Archive for June 10th, 2006


From here.

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Astate-run defense development institution is to unveil upgradedunmannedmilitary vehicles today as part of the country’s militaryrobot project,officials said.

The new XAV models, developed by theAgency for DefenseDevelopment, are equipped with a more advanced speedsystem than thoseinitially released last year, Choi Chang-gon, a headof systemdevelopment bureau at ADD, told reporters.

They are remote controlled and can conduct self-controlled driving, Choi said.

Aftera series of test runs, the XAV vehicles will be furtherupgraded between2013 and 2020 ahead of being deployed for defenseoperations, he said.

The unmanned robotics weapon system features two models according to function: surveillance and combat.

Thesurveillance XAV is a 1.2-ton vehicle designed toreconnoiter and patrolin the field. It can run at a maximum 30kilometers per hour. Thebattery-propelled vehicle is equipped with a5.56-millimeter machine gun.

The0.9-ton combat XAV can operate at a maximum 45 kilometersper hour andhas a gasoline engine. The vehicle is for use on thefrontline with5.56-millimeter machine guns.

Military unveils robot vehicles


The Navy yesterday launched the nation’s first 1,800-ton classsubmarine, which is part of a 1.27 trillion won ($1.3 billion) projectto build six next-generation submarines by 2009.

The Type 214 submarine has been jointly developed by Hyundai Heavy Industries Co. and Germany’s Howaldtswerke Deutsche Werft AG.

The submarine is equipped with advanced systems including air independent propulsion (AIP) and flank array sonar (FAS).

With AIP, it can perform deep-sea operations for two weeks, much longerthan the Navy’s current Type 209 submarines’ three days. AIP can extendthe underwater operation period of the diesel-powered submarines tofive to six times longer than that of conventional submarines.

The 65.3-meter-long, 6.3-meter-wide submarine is armed withtorpedoes, antiwarship guided missiles as well as mines. Accommodating40 crew members, it can do a maximum 20 knots (37 kilometers) per hour.It will be deployed for naval operation in 2007.

Navy Launches 1.800 tons-sub

But this is not a surprise if we think the neighbour they have on the North. N-Korea is just going to proof a missile that could hit USA (HT Fausta’s Blog):

The Japanese and South Korean press reported in late May that U.S. spysatellites had picked up indications that North Korea was preparing totest launch a Taepo Dong II ballistic missile capable of carrying anuclear warhead. TNRhas confirmed that the United States has detected significant activityat a North Korean missile test site and that the administration is veryconcerned that Pyongyang is preparing a launch. What’s more, some U.S.intelligence analysts warn that the North Koreans may test athree-stage rocket capable of striking the western United States.”Suffice it to say, it’s got people’s attention,” says one StateDepartment official.

According to two U.S. government officials, the United States has begunan intensive consultation with allies in order to prepare a response,which could include further sanctions, if North Korea goes ahead with atest launch. The Japanese press has reported that the United States andJapan have dispatched reconnaissance aircraft to monitor a possibletest and the Japanese have sent a destroyer to the Sea of Japan capableof tracking the missile. North Korea has not fired a ballistic missilesince 1998, when, without warning, it lobbed a missile over Japan intothe Pacific, a move which drew widespread international condemnation.U.S. government sources said that the activity observed at the NorthKorean test site is the most significant since the 1998 test.

But not only that:

  • North Korea has the world’s third largest stock of chemical weapons.
  • Included in the arsenal is mustard gas, phosgene, sarin and V-agents.
  • Pyongyang also has an active biological weapons program.
  • Its inventory is believed to include anthrax, botulism, cholera, hemorrhagic fever, plague, smallpox, typhoid and yellow fever.

And of course the nuclear program.
North Korea already has missiles that can strike Japan.

Missiles shown during a military parade in the capitalcity of Pyongyang: North Korea already has missiles that can strikeJapan. (Der Spiegel)

But nevertheless:

Famine is a reality.

On another occasion during North Korea’s tour forthe American media, a woman was seen crouching in one of Pyongyang’smany public parks, pulling grass and placing it onto a handkerchief. Aforeign aid worker who has spent time in North Korea calls it a commonscene: She says people forage the city parks for edible grasses andplants to supplement their diets. The worker says it happens even inthis showcase city where the shelves appear well stocked and where onlythose especially loyal to the Communist Party are allowed to live.

Gerald Bourke, a U.N. World Food Program official visitingPyongyang, says North Korean claims that the country is approachingself-sufficiency, are not true. He says 37 percent of North Koreanchildren are chronically malnourished, while one-third of nursingmothers are undernourished or anemic. He predicts disaster if aidagencies like his are expelled.

“Certainly, with those high levels of malnutrition, if WFP were notthere to provide the sort of supplementary foods, the special foodsthat, for example, young children need, that pregnant and nursing womenneed, it could be very serious because many of those people are livingon the edge, a very precarious existence,” said Mr. Bourke. “Foodinsecurity is very widespread. There is and will be a very substantialneed next year and beyond.”

More information about North Korea and starvation here. This is just horrible. Yes, I know it is not a modern link but the reality they are living now comes from long ago and should be known.

