Human Trafficking Russia & Korea Russian Far East

How happy are Kim Jong-un’s slaves? It depends on which slave you ask.

There may be no story on earth where the answer to a question is so dependent on who you ask as North Korea. Take the case of this NK News story from February, by an anonymous correspondent who went to Vladivostok, wandered into a local North Korean cafe, and found some North Korean construction workers who were — …

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Proliferation Russia & Korea Sanctions WMD

Russia’s nuclear cooperation with N. Korea violates at least three UNSC resolutions

My final excerpt from the draft U.N. Panel of Experts report is a lengthy graf (below the fold) describing long-standing and continuing Russian assistance to, and cooperation with, some of the same scientists involved in North Korea’s nuclear weapons program. It’s hard for me to understand how this is not a violation of the UNSC sanctions. …

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Capitalism China & Korea Class Warfare Diplomacy Russia & Korea Sanctions

Kim Jong Un seeks friends and funds abroad as he isolates his people.

In the three years that he has been in power, His Porcine Majesty has found plenty of time for Dennis Rodman, but none for meetings with foreign leaders. Suddenly, in the last two months, he has flirted with (1) a summit with South Korean leader Park Geun-Hye, (2) inviting Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe to Pyongyang, (3) and a …

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History Korean History Russia Russia & Korea

Newly Released Soviet Report Details Atrocities in North Korea

Something tells me the Putinjugend Nashi web site isn’t going to feature, by popular demand, this newly released 1945 report by a Soviet Lieutenant Colonel who drove through Hwanghae and North and South Pyongyan provinces just after the war’s end. The officer’s detailed, 13-page report on the behavior of Russian soldiers in North Korea makes …

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Kim Jong Il Russia & Korea Russian Far East

Is This Kim Jong Il’s Private Train?

A reader recently directed my attention to these images at, taken by Danish tourist Asger Christiansen while visiting Vladivostok in 2002. Christiansen believes they show Kim Jong Il’s unmarked private train taking him to a meeting with Vladimir Putin. I contacted Mr. Christian, who graciously allowed me to post the images here. Click for …

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"United" Nations Counterfeiting Diplomacy Money Laundering Russia & Korea Six-Party Talks WMD

So Much for ‘Peace in Our Time’

[Sorry for the earlier comments glitch; please e-mail me if you have problems.]   OK, now the diplos have flown home.  Talks on halting North Korea’s nuclear program broke down abruptly on Thursday with the country’s chief nuclear envoy flying home after a dispute over money frozen in a Macau bank could not be resolved. …

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Human Rights Russia Russia & Korea


This was in my in-box from Human Rights Without Frontiers today: The North Korean government is paying for oil imported from Russia by dispatching forced labour at zero cost since it has no other way to pay in goods or services. This was confirmed by the investigations of independent journalists, a professor of the Far …

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China & Korea Geopolitics Russia & Korea U.S. & Korea Unintended Humor

For My Next Act, I Shall Balance Four Whales on One Shrimp!

Roh Moo Hyun thinks his neighborhood needs a regional “multilateral security framework:” Roh […] emphasized that the European experience can be useful in coping with pending issues surrounding the Korean Peninsula. He said challenges confronting Northeast Asia include lingering Cold War-like tensions, concerns over the spread of weapons of mass destruction, terrorism and environmental protection. …

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"United" Nations An Alliance? China China & Korea Russia Russia & Korea WMD

For the Bush Administration, the Moment of Truth

We learn today that China intends to veto a resolution that would impose binding sanctions on North Korea’s missile trade. Got that? No binding sanctions on a starving nation’s trade in … missile components. China and Russia introduced a resolution Wednesday deploring North Korea’s missile tests but dropping language from a rival proposal that could …

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