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19 Jun 2011 11:17


World: Proof that tensions are perhaps a little too high in South Korea

  • cause On Friday, South Korean marines spotted a low-flying plane that they thought was a North Korean fighter jet.
  • reaction The soldiers started firing dozens of shots on the plane — but not a single one connected. This was probably for the best.
  • result See … the plane was not a North Korean fighter jet, but a passenger plane on its final approach. That would’ve been bad. source

09 May 2011 13:40


World: South Korea to North: renounce nukes and you can join summit

  • South’s idea of nuke security is the North not having them: South Korean President Lee Myung-bak has told the North that dictator-for-life Kim Jong-Il (also called “The Dear Leader” or “The Great General” by his population of brutally oppressed, starving citizens) can attend a summit on nuclear security if and only if he renounces his nuclear weapons. If this seems like a stretch, you’re not alone; Kim Jong-Il almost certainly has no interest in such a deal, as his nukes are the biggest thing internationally protecting his totalitarian rule (which uses concentration camps as both a means to forced labor for the state, and an end to disobedient citizens). This seems, sad to say, like Lee Myung-bak making an empty offer, one the North will ignore in the same spirit. source

22 Mar 2011 13:49


World: China, South Korea strictly checking Japanese food

  • China and South Korea wary of radiation in food: Some countries (and even individual restaurants) that import food from Japan are concerned about the possibility of radiation contamination. The Japanese government has assured their citizenry that the radiation levels detected in milk, spinach, and some water is not enough to do rapid or lasting damage, though they’ve imposed a freeze on food from that region. China and South Korea want to look into the matter themselves, though, absent the responsibility of keeping the Japanese citizenry from being stricken with panic, which their government obviously has. That seems reasonable enough. source

16 Mar 2011 14:33


World: More on Japan’s nuclear oversight, Wikileaks and Boron (oh my!)

  • Protest over the Mark 1 reactor The Mark 1 Nuclear Reactor, as we mentioned yesterday, has a long history of safety concerns, so much so that 35 years ago, General Electric scientist Dale G. Bridenbaugh and two of his fellow employees resigned in protest over the design. He worried that the containment system wasn’t prepared to deal with a massive loss of coolant, which seems on the spot.
  • The high price of poor oversight Also unveiled by Wikileaks, a U.S. cable indicates that Tokyo opposed a court order relating to nuclear safety. The court ruled that an earthquake of a magnitude over 6.5 could cause radiation exposure. Japan’s rebuttal: “Japan’s Nuclear and Industrial Safety Agency believes the reactor is safe and that all safety analyses were appropriately conducted.” source

Boron’s (possibly) stabilizing effect

  • 52.6 tons of Boron that South Korea is giving Japan
  • » That is, obviously, a lot of Boron. The Japanese are hoping this emergency shipment from the South Korean government will help them stabilize the reactor crises happening at the Fukushima Plant. The element, which is crucial in the process of stopping nuclear reactions, will be mixed into the seawater that’s being used to try to cool the fuel rods. South Korea is really coming through for Japan on this one; their own Boron stockpile has been mostly used up at Fukushima.

08 Mar 2011 13:37


World: North Korea just wants these folks to talk it over with their families, honest

  • 31 North Koreans who’re presently in the South; unsurprisingly, the North wants them all back ahead of any further disarmament talks
  • four of the North Koreans are open defectors; the North demands they attend a meeting to confirm this decision to their families source
  • » The South says no dice: And for a very good reason, to boot. North Korea, for all the jokes westerners crack about its diminutive, insane leader, is no laughing matter for those who want out. Right now around 200,000 North Koreans are believed to be in concentration camps (testimony from a rare escapee here, it’s long and brutal but worth watching) worthy of the legacy of the term – medical experimentation, gas chambers, death by starvation, the whole lot. The threat of having one’s family sent to the camps (children born in the camps are forced to live their entire lives, however short, never knowing of the world outside) is the state’s major deterrent to defection. As such, dragging these four defectors in to confirm their defection to their families is essentially an elaborate, unspoken threat, along the lines of “come back, or they and their young will rot in prison for as long as they’re able to.” This is the sort of terrible dilemma that a nation is forced to make when up against a state under such villainous command.

26 Feb 2011 23:01


U.S.: North Korea threatens South Korea. Sigh, this stuff is getting old.

  • South Korea’s traitor puppet regime must recognize the seriousness of the situation and immediately stop anti-(North Korea) psychological warfare.
  • A message from Korean Central News Agency • Which also happens to threaten gunfire at South Korea if they do that annual joint drill thing they tend to do with the United States. No, this story is not a repeat of every other time South Korea done this joint drill thing with the United States. It’s a new story. We even double-checked it and the timestamp says it was published like an hour ago. So we don’t know. In other news, we’re going to call our new pet gerbil “Traitor Puppet Regime.” It has a nice ring to it. source

16 Feb 2011 13:13


World: Another year, another absurdly lavish party for Kim Jong-Il

  • yay birthday For Kim Jong-Il, that is. The “1984”-esque ruler was feted with figure skating, an elaborate festival, and blossoming “Kimjongilia” flowers, which are seeded to bloom on his birthday every year. Of course, North Korea is one of the world’s foremost users of concentration camps, so perhaps the party lacked spontaneity.
  • boo birthday In one of the rare South Korean rituals of open antagonism to the North, balloons were released into the sky, drifting into North Korea bearing anti-Kim Jong-Il messages, and information about the uprising in Egypt. But with a society literally focused entirely around reverence of the Dear Leader, Hosni Mubarak never had it so good. source

09 Feb 2011 14:58


World: North Korea walks out of peace talks with the South

  • Pyongyang’s tried-and-true strategy of increasing military tension on the peninsula as a means of extracting economic aid from the south, and then agreeing to talks to reduce the tension, may have run its course.
  • BU Professor William Keylor • On the consequences of North and South Korea’s failure to agree on just about anything. Their most recent talks ended with North Korean representatives “unilaterally” storming out of the meeting, according to a South Korean spokesperson; they also refused to take responsibility for recent attacks on a South Korean warship. Some suggest that South Korean’s patience is wearing thin. We don’t blame ’em for getting frustrated if that’s the case. source

08 Feb 2011 14:56


World: Koreas finally get together after North-fueled spike in military tension

  • YES they’re talking about a fresh disarmament treaty source

07 Feb 2011 00:03


World: Random North Korean boat crosses volatile South Korean border

  • 31 North Koreans on a mother*#&ing boat (they’re on a boat) source
  • » Why this is a big deal (kinda): The boat crossed the border at the point where North Korea shelled a contested South Korean island a few months ago. The people on the boat, 11 men and 20 women, are being questioned, but there’s no sign that they’re defecting from their country.