North Korea ((HT Hyscience) is a country where the differences between people are enormous, where there are a sybaritic upper class who flourishes in sharp contrast to reports of impoverished working class and where people are divided into three castes!.

It is difficult for foreign observers to see whattheir everyday lives are like. People are forbidden to inviteforeigners to their homes. All international aid workers and diplomatsinterviewed in Pyongyang said they have never seen the inside of localresidents’ homes.

And more:

Also on the hospital tour was a stop at thenursery, where a nurse proudly shows off a set of triplets. Multiplebirths are a special source of pride in North Korea, where thegovernment encourages women of the loyal class to give birth to nine ormore children – all presumed to be future soldiers in Kim Jong Il’smillion-man army.

The scene is a stunning contrast to refugees’ tales of the NorthKorea they know, where women of the hostile class are forced to haveabortions at prison camps. This, they say, is part of Mr. Kim’s drivefor ethnic and ideological purity.

Specially important is the fact that new born children with physical disabilities are killed at birth and quickly buried, according to a physician who defected from the country. The practice is encouraged by the State as a way of purifying the masses and eliminating people who might be considered “different”.

The Guardian in 2004 also reported that there were gas chambers in which terrific human experiments are being made.

‘I witnessed a whole family being tested on suffocating gas anddying in the gas chamber,’ he said. ‘The parents, son and and adaughter. The parents were vomiting and dying, but till the very lastmoment they tried to save kids by doing mouth-to-mouth breathing.’

Hyukhas drawn detailed diagrams of the gas chamber he saw. He said: ‘Theglass chamber is sealed airtight. It is 3.5 metres wide, 3m long and2.2m high_ [There] is the injection tube going through the unit.Normally, a family sticks together and individual prisoners standseparately around the corners. Scientists observe the entire processfrom above, through the glass.’

[…] His testimony is backed up by Soon Ok-lee, who was imprisoned forseven years. ‘An officer ordered me to select 50 healthy femaleprisoners,’ she said. ‘One of the guards handed me a basket full ofsoaked cabbage, told me not to eat it but to give it to the 50 women. Igave them out and heard a scream from those who had eaten them. Theywere all screaming and vomiting blood. All who ate the cabbage leavesstarted violently vomiting blood and screaming with pain. It was hell.In less than 20 minutes they were quite dead.’

Defectors havesmuggled out documents that appear to reveal how methodical thechemical experiments were. One stamped ‘top secret’ and ‘transferletter’ is dated February 2002. The name of the victim was Lin Hun-hwa.He was 39. The text reads: ‘The above person is transferred from …camp number 22 for the purpose of human experimentation of liquid gasfor chemical weapons.’

And here a biography of Kim Il Song II, communist dictator of North Korea.

moreinteresting to North Korea was the fact that a man in Pakistan who wasbuilding the ultimate weapon seemed willing to pass on his know-how.Abdul Qadir Khan saw himself as a sort of “Robin Hood of the nuclearage,” who was interested in helping Islamic states and Third Worldcountries acquire something that would enable them to stand up to theBig Five (United States, Soviet Union, China, Great Britain andFrance). He also happened to be a man who was very receptive tomonetary gifts.
Incidentally, the gifted Pakistani nuclear scientist acquired hisexpertise in Berlin and in the Netherlands, where in 1983 he wassentenced in absentia to four years in prison for industrial espionage,but was acquitted in 1985 on a technicality.
A black market of horror developed around Khan and his RawalpindiResearch Laboratory; its extent has yet to be fully clarified, and italso involved German “dealers of death.” In addition to the hostcountry, this nuclear bazaar revolves around three countries: Iran,Libya and North Korea.
Western intelligence experts are now certain that Pakistan and NorthKorea already began entering into secret deals by the late 1980s. Theysay that Khan’s role was to supply key components for building nuclearbombs: high-speed centrifuges (which Khan allegedly transported inPakistani government aircraft on more than a dozen trips to NorthKorea), construction plans and other components used in the uraniumenrichment process. In return, the North Koreans supplied Pakistan withprototypes of their Nodong medium-range missile (with a range of 1,500kilometers), which can be fitted with nuclear warheads.


More on the N.Korean famine on Reuters.

Of course, the thing gets a little more complicated if we consider the people who are interested in N-Korean plutonium.

Other interesting blog posts:

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Beijing feeds the hype

But that didn’t stop Beijing from feeding the hype by unveiling an ambitious new program to “enhance its capability to innovate, develop and rapidly supply new-generation weaponry” on the same day it was criticizing the US for “continuing to peddle the so-called ‘China threat.'”Sino Tech army.jpg The 15-year endeavor will include “new and high-technologies for the space industry, aviation, ship and marine engineering, nuclear energy and fuel, and information technology for both military and civilian purposes,” with a “focus on development of new and high-tech weaponry.”
The effort to develop new technologies may run up against China’s continuing difficulties with fraud in its scientific and R&D communities, although the government is also introducing initiatives to confront these problems.In truth, the new military technology plan doesn’t appear to mark any actual departure from the trends the Pentagon report already noted – this is new PR and packaging, not new policy. But you’d think someone would realize that it’s difficult to protect your international image as a peaceful, stabilizing presence the same day you’re trying to instill national pride in your new, powerful, high-tech military. Maybe they should divert a few yuan to modernizing their media operation.
It’s actually been a rough couple of weeks for Chinese spokesmen addressing security relations with the US. Last week, they had to deal with a Taiwanese sales rep for Lockheed who pled guilty to spying for China and attempting to purchase US military technology for shipment to China. A few days later, they were criticizing a State Dept announcement that none of the Department’s thousands of new Lenovo computers would be used on classified networks, out of security concerns with the Chinese company’s systems. The FBI’s Chinese spy is still in the news as well.

