Posted tagged ‘North Korea’


July 13, 2010

Erle Frayne D. Argonza

As we get filled electrified with the euphoria of the world soccer games, the Koreans’ dread over a possible war among brothers has been on the uptrend. Let’s just hope that the world cup season has relaxed the rather tense nerves of the Koreans and Japanese as well who rabidly dread Bombs from North Korea.

In case that one isn’t familiar with the realpolitik of the intra-Korean conflict (between Northern and Southern sibling Koreans), the situation has been markedly tense owing to the hawkish attitude of the leaders up North. The hardliners (extremists) have been on the initiative there, owing to the hardline attitude of America towards them during the Bush years.

Getting back the Northern hardliners to relax their warmongering is now a ‘too-late-the-hero’ situation. Not even if America’s leadership had swung from hardliner to moderate after the demise of the Republicans and the neo-conservatives with Obama’s installation to power.

On the other hand, to contend that the North’s hardliners would choose to declare war for mere irrational justification hardly merits our attention. The actuations of the North, no matter if they appear as warmongering (such as the sinking of a South Korean battle ship), is largely intended to gain points in the bargaining tables.

The hardliners wish to gain mileage, and that mileage doesn’t necessarily mean invasion mileage measured in terms of square miles of Japan and South Korea that they can occupy. That’s utter non-sense.

The mileages expected are: (a) media/information points, for being continuously projected in international news; (b) millions of dollars of cash, paid by wealthy neighbors & America for keeping the military machine well oiled and for buying some foods & medicines for poor folks; and, (c) testing the international waters for some possible relaxation of bellicose attitudes by other states (via the UN).

It’s like a North bulldog barked so loud and threatened to bite, with some of its saliva reaching the South and the seas. But the dog won’t bite, rest assured.

The agenda of Korean unification is still the most palatable option for both Koreas, and I’m sure the North’s leaders are ever watchful of cracks in the iron parchment that can yield them greater leverages in the unification efforts. They have the Bomb with them, while the South has the Bread.

Both parties have the leveraging incentives to bargain on a quid pro quo basis, just to stress the point matter-of-factly. It is the external powers that are bent on muddling the political waters and searching for ways for the conflict to escalate, so that the Anglo-European financiers can again gain colossal trillions worth of looted monies in the derivatives and portfolio markets on account of the unstable conditions in the Koreas.

And it seems the Japanese are the ones most vulnerable to the machinations of the Western financier oligarchs. If a North Korea-Japan war will shape up so suddenly, I will not find the event as surprising at all. Such a scenario is what the financier oligarchs wish and no less, blame the Japanese for choosing to be blind to such dirty machinations.

So, fellows on Earth, let’s keep our calm and trust the rational minds in the Koreas to solve their problems through their own efforts. Let’s trust the Koreans they can be civil towards each other till their own unification will materialize.

[Philippines, 05 July 2010]







August 12, 2008

Erle Frayne Argonza

Good morning from Manila!

Let’s see what we got across Asia and the Pacific recently, concerning development engagements, relief and humanitarian activities. Below are news captions about Australia, Bangladesh, Burma, China, India, Indonesia, Mongolia, Nepal, North Korea, Japan, and Sri Lanka.

[31 July 2008, Quezon City, MetroManila]

Asia & Pacific




A draft blueprint of Australia’s emissions trading scheme will include fuel, but is unlikely to recommend what the country’s key emissions cap should be. The blueprint’s government-backed architect, economist Ross Garnaut, is due July 4 to release a plan for how emissions trading could operate, likely suggesting that government force companies to bid for emissions permits at auction, a perceived failing of the EU scheme. But inflating already record-high petrol prices could fuel a backlash against the government’s pledge to cut emissions with a trading system by 2010. (Reuters)


Obtaining food remains the biggest priority for Bangladeshi families living in areas still devastated by Cyclone Sidr last year, the United Nations World Food Program (WFP) said July 1, announcing it will continue its aid operations to the affected region. The next major harvest in the delta country is not due until November or December, and many households lack sufficient food reserves to last until then, according to a press release issued by WFP. (UN News Service)

Burma (Myanmar)

