Win Or Die

It sucks to be a North Korean soccer coach or player. Hell, it sucks to be a North Korean period.

Failed N Korean World Cup coach fears for life

Kim Jong-hun might well be envious of Dunga and Maradona, the two South American coaches sacked for their teams’ “poor” performance in the recent FIFA world cup. Kim, the North Korean coach, has not just been sacked, he has suffered public humiliation and been made to work unpaid as a construction worker. News leaks from Pyongyang further say that Kim fears he might soon be executed.

According to unconfirmed reports, the entire North Korean squad, which lost all three of its World Cup games in South Africa, has been subjected to a humiliating dressing-down in public.

The hapless players spent six hours being lectured in public, on their failure and ‘betrayal’ of Kim Jong-un, son and heir of the great leader Kim Jong-il.

They were subjected to a session of harsh ideological criticism, a Chinese businessman told the South Korean media.

Under coercion, every player blamed the defeat on the coach who has reportedly been expelled from the governing Workers Party.

North Korea’s success in qualifying for the Cup had prompted the Party to organize countrywide celebratory lectures in recognition of Kim Jong-un’s accomplishment.

Ever since the team crashed out, experts on the hermit state have speculated that the players would surely be punished.

See also:
North Korea’s failed World Cup footballers undergo public mauling
North Korea soccer coach fears for his life
North Korean football team shamed in six-hour public inquiry over World Cup
North Korean soccer team forced into six-hour long public inquisition after losing at World Cup
North Korean Soccer Team Publicly Shamed For World Cup Failure
North Korean Soccer Team Punished for World Cup Failure
Sacked NKorean soccer coach fears for life
North Korea Soccer Team Reprimanded After World Cup, Radio Free Asia Says
North Korea’s World Cup Team Faces Government Wrath After World Cup Defeat
North Korean Soccer Coach Put Into Labor Camp After Disappointing World Cup
There Is No Joy in Pyongyang …
Welcome to the party, North Korean soccer team
Korea DPR national football team

Every day, more children are born in North Korea, facing a bleak, totalitarian future with no possible escape. Personally, I just can’t help but feel sorry for every last one of them.

/you know, ending the Korean War, once and for all, would eventually be viewed as the greatest humanitarian gesture in modern history

Kim Jong-il Was Eight Years Old

It was sixty years ago today, when his daddy, Kim Il Sung, started a war that has yet to end.


The forever war

Vietnam used to claim that dubious title. Now it’s Afghanistan. But the surprise communist invasion 60 years ago today began a Korean war that eventually saw an armistice but still no peace treaty.

Indeed, since major fighting stopped in 1953, more than 90 Americans and 300 South Korean soldiers have been killed in clashes along the DMZ barbed wire between North and South Korea — in addition to the 46 ROK sailors killed by a North Korean torpedo in March.

That summer of 1950 tested America’s commitment to the cause of freedom as never before, not even in World War II. There was no Pearl Harbor, and no American interests at stake in Korea but one: that other peoples should never be enslaved against their will.

The Soviet-backed invasion came just five years after V-J Day. It was the first serious test of America’s post-World War II strength of will and its new strategy of containing communism. Would America step up to protect an impoverished nation so far from any vital shore? Many feared the Truman administration, with its attention focused on Europe, would not.

They were wrong. President Harry Truman got off a plane in Washington and immediately agreed to swift action to save South Korea. He had been thinking about Hitler and Mussolini on the plane, Truman said; this time, the totalitarians would not get away with it. America would send in troops at once.

The problem was, there were no troops — or very few. In 1945, America had spent $50 billion on defense, in 1950 $5 billion. Its 8.25 million-strong military had shrunk to less than 600,000, most of them still in Europe. The Eighth Army’s four undermanned, underequipped divisions would somehow have to stem the massive communist tide, as Gen. Walton Walker fed his troops in piecemeal.

