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Archive for the ‘Asia’ Category

If some weeks ago we saw that Google was urged to clean up YouTube’s Copyright Troubles, now the Association of American Publishers are also suing them:

“The publishing industry is united behind this lawsuit against Google and united in the fight to defend their rights,” AAP President and former Colorado Congresswoman Patricia Schroeder said in a statement. “While authors and publishers know how useful Google’s search engine can be and think the Print Library could be an excellent resource, the bottom line is that under its current plan, Google is seeking to make millions of dollars by freeloading on the talent and property of authors and publishers.”

This comes after Google removed 20.549 videos from YouTube (Spanish), after being sued by a Japanese holding who defends the rights of the authors, because of an infraction related with intelectual property (here in English from BBC, here from PC World and here from Tail Rank).

In Spain, SGAE (General Society for Authors and Editors) is planning to install a new tax on every hard disk (link in Spanish)-whether they are on computers or not- that you purchase just in case you are going to copy protected material in them. Tribunals have issued sentences against the old canon (link in Spanish)in which the hard disks and other high capacity devices were not included. SGAE won [not earned] €29 millions only in 2004 and it increased 30% in 2005. The percentage is decided on average estimations on what would the normal share of clients using those means to archive forbidden material. There are a lot of campaigns  and on line petitions against the canon in internet.

Básicamente lo que pasa es que Google después de haber sido obligada a retirar casi 30.000 vídeos de YouTube por la SGAE Japonesa, ahora ha sido demandada también por la Asociación americana de Editores, debido a su nuevo proyecto que intentaba subir a Internet los libros de diferentes universidades. Los editores quieren dinero a cambio de la millonada que se va a llevar Google.

En cuanto a España, como seguimos a vueltas con el canon de la SGAE, aquí teneis un vídeo de traca que he encontrado en Internet… smile_teeth

Aquí teneis el link del video.

UPDATE: Javier de la Cueva from Derecho de Internet points me another sentence which is more recent that the one I pointed to above, in fact, from Sept 26th, 2006. The Judge failed to recognise his rights to the consumer but later the Provincial Audience has revoked that, recognising againthose rights.

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I have added this blog to two campaigns that are so necessary nowadays.

The first is about denouncing the present state of Human Rights’ abuses in China. Human Rights Watch has launched a campaign denouncing that, whatever the Chinese political elite wants the rest of the world to know, they are even harrassing more the freedom activists and the overall state of Human Rights is even worse than some years before. So if you agree with this campaign, go to this page and insert the logo in your blog. For more information, go here.

The second one is promoting a campaign to boycott Indonesian products, after the persecution Chrsitians are suffering there. I found it in a blog called “Persecuted Christians in Indonesia” (Thanks to Ajopringue for pointing to this blog). In a country were 1 out of ten muslims are supporters of Jihad (approx. 18.7 millions), this is really necessary. So:

Hay dos nuevas campañas importantes en la blogosfera internacional: la primera se refiere a China. La ONG Human Rights Watch está denunciando que, a pesar de las promesas realizadas por la élite política china, todavía están amenazando a los activistas pro-libertad y derechos humanos y que el estado general de los Derechos Humanos es peor ahora que hace unos años. Así que, si estás de acuerdo en dar la voz sobre lo que está pasando en China, ve aquí y pon el logo en tu blog.

La segunda es sobre Indonesia, país mayoritariamente musulmán que ahora está llevando a cabo una campaña de persecución de los infieles, en su mayoría cristianos. Ajopringue, en el link de arriba, enlaza al blog “los infieles persguidos en Indonesia“, en el que la encontré. Este último es un blog de obligada lectura sobre lo que está pasando en Indonesia.

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From The Washington Post:

The children answer to nicknames such as “Seagull,” “Brightness,” “Summer” and “Ocean,” but they come with scars that social workers initially mistake for dirt. When they first arrive at the two-story house here, they hoard toothpaste, or they hide new socks and steamed buns in their bed quilts, as if they were precious gems.

They are the children of prisoners, and in this country, they belong to no one.

The law is unclear on who should provide for the children of China’s more than 1.5 million prisoners. No government department is willing to supervise them. Historically, relatives have taken them in, but in practice, many unwanted children are shuffled from family to family. Sometimes, even the families do not want them.

A small number of children, like the 12 at the home here in Dalian, receive care at “Children’s Villages,” organizations usually run by civic-minded individuals. But there are no more than nine or 10 such organizations nationwide, serving perhaps 1,000 children, experts say. Prisoners have an estimated 600,000 children under the age of 18, according to Justice Ministry statistics; experts argue that the actual figure is higher.

 Found at Letras Cum Garfos.

Chinese authorities also recognise having shoot in Tibet some Tibetans who were trying to cross to Nepal. But it was on self-defense. Of course that is ridiculous when you see they were trying to defend themselves from… a monk and some children. [UPDATE: You have more information about this in Truth About China, here, here and here]

But China is increasing his attractive throughout the world (found at China e-Lobby), despite Chinese record of Human Rights’ abuses:

Among the tools available to Beijing in exercising its soft power, the most obvious are socioeconomic. Riding the wave of its astonishing growth over the past decade, China now routinely portrays itself not only as a model for the world’s poorest countries but as their most vocal and sympathetic international ally.

[…]  At the top of China’s list in this regard has been energy, ever-increasing amounts of which are needed to fuel the country’s booming economy. The heads of state-owned natural-resource firms speak openly of the investments that Beijing directs them to make abroad. This campaign has paid off handsomely, with Chinese companies lining up a range of eager partners in countries possessing first-tier oil and gas fields. In South America, the China National Petroleum Corporation (CNPC) has established a joint venture with the state-owned Petroleos de Venezuela and, through a subsidiary, has bought a stake in Peru’s Pluspetrol. Last year CNPC purchased PetroKazakhstan, one of the biggest oil companies in Central Asia, for $4.18 billion. Chinese firms have also become the biggest foreign investor in Sudan’s sizable oil industry, and have concluded a deal to develop one of Iran’s major oil and gas fields (I wrote about this here).

[…] Still more amazingly, China’s charm offensive has made a strong impression on international public opinion. In a 2005 BBC poll of 22 nations, 48 percent rated China’s role in the world as mainly positive, with only 30 percent seeing it as negative. A follow-up poll, released in February 2006, revealed a rise in positive feelings in nations ranging from Brazil to Indonesia to Nigeria, even as the public standing of the United States deteriorated.

[…] The effects of China’s diplomatic outreach can be registered perhaps most sharply in its own region, where its influence is felt in older groupings like the Association of Southeast Asian Nations and in newer pan-Asian institutions, like the East Asia Summit, which it has helped to create. In the longer run, Beijing may try to convert some of these partnerships into more formal alliances.

[…] Then there is Central Asia. There, China played a leading role in the founding five years ago of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO), a group that includes Russia, Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, and Kyrgyzstan. The rest of the world paid little attention, but since 2001, Central Asia has assumed new international prominence. It is both rich in oil—Kazakhstan alone produces more than a million barrels a day—and adjacent to flashpoints like Afghanistan and Iran -that now wants to control all the Middle East, as described in the link with Russia’s help-. This is why, after 9/11, Washington hurried to secure basing rights in Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, and Kyrgyzstan.

[…] Globally, there is also the danger of imitation. To the extent that poorer nations follow China’s model of development, they are likely to reproduce both its disastrous environmental record and its hostility to independent labor unions and other accoutrements of a free civic order, a combination with dire effects on long-term social health. Nor is state control in the most backward corners of the world likely to produce anything like Chinese-style growth. Though corruption is endemic in Chinese officialdom, its negative effects are offset by the developing rule of law there (especially in the eastern cities) and by the country’s need to fight graft in order to attract foreign investment. In parts of the developing world, where the rule of law is at best a distant ideal, the Chinese model can only intensify corruption.

Finally, the Chinese posture of “noninterference” can be a cover for something more ominous. The fact is that, in the developing world, China has served as a positive impediment to Western efforts to bring about vital reforms. In 2005, for example, IMF officials were on the verge of concluding a deal with the Angolan government in which new loans would be tied to intensive monitoring to ensure that aid actually reached the poor. At the last minute, Angolan officials broke off the talks; China had stepped in, offering loans and credits worth as much as $5 billion—with no conditions.

[…] Worldwide, China’s support for dictators hurts the populations of the affected nations while endangering regional and international security. In supporting self-aggrandizing demagogues like Robert Mugabe and Hugo Chavez, China fosters instability in the world’s fragile, impoverished continents. By reducing pressure on rogue actors like Sudan and Iran, Beijing undermines any real prospect of political and social reform, all but guaranteeing that they will continue to be engines of extremism and global terror.

