November 26th, 2007
Rumor has it that North Korea might be on the verge of collapse. According to the Weekly Standard, the fall is predicted within six months’ time.
As always, there’s a catch:
A recent article in the Washington Post details how it has become far easier and more common for North Koreas to find ways of getting out of their country. How much money you have determines how arduous and circuitous your escape route might be.
How much money you have also determines whether you can escape or not in the first place, which means that those remaining under Kim Jong-Il’s heavy thumb will also be the most downtrodden among North Korean society.
So what do you get if you cull the loudest, most belligerent sheep out of the herd? A flock of complacent sheep too sheepish to bleat no matter how badly they’re treated.
And, really, isn’t that what the Beloved Leader wanted in the first place?
October 17th, 2006
CNN reports that North Korea may be preparing a second nuclear test:
North Korea may be preparing to conduct a second nuclear test, a U.S. official with access to intelligence information said Tuesday.
The official says that activity at a second nuclear site in North Korea is looking very similar to activity seen at another site just before the October 9 nuclear test.
The official said buildings and other structures are being fabricated at this second site, possibly in an effort to hide activities from spy satellites.
“It would not be unreasonable to assume the North Koreans are planning a second test,” White House press secretary Tony Snow said Tuesday.
The intelligence official said there are also reports of statements from senior North Korean military officials saying that the government intends to conduct multiple tests.
UPDATE: Meanwhile, North Korea calls last week’s U.N. sanctions a “declaration of war.”
October 13th, 2006
After all the hoopla, it turns out that North Korea’s nuclear test was, well, impotent. (FYI: Don’t let CNN’s headline fool you. The pertinent sentence is buried well below the liberal MSM eye-catching headline!)
June 3rd, 2004
As of May 25, North Koreans are prohibited by law from using cellular phones.
Experts believe North Korea had introduced the mobile technology to make communications convenient but later realised the device caused floods of foreign culture into the reclusive country, Yonhap (news agency) said.
No word on whether the law resulted in the sweeping cellphone turn-ins the government expected, but I’m guessing there’s one hell of a hot black market for prepaid calling plans there.
February 12th, 2004
A human rights group in South Korea has produced a document which they claim as proof that North Korea tested chemical weapons on humans.
It referred to the transfer of a man identified as Choi Mun-Pyo, whose date of birth was given as May 9, 1960.
“This man is subject to live human body chemical weapons liquefied gas experimental tests . . . and thus transferred to the security police,” the document read.
That ties WMDs to two out of three in the “Axis of Evil” within the past 24 hours. Wouldn’t it be perfect timing to find hidden stockpiles in Iraq right about now?
January 20th, 2004
Maybe it’s just me, but North Korea’s efforts to find allies to help fight the U.S. reminds me of times I tried finding friends willing to help me move from one apartment to another.
October 22nd, 2003
As if there weren’t already enough reasons to despise the evil pervading Pyongyang, here’s another that even liberals can wrap their minds around.
North Korea has been accused of killing the babies of women who are forcibly repatriated from China.
Kept in short-term detention camps, the women are either given abortions or their babies are killed at birth, according to a report by the US Committee for Human Rights in North Korea (CHRNK). [...]
One woman told of being forced to assist injection-induced labours and then watching as a baby was suffocated with a wet towel in front of its mother.
Many former prisoners told of babies buried alive or left face down on the ground to die. They were told by guards this was to prevent the survival of half-Chinese babies.
September 11th, 2003
I don’t know what to make of either of these reports.
Plutonium reprocessing activity at a key North Korean site has apparently ceased, U.S. officials said Thursday.
It is unclear why the North Koreans stopped work at their reprocessing plant at Yongbyon, the officials said, speaking on the condition of anonymity.
Presumably, they either chose to stop or had technical problems at the plant. Unless something broke, the plant could be restarted at any time.
The plant turns spent nuclear fuel rods into plutonium that can be used in nuclear weapons. It’s the only one the North Koreans are known to have. At the same site is a nuclear reactor that can make the spent fuel rods.
Also Thursday, officials said North Korea appears to be developing a new intermediate-range ballistic missile capable of reaching the United States. The missile hasn’t been tested.
I’d hate to think Pyongyang stopped processing because it had enough to weaponsize its missiles. But read the rest of the report and decide for yourselves.