At least 7,000 cyclone survivors sheltering in three temporary camps in Laputta town, in the Irrawaddy delta, are under renewed pressure from the local authorities to return home, according to sources there. About 10,000 refugees are still living in Laputta’s five refugee camps, supported by local authorities and nongovernmental organizations. The 7,000 now urged to return to their home villages have been warned that unless they leave the camps they can expect no aid next month, said one local source. (ReliefWeb)


The UN expects China to be at the forefront of efforts to tackle the world’s biggest challenges, such as the global food crisis, climate change and the quest to slash poverty, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said July 1, calling on the Asian nation to step up its contribution in international affairs. Addressing students at the Foreign Affairs University in Beijing, at the start of the second leg of his East Asian tour, Ban said China is already playing an important role as a permanent member of the Security Council and as a growing contributor to peacekeeping and the UN budget. (UN News Service)


The Jammu and Kashmir state government should protect Parvez Imroz, an award-winning human rights lawyer who survived an armed attack on June 30 in Srinagar by alleged security forces members, Human Rights Watch (HRW) said July 1. The state government and Human Rights Commission should launch an immediate and thorough investigation into the attack and take criminal action against those responsible. “All members of the security forces found responsible, no matter how far up the chain of command, should be prosecuted,” said Meenakshi Ganguly, senior South Asia researcher at Human Rights Watch. (HRW)


Indonesia’s anti-terrorism police unit has found assembled bombs and detained suspects during a raid on a house in Palembang in South Sumatra province, the national police spokesman said on June 2. The detentions came as President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono was visiting the area in the west of Indonesia on Sumatra Island. Earlier, Metro Television reported that seven suspects had been detained, but a police source involved in the raids told Reuters that more than seven were being held. (Reuters)


The president of Mongolia has declared a four-day state of emergency in the capital amid violent protests over claims the general election was rigged. Crowds torched the HQ of Mongolia’s governing party – the former Communists – and attacked a police station. Over 60 people were hurt – around half of them police – as officers used tear gas, rubber bullets and water cannon against stone-throwing protesters. The unrest went on into the night, with reports of bank robberies and looting. Rioters set fire to the Cultural Palace, home to a theater, museum and national art gallery in the capital, Ulan Bator. (BBC)


Nepalese police have detained more than 40 Tibetan monks and nuns near the country’s border with Tibet. The group was planning to protest at China’s policies in their homeland. The demonstrators were halted several kilometers from the frontier after marching through the mountains from the Nepalese capital, Kathmandu. Tibetan exiles in Nepal have protested almost daily since China suppressed violent anti-government demonstrations in Tibet that broke out in March. (BBC)

North Korea (DPRK)

A new agreement between the UN World Food Program (WFP) and the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) paves the way for the agency to step up its food assistance to more than five million hungry people in the country. The agreement, which was signed on June 27, was hailed by WFP as a significant breakthrough in its long-standing efforts to ensure that all those in need of food aid in the DPRK are able to receive it. (UN News Service)


UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon met Japanese leaders in Tokyo on June 30 and praised the “immense contribution” Japan has made to the work of the United Nations. Speaking to the press after meeting Prime Minister Yasuo Fukuda, Ban said that “Japan should be proud of being ‘a peace-fostering nation’ and its commitment to multilateralism,” Ban added. “The Japanese people should know how much Japan’s global role is appreciated in the United Nations and worldwide.” (UN News Service)

North Korea (DPRK)

The UN World Food Program, which has warned of a humanitarian crisis in North Korea due to a food shortage, said on June 30 it reached a deal with Pyongyang to rapidly expand aid, and that a US ship carrying wheat had arrived. Flooding last year, higher commodity prices and political wrangling with major donor South Korea have pushed North Korea to a food shortfall similar to ones it faced about a decade ago when famine killed an estimated 1 million people. The WFP said the agreement it reached with the North will allow it to expand its operation, previously aimed at feeding 1.2 million people, to feed more than 5 million in the country of about 23 million. (Financial Times, UK)

Sri Lanka

For thousands of Sri Lankans without easy access to potable water, a low-tech filter has provided them with a convenient source of safe water, saving on fuel costs and cutting disease. The water filter was first mass-produced in Nicaragua and used in emergency relief operations. It is essentially a clay pot fortified with ground paddy husk and coated with colloidal silver that strains out virtually all harmful bacteria and parasites. The American Red Cross (ARC) began production of the clay filter in Sri Lanka in January 2007 and has distributed some 10,000 units so far. (IRIN)