[…] All of which is a sharp reminder that China remains not only an economic rival but a looming political danger. In many respects, indeed, China represents a more complicated potential adversary than the Soviet Union ever was. Our struggle with the hidebound USSR certainly had its “soft” side, involving the contest of ideas and of political and economic ideals. But the main struggle was in the arena of hard power, of military might and determination, and in the end this is what proved decisive. Countering the new China is a task requiring a kind of intellectual and ideological agility at which Americans are not much practiced. If democratic values are to prevail globally, we need even more rapidly to develop and to give life to some unaccustomed instruments of American influence.

It does not say anything -that I have read- about NKorea’s abuses: WMD reports that refugees are reporting the killing of disabled infants and forced abortions of babies believed fathered by Chinese men in an obsessive program based on mystical notions of Korean racial superiority.

Oficialmente los hijos de prisioneros en China no tienen sitios donde alojarse mientras sus padres cumplen condena. Normalmente los recogían parientes, pero ahora son rechazados por sus familias en muchos casos. Se estima que el 1,5 millones de chinos en la cárcel, tienen 600.000 hijos menores de 18 años -algunos estiman que son más-, de los que aproximadamente 1.000 reciben cuidados de organizaciones cívicas. smile_sad

Asimismo, las autoridades chinas han declarado que los soldados de la frontera dispararon contra unos tibetanos muy malos que se les resistieron y lucharon contra ellos. Lo que me creería si las personas a las que dispararon a quemarropa y a sangre fría no hubieran sido un monje y varios niños que querían huir a Nepal… smile_angry

Por último, un artículo en el que se examina la importancia geopolítica de China. Con su política suave ha hecho olvidar a la gente que es el país en el que más derechos humanos se violan -como ya vimos ayer-. Invirtiendo en estados con grandes reservas de petróleo, se ha introducido en Sudamérica, con importantes acuerdos con Chávez y Evo Morales, así como comprando un paquete de acciones en la peruana Pluspetrol; en Asia Central, formando la Shanghai Cooperation Organization, de la que forman parte Rusia, Kazajstán, Uzbekistán, Tazijistán y Kyrgystán -ya vimos aquí la construcción del mega oleducto a Turkmekistán-; y en África, con los acuerdos con los gobiernos sudanés -ya vimos lo que pasaba con los campos petrolíferos de Darfur– y angoleño.

El comportamiento de China da lugar a varios problemas: el primero que nos interesa es la imitación. Si a los países subdesarrollados se les ocurre imitar a China, sólo conseguirán disminuir el respeto a los Derechos Humanos y aumentar la corrupción. Y el segundo es que su política de apoyo a los dictadores representa un peligro aún mayor, con apoyo a los ayatolás -que ahora quieren controlar todo el Medio Oriente, con la inestimable ayuda de Rusia-, a Chávez, a Mugabe o al querido líder Kim Jong-Il -que parece estar llevando a cabo un obsesivo programa de limpieza racial: a las norcoreanas que se quedan embarazadas de un chino, o les hacen abortar forzosamente o matan al niño dejándolo sin comer una vez que ya ha nacido-.

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EL PAIS (that leftist newspaper): China remains in the podium of repression. “Chinese promised to fulfill obligations in Human Rights before been awarded with the Olyimpics, but now instead of really fulfilling that promise, both freedom of expression and citizens’ rights are even less respected. Well, this is a very little note for all that is going on in China. Of course, it is much better to insist on calling murderers to US soldiers in Iraq, but to give no information of the grave Human Rights’ abuses in China -or about the Liban war, has someone heard something in Spain?-. The rest of the article can be viewed paying….
Well, it is curious also that when Amnesty International reports about US abuses all the TV networks, newspapers, etc are greedily reporting it. But when they publish something about other countries it goes really silenced. That is what has happened with the last report from AI, who founded that news title from the independent diary of the mornings, as EL PAIS is subtitled. About this last report I have known because of the blog Galería de Arte”. [NOTE: AI also has hidden this report, not in its front page, but in a subsidiary for China’s problems with Human Rights, but there is a link in its front page to “know more about Guantanamo Bay”]. Now for the report:

China’s record on imprisoning citizens without charge, its treatment of human rights defenders and its respect of media freedoms are all deteriorating, despite promises from the Chinese government that it would make human rights improvements in advance of the Beijing Olympics, Amnesty International said in a new report today. The report finds that though China has made some progress in reforming the death penalty system, its record in other crucial human rights areas has gone downhill — ironically, sometimes in the name of preparing for the Olympics.
“Flagrant human rights abuses continue in China, and the appalling ‘re-education through labor’ system seems to be flourishing in the run up to the 2008 Olympic Games,” said Larry Cox, executive director of Amnesty International USA (AIUSA). “This is contrary to the Olympic Charter ideal and clearly negates the ‘preservation of human dignity’ that Beijing, as an Olympic host, has committed to uphold.”
The 28-page report, The Olympics Countdown: Failing to keep Human Rights Promises, focuses on four areas: “re-education through labor” (RTL), restrictions on media freedom, the harassment and imprisonment of human rights defenders, and the death penalty. Amnesty International has sent its findings to the International Olympic Committee (IOC), which has stated that it would act if human rights commitments by China were not upheld in practice. The organization is urging the IOC to use its influence with the Chinese authorities and to speak out on behalf of individuals who have been wrongfully imprisoned.
Amnesty International is concerned that the Chinese authorities may be using the forthcoming Olympic Games as an incentive to retain the unjust system of RTL in the name of safeguarding security and maintaining order. Police have the power to issue sentences of up to three years for vaguely defined charges. Hundreds of thousands of people are believed to be held at RTL labor camps across the country.

At the end, they beg ask US to make China be really committed on Human Right.

(more…)

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USA has pressed for NKorea Sanctions. The proposed US sanctions are:

  • Halting trade in material that could be used to make weapons of mass destruction
  • Inspections of cargo going in and out of North Korea
  • The ending of financial transactions used to support nuclear proliferation
  • A ban on the import of luxury goods

Japan has confirmed the economic restrictions on NKorea and the restrictions to the entry of NKoreans in Japanese land. They are also forgiving NKorean ships to enter Japanese ports. All of these measures can have a very bad efect on NKorean economy as some of their products, as clams or mushrooms, are one of the main methods of achieving foreign currencies, mainly from the Japanese market. Also ferries are the main way of communication between the two countries. [The Guardian]

Of course, Koffi Annan has -in another crisis in his reign– said to the US: please, talk to NKorea…

He urged the US to enter direct talks with North Korea, something which Washington consistently refuses to do. “I have always argued that we should talk to parties whose behaviour we want to change,” Mr Annan said.

And NKorea has threaten to retaliate strongly:

North Korea today threatened “strong” retaliation against Japanese sanctions as UN security council members tried to work out a compromise deal on a response to Pyongyang’s nuclear test.

“We will take strong counter-measures,” Song Il Ho, North Korea’s ambassador in charge of talks with Japan, said when asked about Tokyo’s unilateral sanctions, imposed yesterday. The measures include a ban on North Korean shipping.

In an interview with Japan’s Kyodo news agency, he warned: “We never speak empty words.”

Newsweek asked some days ago if this test will bring down Kim. And also wrote about China:

But U.S. officials had become increasingly frustrated by China’s reluctance to squeeze Pyongyang harder. In the past, even when it was displeased with Kim, Beijing has done little more than temporarily interrupt fuel flows. The hope in Washington is now that Chinese President Hu Jintao will decide he’s finally had enough of his out-of-control former junior partner. With Sunday’s test Kim has now twice rebuffed Hu’s pleas for restraint. The last time was July, when Kim ignored the Chinese leader’s request not to test missiles. This time Kim insulted Hu the day after an important Sino-Japanese summit with Tokyo’s new prime minister, Shinzo Abe—a nationalist who will no doubt be probing China’s strategic determination—and on the eve of a big communist party plenary session at which Hu’s reputation will be on the line.

For Washington, almost everything is riding on this hope. U.S. officials are talking tough about beefing up their Proliferation Security Initiative, which mainly involves interdicting suspect shipments on the high seas. But last week they quickly walked back any speculation that Assistant Secretary of State Christopher Hill’s stark rhetoric from last week—“North Korea can have a future or it can have these weapons. It can’t have both,” Hill said—meant a threat of war. The Pentagon is extremely leery of any military options, with the heavily-populated South Korean capital of Seoul lying vulnerable to missile attack just across the North Korean border. What Hill’s comment meant instead, several U.S. officials said, was that the U.N. Security Council would move to impose sanctions, and key countries such as China, Japan and South Korea would join in, ensuring that the Pyongyang regime remains utterly friendless.