Beijing Feeds the Hype

Some days ago I posted in the Chinese new arsenal a Washington Post article that said that Beiging was far more advanced that it was thought at first time. But far more important than that was the fact that Zapatero and France have expressed their desire for a lift on the embargo on Chinese imports of weapons.

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I have been blogging today with the Updated version ( of Flock. I will review it when I have some free time. But the worst thing I ‘m seeing is that it does not let you modify the colors, and does not have a trackback option.

The rest of the things are more than reasonable.

The RSS service is also much better than the one it had before this update.

In the Flock page they are announcing the first beta of this browser based in Mozilla.

For the people who like better Performancing, there is the possibility of using Flock’d to transform every extension made for Firefox into a Flock extension. It functions perfectly.

UPDATE: There are other other two not very agreeable things related with the “edit published post”.

  • It only lets you edit directly the posts that had been posted with Flock.If it has not been posted with Flock you must copy the entire post again, then choose, in the dialog window to choose categories and technorati tags, edit post. The other blog editors that I know, let you modify all past blog posts (Qumana, Blogdesk, Bloggar) or only the last ones (Performancing) but with no selection on whether you have posted those posts with Flock or with other blog client. I must add that, with the previous Flock, this feature was not present at all, you were unable to edit ANY blog post.
  • There is no underline button, you have to do it modifying the source code.
  • When you edit a post, the technorati tags are missed. You have to write them again. This is not very useful. And the system does not let you enter for example “Blogging client” as a technorati tag, but “blogging” and “client” separatedly.

Anyway, I like that the blog editor appears in a different window than that of the browser and the source tab, for modifying the source code. I’ve been unable to modify the colors though.

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This is from Leeuw, called “Not in my name”:

And this other “This Saturday you have a meeting”, by anghara:

If I take photos tomorrow, I will post them here for all of you to see them.

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BEIJING – China welcomes foreign Internet companies working in China,but they must respect and abide by the country’s laws, including thoseon expression, the Chinese Foreign Ministry said Thursday.
The comments by ministry spokesman Liu Jianchao followed remarks Tuesday by Google Inc. co-founder Sergey Brin acknowledging the Internet company has compromised its principles by accommodating Chinese censorship demands.
Liu said China took a positive attitude toward working with companies such as Google, but any cooperation must exist “within a framework of law,” and that Beijing hoped firms would abide by China’s regulations.
Google’s Brin said the Internet company had agreed to the censorship demands only after Chinese authorities blocked its service in that country.Google’s China-approved Web service omits politically sensitive information that might be retrieved during Internet searches, such as details about the June 1989 suppression of political unrest in Tiananmen Square. Its agreement with China has provoked considerable criticism from human rights groups.

– Yahoo! News

“China welcomes foreign Internet companies working in China,but they must respect and abide by the country’s laws, including those on expression”

And as Google is very interested in making profit, they are not going to even mention the possibility of a change. No, they just have “agreed on censorship“.

This comes after China Blocked Google Main site. And the statement from Brin is quite extravagant:

We felt that perhaps we could compromise our principles
but provide ultimately more information for the Chinese and be a more
effective service
,” he said.

“Perhaps now the principled approach makes more sense.”

In addition to Google, US companies Microsoft, Yahoo and
Cisco Systems have also been accused of accommodating China’s demands
on censorship in return for access to its huge internet market.

How on earth you are going to provide INFORMATION if it’s blocked?

In fact Roger L Simon has begun a campaign for divestment and Atlas Shrugs, after a magnificent post, has this image:


Pajamas Media has a very good section on this subject.

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The Save Fund of Bilbao-Vizcaya, known as Bilbao Bizkaia Kutxa (BBK), concluded an agreement with PSOE to cancel the historical debt that it had with this Fund since 18 years ago. According to the agreement, the debt is cancelled, not having paid 21 million of euros.

With this agreement, PSOE has achieved not to pay BBK 10,3 million of euros, as a result of the interests yielded since, at least, 1988.

PSOE says that these agreeements are not favours given to them, but precisely the intention of the actual direction of the party to, at the end, discover a solution to debts not paid during decades.

But BBK is not the only Fund or Bank who has made these “agreements” with PSOE: La CAixa gave them 7.1 million of euros and Banco Santander at least 12 million of euros after 19 years without due payment. PSOE says these entities did not reclaim them because the knew they were going to be renegotiated.

La BBK perdona al PSOE 21 millones de euros tras cancelar una deuda impagada desde los 80 | elmundo.es

Renegotiated is not pardoned….

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