See also:
S Korea marks 60th anniversary of Korean War
Tensions ripple through Korean peninsula on 60th anniversary of war
North Korea ratchets up tension as South marks 60th anniversary of war
South Korea Commemorates 60th Anniversary of Korean War
Not forgotten: Korean War veterans remember on the 60th anniversary
60th anniversary to start of Korean War gets gala memorial celebration
Korean War veterans mark 60th anniversary
Korean vets remember 60th anniversary
60th Anniversary Of The Start Of Korean War Remembered
Korean War National Museum
Korean War Veterans Memorial
Korean War Veterans Memorial
Korean War

Technically, we’re still at war, there was only a ceasefire, South Korea never signed the Korean Armistice Agreement. So, the South Koreans live in freedom while the North lives in oppressive darkness.

/when will the North be free and Korea finally reunited?

Good On Bubba!

Clinton, 2 journalists depart NKorea for US

Former President Bill Clinton brought two freed U.S. journalists out of North Korea early Wednesday following rare talks with reclusive leader Kim Jong Il, who pardoned the women sentenced to hard labor for entering the country illegally.

Euna Lee and Laura Ling were heading back to the U.S. with Clinton, his spokesman Matt McKenna said, less than 24 hours after the former U.S. leader landed in the North Korean capital on a private, humanitarian trip to secure their release.

The women, dressed in short-sleeved shirts and jeans, appeared healthy as they climbed the steps to the plane and shook hands with Clinton before getting into the jet, APTN footage in Pyongyang showed. Clinton waved, put his hand over his heart and then saluted.

North Korean officials waved as the plane took off. McKenna said the flight was bound for Los Angeles, where the journalists will be reunited with their families. The White House had no comment.

Their departure was a jubilant conclusion to a more than four-month ordeal for the women arrested near the North Korean-Chinese border in March while on a reporting trip for Current TV, the media venture founded by former Vice President Al Gore. They were sentenced in June to 12 years of hard labor for illegal entry and engaging in “hostile acts.”

U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton had urged North Korea last month to grant them amnesty, saying they were remorseful and their families anguished.

North Korean media characterized the women’s release as proof of “humanitarian and peace-loving policy.”

Their families said they were “overjoyed” by the pardon. Lee, 36, a South Korean-born U.S. citizen, is the mother of a 4-year-old. Ling, a 32-year-old California native, is the younger sister of Lisa Ling, a correspondent for CNN as well as “The Oprah Winfrey Show” and “National Geographic Explorer.”

Clinton’s landmark trip to Pyongyang also resulted in rare talks with reclusive Kim Jong Il that state-run media described as “wide-ranging” and “exhaustive.” The meeting was Kim’s first with a prominent Western figure since reportedly suffering a stroke nearly a year ago.

While the White House emphasized the private nature of Clinton’s trip, his landmark visit to Pyongyang to free the Americans was a coup that came at a time of heightened tensions over North Korea’s nuclear program.

State media said Clinton apologized on behalf of the women and relayed President Barack Obama’s gratitude. The report said the visit would “contribute to deepening the understanding” between North Korea and the United States.

The meeting also appeared aimed at dispelling persistent questions about the health of the authoritarian North Korean leader, who was said to be suffering from chronic diabetes and heart disease before the reported stroke.

Kim smiled broadly for a photo standing next to a towering Clinton. He was markedly thinner than a year ago, with his graying hair cropped short. The once-pudgy 67-year-old, who for decades had a noticeable pot belly, wore a khaki jumpsuit and appeared frail and diminutive in a group shot seated next to a robust Clinton.

The journalists’ release followed weeks of quiet negotiations between the State Department and the North Korean mission to the United Nations, said Daniel Sneider, associate director of research at Stanford University’s Shorenstein Asia-Pacific Research Center.

Clinton “didn’t go to negotiate this, he went to reap the fruits of the negotiation,” Sneider said.

See also:
North Korea: 2 US journalists pardoned
Clinton Leaves North Korea With Two Journalists, Spokesman Says
N Korea frees US reporters after Clinton visit
Will nukes creep into Bill Clinton’s North Korea agenda?
Analysis: Obama lets NKorea’s Kim save face
Bill Clinton’s ‘rock star status’ delivers in North Korea
Clinton’s Unwise Trip to North Korea

Thank God the two journalists are free, safe, and on the way home to their families. Oh, and thanks to Bill Clinton too.

