Former Spy Chief in South Korea Sentenced in Election Case

“What I did was for the nation and for the people,” Mr. Won told reporters on Monday.

http://www.nytimes.com/2015/02/10/world/asia/former-spy-chief-in-south-korea-sentenced-in-election-case.html?_r=0

You know, when you abuse government services, it don’t matter how you look at it….you are breaking the law by NOT allowing people to make up their own minds.  This is the kind of stuff the makes modern politics really freaking creepy.  If anyone thinks their current government does NOT engage in these kinds of activity, they are fooling themselves.

Advertisements

South Korea Disbands Party Sympathetic to North – NYTimes.com

Today is the day when democracy in South Korea is pronounced dead,” Lee Jung-hee, head of the United Progressive Party, said during a rally of party members outside the courthouse. Ms. Lee accused the Constitutional Court of “opening the door for totalitarianism.” Some party members wept.

http://mobile.nytimes.com/2014/12/20/world/asia/south-korea-disbands-united-progressive-party-sympathetic-to-north-korea.html?_r=0&referrer=

I’ve been watching this president….. Too many things has been done that have not been good for freedom. This is one of them.

China mulls impact of N. Korea regime collapse on border area | GlobalPost

In my 3.5 years of living here, I have seen China’s attitude towards North Korea change in the following order:

– Defending North Korea’s actions
– Saying nothing about its actions
– ‘Inviting’ North Korea up for a talk about its actions
– Criticizing North Korea for ours actions
– and now preparing against its actions

I suspect more news propaganda to appear and something to happen within 3 years at best.

http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/kyodo-news-international/140504/china-mulls-impact-n-korea-regime-collapse-border-area

China mulls impact of N. Korea regime collapse on border area | GlobalPost

In my 3.5 years living here, I have seen China’s reaction go from defending North Korea to saying nothing, to ‘inviting’  North Korea up for a talk, to outright criticizing them.  Now we have this little tidbit. There is a pattern here and sitting is going to happen within the next few years…

http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/kyodo-news-international/140504/china-mulls-impact-n-korea-regime-collapse-border-area

South Korea’s Hot-Button Medium

On Dec. 10, a handwritten, politically charged poster appeared on a bulletin board at Korea University in Seoul, one of the country’s top institutions of higher education. It began and ended with the same question: “How are you all doing?”

read full article here

Sometimes you just need to ask a question.

S. Korea Arrests 3 Party Officials For ‘Rebellion Plot’

South Korean authorities have arrested three members of a small, left-leaning political party and charged them with conspiring to stage a rebellion.

Well this is interesting.

South Korean authorities have arrested three members of a small, left-leaning political party and charged them with conspiring to stage a rebellion.

http://m.voanews.com/a/1738408.html

Korea in the news

Well, I figure I should do more news reports.  So much is not known about things in this part of the world…or things that are related to Korea.

Report: 9 North Korean defectors repatriated after being caught in Laos, sent to China

SEOUL, South Korea — Nine North Korean defectors have been forced to return to their country from China after being captured in Laos, a South Korean news report says.

Laos had been assumed to be a safe route for North Koreans leaving their mostly poverty-stricken homeland. Activists say that defectors who are returned to North Korea can be punished or even killed by the regime, considered one of the world’s most repressive and brutal.

Surprise surprise.  I just can’t really fathom a country that goes to such great lengths of control.  It simply can’t last.

North Korea sanctions hit aid groups, some forced to carry cash by hand due to bank clampdown

PYONGYANG, North Korea — New international sanctions aimed at thwarting North Korea’s nuclear weapons program are having unintended consequences: halting money transfers by foreign humanitarian groups working to help those most in need and forcing some agencies to carry suitcases of cash in from outside.

Sometimes I am a little mixed.  I mean, people should be allowed to do what they want but at the same time, if other people want to do something different, then it should be so.  If you simply cannot bear to think on you own and let someone else run your life, that’s fine by me but you should be aware of the alternatives and make an informed decision.

Dangerous double-jaw surgery on the rise in South Korea

A painful plastic surgery usually only performed for medical reasons is being embraced by South Koreans as the latest way to improve their appearance.

Double-jaw surgery is a radical solution to correct facial deformities and is usually carried out on people who are unable to chew properly due to an excessive over or underbite.[emphasis mine]

First, I could easily tell from the pic that it was a fake ‘before’ image.  You start to see these ‘advertisements’ all over the place where it’s rather obvious the ‘before’ pic is simply an edited version of the ‘after’ pic.  I especially like the one poster where they changed the size of the ‘after’ to make it look even more dramatic :)

 

 

 

#North Korea’s public relations man….

North Korea’s public relations man is a Spaniard with a tough job

Meet Alejandro Cao de Benós, the only non-Korean employee of North Korea’s foreign ministry. The Spaniard is taking the PR message of North Korea’s greatness across Europe.

(From The Christian Science Monitor)

NK PR Guy

The representative from North Korea’s Foreign Ministry describes a country devoid of hunger, poverty, and political repression. Every citizen receives their housing, salary, and plentiful sacks of rice directly from the government, he says, pointing to photos of smiling children and sharply-dressed adults – ice skating, on smartphones, and enjoying rides at amusement parks as proof of prosperity.

In North Korea people wouldn’t ever want to leave the country, he says, even if they could.

I particularly like the “even if they could” part!  I wonder how much of a hypocrite he knows he is.  Given the fact that anyone leaving their town will be killed and any family members that are left behind are killed as well to make examples of such acts.

Before serving as spokesperson to North Korea he worked as an IT consultant in Pamplona and in the US.