Well, today, from Reuters:

The United States will push formally on Thursday for tough U.N. punishment of North Korea for its reported nuclear test, but is certain to face strong opposition from China.

China, the nearest North Korea has to a backer, openly condemned its communist neighbor after it announced on Monday it had conducted a nuclear test and agreed to limited sanctions.

“In response to North Korea’s actions we’re working with our partners … to ensure there are serious repercussions for the regime in Pyongyang,”U.S. President George W. Bush said on Wednesday after Japan announced new sanctions of its own against North Korea.

But a new U.S. resolution goes further than Beijing wants.

There has not yet been any independent confirmation that Monday’s test was of a nuclear device. But some have speculated that if it was nuclear, it might not have been successful as claimed by Pyongyang.

North Korea has held out the threat of more tests, calling U.S. pressure to rein in its nuclear program tantamount to a “declaration of war”.

A U.N. Security Council vote on the resolution could come on Friday, when the leaders of China and South Korea — on which Pyongyang relies for economic aid and a level of diplomatic protection — are also due to meet in Beijing.

Both countries are anxious to avoid driving the reclusive North — with its 1.2 million-strong army — further into a corner, possibly triggering instability on the Korean peninsula, which has been divided for more than half a century.

USA has softened previous proposal on NKorea.

The new American resolution, to be formally introduced this morning, would declare North Korea’s actions to be a threat to international peace and stability and would require countries to freeze assets related to Pyongyang’s nuclear and missile programs and ban the sale or transfer of materials that could be used in them. It would also ban travel by people involved in the programs and bar the sale of the luxury goods used to reward the regime’s elite, diplomats said late Wednesday.

But unlike an earlier version, it would allow but not require inspections of all cargo going into or out of North Korea, or the freezing of assets related to counterfeiting or narcotics, which American officials say are crucial sources of the hard currency needed to fund the weapons programs. Japanese demands for a ban on allowing North Korean ships or planes to enter other countries were also dropped.

In Beijing today, a spokesman for the Foreign Ministry appeared to back away from a statement on Tuesday by the country’s United Nations ambassador expressing support for “punitive” sanctions.

“It’s necessary to express clearly to North Korea that the nuclear test is the wrong practice,” said the spokesman, Liu Jianchao. “As to what measures to take, I think the measures themselves are not punitive action,” he said. “One can say that punishment isn’t the goal.”

Precisely the question now arising in some places is whether or not NKorea really tested a nuclear bomb.

UPDATE: An interesting article from the Telegraph: The West woke up too late to the nuclear threat of rogue states. (Found at Disculpen las Molestias)
EEUU presentó una resolución en la que se imponían una serie de sanciones a Corea del Norte por la prueba nuclear. Estas eran no dejar entrar material que pudiera ser usado para hacer ADM, inspecciones de todos los buques cargueros que entren y salgan de Corea del Norte, el final de todas las transacciones financieras usadas para apoyar la proliferación nuclear y una prohibición para importar bienes de lujo.
Japón por su pare ha establecido restricciones a sus transacciones comerciales con Corea del Norte y sobre los ciudadanos norcoreanos que quieran entrar en el país nipón. Asimismo, también ha prohibido a los barcos norcoreanos atracar en puertos japoneses. Estas medidas pueden ser penosas para la economía norcoreana que recibe muchas divisas procedentes de la exportación de setas y almejas a Japón y cuyo único medio de comunicación con este país son los ferries. Corea del Norte ha anunciado “grandes represalias” contra Japón.
Hace unos días ya escribí que el principal problema para imponer una sanción a Corea del Norte era precisamente China. Pues bien, después de protestar mucho cuando Corea del Norte hizo la prueba nuclear, ahora no es partidaria de que se le impongan muchas sanciones. EEUU ha tenido que presentar una nueva propuesta de resolución en la ONU, en la que ya no se exige un registro de los barcos que entran y salen de Corea del Norte, medida que es vital según los expertos, porque de esa forma se impediría que llegara dinero procedente de drogas o de falsificación, para financiar el programa armamentístico.
Eso sí, Koffi Annan le ha dicho a EEUU que a ver si dialoga con Kim Jong Il, diciendo: “Creo que siempre hay que hablar con las personas cuyo comportamiento debemos cambiar”. NO comments 😦
Mientras crecen las dudas sobre si efectivamente Corea del Norte tiene la bomba realmente.

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Defiant North Korea conducts nuclear test | Top News | Reuters.com

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North Korea said it conducted an underground nuclear test on Monday, defying a warning from the U.N. Security Council and opening its crippled economy to the risk of fresh sanctions. South Korea put its troops on heightened alert after the announcement, which came just minutes before Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe landed in Seoul for a visit. The move could heighten regional tension and deal a fresh foreign policy blow to President Bush ahead of mid-term elections. The White House branded the act “provocative” and said it expected the U.N. Security Council to take immediate actions. Long Pyongyang’s chief ally, China denounced the “brazen” act, urging it to avoid action that could worsen the situation, and Russian President Vladimir Putin also condemned the test. North Korea’s announcement pushed the dollar to an eight-month high against the yen and helped shove oil above $60 a barrel. South Korea’s won fell 1.5 percent to two-month lows and its main stock index tumbled as much as 3.6 percent.

You can read also: Washington Post:

The White House did not immediately confirm the test, but spokesman Tony Snow said in a statement: “U.S. and South Korean intelligence detected a seismic event Sunday at a suspected nuclear test site in North Korea. A North Korean nuclear test would constitute a provocative act, in defiance of the will of the international community and of our calls to refrain from actions that would aggravate tensions in northeast Asia. We expect the Security Council to take immediate actions to respond to this unprovoked act.”

The U.S. Geological Survey registered a “seismic event” of magnitude 4.2 at 10:35 a.m. Monday local time (9:35 p.m. Sunday EDT) 240 miles northeast of Pyongyang, the North Korean capital, said Amy Vaughan, a geophysicist at the agency. She said the event occurred 45 miles north of the North Korean town of Kimchaek.

Russia’s defense minister said the reported test was equivalent to between 5,000 tons and 15,000 tons of TNT, the Associated Press reported. That would make the blast possibly as powerful as the atomic bomb dropped by the United States on Hiroshima in World War II, which was equivalent to 15,000 tons of TNT, the news agency said.

USA TODAY: North Korea says it conducted succesful underground nuclear test
NYT: NKorea reports 1st nuclear arms test.
Memeorandum: US Official N Korea tested nuclear weapon.
The Guardian: Blair condemns nuclear test.

Acordding to Spanish newspaper EL MUNDO, UN will act against NKorea.

Bloggers reporting about his: Right Wing News, RightWing Nut House, Michelle Malkin, LA Shawn Barber’s, Confederate Yankee, Big Lizards, Marmot’s Hole, Scared Monkeys, Hyscience, PoliPundit, Flopping Aces,Stop the ACLU,Blue Crab Boulevard,Barcepundit,Atlas Shrugs, The Belmont Club. In the Bullpen. Blue Star Chronicles,Jihad Du Jour,Ace of Spades. Il Mango Di Treviso,Dust My Broom,Gateway Pundit,

Winds of Change writes:

The truth is that North Korea is an irrelevant bit player in this whole drama. The real player here is China. They have helped North Korea at every step, and North Korea’s regime cannot survive at all without their ongoing food and fuel aid. Kim Jong-Il’s nuclear plans may be slightly inconvenient to the Chinese – just not not inconvenient enough to derail a strategy that still promises net plusses to those pursuing it within China’s dictatorship.
[…] In other words, make it clear to the Chinese via back-channel diplomacy that anything Taiwan chooses to do re: acquiring nuclear technology is no longer of any interest to the USA until Kim’s regime is gone – and that the Taiwanese are being briefed to that effect (the US had stopped a Taiwanese nuclear effort by threatening a cutoff of all military aid). Be clear also, and make public statements that “other states in the region” now have a viable reason to respond in kind. One could also drop hints about and then refuse to deny to the Chinese that back-channel discussions have begun with South Korea and Japan that involve America offering them a set number of working nuclear weapons from US stocks as a counterweight. They can also be told more directly via diplomatic channels that the USA will also support either or both countries if they choose to pursue their own programs, meanwhile floating diplomatic “trial balloons” re: a system that gives these countries their own deterrents as a better option, because it does not produce the capacity for further manufacture and so is “less destabilizing to the region.”

I agree. As I wrote here, the real goal is Taiwan and its independence.