/still, you have to wonder exactly what we gave North Korea in return for thei release

Why Are We Not Stomping North Korea’s Guts Out?

Just how much does Kim Jong-il have to taunt and torment us before we say enough is enough and obliterate the North Korean regional and world menace once and for all? Is there anything we won’t let them get away with, a line somewhere we’ll defend that they haven’t already crossed yet? After recently sentencing two U.S. journalists to 12 years hard labor, how much more in our face does North Korea have to get before we do something about it? What else does Kim Jong-il have to do before we finally push back, provide the fireworks for our Independence Day?

Japan warns that North Korea may fire missile at U.S. on Independence Day

North Korea may launch a long-range ballistic missile towards Hawaii on American Independence Day, according to Japanese intelligence officials.

The missile, believed to be a Taepodong-2 with a range of up to 4,000 miles, would be launched in early July from the Dongchang-ni site on the north-western coast of the secretive country.

Intelligence analysts do not believe the device would be capable of hitting Hawaii’s main islands, which are 4,500 miles from North Korea.

Details of the launch came from the Japan’s best-selling newspaper, Yomiuri Shimbun.
Both Japanese intelligence and U.S. reconnaissance satellites have collated information pointing to the launch, according to the report.

It is understood the communist state is likely to fire the missile between July 4 and 8. A launch on July 4 would coincide with Independence Day in the States.It would also be the 15th anniversary of North Korean president Kim Il-Sung’s death.

The Japanese newspaper also noted that North Korea had fired its first Taepodong-2 missile on July 4, 2006.

See also:
Report: NKorea may fire missile toward Hawaii
Report: N. Korea May Fire ICBM Toward Hawaii
Pentagon: North Korea Missiles Threaten US Homeland
Gates: Missile interceptors on way to Hawaii ahead of North Korea test
U.S. boosts missile defense amid reports of planned N. Korea test

Oh boy, we’re moving missile interceptors to Hawaii, just like we have for every North Korean missile launch so far. Will we intercept their missile? Probably not, we haven’t so far. Hey, I know, since we know exactly where their missile is, sitting on a launch pad, why don’t we really send a message to stop launching missiles and destroy it on the ground with a cruise missile strike, or would that be too provocative? God knows we wouldn’t want to upset Kim Jong-il.

Gee, looky here, after telling North Korea umpteen times that they’re not supposed to be proliferating weapons of mass destruction, they’re at it again. Why won’t they listen to us, aren’t they scared of what we might do in response? Apparently not.

U.S. Military Tracking North Korean Ship Suspected of Proliferating Missiles, Nukes

The U.S. military is tracking a flagged North Korean ship suspected of proliferating weapons material in violation of a U.N. Security Council resolution passed last Friday, FOX News has learned.

The ship, Kang Nam, left a port in North Korea Wednesday and appears to be heading toward Singapore, according to a senior U.S. military source. The vessel, which the military has been tracking since its departure, could be carrying weaponry, missile parts or nuclear materials.

“It is believed to be ‘of interest,'” a senior U.S. official told FOX News.

This is the first suspected “proliferator” that the U.S. and its allies have tracked from North Korea since the United Nations authorized the world’s navies to enforce compliance with a variety of U.N. sanctions aimed at punishing North Korea for its recent nuclear test.

The ship is currently along the coast of China and being monitored around-the-clock by air.

The apparent violation raises the question of how the United States and its allies will respond, particularly since the U.N. resolution does not have a lot of teeth to it.

The resolution would not allow the United States to board the ship forcibly. Rather, U.S. military would have to request permission to board — a request North Korea is unlikely to grant.

See also:
U.S. Navy tracks North Korean ship
Navy monitoring North Korean ship: U.S. officials
Navy monitoring North Korean ship: U.S. officials
N. Korean ship under U.S. watch
Source: Military watching suspicious NKorea ship
Navy Pursues N. Korea Ship; Tensions Rise
N.K.: Searching ships would be ‘act of war’

Well, it would be rude of us to board North Korea’s ship, probably carrying a cargo of WMD, without North Korea’s permission. Besides, the U.N. sanctions resolution, that we argued over for two weeks, doesn’t allow us to board North Korean ships anyway. So, I guess we’ll just follow it instead. I have another idea. where are the SEALs? You know, it’d be a real shame if the Kang Nam were to take on water and sink under mysterious circumstances.

