Tuesday, December 10, 2013

A Few Things....

More or less...

Haven't talked about North Korea too much lately:

North Korea is engaged in a purge amounting to a "reign of terror" that has claimed the scalp of the country's second most powerful man and risks further damaging relations with the South, President Park Geun-hye said on Tuesday.

Park took office in Seoul earlier this year as North Korea conducted its third nuclear test, enraging world public opinion, and threatened to engulf its southern neighbour and its ally, the United States, in a war. The isolated state shelled a South Korean island in 2010 and is widely believed to have sunk a South Korean naval vessel in the same year.

"North Korea is currently carrying out a reign of terror, undertaking a large-scale purge in order to strengthen Kim Jong Un's power," Park told a cabinet meeting, part of which was broadcast on television.
"From now on, South-North Korea relations may become more unstable."

In her usual carefully scripted manner, the president called for vigilance to safeguard the wealthy South's achievements.

"In times like these, I think it is a nation's duty and politicians' job to keep people safe and free democracy strong," she told the meeting.

State media on Monday said Jang Song Thaek, the uncle of North Korean ruler Kim Jong Un, had been dismissed from his posts for "criminal acts" ranging from mismanagement, corruption and leading a "dissolute and depraved life".

Television in the tightly controlled and impoverished state showed him being frogmarched by uniformed personnel out of a meeting of the ruling Workers' Party.

Associates of Jang are believed to have been executed in the purge of a man once viewed as a regent for Kim Jong Un, aged about 30 and the third of his family dynasty to run the country.

South Korean officials discounted media reports that a close associate of Jang who managed his funds had requested asylum and was under the protection of South Korean officials in China.

No request for asylum, they said, had been received.

Park has attempted to revive the financial black hole that is the Kaesong industrial complex and reiterated how dreadful a place North Korea can be but has done little else (much like her predecessors) in confronting the ever-irrational Kim Jong-Un. Purges and removals from positions of power are not atypical in North Korea. Either Kim is paranoid (hence the purges and other crackdowns) or he getting rid of the last vestiges of paternalism over his newly bestowed leadership and has become his own dictator.

Either way, it's not good.

Some great insight here.

Yeah, we know:

The 85-year-old U.S. veteran who was detained for weeks by North Korea said Monday that the videotaped confession in which he apologized for killing North Koreans during the war was given involuntarily and under duress.

Dear Americans, Britons and Danes, you voted for these guys:

Funeral selfies? Obama’s selfie face, FLOTUS’ furious face at #MandelaMemorial

Aren't you proud of your adolescent leaders who grin and photograph themselves at a memorial for a still-dead terrorist?

Maybe you can have a contest to see who is the most embarrassing: the loser who never fails to campaign, the blonde or the leader of a failed Pakistani state located near Ireland?

Related: yeah, but she was always an embarrassment.

Also: what class looks like:

Senator Ted Cruz (R., Texas) walked out of the memorial service for Nelson Mandela when Cuban “president” Raúl Castro began speaking.

“Senator Cruz very much hopes that Castro learns the lessons of Nelson Mandela,” said Sean Rushton, Cruz’s communications director. “For decades, Castro has wrongly imprisoned and tortured countless innocents. Just as Mandela was released after 27 years in prison, Castro should finally release his political prisoners; he should hold free elections, and once and for all set the Cuban people free.”

Earlier in the day, President Obama shook hands with Castro.

If you've heard one dictator blather on, you really have heard them all.

John Kerry: letting Iran have nuclear weapons keeps the US safe.


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