I have found this [fake -or not? 😛 -] photo in Asia Pundit:

reciprocitysmall.jpg

RECIPROCITY

You scratch my back, Ill test some missiles

To sum up…

En español podeis leer: Ajopringue,
EXPANSIÓN: El Consejo de Seguridad se reúne de urgencia para debatir sobre las pruebas nucleares de Corea del Norte.
ABC.es: Corea del Norte confirma su desafío nuclear tras el “éxito” de su primera prueba.

Just read this piece of news: it is disgusting AND
Test raises tension on border | The World | The Australian:

THE North Korean refugee had one request for her captors before the young Chinese soldiers led her back across the steel-girdered bridge on the Yalu River that divides two “socialist allies”.
She asked for a comb and some water because she said that if she was going to die she could not face going to heaven looking as dirty and dishevelled as this,” recounted a relative of one soldier who was there. What happened next is testimony to the rising disgust in Chinese military ranks as Beijing posts more troops to the border amid a crisis with North Korea over its regime’s plan to stage a nuclear test.
The soldiers, who later told family members of the incident, marched the woman, who was about 30, to the mid-point of the bridge. North Korean guards were waiting. They signed papers for receipt of the woman, who kept her dignity until that moment. Then, in front of the Chinese troops, one seized her and another speared her hand – the soft part between thumb and forefinger – with the point of a sharpened steel cable, which he twisted into a leash. “She screamed just like a pig when we kill it at home in the village,” the soldier later told his relative. “Then they dragged her away.”

Lo que tiene que quedar muy claro es que el jugador aquí NO es Corea del Norte si no China. China, como señala Winds of Change un poco más arriba, ha jugado un papel determinante auydando a los norcoreanos en el éxito de su programa nuclear. Y eso es nuestro [1] verdadero problema, porque China está interesada en Taiwan y de esta forma le abre un nuevo frente a USA en su defensa de la independencia de la isla, así como de Japón y Australia. De modo que al final lo que se está acelerando es la carrera armamentística nuclear.

La última noticia relata cómo mataron los soldados de Corea del Norte a una chica que se había saltado a la valla para ir a pedir comida y su “aliado” China, se la devolvió. “Chilló como cuando matamos a un cerdo en mi casa del pueblo“, le dijo un soldado chino a un familiar. Y este país tiene energía atómica…. 😦

[1] NOTA: NO es el problema de Zapatero, que es partidario de que China anexione Taiwan

Related posts: NKorea will test a nuclear device.

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OneFreeKorea | Blog Archive » The Case for Blocking Ban Ki-Moon

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I’m betting on the U.N. to flub it, and I can even tell you how it’s going to happen. The front-runner to replace Kofi Annan is South Korea’s leftist Foreign Minister, Ban Ki-Moon, a man whose record embodies the very worst we’ve come to expect from the U.N.: passive-aggressive policies that appease evil and confront all efforts to define or enforce standards of civilized conduct. As Foreign Minister, Ban was architect and executor of a no-questions-asked appeasement policy toward North Korea. During those years, North Korea’s human rights record was the worst on earth, and probably the worst since the fall of the Khmer Rouge. Kim Jong Il’s absolutist regime, supported by $7 billion in South Korean aid since 1994, stands accused of racial infanticide, the use of gas chambers for horrific chemical weapons on entire families, and a politically selective famine that “cleansed” North Korea of millions while the regime went on an arms-buying spree. North Korea’s forced labor camps are estimated to hold as many as 250,000 people, including thousands of children.
Ban and his government had little to say and nothing to ask as these atrocities went on, and go on to this very day. When resolutions condemning these crimes came before the U.N. Human Rights Commission, and later, the General assembly, South Korea’s ambassadors were instructed to either refuse to vote or abstain. Publicly, Ban’s government failed to raise more than one mild, belated, token call to improve human rights in the North, and then, only in the most vague and general sense and in response to withering criticism from abroad.

Add to this that the prisoners have resorted to cannibalism to survive (HT: Blah Blah Blog, thanks to Right Truth )

Well, I was not very happy at the possibility of this man being crowned as the new UN secretary General and after reading this [above is only an excerpt, there is more in the link above], I am less happy at the perspective of this man being the new UNSG. Because this same day he has been confirmed by the UN Security Council and is probable that he will be also ratified by the UN General Assembly [English: AOL News, BBC, Breitbart.COM (HT PJM), CNN, FOXNews, MSNBC, Reuters, French: Le Figaro, Le Monde, Nouvel Observateur]. I fear he is going to be Boutros Ghali-Koffi Annan reloaded.

Yesterday, there was however people like intelligent Alexandra from All Things Beautiful who, blogging about an article by The Guardian, wrote:

They don’t want a man who will focus on “administrative detail”; that would curtail their gravy train. They don’t want a leader who “knows to disagree without being disagreeable”; that would forgo juicy Israel bashing headlines. They don’t want a man with strong convictions; that would jeopardize the continuation of mindless anti-Zionist propaganda.

In short, they don’t want a man who is described as “intelligent, polite, moderate and honest” and who supports “UN reform, transparency and the free market”.

We may of course find to our dismay, that Ban Ki-moon has little sympathy for a beleaguered Israel, but in absence of a confirmed anti-Semitic, Muslim candidate, I am prepared to give him the benefit of the doubt and look forward to rid the airwaves of the spineless and hopelessly corrupt Kofi Annan.

The same conclusion was reached also by Blue Crab Boulevard.

I really do not know what Ban Ki-Moon thinks about Israel, but seen how he has behaved with his neighbour NKorea, I am thinking he is not going to behave very well… 😦

ONE Free Korea es uno de los blogs más interesantes -junto con The Korea Liberator- relativos a la actualidad Corea del Norte. Es cierto que están escritos por americanos pero tanto en uno como en otro caso se han dedicado a denunciar los abusos de Derechos Humanos existentes en Corea en su vida profesional -especialmente el autor de One Free Korea-. Pues bien, según OFK, Ban Ki-Moon es un izquierdista, partidario del apaciguamiento. Su gobierno conocía que existía infanticidio racial, uso de cámaras de gas para los disidentes -incluso se ha utilizado con familias enteras-, que se produjo una hambruna políticamente inducida -es decir que mataban de hambre a los disidentes-, todo ello mientras el régimen seguía comprando armas… y Corea del Sur le entregaba 7 billones de dólares en ayuda desde 1994 y daba a sus embajadores la orden de abstenerse en las votaciones de condena de Corea del Norte por abusos graves -que, por otro lado, estaban más que justificados-. Su gobierno sólo ha criticado por encima a Corea del Norte para salvar las apariencias internacionales.

Pues este hombre acaba de ser elegido -no de manera definitiva, falta todavía la ratificación por la Asamblea General- como el nuevo Secretario General de las Naciones Unidas.
El Mundo:El Consejo de Seguridad designa al surcoreano Ban Ki-Moon próximo secretario general de la ONU .

LA Razón: El surcoreano Ban Ki-Moon, secretario general de la ONU .
Libertad Digital: Ban Ki-Moon, Ministro surcoreano de Exteriores, nombrado nuevo secretario general de la ONU .

El Pais: El surcoreano, Ban KI-Moon, designado próximo secretario general de la ONU .

ABC.es: El Consejo de Seguridad elige al surcoreano Ban Ki-Moon nuevo secretario de la ONU

Me temo que va a ser un Boutros Ghali-Koffi Annan reloaded. 😦

 

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Last Thursday Nkorea announced they were going to test their nukes, if US did not lift sanctions on them:

The source, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said a device would be detonated about 2,000 meters (6,562 feet) inside a mine near the border with China in the north of the country.

North Korean leader Kim Jong-il had issued instructions that the test should “not excessively rock” Mount Paektu, a nearby peak many Koreans consider sacred.

“They are more or less ready,” the source told Reuters after speaking to North Korean officials. He did not give a timetable.

Un unofficial -but very official- speaker (here is his official website “Center for Korean-American Peace“, and no, I am not joking, HT Captain’s Quarters), has warned US that war is coming to their soil in a statement that seeks to tell the world five messages:

The first message is that Kim Jong-il is the greatest of the peerless national heroes Korea has ever produced. Kim is unique in that he is the first to equip Korea with sufficient military capability to take the war all the way to the continental US.Under his leadership the DPRK has become a nuclear-weapons state with intercontinental means of delivery. Kim is certainly in the process of achieving the long-elusive goal of neutralizing the American intervention in Korean affairs and bringing together North and South Korea under the umbrella of a confederated state
Unlike all the previous wars Korea fought, a next war will be better called the American War or the DPRK-US War because the main theater will be the continental US, with major cities transformed into towering infernos. The DPRK is now the fourth-most powerful nuclear weapons state just after the US, Russia, and China.

