In the News – N.Koreans ‘See Kim Jong-un as Upstart’


In the News – N.Koreans ‘See Kim Jong-un as Upstart’

North Koreans feel new leader Kim Jong-un is getting above his station by having himself appointed first secretary of the Workers Party by the country’s rubber-stamp parliament earlier this month, a South Korean official claimed Sunday.

“In North Korea, first secretary stands above all other secretaries,” the official said. “North Koreans are saying that Kim Jong-un has risen to a higher position than his father and are whispering that it is immoral of him to do that.”

In the North, any title with “first” in it is considered extremely eminent. Kim Jong-il was general secretary of the party.

The official claimed this sentiment is shared by some North Korean party and military officials. But the source added that this is an extremely sensitive issue and nobody dare discuss it publicly.

Original article can be found here.

In the News – Seoul nuke summit expected to touch on N. Korea issue: Ban


In the News – Seoul nuke summit expected to touch on N. Korea issue: Ban

NEW YORK, March 13 (Yonhap) — U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said Tuesday he expects global leaders will discuss the North Korean nuclear issue when they meet in Seoul later this month for a summit on nuclear safety and security.

South Korea is scheduled to host the second Nuclear Security Summit from March 26-27 in which the heads of state from more than 50 nations and leaders of international organizations including Ban will take part.

The biennial summit does not have the North’s nuclear problem as a formal agenda since it is not designed to deal with nonproliferation issue of a specific nation, Ban said in an interview with Yonhap News Agency at his office in New York.

“I think discussions (on the matter) are possible on the sidelines such as through bilateral consultations, since leaders of the world’s major countries participate (in the summit),” he said.

U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon speaks to Yonhap News Agency in an interview at his office on March 13. (Yonhap)

U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon speaks to Yonhap News Agency in an interview at his office on March 13. (Yonhap)

Ban, formerly a South Korean foreign minister, said participants will be able to express support for the six-way nuclear talks and the denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula, which will eventually contribute to global efforts to bolster nuclear security.

He was skeptical of the possibility that Pyongyang will join the Seoul session, citing the communist nation’s internal situation and its responses to the South’s invitation.

Ban said, meanwhile, the U.N. will put forward several action plans to beef up the multilateral nuclear security and safety.

He said toughening financial sanctions are necessary to prevent the spread of weapons of mass destruction and nuclear terrorism.

Above all, Ban stressed, it is important to tackle the production and transfer of highly enriched uranium (HEU), plutonium and other fissile materials.

On South Korea, he said he was proud that his motherland will host the Nuclear Security Summit, the highest-level forum on international security, after the G-20 summit was held in Seoul.

“The summit this time is meaningful in that the stature of the Republic of Korea (South Korea) has been recognized not only in economy but also in the international security field,” Ban said. “I think South Korea’s national brand will be upgraded by one notch through the success of the summit this time.”

Original article can be found here

In the News – China has repatriated North Korean defectors, South Korean official says


In the News – China has repatriated North Korean defectors, South Korean official says

Seoul, South Korea (CNN) — Ignoring international protests, China may have repatriated around 30 North Korean defectors who had been caught while trying to escape their homeland, a South Korean official said Friday.

Park Sun-young, a South Korean lawmaker who had been on hunger strike protesting such repatriations, told CNN she believes the North Koreans have been sent back.  CNN cannot independently confirm the assertion. Continue reading

Madeleine Albright and Kim Jong-Il

On Friday 3rd of December 2011, former US secretary of state Madeleine Albright addressed the future of US foreign policy and the leadership of women in helping to build prosperity, foster peace, and promote democracy across the globe at the London School of Economics in London, United Kingdom. This lecture was part of her tour to the UK to promote the Madeleine Korbel Albright Institute for Global Affairs with Wellesley College, her alma mater. The first female secretary of state had an hour-long Q&A session following giving a speech on women’s need to be more active and supportive of each other. After a number of questions about her experiences as a woman, Dr. Albright was asked to talk about her experience in North Korea. She gave the audience a detailed narrative on her trip. Continue reading

In the News – U.N. chief expresses hopes for easing tensions on Korean Peninsula


In the News – U.N. chief expresses hopes for easing tensions on Korean Peninsula

UNITED NATIONS, Dec. 30 (Yonhap) — U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said Friday he hopes to see tensions on the Korean Peninsula and in Northeast Asia ease next year, saying 2012 will be a very important one for Koreans.

In a New Year’s message to the people of his native South Korea, Ban also said he will provide unsparing support as U.N. chief to help reduce tensions on the divided peninsula and in the region.

Ban said that the year 2012 will be “very important” for the Korean Peninsula, apparently referring to the leadership change in North Korea after the Dec. 17 death of Kim Jong-il. South Korea is also set to elect a new parliament and a new president next year.

Ban also praised South Korea’s economic development and democracy as an exemplary success case of realizing the ideals and goals the United Nations pursues.

He also called for South Koreans to make greater contributions to the international community.


Original article can be found here.