Friday, July 20, 2012

Brighter Days Ahead For North Korea?

  Today when it’s doubtful any news could sound good enough, Reuters and the Christian Science Monitor report North Korean leader Kim Jong-un is gearing up impoverished North Korea to experiment with agricultural and economic reform after the young leader and his powerful uncle purged the country’s top general for opposing change.
  So is the façade at last being torn away?
  A special bureau has been created to take control of the decaying economy from one of the world’s largest militaries which was given pride of place in running the country under Kim’s father. The downfall of Vice Marshal Ri Yong-ho and his allies gives the new leader Kim and his uncle Jang Song-thaek, who married into the Kim family dynasty and is widely seen as the real power behind the throne, some room to try to save the battered economy and prevent the secretive regime’s collapse, Reuters said. Although they used the word “mandate” that usually applies to an election, so their phrasing is reworded here to mean that maybe this event allows the two leaders some space.
  Changes could herald the most significant reforms by the North in decades. Previous attempts at a more market driven economy have floundered. Most recently, a drastic currency revaluation, in late 2009, which triggered outrage, is widely believed to have resulted in the execution of its chief proponent.
  Reuters’ source said, “Ri Yong-ho was the most ardent supporter of Kim Jong-il’s ‘military first’ policy.” The biggest problem was he opposed the government taking over control of the economy from the military. North Korea’s state news agency KCNA cited illness for the surprise decision to relieve Ri of all his posts, including the powerful vice chairman role in the ruling party’s Central Military Commission, though he had appeared in good health in recent video footage. Ri was very close to Kim Jong-il and had been a leading figure in the military. Ri’s father fought against the Japanese alongside Kim Jong-un’s grandfather, Kim Jong-il’s revered father, Kim Il-sung who founded North Korea and is still honored as the country’s eternal president. North Korea has yet to name Ri’s replacement as head of the army, the source said.
  Reuters’ source sees the revelation as an indication of a power struggle in the secretive state in which Kim Jong-un and Jang look to further consolidate political and military power. Sadly life’s still unfortunate fact is ruthlessness requires a ruthless reaction. The North Korean Embassy in Beijing, reached by telephone, declined to comment.
  Some North Korea experts said this confirmed their belief the new leadership would try to make some changes to the stultifying controls over the economy. Korea University professor Yoo Ho-yeol, speaking from Seoul, said, “This should not come as a surprise. Kim Jong-un appears to have done considerable study on this, taken a lot of lessons, and is probably trying to mold it in a way that suits their situation and in a way that blends with the existing policy. Ri’s departure has a lot to do with this process.” He predicted Jang would increase pressing ahead with joint-venture projects with China, the only major ally to which the North can turn for economic help. Really? Then that indicates an expected shell game, as per usual.
  Zhang Lianggui, a North Korea expert at China’s Central Party School, was also skeptical. “You can see this from the repeated criticisms of reform and opening up that appear in the Rodong Sinmun (North Korean party newspaper). They openly criticize any moves in this direction. North Korea is quite indignant when it comes to this point.”
  But North Korea’s cabinet has created a “political bureau” designed to wrest power from the 1.2 million-strong military in order to run the economy, Reuters’ source said. “In the past, the cabinet was empty with no say in the economy. The military controlled the economy, but that will now change,” the source said. But with one step forward there’s due to be a step or two back?
  Though Kim Jong-un has set up an “economic reform group” in the ruling Workers’ Party to look at agricultural and economic reforms, the source said, adding North Korea will learn from its giant neighbor and solitary benefactor, China. Uh huh. Beijing leaders are thought to have been pressing Pyongyang to do more to reform the economy, worried a collapse would send refugees streaming across its border and cause the loss of a strategic buffer to South Korea and the large contingent of U.S. troops which help protect it. Shell game consisting of just people unless they miraculously find oil?
  And in sharp contrast to the austere, reclusive image of his father, state media have shown Kim Jong-un visiting fun fairs, speaking in public and applauding at a rock concert. But though women appear to have been given more freedoms, including wearing short skirts, 200,000 people are in prison camps in the impoverished and isolated country. So as far as that goes America’s own lack of conscience should cause them no stress. But then prisoners in the United States aren’t political? But hopefully the source dismissed speculation of any political fallout from the purge, saying: “Kim Jong-un and Jang Song-thaek are in control of the military.”
  Jang has long been seen as a proponent of reform of an economy which through mismanagement has entirely missed out on the fruits of dramatic growth of neighbors like China and South Korea. His push for reform was widely seen as having triggered a period of exile but he was later rehabilitated and given the primary role of supporting Kim Jong-il’s son when he was being groomed to eventually take over the leadership. An excellent story to read the details of, if and when the dust settles.
  It was unclear how many of Ri’s men have been sacked, but the source said they have not been jailed. Reuters said that some 20 top officials had been purged since Kim Jong-un began his ascent to power. If this continues peacefully that could be a positive sign, yet as with Cuba’s problemed transition, how will the opening for the common (wo)man occur?
  July 8, 2012, Bloomberg News reported North Korean Economy Rebounds on Farm Output, South Says, believing North Korea’s economy rebounded last year on a recovery in agriculture, bolstering Kim Jong-un after he succeeded his father to lead the nation where a past famine killed an estimated 3 million people. Gross Domestic Product in the communist nation increased 0.8 percent in 2011 after a 0.5 percent decline in 2010, according to an estimate published by the Bank of Korea in Seoul. “The manufacturing sector declined, but the agricultural industry enjoyed better weather and more use of fertilizer,” according to the Bank of Korea’s e-mail statement. North Korea is projected to keep growing under the new leader as its economic ties with China and Russia develop.
  “Mineral exports to China and dollars brought in by North Korean workers sent to China and Russia would have driven the country’s GDP growth,” said Koh Yu Hwan, a professor of North Korean studies at Dongguk University in Seoul. “North Korea is expected to be economically stronger under Kim Jong-un as it continues to increase transactions with its allies.” And Kim Jong-un has waged a nationwide campaign to “bring about a turn in agriculture” and increase crop yields, according to a June 7 report carried by the official Korean Central News Agency. North Korea’s agriculture and fisheries sector expanded 5.3 percent in 2011 while manufacturing fell 3 percent, according to the BOK report. But after adjusting for inflation, North Korea’s economy remained smaller at the end of 2011 than it had been in 2008, according to the Bank of Korea. North Korea doesn’t release official economic data.
  Some 16 million of North Korea’s 24 million people suffer from chronic food insecurity, high malnutrition rates and deep-rooted economic problems, Jerome Sauvage, United Nations resident coordinator in Pyongyang, said in a June 12 statement. The cereal deficit for last year was estimated at 739,000 metric tons, according to Sauvage. Maybe leader Kim’s theorized wife, that’s still a secret or at least not public, should plant a vegetable garden as Michelle Obama has and give the major powers something to flex competitively towards each other besides muscle? Come on Mr. and Mrs. Kim?
Brighter Days Ahead For North Korea?
7/20/2012 concluded: Some 16 million of North Korea’s 24 million people suffer from chronic food insecurity, high malnutrition rates and deep-rooted economic problems, Jerome Sauvage, United Nations resident coordinator in Pyongyang, said in a June 12 statement. The cereal deficit for last year was estimated at 739,000 metric tons, according to Sauvage. Maybe leader Kim’s theorized wife, that’s still a secret or at least not public, should plant a vegetable garden as Michelle Obama has and give the major powers something to flex competitively towards each other besides muscle? Come on Mr. and Mrs. Kim?