Well, apart from the obvious menace to US, er, India, France, Pakistan, etc, are not nuclear-weaponed states, are they? NKorea is the 4th country in nuclear development in the world…

The second point is that a nuclear test will be a legitimate exercise of North Korea’s sovereign right in supreme national-security interests of the country. The sole reason for the development of nuclear weapons is more than 50 years of direct exposure to naked nuclear threats and sanctions from the US. The Kim administration seeks to commit nuclear weapons to actual use against the US in case of war, never to use them as a tool of negotiations.

The US, Russia, China, the United Kingdom, France, India, Pakistan and Israel conducted numerous nuclear detonation experiments in legitimate exercise of their sovereignty. There is no international convention or treaty that prohibits North Korea from conducting underground nuclear tests. No country is allowed to infringe on the sovereignty of North Korea in material breach of Chapter 2 of the UN charter, unless they are prepared to risk triggering nuclear war with North Korea.

The third message is that the nuclear-armed North Korea will be a major boon to China and Russia. Nuclear-armed, the two countries are friendless in case of war with the US. The US has nuclear-armed allies, such as the UK and France. The Americans have a network of military bases around the two countries, while they have none. The presence of a mighty nuclear weapons state in Korea should be most welcome to Russia and China.
The People’s Republic of China has every reason to welcome a nuclear-armed North Korea, whatever it may say in public. The nuclear deterrence of North Korea is a major factor in reducing US military pressure on China on the question of the independence of Taiwan.

The fourth point is that the North Korea government of Kim does not care at all whether Japan goes nuclear, or that South Korea and Australia follow suit. In the first place, those countries are practically nuclear-armed because they are under the nuclear umbrella of the US and house American nuclear bases and because Tokyo’s military spending is 10 times that of Pyongyang’s and Seoul’s defense budget is five times that of Pyongyang’s. It is too obvious that they are capable of acquiring nuclear weapons at short notice. (NOTE: The problem here is that Japan and South Korea are not in very well terms. In fact, there was a fractured reaction to a series of North Korean missile tests in July. In that incident, China and South Korea accused Japan of overreacting -H/T: L’Ombre de lOlivier-)

[…] The fifth and last point is a long, overdue farewell to the nuclear non-proliferation regime, with the Bush administration standing in the dock as prime defendant accused of sabotaging nuclear non-proliferation. Had the Americans been steadfast in upholding the nuclear Non-proliferation Treaty by reducing their nuclear weapons and respecting the sovereignty and independence of the non-nuclear states, North Korea would not have felt any need to defend itself with nuclear weapons.

But the worst is yet to come:

A nuclear test by North Korea will go a long way toward emboldening anti-American states around the world to acquire nuclear weapons. There is a long line of candidate states.
It is important to note that the North Korean Foreign Ministry pledges to faithfully implement its international commitment in the field of nuclear non-proliferation as a responsible nuclear-weapons state and to prohibit nuclear transfer.

As you see, logic reasoning was just forgotten when writing those last words.

NYPost (H/T Lawhawk) publised the test could be held this same week. The Economist (H/T The Moderate Voice) says that “satellite monitoring suggests that preparations have been underway for months“, something also reported by swiss.info and Global Security Newswire (H/T: NoisyRoom.Net-).

Pyongyang can’t help but notice all the time and effort going into bribing Iran to swear off nukes: Tehran’s not only getting all the attention, the mullahs are being offered all the best bribes, too – all manner of economic and trade incentives, for starters, from the European Union.

Kim must be saying to himself: “What about me?”

I am the 4th nuclear country in the world…. 😦 But this contrast with the Dear Leader’s statement some days ago:

General Kim has declared that not even a tiny concession will be made to the imperialist US invaders, our arch-enemy,” said a broadcast on North Korean state television. Kim, who never speaks himself in public, said that if the US took “revenge”, it would mean “all-out war”. “It is not empty talk for the DPRK [the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea] to respond with revenge to any revenge by the enemy and with all-out war to an all-out war,” the TV said.

But we keep on with the NYPost:

Sure, China could cut off the $1 billion or so in aid it gives Pyongyang every year. But Beijing is deathly worried about exacerbating the grim humanitarian crisis on its border – or, worse yet, causing the regime to collapse, bringing all manner of unforeseeable chaos.

South Korean President Roh Moo-Hyun, meanwhile, sent a “grave warning” to North Korea. So what? Seoul has even worse worries than China about a breakdown in the North – and the centerpiece of Roh’s government has been North-South reconciliation, so he’s not likely to cut off the South’s own generous aid streams to the North.

As for the United States, well: Economic sanctions can’t do much – there is virtually nothing left to sanction. The military options – and the possibility of another Korean War – make the challenges in Iraq look like a walk in the park.

Plus, Kim knows that the Clinton administration lifted economic sanctions on India and Pakistan within six months of their nuclear tests in the spring of 1998.

In fact, US has warned NKorea of “unspecified consequences if they test the nuclear weapons” (H/T: NoisyRoom.Net).

According to Professor Shen Dingli, quoted by Newsweek:

His analysis, posted online at the Nautilus Institute, a Berkeley, Calif., geopolitical think tank (www.nautilus.org), asserts that North Korea would enhance its own national security, gain critical economic assistance and avoid American-initiated “regime change” by exploding one of the handful of A-bombs in its arsenal. He says Pyongyang has good reason to bet that none of the region’s big powers—the United States, China, Russia and Japan—will do more than voice strenuous objections and impose symbolic punishments. “If the DPRK [North Korea] successfully carries out a nuclear test, it will be accepted as a de facto nuclear country after a period of international sanctions, as India and Pakistan were reaccepted by the United States and by other mainstream countries … several years after they conducted nuclear tests in 1998,” he writes.

A nuclear North Korea would also be useful to China in its Taiwan policy. To be sure, a nuclear test would cause Beijing, as broker of recent multiparty negotiations to end the nuclear standoff, to lose considerable diplomatic face. But North Korea also serves to neutralize the presence of American troops in South Korea, and a nuclear North Korea would accomplish this even better. “The main task now is ‘opposing Taiwan independence’,” he writes. “In this respect, the DPRK  at least puts in check the tens of thousands of US troops in South Korea and … helps China divide the military threat of the US military forces in the Asia-Pacific region.”

(…) Even moderation is risky; by not thwarting Pyongyang’s nuclear ambitions, he says, Washington might unwittingly compel allies Japan and South Korea to develop atomic arsenals of their own.

Looks like that Japan is going to change a bit from their prior assumptions over pacifism. The idea of having a North Korea nuclear armed can swift the population to a much more pro-war instance. In fact, Japanese Constitution’s amendment is going to be one of the prior objectives of Mr. Abe. The prior aim to revise the Constitution is  to eliminate Japan’s pacifist postwar military tradition.

China has announced they are totally unable to control NKorea (H/T Austin Bay), because the “DPRK considers its national interests to be greater than its relations with China,” Mr Shen says in his remarkably frank commentary, published in a newspaper of the official China Youth League and circulated yesterday by a North Korea-focused think tank, the Nautilus Institute.

I do not know what to think of this man: in Newsweek, he says that China is interested in NKorea having nukes because of Taiwan. And here he says that China cannot stop North Korea. I personally think -not believe. considering previous activities, that China is interested in NKorea having the bomb, even when that is not very comfortable. In fact, it’s just the opposite.

Latest news are that shots have been fired at the tense border between NKorea and South Korea.

“Our troops fired warning shots at the five North Korean soldiers after they climbed over the military demarcation line despite several loudspeaker warnings,” South Korea’s Joint Chiefs of Staff said in a statement.

This is not good, at all.

UPDATE: Captain’s Quarters exposes the cause of the sanctions to NKOrea:

China remained officially mum about such consequences, but told the press that only the removal of recent American sanctions would convince Kim to skip the test. These sanctions, CQ readers will recall, got imposed because of Kim’s massive counterfeiting operation that targets the US. We cut out Kim’s banking front from the international financial community, making it difficult for him to flood the market with the phony currency.

El pasado jueves Corea del Norte anunció que iba a probar sus bombas nucleares. Al parecer China señaló que sólo dejarían de hacerlo si USA levantaba las sanciones que, a día de hoy mantiene contra el país comunista.

Pero según el comunicado no oficial -pero muy oficial- del representante no oficial -pero muy oficial- de Corea del Norte, este país debe anunciar al mundo los siguientes mensajes:

– Kim Jong-Il [ o sea, el “querido líder”] es el más grande de los más nobles héroes que Corea del Norte ha producido. Es único porque ha permitido a Corea del Norte tener armamento nuclear. Contrariamente a todas las guerras anteriores, la nueva guerra se llamará la guerra norte-americana porque tendrá lugar en suelo norte-americano, con las ciudades más grandes convertidas en infiernos. Corea del Norte es la cuarta potencia nuclear del mundo después de USA, Rusia y China.

