In the News – Chinese paper urges Beijing to oppose N. Korea’s nuclear power claim


In the News – Chinese paper urges Beijing to oppose N. Korea’s nuclear power claim

SEOUL, June 3 (Yonhap) — A leading Chinese newspaper has urged Beijing to oppose North Korea’s nuclear power status proclaimed in its revised constitution.

The Global Times, an English-language Chinese newspaper under the People’s Daily, said in its June 2 editorial that any legalization of North Korea’s possession of nuclear weapons can stimulate South Korea and Japan, and prod Taiwan to demand its right to nuclear arms, triggering a chain reaction of nuclear armament in Northeast Asia.

In its revised constitution, North Korea proclaims itself as a nuclear armed state, according to its full text seen by Yonhap News Agency last Wednesday on the North’s “Naenara” Web site.

Seoul and Washington have immediately dismissed the claim, saying they would not recognize North Korea as a nuclear power.

The Global Times editorial is the first unofficial response from China, as the Beijing government has kept mum on the issue so far.

“China should not join the two (Seoul and Washington) and help them exert pressure on North Korea. However, it is also necessary for China to criticize North Korea’s latest move and oppose its intention to legalize its nuclear status,” said the editorial posted on the paper’s Web site.

“China needs to make efforts to deter North Korea from possessing nuclear capabilities, or at least openly oppose North Korea’s move to attain them,” said the editorial, noting that the historical friendship between the two should facilitate their frank communication.

The paper went on to clearly say that it is not in China’s interests to be held hostage by North Korea’s radical moves.

“At the moment, the most urgent thing is to prevent North Korea from conducting a third nuclear test, the consequences of which would be unimaginable for Northeast Asia. Besides trying to persuade North Korea, China should publicly voice its opposition at once,” it said.

In a related development, Rep. Chung Mong-joon, a presidential aspirant of South Korea’s ruling Saenuri Party, said Sunday that time has come for South Korea to arm itself with nuclear weapons capabilities in response to the North’s declaration of nuclear state status.

“North Korea’s nuclear armament has become a reality. We should also equip ourselves with our own nuclear weapons capabilities beyond the strategy of depending on the U.S. for nuclear weapons,” Chung, a seven-term lawmaker, said in a news conference.

Chung, a former ruling party chairman now competing in Saenuri’s presidential primary, had previously called for the deployment of U.S. tactical nuclear weapons in South Korea.

“Paradoxically, peace cannot be guaranteed on the Korean Peninsula, without our possession of at least nuclear capabilities,” he said.


Original article can be found here.

In the News – N.Korea’s Nuclear Obsession Is Self-Defeating


In the News – N.Korea’s Nuclear Obsession Is Self-Defeating

North Korea revised its constitution to state that the accomplishments of former leader Kim Jong-il turned it into a “nuclear power and invincible military superpower.” There is no other country in the world that identifies itself as a nuclear-armed state in its constitution.

A closer look shows that the North Korean constitution is a joke. A country’s constitution sets out the rules for government and guarantees the basic rights of its people. But the North Korean constitution stipulates in its preface that it is a means of legitimizing the ideology of nation founder Kim Il-sung. It therefore represents neither the country nor its people but is merely a tool to support the power of its dictator. The revision merely changes some references to include his son Kim Jong-il.

It hails Kim Il-sung as the great state founder, progenitor of socialism in the country and eternal creator of the regime’s “juche” ideology of self-reliance. It now also exaggerates the accomplishments of Kim Jong-il.

Nothing will change simply because North Korea claims in its constitution to have nuclear weapons. The North has been making that claim since its first nuclear test in 2006. By doing this, it simply admits that it violated an inter-Korean agreement reached in 1990 to  denuclearize the Korean Peninsula, as well as the joint statement signed on Sept. 19, 2005 where it agreed to scrap its nuclear weapons program.

North Korea has habitually scrapped any concession it made and raised new demands while pretending to seek progress in nuclear disarmament talks, sending the whole process back to square one. This has resulted in a complete loss of trust and in isolation from the international community. But Pyongyang is flaunting its nuclear program as it was some sort of major accomplishment when it is the overriding cause of all its problems. New leader Kim Jong-un may believe this is necessary to consolidate his grip on power, but the people of the North will soon find out how absurd that strategy is.