And how does Kim Jong-il pay for all his nefarious activities that irritate us so and yet we do nothing about? He robs and scams us blind!

Warning: Counterfeit dollars from N. Korea

The Treasury Department warned U.S. financial institutions Thursday that the North Korean government may resort to “deceptive financial practices” to get around economic sanctions.

The advisory from the Treasury’s Financial Crimes Enforcement Network comes as the Obama Administration steps up its efforts to prevent North Korea from furthering its nuclear weapons program.

The government said it remains concerned about “high-quality” counterfeit U.S. currency being passed from North Korea and urged banks to scrutinize attempts by North Korean customers to make large cash transactions.

Banks should be wary of attempts to suppress the identity or origin of transactions made by North Korean clients, the advisory said. Money transfers made via third parties, and repeated transfers that appear to have “no legitimate purpose” should also raise red flags.

Global Insurance Fraud By North Korea Outlined

For Kim Jong Il’s birthday, North Korean insurance managers prepared a special gift.

In Singapore, they stuffed $20 million in cash into two heavy-duty bags and sent them, via Beijing, to their leader in Pyongyang, said Kim Kwang Jin, who worked as a manager for Korea National Insurance Corp., a state-owned monopoly.

Kim said he helped arrange the shipment and watched in February 2003 as the cash was packed. After the money arrived, Kim Jong Il sent a letter of thanks to the managers and arranged for some of them to receive gifts that included oranges, apples, DVD players and blankets, Kim said.

“It was a great celebration,” he said.

The $20 million birthday present and the gratitude of its recipient, who is known as the Dear Leader, were annual highlights of a sophisticated global insurance fraud that North Korea has concocted to provide its communist leadership with hard currency, said Kim, who spent five years as an executive of the state insurance company in Pyongyang and worked for a year at its banking subsidiary in Singapore before defecting to South Korea.

“This money helps keep Kim Jong Il in power at a time he is engaged in nuclear brinksmanship,” said David L. Asher, who supervised a State Department unit that attempted to track various illegal activities by North Korea during the Bush administration. “This is the gift that keeps on giving. It has become one of the North’s largest illicit revenue generators.”

In interviews and court documents, Western insurers, U.S. officials and defectors such as Kim said the impoverished and isolated North Korean government has collected hundreds of millions of dollars from some of the world’s largest insurance companies on large and suspicious claims for transportation accidents, factory fires, flood damage and other alleged disasters. Still, recent attempts by international insurers to overturn North Korea’s claims have failed in British courts.

For years, the U.S. government and law enforcement agencies around the world have documented what they describe as state-sponsored criminality in North Korea. They have linked the North to illegal manufacturing and trafficking of drugs ranging from heroin to Viagra, as well as to expert counterfeiting of $100 bills and the production of high-quality counterfeit cigarettes.

Much less has been disclosed about North Korea’s international insurance claims, in part because they have been cloaked in legal settlements by firms with no interest in highlighting their losses.

“The exact scale of the fraud is hard to determine . . . because the insurance industry has been so gullible,” Asher said. North Korean insurance fraud “was absolutely something I should have been looking into more when I was running the [State Department’s] illicit activities initiative,” he added.

See also:
US warns banks about North Korea
U.S. Treasury warns on North Korea cash transactions
US Treasury Advises Vigilance By Banks Over N Korea
N Korea Insurance Scam Funds Weapons, Enriches Kim -Report
North Korea in global insurance scam: report
North Korea accused of massive state-sponsored insurance fraud
N.Korea ‘Made Millions from Insurance Scam’

We know what they’re doing to scam us and we can’t stop them. How do I know? Because they’re still doing it. The laugh at us and just ramp up their belligerence knowing full well there will be no consequences for their international outlaw behavior. They know that all they have to do is threaten us or our allies in the region and we’ll back down and do absolutely nothing to reign them in.

