Plunge Pontificates

A place for my thoughts.

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Monday, February 06, 2006

DPRK Studies / One Free Korea

I've added these two blogs to my blogroll.

So people understand my blogroll philosophy, I only blogroll those I read everyday. If I stop reading the blog, I delete it from the blog roll. It's easy, I start my morning, open my site and use my blogroll go to to the sites I read. It is actually there for my use.

So, today I added the two listed above.

DPRK Studies and One Free Korea. These are the premier sites to read if you want to understand what is happening with North Korea and North Korean issues.

Today, DPRK has a posting on acedemics being apologists for the North. This is a must read, must read!

For years I have occasionally used resources listed on Tim Beal’s DPRK – North Korea site, which is a wealth of links. And for years I noticed his strong dislike of the Bush administration in the newsletter section, which is why I rarely read it; such strong biases tend to overshadow relevant facts in analysis. The latest newsletter (January 2006), concerning the October 2002 Kelly-Kang meeting, and why North Korea might have decided to illegally process uranium, is a case-in-point:

Not being at the meetings it is impossible for outsiders to be sure what transpired. The likeliest explanation, advanced by Selig Harrison (Foreign Affairs, February 2005) is that the DPRK did import centrifuges from Pakistan to process fuel from its abundant supplies of natural uranium in readiness for the Light Water Reactors promised under the Agreed Framework. The US has now managed to have that promise formally abrogated. What is also significant, Harrison continues, is that the US has never produced evidence sufficient to convince other governments. (emphasis added)

Statements like that make me question the intellectual honesty of the author, and the overall value of related analysis. Keep in mind that the above statement was written in January of 2006, by someone who religiously chronicles DPRK-related news.A rudimentary fact-check yields the premise to be incorrect.
Please read the rest. It is something I've realized for a long time but haven't been articulate enough to put into words.

Following this is the instalaunched piece on One Free Korea.

So it has come to this: it is no longer legal to criticize the human rights record of North Korea in Seoul, South Korea. For those who would defy the rising vicarious control of North Korea's Ministry of Public Security on the streets of Seoul, here is what happens next:
A planned musical about human rights abuses in North Korea’s Yoduk concentration camp has run into massive obstacles, not least from officials fearful of upsetting the Stalinist country. South Korean government agencies are demanding changes to the story, which they say dwells too heavily on the negative aspects of the camp [!], according to producers. Officials also allegedly invoked the National Security Law to warn producers against showing a portrait of former leader Kim Il-sung and the singing of North Korean songs in the show.
Again, don't miss the rest.

These two blogs are truly must reads. I should have had them on my list long ago. I may need to quit work to keep up with my blog reading habits! ha!