Original article can be found here.

In the News – U.S. to ‘never’ accept N. Korea as nuclear state: State Dept.


In the News – U.S. to ‘never’ accept N. Korea as nuclear state: State Dept.

By Lee Chi-dong
WASHINGTON, May 30 (Yonhap) — The United States made clear Wednesday that it will never recognize North Korea as a nuclear state.

“The United States has long maintained that we will never accept North Korea as a nuclear power,” a spokesperson for the State Department told Yonhap News Agency.

The official’s comments came in response to a report that North Korea revised its constitution to describe itself as a nuclear power.

Earlier in the day, a North Korean Web site, monitored in Japan, carried the full text of the reclusive communist nation’s amended constitution.

It shows three new sentences that highlight the works of its late leader Kim Jong-il, including “the transformation into a nuclear power.”

The contents of the website, named “Naenara (my country),” have not been officially confirmed. It is also unclear when North Korea rewrote its constitution.

Pyongyang has carried out two underground nuclear tests, in 2006 and 2009, and has sought to be acknowledged as a nuclear state by the international community.

The department official said, speaking on the customary condition of anonymity, North Korea should comply with its international obligations under a 2005 agreement and U.N. Security Council resolutions that call on it to abandon all nuclear weapons.

“The leadership of the DPRK has a very stark choice,” the official said. “They must take a hard look at their policies, stop provocative actions, put their people first — ahead of their ambitions to be a nuclear power, and rejoin the international community.”


Original article can be found here.

In the News – N. Korea ‘can’t have’ status of nation with nuclear weapons: Seoul


In the News – N. Korea ‘can’t have’ status of nation with nuclear weapons: Seoul

SEOUL, May 31 (Yonhap) — North Korea “can’t have” the status of a nation possessing nuclear weapons, South Korea said Thursday, responding to a report that North Korea recently revised its constitution to proclaim itself as a nuclear-weapon state.

An official Web site run by North Korea and monitored by Yonhap News Agency on Wednesday in Japan, carried the full text of the reclusive communist nation’s revised constitution that included the term “a nuclear-armed state.”

“At first, nuclear-weapon state status is in line with the terms of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT), but North Korea itself has admitted that it is not a member of the NPT,” foreign ministry spokesman Cho Byung-jae said.

North Korea backed out of the NPT in early 2003, right after the outbreak of the so-called second nuclear crisis in late 2002.

Cho called on North Korea to “implement its commitments and give up all nuclear weapons programs from the September 19 joint statement.”

Under the 2005 agreement, North Korea pledged to give up its nuclear programs in return for security guarantees and economic assistance from five nations participating in the six-party talks. But Pyongyang boycotted follow-up negotiations by making a series of unacceptable demands.

There are concerns that North Korea, which conducted nuclear tests in 2006 and 2009, may soon carry out a third nuclear test to make amends for the failed launch of a long-range rocket on April 13.

North Korea has been under U.N. sanctions following the two nuclear tests.

“As North Korea continues to ignore promises with the international community and breach international laws, it will only deepen its isolation,” Cho said.

The text of the North’s amended constitution reads that its late leader Kim Jong-il, who died last December, “has turned our fatherland into an invincible state of political ideology, a nuclear-armed state and an indomitable military power, paving the ground for the construction of a strong and prosperous nation.” The revision was made during a parliamentary session in April.

The North’s previous constitution last revised on April 9, 2010 didn’t contain the term nuclear-armed state.

Some analysts in Seoul said the North Korean constitution’s proclamation of a “nuclear-armed state” is expected to cast further clouds over the prospects of resuming the long-stalled six-party talks that bring together the two Koreas, China, Japan, Russia and the U.S.


Original article can be found here.

The Weight of an Applicant’s Spectacles

“There is great hardship in North Korea.” So runs the first line of a summary of an applicant’s claim for an Australian protection visa.

These court cases are fascinating. At times they are impersonal, filled with case numbers and legal abbreviations and impenetrable prose. But sometimes little details blink out like a star in a hole in the clouds, and it is refreshing. Continue reading