Mercury Rising 鳯女

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Archive for the ‘Korea’ Category

South Korean dictator’s daughter becomes president

Posted by Charles II on December 19, 2012

Justin McCurry, The Guardian:

Park Geun-hye, whose father ruled South Korea with an iron fist for 18 years, became the country’s first female president on Wednesday….

Moon, a leftwing former human rights lawyer from the Democratic United party, conceded defeat and congratulated Park on her victory.

Park, 60, had to overcome resentment towards her privileged background and accusations that her Saenuri party was too close to the powerful chaebol conglomerates that dominate the South Korean economy.

OK: An expansionist China, an ultranationalist government in Japan, a dictator’s daughter in control of South Korea, and North Korea firing missiles.

Anyone see a pattern here?

Posted in China, Japan, Korea | Comments Off on South Korean dictator’s daughter becomes president

A century of incompetence, corruption, and conflict creation

Posted by Charles II on January 1, 2011

In a must-see interview on C-Span, Pierre Sprey ([Corrected 12/3/11) father co-developer under the guidance of John Boyd of the A-10 and F-16 aircraft) interviews William Hartung on Hartung’s book about Lockheed Martin, Prophets of War. Hartung lays out how the defense industry has corrupted Washington and other governments, and is now reaching into spying on Americans and other dubious enterprises. Sprey adds comments about how Lockheed Martin helped to start the Cold War and Korean War, and is currently stoking tensions with Russia in a bid to increase sales of defense hardware.

In the run-up to World War II, Lockheed Martin violated the Neutrality Act, selling (ineffectual) bombers to Britain, as well as offering to sell to Germany and Japan. In the modern era, they were a force behind the Project for a New American Century and the Iraq invasion.

Watch here (Thanks, PW!)

Posted in corporatists, corruption, Iraq war, Korea, PNAC Platoon | 3 Comments »

Korea shock

Posted by Charles II on May 23, 2009

The former president of South Korea, Roh Moo-hyun has committed suicide in the wake of a (probably politically-motivated) corruption investigation. He is accused of profiting from millions of dollars paid to family members. He was one of a generation of left-reformers that sought to clean up South Korea’s notably corrupt and undemocratic (and conservative) system. While in office, he made major strides in reconciliation between North and South, strides which his conservative successor has reversed. Whether he was or was not guilty of financial corruption, he was one of the rare leaders in Korea with political courage and compassion. From his obituary:

But in 1981 his work brought him in contact with a case of human rights abuse which he says changed his aspirations forever.

Mr Roh was asked to defend one of two dozen students arrested for possessing banned literature, for which they were detained and tortured for almost two months.

“When I saw their horrified eyes and their missing toenails, my comfortable life as a lawyer came to an end,” Mr Roh is quoted as saying.

This will in my estimation destabilize and demoralize Korea. The present conservative government is not what Korea needs. In Asian terms, Roh has cleaned the slate of charges against him and his party… but is there a generation of leadership to follow?

Posted in Korea, Sad things | 1 Comment »

The war machine

Posted by Charles II on February 17, 2008

John Feffer, ATimes:

Since the dawn of the 21st century, five of the six countries involved in the six-party talks [in northeast Asia, i.e., China, Russia, US, the two Koreas] have increased their military spending by 50% or more. The sixth, Japan, has maintained a steady, if sizeable military budget while nonetheless aspiring to keep pace. Every country in the region is now eagerly investing staggering amounts of money in new weapons systems and new offensive capabilities.

Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in China, Japan, Korea | Comments Off on The war machine

Because not enough people hate us

Posted by Charles II on January 11, 2008

That would seem to be the explanation for this report from Bradley Martin, Bloomberg:

China and the U.S.-South Korean alliance have begun planning for military intervention in case the Kim Jong Il regime in North Korea collapses, according to two newly published studies — one of which foresees a race to occupy and control the impoverished communist country.

Wasn’t this sort of how the Korean War began? 

Army Captain Jonathan Stafford, writing in Military Review says

    “China wants to develop its landlocked, economically backward northeast by gaining access to nearby North Korean seaports,” Stafford writes. “China could achieve all this by establishing a puppet state or by fully incorporating North Korea into China proper.”

     Urging that Americans “take the threat of regime collapse in North Korea as seriously as China does,” Stafford says the U.S. “should begin creating the diplomatic conditions now to justify and support a South Korean-led occupation of North Korea.”

I guess we should count it a blessing he’s not suggesting that the Japanese re-establish the Greater East Asia Co-Prosperity Sphere.

Posted in Korea, wrong way to go about it | 14 Comments »

Bushco ratifies nuclear-armed Axis of Evil

Posted by Charles II on September 3, 2007

The US has lifted sanctions on North Korea, definitely a wise move. Sanctions did nothing but strengthen the dictatorship and encourage North Korea to arm itself with nuclear weapons. But there is something disconcerting about watching this double somersault to arrive at the same place that Clinton had achieved before Bush came to office.

Suzanne Goldenberg, The Guardian:

The Bush administration had been desperate for a foreign policy success after the debacle in Iraq and the stalemate with Iran over uranium enrichment, and the deal with North Korea to disable and declare its nuclear programme promises to do just that.

Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in international, Korea | 3 Comments »

We Are Irrelevant

Posted by MEC on February 13, 2007

N.Korea agrees on disarmament steps

North Korea agreed to take steps toward nuclear disarmament under a groundbreaking deal struck on Tuesday that will bring the impoverished communist state more than $300 million worth of aid.

Under the agreement, which was reached by six countries in Beijing after nearly a week of talks, Pyongyang will freeze the reactor at the heart of its nuclear program and allow international inspections of the site.


The proposed plan hammered out by the two Koreas, the United States, Japan, Russia, and China will only be the first step in locating and dismantling North Korea’s nuclear arms activities, leaving many crucial questions to future negotiations.

Please to recall that this is not how the Busheviks wanted to stop North Korea’s nuclear development. Negotiation wouldn’t work, they insisted.

But it did.

Way to increase the influence and prestige of the United State, Bushie. All you’re doing with your unilateralism (which has become a euphemism for “Bush’s megalomania”) is render the United States irrelevant in international affairs. Which is pretty much the polar opposite of what you and your neocon puppetmasters want. Not that I expect that you’ll learn from this that telling people “You have to do it my way” doesn’t work, any more than you’re learning it from Iraq.

And speaking of irrelevant, why is this quotation included in the story?

John Bolton, former U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, said the Communist state should not be rewarded with “massive shipments of heavy fuel oil” for only partially dismantling its nuclear program. “It sends exactly the wrong signal to would-be proliferators around the world,” he told CNN.

John Bolton was emphatically rejected by the Senate. He does not represent the United States government. His opinion should not matter. Considering how pernicious his influence was when he held a government office, Reuters is doing us all a grave disservice by perpetuating that influence.

Posted in beat the press, GOP/Media Complex, international, Korea, madness of King George, mediawhores | 3 Comments »

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