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Tag: Kim Jong-il

Roh agreed to abandon NLL: National Assembly intel committee lawmakers

Saenuri Party lawmakers on the National Assembly intelligence committee say they’ve read the sections of the conversation record from the 2007 inter-Korean summit where President Roh Moo-hyun and North Korean leader Kim Jong-il discussed the West Sea NLL, reports the Chosun Ilbo.

And more to the point, they say Roh made a statement that suggested he wanted to abandon the NLL. To sum up, Roh said he agreed with Kim that the NLL needed to be changed and called for it to be turned into a “zone of peaceful cooperation.” Kim responded by suggesting Roh abandon its laws regarding the NLL so that the two sides could enter working-level discussions on creating said zone, to which Roh said, “Yes, fine.”

They also said the sanctions the US placed on BDA in 2005 were a “clear American blunder.” Best of all, Roh also told Kim that if you poll South Koreans, the country they hate the most is the United States. When asked which nation threatens peace the most, South Koreans respond with the United States at No. 1, Japan at No. 2 and then North Korea.

Lovely.

Much, much more here. The stuff in these documents come from NIS reports in 2009 when the LMB administration was secretly preparing for a possible summit with the North. Wanna play a game? Guess which leader said the following about the BDA sanctions, Roh and Kim Jong-il:

“분명히 얘기를 하는데… BDA 문제는 미국의 실책인데… 북측에 손가락질하고 북측보고 풀어라 하고, 부당하다는 거 다 알고 있습니다.… 뭐 제일 큰 문제가 미국입니다. 나도 역사적으로 제국주의 역사가 사실 세계 인민들에게 반성도 하지 않았고 오늘날도 패권적 야망을 절실히 드러내고 있다는 인식을 갖고 있으며 저항감도 가지고 있습니다.”

If you guessed Roh, you would have guessed right. Among other things, Roh also apparently expressed a desire to build a light water reactor for the North instead of the United States, bragged about sinking OPLAN 5029, and much, much more. Oh, and as for Kim Jong-il supposedly agreeing to the stationing of US troops in Korea during the 2000 summit with Kim Dae-jung, what KJI actually said appears to be more along the lines of “the US troop presence is useful because I can use it to drum up anti-American sentiment at home.” Which is remarkably frank, but also not the line of steaming BS the DJ administration tried to sell the South Korean and American publics.

PS: Yes, the reason the Chosun is going big with this is probably to distract the public from the ever growing evidence that the NIS was engaged in some serious nonsense during the last presidential election. It’s still fun reading through this stuff, though.

So, did President Roh give up the NLL to Kim Jong-il?

Well, that’s what the GNP Saenuri Party is saying:

Late President Roh Moo-hyun allegedly agreed with North Korea during his landmark inter-Korean summit in 2007 to nullify the U.S.-drawn de facto western sea border, a lawmaker claimed Monday.

“During the Oct. 3 South-North Korean summit in 2007, the late former President Roh Moo-hyun held one-on-one talks with late North Korean leader Kim Jong-il,” Saenuri Party lawmaker Chung Moon-hun said in a parliamentary audit of the Unification Ministry.

“Minutes of the undisclosed dialogue show Roh telling Kim Jong-il that the NLL is a headache. It was unilaterally drawn by the U.S. trying to win more territory,” Chung said.

A Saenuri Party lawmaker is calling for a special investigation into the claim as well as allegations that the Roh administration offered to give Pyongyang 100 trillion in won in aid.

Ordinarily, I’d say this was all BS aimed to discredit Moon Jae-in—who served in the Roh administration—and Ahn Cheol-soo—who has brought in a lot of Engagement Policy folk into his campaign—ahead of the presidential election. That said, the statement about the NLL does sound like something Roh would have said, so I won’t rule it out.

Kim Jong-il’s finest hour

I wasn’t going to make a “Team America” reference, but really, is there a more fitting tribute to KJI than this, his finest hour? How can you watch it and not piss yourself laughing?

‘A Setting Sun on Shenyang’

Sent by Scott Bug in Shenyang:

I can report tonight that in the great Koreatown of Xita in Shenyang, capital of Northeast China, the local North Korean community is in full mourning mode. Of the half dozen official North Korean restaurants here, all were locked up at 5pm tonight and completely blacked out. The largest of them all, Moran-gwan, had not a single light on inside nor sign of any life; on the main front door, a single sheet of white paper had been taped up and read simply in Chinese characters, “Closed today.” Nearby, Pyongyang-gwan, the second largest, had also put up a handwritten sign that read, “오늘은 영업하지 않습니다” or “Not open for business today,” while across the street at Mujigae, their own sign announced somewhat more ominously, “오늘부터 영업하지 않습니다” or “From today, not open for business.”

Meanwhile, a newer restaurant called Pyongyang Ch’inson Dongmyong-gwan had also been closed up and darkened, and although I saw no one inside through the plate-glass front doors, a flat-screen TV on a far back wall was tuned to Korean Central Television, a young male announcer in a blueberry suit jacket reading somberly with his head lowered from sheets of paper in his hands. Perhaps most eerie of all was Dongmyo Hyang-san, another old standby tucked on a side street off the main road. It, too, was shut down for the night and unlit. However, I could see several frozen silhouettes through the windows of its first-floor cafe, all turned towards a television in front of them. It was the restaurant’s young waitresses, all from Pyongyang, and they were watching a montage of natural scenery in a slow dissolve, first powerful waves crashing against a shore, then a cloud-streaked mountain vista and, finally, a sun setting symbolically on a fiery horizon. Korean subtitles flashed along the bottom of the screen; I presume they were listening to song and music at low volume, since I heard not a note from the outside.