– La prueba nuclear es legítima porque es un ejercicio de su soberanía para asegurar la seguridad nacional y los intereses de este país. Ningún país puede infringir la soberanía de Corea del Norte sin arriesgarse a una guerra nuclear.

– Una Corea del Norte armada nuclearmente, les conviene tanto a Rusia como a China, sea lo que sea lo que digan en público. Con armas nucleares, los dos países no serán amigos de USA.

– A Kim-Jong-IL no le importa que Japón o Corea del Norte o Australia también desarrollen armas nucleares.

– Quinto y último, una despedida cariñosa al régimen de no proliferación nuclear, con el malvado Bush acusado de haber falseado la no-proliferación nuclear.

Por supuesto, lo mejor es el final: dice que después de Corea del Norte serán muchos los países anti-americanos que probarán las armas nucleares (Ahmadenijad????) y que “debemos hacer notar que Corea del Norte promete cumplir fielmente su compromiso internacional en el campo de la no-proliferación nuclear como un país nuclear responsable y prohibir las transferencias nucleares“. La lógica se les olvidó al escribir ese párrafo…

Parece ser incluso que puede realizarse este fin de semana. Tanto China (que da un billón de dólares anuales a Corea del Norte en ayuda) como Corea del Sur, cuyo presidente ha hecho de la reconciliación con el Norte el eje de su gobierno, están preocupados. Pero Corea sabe que Clinton levantó las sanciones a Paquistán y a India pocos meses después de que hicieran sus pruebas nucleares y espera que a ella le hagan lo mismo.

Según el Profesor Shen Dingli, citado por la revista Newsweek, ha señalado que las razones de este test nuclear harían que Corea del Norte incrementase su securidad nacional, ganase asistencia económica internacional e impidiese de esta forma el programa de “cambio de régimen” iniciado por USA. Corea del Norte sirve asimismo para neutralizar la presencia de tropas americanas en Corea del Sur, a lo que contribuiría de manera notable Corea del Norte si fuera nuclear. “Lo más importante es oponerse a la independencia de Taiwan“, escribe.

Incluso la moderación es peligrosa; como no se detiene a las ambiciones nucleares de Corea del Norte, USA estará sin querer compeliendo a los aliados Japón y Corea del Sur a desarrollar arsenales nucleares.

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From The Times:

An investigation by The Times has disclosed that the South Koreans have been waging an aggressive campaign on behalf of Ban Ki Moon, the Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade, and the front-runner to replace Kofi Annan as UN chief at the end of the year. The inducements range from tens of millions of pounds of extra funding for African countries to lucrative trade agreements in Europe – and even the gift of a grand piano to Peru.

Well, I do not think that the ballot should be modified by giving money or incentives to the countries who will vote. I would rather ask for someone really interested in assuring that Human Rights are really respected and Countries which do not respect them are punished. I would rather ask for someone who would strongly recommend a modification of the present UN, to make it an organization really fighting for democracy and freedom of all human beings. And of course, to really develop these values in under-developed countries, where UN is making very little, but protesting about First World’s injustices, but never about tyrans, dictators and so on, who are primarily -with few exceptions- the real reason of their state.

But that’s got nothing to do with UN nowadays. A place in which Chávez can insult another state’s President and people, instead of just critisizing him, just laugh about his ocurrences. In which Mr Morales, Bolivian President, who showed out a coca leaf, pondering his properties. When speaking before the UN General Assembly! So all the important people go somewhere to talk and all they speak about is nonsense.

South Korea is not interested that their candidate is stained by that alleged aid to countries which are going to vote, so they have denied it:

South Korea denied yesterday that it was using foreign aid as a means of buying votes in the Security Council. “I would like to stress that theallegations against Mr Ban Ki Moon and, moreover, the integrity of the Korean Government do not correspond with the facts,” In Joon Chung, the spokesman for the South Korean Embassy in London, said. He added that Seoul had decided in 2002 to increase aid to the developing world. He added that the state visit to Greece was planned a year ago because Athens had been an ally of Seoul in the Korean War.

But:

David Mepham, the associate director of the Institute for Public Policy Research, described the selection process for the secretary-general’s post as “untransparent and unprofessional”. He said: “Given the sensitivity and importance of the post we need root-and-branch reform to ensure that we get the best candidate.”

I agree. Only look back to Koffi Annan’s importance in all the conflicts of the last times. For example, the case about the map which eliminated Israel, the Oil-for Food Scandal or his denial to receive Cuban dissidents, because they were not “aligned with truth, liberty and justice” in the recent Non-Alligned Countries Summit -via La Ventanita-. In this comment, you can see some of the very important things Mr Annan has been involved in.
It strucked me that the ousted Prime Minister of Thailand was a candidate.

CSM is writing about what kind of leader the UN should have now.

“The UN under Kofi Annan has begun to adapt to a very different world and a very different mission” than that of the world body’s first half century, says Lee Feinstein, a UN expert at the Council on Foreign Relations in Washington. “It’s much less a talk shop, much more a place that does things.”

But the UN’s reputation is also badly tarnished in the wake of the oil-for-food probe and other scandals. Some critics believe the UN under Annan has aligned itself too closely with American foreign policy, while others, notably among US conservatives, say Annan has presided over the transformation of the UN into a den of inefficiency, corruption, and anti-Western thinking. President Bush recently noted that support for the UN among Americans is at it lowest level ever.

Annan has not shied away from addressing previously “taboo” topics for the secretary-general, such as the promotion of democracy, individual rights versus those of government, the individual’s right to protection, inequitable wealth distribution, and genocide, Mr. Feinstein says.

Yet despite that, the UN has suffered from failing to operate effectively or efficiently as it has expanded its workload, he adds. “And part of that is because Kofi Annan has not been an effective and efficient manager,” he says.

That view, widely held among Annan admirers and detractors alike, has led many analysts to conclude that what the UN needs most now is not so much the “world’s top diplomat” as a manager with a laser focus on internal operations who will make the organization work better.

“Yes, you need the well-respected international figure, but beyond that, what is needed as secretary-general is someone who is tremendously focused on reforming a highly flawed institution,” says Nile Gardiner, an expert in international institutions at the Heritage Foundation in Washington.

“You need someone who won’t just preside over a deep well of corruption but will dig in and do something about it,” he adds, “someone who will challenge time-honored practices like hiring and promotion rules that too often yield the lowest common denominator.”

I agree.

BBC -we know its tendency by now…- reports:

A consensus has developed that it will be Asia’s turn to provide a new secretary general, Jordan counting as part of the Asia group at the UN.

If the Jordanian ambassador [eventually in the 4th place] were eventually to beat the other candidates, he would be the first Muslim to head the world body.

Is it me or looks like BBC wants a Muslim to head the world body? Has any shintoist/confucian… or whatever religion Ban Ki Moon has -if he has any- been the head of the UN? Why that statement then?

You can also check: Sacredscoop.

Sent to Dumb Ox Open Trackbacks, Third World County, Right Wing Nation, Pursuing Holiness, Basil’s Blog, Blue Star Chronicles.

UPDATE: Thanks to a comment in the About page, I discover that Washington Post is handling a debate about the new UN Secretary General. There are several commentators about this issue. The first of them, King-Min Liu writes:

For a failed organization like the U.N., it doesn’t really matter who becomes its next Secretary General, especially when the world body seems to have adopted affirmative action in selecting the candidate. Ban Ki Moon, South Korea’s foreign minister and the forerunner, should ask himself: Am I the favorite because I’m good or simply because I’m Asian?

Among all the factors contributing to the UN as a failed organization, China is a key obstacle. And as long as China remains one of the five permanent members with veto power at the Security Council, the UN has no hope of becoming a more decent body. One example: When China finally invades Taiwan, do you expect the Security Council will be able to discuss this “domestic affair” before the eyes of Beijing?

Christine Ockrent considers that Indian candidate should be granted the job. And, lastly, a Palestine from Jordan, Daoud Kuttab, praises the Jordanian candidate -what can he do, hein?-.

From my part, I would not consider the Muslim Jordanian candidate. It is true that Jordan has played an important role in the Middle East, but I would never trust him as been really impartial in the solution of the Middle East problem. What is more, there are a lot of problems caused by Islamic population nowadays -Chechenya, Sudan, Nigeria, Pakistan, etc…- and we cannot forget the Iranian question with nuclear weapons and the Iraqi war.

Anyway, that is my view. I encourage my readers to think what would be their best candidate and, if they can, to comment about it in the blogs of the mentioned journalists.