Oh how I want to make an obvious connection between North Korea’s cyber-warfare tactics and this guys expertise but without knowing more details of what he did with such a broad term of employment, it’s purely a guess that he has helped North Korea (well, at least parts of it) come into the technical world.

 

#North Korea Under Cyber Attack!

It seems that the meager Internet resources from the ‘noisy boys up North’ have been crippled by 2 days of continous attacks.

North Korea accuses U.S. of cyber attacks on its Internet servers

(Edit: of course they do!  Not saying they are wrong but this is kinda stating the obvious)

Given how little they use the Internet, is this really going to make much a difference?  I mean seriously, this would be like someone staging continuous drain on buying up all the CB radios.  No one really cares and in the long run, it really doesn’t affect much as far as infrastructure goes.  This will just piss them off, and give them more reason to do something stupid because that’s the only way this little standoff will even go anywhere.

North Korean students attend a rally held to show their willingness to enlist in the army March 14, 2013 in this picture released by the North’s official KCNA news agency in Pyongyang March 15, 2013.

REUTERS

SEOUL

North Korea accuses U.S. of cyber attacks on its Internet servers

JACK KIM

Published Friday, Mar. 15, 2013 07:58AM EDT

Last updated Friday, Mar. 15, 2013 08:00AM EDT

North Korea, usually blamed for hacking others, has accused the United States of staging cyber attacks against its Internet servers after reports of disruptions to its main news services, the latest twist from an increasingly bellicose North.

Russia’s Itar-Tass news agency said a “powerful hacker attack” from abroad had brought down Internet servers inside the North, disabling access to some websites.

The accusation comes at a time of increased tension between reclusive North Korea and South Korea, along with the South’s ally the United States.

The North has threatened a nuclear war with the United States in response to new United Nations sanctions over its latest nuclear test and to strike back at the South and the United States during military drills they are staging.

South Korea’s MBC television said the North’s state media services were among those affected by the cyber attack.

These included the websites of the KCNA news agency and the official Rodong Sinmun newspaper, which were said to be experiencing disruptions even though they were operating normally on Thursday and Friday.

“It is nobody’s secret that the U.S. and the South Korean puppet regime are massively bolstering up cyber forces in a bid to intensify the subversive activities and sabotages against the DPRK,” KCNA said on Friday.

“Intensive and persistent virus attacks are being made every day on Internet servers operated by the DPRK,” it said.

The Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, or DPRK, is the North’s official name.

KCNA and Rodong Sinmun have carried the North’s increasingly strident rhetoric of late, accusing the United States and South Korea of staging preparations for war and vowing to scrap the armistice that stopped fighting in the 1950-53 Korean War.

The North has also threatened to use nuclear weapons against what it called hostile forces.

North Korea in turn has been blamed for spreading malicious software that crashed the websites of government agencies and businesses, and for a cyber attack on a South Korean state-run bank server in 2011 that took more than a week to restore.

North Korea denies charges of cyber attacks and accuses the South of a conspiracy to fuel confrontation, although defectors from the North have warned that Pyongyang was recruiting thousands of computer engineers to its cyber warfare unit.

Military experts said cyber warfare was a major threat from North Korea, along with its conventional forces and its weapons of mass destruction program, that posed a security risk to utilities and communications networks in the South.

North Korea also has been accused of jamming global positioning system signals affecting hundreds of flights at South Korea’s main airport.

Earlier this week, U.S. spy agencies said for the first time that cyber attacks and cyber espionage had supplanted terrorism as the top security threat facing the United States.

The United States and China also are embroiled in a row over cyber warfare, with U.S. President Barack Obama calling his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping to discuss the issue this week.

© 2013 The Globe and Mail Inc. All Rights Reserved.

Nulcear North Korea

So, North Korea conducted its third nuclear test apparently.  Another ho-hum day in Seoul for everyone else.

In the absence of any real leverage, Washington and its allies are left warning Beijing that if it does not keep North Korea out of the nuclear club, it risks an arms race in its own neighborhood.

This is from the New York Times article.

I am slightly divided over the right of North Korea to do what it wants so long as they are not harming anyone.  In this case, I refer to people outside of their country.  So far, they have done no wrong to another country(skirmishes aside).

Let me tell you how this game is payed. Earlier this week a “war of words” began.

“The US and enemies, based on their own hypothesis and arguments, jumped to the conclusion that we would stage a third nuclear test,” said the editorial.

– source rt.com

Note that this seeming denial statement merely points to someone else guessing what North Korea was about to do. They did not say they weren’t going to do it.

Besides that little tidbit, the South Korean military had their own statement.

“If [the North] shows a clear intent to use a nuclear weapon, it is better to get rid of it and go to war, rather than being attacked,” said the general, addressing the Joint Chiefs. He added that ”a pre-emptive attack against the North trying to use nuclear weapons does not require consultation with the United States and it is the right of self-defense.”

So….what? Everyone is posturing in the name of “self defense” but really just use that as some sort of excuse to throw around their ego? On one hand, I can appreciate the fact that North Korea wants too stay out of US control and financial ruin. On the other hand, of the people are truly suffering, the whole world has a responsibility to ensure that its inhabitants have the means to survive, if not thrive. Sadly, I feel that our current efforts are misguided and will eventually fail. Perhaps it is time for a change huh?

Ok, back to the topic at hand. Not much has changed. There have been no pre-emptive strikes. Although do you need to detonate a nuclear device to research energy for your country? No, but hey, what do I know?

Next I expect to read that China is finally taking a few stern measures against the little upstart country or that the US “suddenly discovers a reason to invade” and then things will be ugly for awhile. Maybe you’ll see a re-enactment of the middle East, maybe not. In either case, I’m glad I am moving further south to get some distance from this crap.