I was hungry and decided to grab a bowl of ch’onggukjang at the nearby Suwon Wang Kalbi, run by a nice, cheerful lady in her thirties from Ch’ongju in North Ch’ungch’ong Province. For discretion’s sake, I will not repeat what she had to say about the passing of the Dear Leader. I will say, though, that she seemed to be exceptionally busy. Normally, she takes the time sit down at my table and have a chat for a few minutes, but tonight her phone was ringing off the hook; evidently several large parties were to arrive shortly. Business was good, it seemed, at least on the South Korean side. After I had finished, I stepped outside again and noticed one of the waitresses I knew from Dongmyo Hyang-san coming out herself and hurrying into the pharmacy next door. If I was a proper journalist, I suppose I would have stuck around to see what she had to say, as soon as she came back out. But she had such a sad, weary expression on her face that I didn’t really feel like being an asshole, and decided just to leave her alone.

Hopefully she was able to find what she needed to get her through the night.

Chicks dig Kim Jong-il

The Dong-A found some of the “skinship” rather exceptional:

MUST READ: Lankov on why the Kim dynasty will be popular long after N. Korea is gone

North Korea expert Andrei Lankov has a lengthy and what some (but not me) might find controversial column in the Asia Times explaining why, after reunification, many North Koreans are likely to remember the Kim Dynasty past with nostalgia. Here’s a taste:

This sad situation is an unavoidable result of decades of the Kim’s family rule. Ideally, North Koreans might have admitted that they are paying a huge price for themselves (or rather their ancestors) being seduced by the seemingly attractive ideas once promoted by the founders of the regime and their Soviet sponsors.

These ideas emphasized social equality and a shared national destiny. They promised (wrongly, as it turned out) the general well-being and dramatic economic growth. Then, when around 1970, the emptiness of these promises started to become evident, the North Korean population could not challenge the system and found themselves in a state where a tiny semi-hereditary elite would maintain their powers whilst enjoying assorted perks and privileges.

However, such an honest and frank appraisal is unlikely to take hold – after all, it is seriously damaging for the psychological well-being of all those concerned. We humans are usually not too eager to see ourselves as victims of the dreams, delusions and fears of their grandfathers, we are not happy to say that we have spent our lives pursuing nonsensical goals while remaining more or less obedient tools for a tiny ruling caste. So, the North Koreans will be far more likely to start looking for some justification, a myth-based narrative (or rather a few different myth-based narratives) which will explain the disastrous Kim period in a less painful way.

To think we have a unified future of North Koreans bitching about arrogant South Koreans looking down on them, South Koreans bitching about lazy, ungrateful North Koreans, and everyone bitching about the Americans, Japanese, Chinese and Russians…

What’s in A Name . . .

Who’s the “bad jerk” now?

KJI Has Just Three Years Left?

At a closed-door meeting with lawmakers, defectors and others at the US embassy last month, Assistant Secretary of State for East Asian and Pacific Affairs Kurt Campbell reportedly said that Kim Jong-il has just three years left to live, based on a collection of medical opinions.

Military Coup, Riots, Massacres, Oh My!

A state-run think tank is predicting that North Korean leader Kim Jong-il will croak in 2012, with mayhem possibly to follow:

North Korean leader Kim Jong-il may not survive the year 2012 and massive unrest is likely to follow his death, the state-run Korea Institute for National Unification speculates. A military coup, riots, massacres and a massive exodus could follow Kim’s death, KINU said in its report.

It is rare for a state-run South Korean think tank to go into such detail in forecasting changes in North Korea in a publicly issued report since such speculation is a red rag to Pyongyang.
[...]
Cho Min, a KINU researcher involved in the report, said the predictions are “hypothetical.” “The year 2012 is when North Korea has vowed to become a military and economic power, so it’s a crucial year for the country if there is a leadership change,” he said. “Kim’s health is the biggest variable in forecasting the future of the North Korean regime.”

Coming from a state-run think tank, the report is sure to elicit a calm and composed response from the North, with no reference whatsoever to holy war.

And yes, I have seen “2012”; in fact, I think I’ve mentioned it. Sure, it was stupid, but I guess it was fun to watch, and at least I didn’t almost fall asleep like I did during “Avatar.”

KJI Has Pancreatic Cancer: Report

YTN (via Reuters) is reporting that North Korean leader may have pancreatic cancer:

North Korean leader Kim Jong-il has pancreatic cancer and the illness is life-threatening, South Korean broadcaster YTN said on Monday based on information gathered by Chinese and South Korean intelligence sources.

Kim’s health is one of the most closely guarded secrets in the reclusive communist state. Kim, 67, was widely thought to have suffered a stroke last year, but there has never been official confirmation.

Wow.

The Kyunghyang Shinmun, however, says experts believe it impossible to confirm from photos and videos released till now whether he has pancreatic cancer or not.

Frankly, I would take the cancer reports with a grain of salt.

If KJI does shuffle off this mortal coil, however, at least one man in South Korea will be sad to see him go.

(HT to readers)

UPDATE: Reuters is breaking down how a post-Kim North Korea might go. Probably too early to discuss, but I guess it’s all rather interesting.

Christ, They’re Worse than the Kardashian Sisters!

Kim Jong-il’s oldest son and Marmot’s Hole favorite Kim Jong-nam reportedly survived an assassination attempt in China by aides of third son Kim Jong-un.

Oh, and while we’re discussing Jong-un, the Asahi Shimbun (via the Munhwa Ilbo) — quoting a North Korean source close to KJI — reports he was secretly sent as a secret envoy to China around March 10. The heir apparent reportedly met with high-ranking Chinese officials, including Hu Jintao. Hu is said to have asked that North Korea not conduct a third nuke test or fire an ICBM, while Jong-un seems to have asked for emergency energy and food aid in preparation for UNSC sanctions.

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