N. Korea Warns U.S. of ‘Thousand-Fold’ Military Action

North Korea warned Wednesday of a “thousand-fold” military retaliation against the U.S. and its allies if provoked, the latest threat in a drumbeat of rhetoric in defense of its rogue nuclear program.

Japanese and South Korean news reports said North Korea is preparing an additional site for test-firing a long-range missile capable of striking the U.S.

The warning of a military strike, carried by the North’s state media, came hours after President Barack Obama declared North Korea a “grave threat” to the world, and pledged that recent U.N. sanctions on the communist regime will be aggressively enforced.

North Korea chemical weapons threaten region – report

North Korea has several thousand tons of chemical weapons it can mount on missiles that could be used on a rapid strike against the South, said a report released on Thursday by the International Crisis Group (ICG).

North Korea in recent weeks has raised tensions in North Asia, responsible for one-sixth of the global economy, with missile launches, threats to attack the South and a May 25 nuclear test that led to U.N. sanctions.

The report from the prestigious non-governmental organisation said the consensus view is the North’s army possess about 2,500-5,000 tons of chemical weapons that include mustard gas, sarin and other deadly nerve agents.

“If there is an escalation of conflict and if military hostilities break out, there is a risk that they could be used. In conventional terms, North Korea is weak and they feel they might have to resort to using those,” said Daniel Pinkston, the ICG’s representative on Seoul.

The North has been working on chemical weapons for decades and can deliver them through long-range artillery trained on the Seoul area — home to about half of South Korea’s 49 million people — and via missiles that could hit all of the country.

“The stockpile does not appear to be increasing but is already sufficient to inflict massive civilian casualties on South Korea,” the ICG report said.

After decades of conditioning, North Korea has learned that the phrase “actions have consequences” doesn’t apply to them. They have steadfastly refused to negotiate or, when they have, they’ve broken every single agreement they’ve ever made. The only recourse left that will have any chance of changing their behavior is the use of force, in one form or another. How long will we let this oozing pus sac on the world’s ass continue to fester, hold us virtually hostage, and generally contaminate the concept of civilization?

/why are we not stomping North Korea’s guts out?

This’ll For Sure Make North Korea Behave

Who let these people out of the clown car again?

Rice on UN sanctions

U.S. representative to the United Nations Susan Rice appeared in the White House Briefing Room at the beginning of the on-camera briefing to talk about the U.N. sanctions against North Korea.

She said she would “not be surprised” if the North Koreans responded provocatively to today’s actions.

She also said the provisions allowing for inspection of ships suspected of transporting weapons of mass destruction or missile technology does not provide authority for military force to direct suspect ships to port for inspection or to seize the cargo. In this respect, she alluded to giving up a bit in the negotiations, but “we feel we got a lot.” She would not go into details.

See also:
UN Votes to Punish North Korea for Nuclear Test (Update3)
White House: US may confront ships near NKorea
US to ‘Confront’ Ships Near North Korea, But Won’t Forcibly Board Them
U.N. Ambassador: North Korea Could Become More Provocative after Security Council Vote

Obama bows to China over NK sanctions in UN

We mentioned earlier that Obama wanted all UN members to be able to search all ships bound for North Korea if that ship was not in the territorial waters of NK and reasonable suspicion existed that prohibited items (read: nuclear-bomb enabling stuff sent from China) were on board.

The United States insisted that this provision be a part of the sanctions to be levied out of the UNSC on NK as a response to the latest nuke test.

China said no. Obama caved.

China’s proffered logic was that “mandatory inspections of North Korean cargo would lead to military conflict.”

See also:
North Korea laughs at U.S.
Facing Down North Korea With Weak Words
The North Korean Syndrome -Talk, Test, Talk Again, Test Again
Take That North Korea!

Well, aren’t those just special sanctions, excuse us Mr. Kim Jong-il, can we board and inspect your ship we suspect is carrying weapons of mass destruction, pretty please?

/sanctions about as useful as a third tit on a boar