A little piece to recognize the POWs of the Korean War. The missing Korean War fighter pilots are all dead by now. Russia and China have actively helped us track down their remains. North Korea repatriated prisoners after the war, and any POWs they may have kept have almost certainly perished in the gulags since then. Still, as the video demonstrates, it is important for the families to have closure, and if possible bury the remains.
Religion and politics make strange bedfellows. Particularly so when you are talking about the Moonies, a South Korean cult which makes bedfellows of strangers and blurs the line between religion and politics. They manage to reach across the DMZ, and seem to be one of the few groups taking even marginally effective action toward unifying the Korean peninsula.
Crazy cult or not, Moon is 92 years old. He has made arrangements to place his youngest two sons in charge of the spiritual and business arms of his empire, the Unification Church. These changes have caused controversy within the ranks, as they leave his oldest son, once the heir apparent, sidelined. Al Jazeera produced an excellent piece on the situation. I highly recommend watching this video. I've expanded on a few aspects of the Unification Church below.
The New York Times wrote about recent US-ROK vs. DPRK threats and got at least part of it right. Here, they point out how North Korea loves to take umbrage at any real or imagined slight. Unfortunately the paper doesn't provide sufficient perspective for readers to understand how weak this particular KCNA press release really was. | ... Read more about NYT Failure
The Dokdo Times is almost as good as The Onion. Good enough to be depressing to a less-inspired blogger such as myself. Dokdo Times bills itself as "English news from Dokdo’s oldest independent Korean-language newspaper." That claim is very funny if you know the background. The Dokdo islands are territory disputed by Korea and Japan. There are only two permanent residents of the islands, and 40+ coast guard and admin personnel. | ... Read more about Dokdo Times
It is difficult for outsiders to understand why South Korea caves in when North Korea makes threats and demands. Its happening again. North Korea just directly and specifically threatened to attack various South Korean media organizations.
| ... Read more about Media Threat
Son of a bitch. That's what Korea is in uproar about. A lawyer went on television and said, "Simply put, are Kim Il-sung and Kim Jong-il -- former leaders of North Korea -- gaesaeki? If you can say yes to the question, you’re not pro-North." (Korea Herald) What's a gaesaeki? A young dog. The insult level is much, much higher in Korean that it would be in English, but the phrase means "son of a bitch". | ... Read more about Korean Cursing
The Onion once again gets the scoop on DPRK adding another great piece to their definitive selection of North Korean parody. These people have been doing high quality fake news for many years. Unfortunately, they don't have an index of their DPRK articles, but Google knows about them all. Here's a few, followed by the Google link.
North Korea is conducting nuclear tests under a volcano. Their previous tests have been largely unsuccessful, and it turns out that might have been a good thing. They bury their underground nuclear tests at Mount Mantap, near the huge volcano Mount Baekdu*, which has been mostly dormant for a thousand years. Well, it used to be dormant, before they started using nukes to wake it up. | ... Read more about Nuclear Volcano
Gotta hand it to these pricks. North Korea found themselves a magic weapon; a low-grade provocation that they can conduct and get away with. They even found a way to be insulting about it. On April 28, North Korea began jamming GPS signals from the city of Kaesong. | ... Read more about GPS Insult
North Korea watchers are tired of being taken for fools. Any action is analyzed over and over for subtexts and hidden meanings. There is no hope left within the serious policy community. I don't mind, and I am unafraid to say this out loud. The reality we now face with North Korea, despite our suspicions and oft-repeated fears, contains some glimmer of hope.
North Korea, having failed with their missile technology (for the fourth time in a row), is about to light up an atomic bomb. Bombs haven't worked out well for them in the past either. There's a lot to know: underground tests, previous attempts, plutonium vs HEU, and fizzles. | ... Read more about Boom ... Hole?