UPDATE 2 : There are two things I have to add:

  1. the anti-Americanism breathed by South-Koreans, even if it was USA who freed them from communists in the 50’s. Looks they are even planning to end the permanence of US Army in South Korea. You can also read The Korea Liberator’s opinion about Ban Ki-Moon. He says South Korea is not interested in how this man will do his job, but in how South Korea will look in an international level.
  2. Secondly, I forgot yesterday to speak about another of the UN’s lack of action, which is going to be inherited by Koffi Annan’s succesors: the situation in Darfur, from the Telegraph [via EN] . Nothing has been done, but genocide continues and looks like inaction is going to be the ongoing policy of the UN.

UPDATE 3: INSTAPUNDIT links to a Sunday Times’ article about Srebrenica and Ruanda disasters:

Annan was the head of the Department of Peacekeeping Operations (DPKO) between March 1993 and December 1996. The Srebrenica massacre of up to 8,000 men and boys and the slaughter of 800,000 people in Rwanda happened on his watch. In Bosnia and Rwanda, UN officials directed peacekeepers to stand back from the killing, their concern apparently to guard the UN’s status as a neutral observer. This was a shock to those who believed the UN was there to help them.

[I am sorry: a part of the article was lost when I was trying to correct some expressions. 😦 )

Parece que el sucesor de Koffi Annan será el surcoreano Ban Ki-Moon, que ha obtenido 14 y 13 votos de 15 en las votaciones ya realizadas. The Times informó de que Corea del Sur, muy interesada en que se elija a su candidato ha pagado donaciones millonarias a países del Tercer Mundo, sobre todo en créditos al desarrollo, acuerdos lucrativos comerciales con Europa (¡!) e inclusive ha regalado un piano a Perú.

Por supuesto, los surcoreanos lo niegan y señalan que ya habían planeado incrementar la ayuda al desarrollo desde hace mucho, lo que, sin embargo, no parece muy probable dada la coincidencia de las fechas.

El problema es determinar qué características debe tener el nuevo Secretario General de Naciones Unidas. Después de una dirección que ha dejado bastante que desear por parte de Koffi Annan, la ONU se enfrenta a la necesidad de adaptarse a los nuevos tiempos, con la incorporación de nuevos miembros -India o Japón, entre otros- y la necesidad de controlar a los soldados destacados en misiones humanitarias -conocidos como los cascos azules- y su propio presupuesto, después del escándalo financiero del Petróleo por Alimentos. También necesita clarificar sus ideas frente a los disidentes que estén a favor de la democracia y de los derechos humanos, a diferencia del todavía Secretario General, que incluso se negó a recibir a los disidentes cubanos señalando que “no estaban cerca de la verdad, de la justicia y de la paz” o que posó al lado de un mapa del Próximo Oriente en el que Israel había desaparecido.

Entre los candidatos se encuentra el depuesto primer ministro de Tailandia, Surakiart Sakirathai, y el príncipe Jordano Raad Zaid al Hussein. La BBC, en otra muestra más de su alienamiento ideológico, indica al final de su noticia, que, al estar considerada Jordania como país asiático, si saliera elegido alHussein -ha quedado cuarto en la votación- sería el primer musulmán en dirigir las Naciones Unidas.

Por un comentario en la página “About” de este blog, me entero de que en PostGlobal, el Washington Post está llevando a cabo una discusión sobre el próximo Secretario General. Tres periodistas han dado su opinión. King Ming Liu considera que la ONU está acabada desde el momento en que China todavía tiene veto en el Consejo de Seguridad. La periodista francesa Christine Okhrent alaba al candidato indio, mientras que el jordano Daoub Kouttab considera que deben elegir al candidato jordano “por su gran conocimiento del conflicto del Medio Oriente“. Os animo a todos a participar en la discusión.

Podeis leer también El Diario Exterior.com.

ACTUALIZACIÓN 1: Ayer se me olvidaron dos cosas: la primera es el anti-americanismo que Corea del Sur ha venido desarrollando durante los últimos tiempos, hablándose desde hace tiempo que se quieren retirar de allí el contingente que todavía queda, eso sí, muy reducido. La segunda, es que el “heredero” de Koffi Annan herederá el conflicto de Darfur, convertido ya en genocidio, del que no se habló seriamente en la 61 Asamblea General de las Naciones Unidas y que continuará olvidado a pesar de que cada día es peor.

ACTUALIZACIÓN 2: Annan era el jefe del Departamento de Operaciones de Paz (DPKO) entre marzo del 1993 y diciembre 1996. La masacre de Srebrenica -8.000 hombres y niños fueron asesinados- y el asesinato de 800.000 personas ocurrieron bajo su mandato. En Bosnia y Ruanda, los oficiales de Naciones Unidas ordenaron a los cascos azules que se apartaran de los asesinatos, aparentemente preocupados por conservar su status de observador neutral. Fue un shock para los que creyeron que la ONU estaba allí para ayudarles. [artículo en The Times].

(Lo siento: he tenido que volver a copiar el post porque una parte había desaparecido al intentar corregir unas faltas 😦 ).

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I wrote yesterday about US giving misile to North Korea. Noisy Room.Net has a link to Captain’s Quarters Blog about the same topic:

The Japanese have spent the post-war period trying to live down their militaristic past. That past includes some quite a history on the Korean Peninsula, where their actions still reverberate to this day. Make no mistake; Kim Jong-Il’s threat against the Japanese comes not just from ideological motivations but also from a strong sense of vengeance for Japanese atrocities in the not-so-distant past. While Japan has changed tremendously since those final days of empire, they have yet to live down their actions in that region.

Now Japan may have to face the irony of re-militarization as a consequence of the atrocities of their grandfathers. It appears they have little choice, with North Korea wanting to make a habit out of launching missiles as “tests” over their territory. They agreed to send a small but significant force to Iraq, a singular event for a nation that had resolved to keep its military for strictly home defense. Now, with Pyongyang threatening their security, they may have to consider nuclearization as at least a negotiating tactic and possibly as a MAD strategy. Without doubt, they will need to make themselves part of the American umbrella against missile attacks, a defense that had been so controversial just a few years ago.

Japanese will start to produce their Patriot missiles according to Defense Industry Daily.

 

Well, really we must not worry about Kim Song Il, but about USA, Murtha dixit:

American presence in Iraq is more dangerous to world peace than nuclear threats from North Korea or Iran, U.S. Rep. John Murtha, D-Pa., said to a crowd of more than 200 in North Miami Saturday afternoon.

Read at Tangled Web.

The Big Picture comments about this:

What does the average person make of a headline like this, from the Arizona Daily Star?

Murtha says US poses top threat to world peace.

La Russofobe points to a possible visit of Kim Song Il to Russia:

South Korean newspaper Choson ilbo yesterday reported that Kim Jong-il’s special armored train crossed the border of Russia. Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and frontier and railway administration said they don’t know anything about Kim Jong-il’s arrival. Experts believe the visit is quite likely, especially because North Korean leader has urgent problems to discuss with the Kremlin.

Choson ilbo informed that several witnesses saw Kim Jong-il’s special armored train cross Russian border. The date was not specified. Foreign Affairs Ministries of Russia and South Korea said they have no information concerning Kim Jong-il’s visit to Russia.

Foreign Affairs Ministry of China and US Department of State refrained from giving comments. Japanese Chief Cabinet Secretary Shinzo Abe said that Japanese government is now clearing up the situation. Press Secretary of Far East Railroad’s Vladivostok branch Alexander Artamonov stated that his “department does not have any information on North Korean leader’s trips to Russia.”

Also DNA India has published this.

Regime Change Iran quotes a NYT article about the similar strategy Iran and North Korea are pursuing:

it has become clear that the two countries are also pursuing similar diplomatic strategies. North Korea’s threat to launch a long-range ballistic missile seems a clear echo of Iran’s recent strategy of resuming production of nuclear fuel. Iran was aiming to extract concessions from the Bush administration, and it has already won some modest diplomatic gains.

[By the way, the photo is marvellous, eh?]

If finally North Korea launches the missile, Japan could impose sanctions.

And it’s possible than the missile test could take place. Enzo Reale, from 1972, have sent me by email his article in Italian newspaper L’Opinione, in which he says that the presence of fuel in the surroundings of the missile-launcher. I translate the most important ideas -from my point of view-:

in 1998, a Taepodong I flied over Japan causing alarm and the reaction of the US Senate. It was next year when the moratory over the missile testing was signed. Pyongyang [as in that momment] does not confirm or deny anything, a tactical movement which is revelled as triomphant over Western diplomacy.

[…] Pyongyand has been succesful, because he has come again to the first place of the international scene and can then suppose that he is going to be granted more concessions in the new multilateral talks about the nuclear question. Assuming the nature of Him’s Goulag, no one can even imagine that he does not know the consequences of this king of movements.

