range missile. They are seriously mistaken if they think this assertion can work in the bright world today.
        The U.S. should clearly know that the times have changed and so have the army and the people of the DPRK.
        Along with the nationwide efforts to defend the sovereignty, the DPRK will continue launching peaceful satellites to outer space one after another.
        2. As the U.S. hostile policy toward the DPRK has entered more dangerous phase, overall efforts should be directed to denuclearizing big powers including the U.S. rather than the denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula.
        The biggest threat to the peace and security on the Korean Peninsula is the hostile policy toward the DPRK being pursued by all kinds of dishonest forces including the U.S. as well as the U.S. huge nuclear armed forces that back the policy.
        The army and people of the DPRK drew a final conclusion that only when the denuclearization of the world is realized on a perfect and preferential basis including the denuclearization of the U.S., will it be possible to denuclearize the Korean Peninsula and ensure peace and security of the DPRK.
        The U.S. is taking the lead in encroaching upon the sovereignty of the DPRK, its allies are siding with it and the UN Security Council has been reduced into an organization bereft of impartiality and balance. Under this situation the DPRK can not but declare that there will no longer exist the six-party talks and the September 19 joint statement.
        No dialogue on the denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula will be possible in the future even though there may be dialogues and negotiations on ensuring peace and security in the region including the Korean Peninsula.
        3. We will launch an all-out action to foil the hostile policy toward the DPRK being pursued by the U.S. and those dishonest forces following the U.S., and safeguard the sovereignty of the country and the nation.
        The UN Security Council resolution on expanding sanctions against the DPRK, which was adopted on the initiative of the U.S., represents the most dangerous phase of the hostile policy toward the DPRK.
        The army and people of the DPRK will never remain an on-looker to such happenings in which the sovereignty of the nation is encroached upon and the supreme interests of the country are violated.
        Under the prevailing situation, the army and people of the DPRK will turn out in an all-out action to defend its sovereignty which is more precious than their own lives and frustrate the moves of the U.S. and its allies to isolate and stifle the DPRK.
        The drive for building an economic power being pushed forward by the army and people of the DPRK, the effort to conquer space that has entered a new phase and the endeavors to bolster the deterrence for safeguarding the country and defending its security will all orientate toward the purpose of winning in the all-out action for foiling the U.S. and all other hostile forces’ maneuvers.
        We do not hide that a variety of satellites and long-range rockets which will be launched by the DPRK one after another and a nuclear test of higher level which will be carried out by it in the upcoming all-out action, a new phase of the anti-U.S. struggle that has lasted century after century, will target against the U.S., the sworn enemy of the Korean people.
        Settling accounts with the U.S. needs to be done with force, not with words as it regards jungle law as the rule of its survival.
        The world will clearly see how the army and people of the DPRK punish all kinds of hostile forces and emerge as a final victor while following the just road of defending its sovereignty, convinced of the justice of its cause. -0-

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