Saturday, December 07, 2002

The Economist has got a couple of articles on North Korea's relations with China and Russia in the face of the recent admission by NK to possessing nuclear weapons. Despite all the hype I fail to see how this recent "admission" is much different to previous comments by the North that failed to clearly state either way whether or not they were producing such weapons. It reeks of 1994, 1995 and there was even hassles of a similar ilk in 1998. The point being that nobody knows for sure and while it is probable they have the technology and the will it is not unlikely that they haven't the finances or energy requirements to carry this out. At the end of the day the "revelation" is exactly what analysts have long suspected and believed to be the case anyway.The US has reneged on sending its oil quota under the now defunt KEDO joint agreement. Oh, well. I hear China might be picking up much of the slack.

The FEER has an article about slave camps in North Korea. Disappointingly the FEER has become subscription based. That really irks me because it makes linking inconvenient and fewer people can share the information. But regardless, I shall make a brief comment about the article. Firstly, I think it is absolutely great that these days anyone can get satelittle images to order and not just national security agencies. The pictures provided in article are great and shows how freely available information is. Power to the press (in this case). However, I hesitate to be a cynic, but I'm not sure I trusted the commentary of the sole North Korean who claims to have worked at the slave camps. It might be unfair, but uncorroborated testimony like this is suspect. So while I think the article is good investigative reporting I think that more information and follow up is needed before we blindly believe everything we read and see from this article.

If this blog is slightly incoherent, I apologise, I've been off sick for the past couple of days and am not yet returned by my chipper self.

Currently reading:

"Hell" by Yasutaka Tsutsui