[…] The test of the Taepodong 2 is in the end the last proof to consider that North Korea possess the know-how to develop the following version of the missile, the Taepodong 3, with power to fire into the interior of the US territory.

More as ever, in Occidentality. It contains the demand by US Senators to demand the White House to speak directly with N.Korea -I do not know how they are going to convince the other 4 negotiatiors- and Bush statement.

Also in: The Astute Blogger, Blue Star Chronicles -from which I have taken the cartoon, hehe-, Hyscience, Hyscience, Gateway Pundit, JunkyardBlog,

UDPATE: Hugo Chávez has announced he will visit Pyongyang to finish agreements on technology and scientific matters, but he did not give more details. Sean McCormack, Speaker of the US State Department, has said that he is not sure of what Chávez wants, but that “giving N. Korea’s aim, it is somewhat worrying“.

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Where were CBS editors?

China plans to land on Moon… with a Japanese flag. 😉

Coutesy of CBS (and LGF).

HT: Barcepundit.

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Yesterday was the birthday of this women, the opposition leader to Burma’s military Junta.

Now 61, she is still on house arrest because she won the elections back in 1990 over the Burma’s military Junta. Lately she was let an interview with UN official. As I said there, US is right in their intention of referring the Military Junta to the UN Security Council, although the present state of UN does not make me have a good feeling about what they could do.

HT: The Bos’un in Causes of Interest who also speaks of the prayers from the Bhuddist monks all around the world.

Le Monde (FR) also refers to the fact that she was awarded the Peace Nobel Price in 1991. It also says that some years ago, the Junta promised to follow a path to democracy which involved 7 stages. The first one was to write a Constitution for the country, and it’s yet unfinished.

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Tensions over North Korea's missile program escalated sharply Monday as Japan, Australia and New Zealand joined Washington in warning the communist state not to test an intercontinental ballistic missile that experts say could reach parts of the United States.
The 35-meter, or 115-foot, Taepodong- 2 missile stands ready to take off from Musudan-Ri, a remote village on the northeast coast of North Korea, after engineers completed loading liquid fuel into its rocket boosters, said The New York Times and other media in dispatches from Washington and Seoul.
A success would provide the strongest indication yet that North Korea was developing the capacity to deliver chemical, biological or perhaps nuclear warheads to targets as far away as the continental United States.
Such a development would drastically increase international concerns over the regime's arsenal and its potential for working with terrorist groups.
"Even now, we hope that they will not do this," Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi of Japan said Monday. "But if they ignore our views and launch a missile, then the Japanese government, consulting with the United States, would have to respond harshly."
J. Thomas Schieffer, the U.S. ambassador to Japan, said in Tokyo that Washington would seek action by the UN Security Council if there was a missile test.
"I think sanctions would have to be considered, but I wouldn't want to describe what actions we might take," Schieffer said. "I think we would regard it as a very, very serious matter, worthy of discussion and worthy of action by the Security Council."
Australia, one of the few Western counties with diplomatic relations with North Korea, said it had summoned the North Korean ambassador in Canberra and warned against a test.
"North Korea would be gravely mistaken if it thinks that a missile test would improve its bargaining position in the six-party talks," Foreign Minister Alexander Downer said. New Zealand's new envoy to North Korea will state her country's opposition to a test when she presents her credentials later this week in Pyongyang, said Foreign Minister Winston Peters.
In Seoul, South Korea's governing Uri Party urged North Korea to "not put its friend in danger" by testing a missile. The missile test could also thwart a planned trip by the former president, Kim Dae Jung, who wants to meet the North Korean leader, Kim Jong Il, in Pyongyang this summer. In the past week, Washington and Tokyo have repeatedly urged Pyongyang to act rationally. But China and South Korea have so far appeared to employ quiet diplomacy.

– Asia – Pacific – International Herald Tribune

UPDATE: South Korea says the test is not a sure thing

:

"Under the current circumstances, it is hard to predict whether NorthKorea will fire the missile or not," said a ruling party spokesman.

Spokesman Woo Sang-Ho said senior government officials for security andforeign affairs had briefed leaders of the ruling party and weresceptical about media reports of an imminent launch.

"We are also concerned that groundless (media) speculation may causeanxieties that are out of proportion to reality," he said. "We hope themedia will avoid such overblown reports."

"But South Korea remains deeply concerned about preparations for any launch, which has triggered jitters in Asia and drawn sharp warnings from Washington and Tokyo.

Are they contradicting or is it just my Spanish brain the one who sees the contradiction? So they say there is no reason to suspect there is going to be a launch yet they are worried that a launch could actually happen. Then why they are NOW worried about A launch?

And why on earth the MSM cannot report on what it's happening? So they are worried about A POSSIBLE launch and the MSM cannot report over it? I am amazed…

You can see the Strata-Sphere, the Glittering Eye, the English Guy,Wizbang,Roger L. Simon ;), New England Republican,

UPDATE: Captain's Quarters (go and read it, very important as ever) reports the US has activated its missile defense systems while trying "to keep our moves from being unnecessarily provocative". He gives a descryption of the missile we are talking about:

The Taepodong-2 missile has Alaska in easy reach for a direct targeting profile. Depending on the configuration used, however, the Taepodong-2 can hit targets in the continental US using a ballistic polar route for its flight. The pending launch has the US and Japan on high alert. Without a doubt, if the rocket fires, the US will have no choice but to respond in some forceful manner — and if we're lucky, it will only be a successful demonstration of the missile defense system.

And also in US missile system, which "remains a work in progress". He also adds that America should prepare for war with North Korea.

Everything depends on the side China takes. But I doubt China wants a war so near its frontier and with so little to gain. I really think North Korea is nothing more than a puppet from China. And China will use it. Especially now that looks like the needs for only are going to rise by 50% by 2030, especially from India and China. I think he is going to manouvre it to gain more energy supplies, just as has done with Sudan.

UPDATE 2: Public Secrets has an hilarious post about the present situation:

I guess Kim Jong Il, the lunatic dictator Dear Leader of North Korea, must be feeling lonely these days, with all the world paying attention to Iraq, Iran, and al Qaeda plots to use poison gas in the New York City subways. Just like he's done before when he feels the world isn't taking him seriously, he rattles his sabers and causes some mini-crisis to get attention. This time, he may get his fingers burned.

😉 Even if the problem is not to laugh (the situation in N.Korea is horrible for the people), we can laugh about Kim Il Jon.

UPDATE 3: For information about the activation of the missiles defense shield, read here and here, from Flap's Blog.

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Sri Lankan forces have been accused of targeting a church in the north-western district of Mannar.The government denies this, but eyewitnesses described how the military attacked the church. An international aid worker has confirmed it.One woman was killed and more than 40 people injured in the incident.It comes after early-morning clashes in Mannar between the Sri Lankan navy and Tamil Tiger rebels, in which more than 30 people were said to have died.Some 200 people had been sheltering at the church when a grenade was thrown in, causing death and injury.The government says the church got caught in the middle of a firefight.

BBC NEWS | South Asia |

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The United States sharply warnedNorth Korea against testing a ballistic missile, saying it would take steps to protect itself as speculation mounts about an imminent launch.
“Together, our diplomacy and that of our allies has made clear to NorthKorea that a missile launch would be a provocative act that is not intheir interests and will further isolate them from the world,” said US State Department spokesman Sean McCormack.
“We have a variety of national technical means that we could use to monitor the situation. We, of course, will take necessary preparatory steps to track any potential activities and to protect ourselves,” he told reporters.
North Korea on Friday accused a US reconnaissance plane of intruding over its territorial space to spy on strategic targets, amid jitters over the Stalinist country’s apparent preparations for a missile test.
South Korean and US officials have said that North Korea appears to be preparing to test-launch an intercontinental ballistic missile capable of reaching the mainland United States.
On Friday, South Korean officials and analysts said that North Korea had not yet begun fueling a long-range missile on its northeast coast, the final step before a possible launch.
“It will take at least two days to fill the rocket with liquid fuel and if they finish it, we can say they are ready to start the countdown,” Baek Seung-Joo from the government-backed Korean Institute for Defence Analyses told AFP.
Also on Friday, Japan warned North Korea against testing a ballistic missile, saying it would set back efforts to normalize diplomatic relations.
“If a ballistic missile is launched, it would directly affect our nation’s security and constitute a violation of the Pyongyang Declaration,” Chief Cabinet Secretary Shinzo Abe, the government spokesman, told reporters.

– Yahoo! News

This is not good…

>UPDATE: N.Korea has denied it’s about to test missile.

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