March 5 - April 2, 2018
  Life the real estate deal, where squeezing in enough satisfying leverage is every negotiation's focus. Even negotiating a sidewalk, requires every step's self-presevatory accuracy. So, in preparation, brace for descriptive adjectives ad infinitum. As an extremely adjective-strewn political season's in full swing
  John Bolton, being named the new National Security advisor, doesn't require derogatory sentiments. Just the reminder, the attitudes that drew the United States into the Vietnam War on a self-righteous level, is the same narrow perspective leading the country now. "The horror. The horror." Jingo presidents.
Explaining President Trump's En Vogue
  Hearing the CBS Radio National Business News moderator, explain the president's negotiating style as hard, then softening, then coming back hard again - extrapolatingly means it's exciting caught up in the trampoline.
  The original essay concerned advancing North Korea's economic culture. Long-laid plans, well beyond, mere, new, starting points, as we're so hopefully entertaining now. It's all about big guns and keeping destructive toys in their war chests? Theat should be the easy part. ... Power's for chumps?
  Except it's time for sharing credit. President Kim and Trump, are you two psyched for the production? Looking past what all this means to either of you? As much as can be expected? 
  Imagine the neutral site? Of course deference to China's position and influence is obvious. In fact natural. Neutral sites don't exist. Especially, since, everyone, however conceivably insignificant, has an interest? Shareholders all. ALL killing is irresponsibly wrong.
  Tuesday, March 27, China announced Kim Jong-un, in fact, spent two days in Beijing. His first trip abroad since becoming king (short for Chairman of Everything). Protocol's all? If only.
  Summit site speculation, March 10th
  The, utter vast, protocol of it all, that humanity perseveres despite? Kings never really leave their castles is why the site chosen is so significant. (Invitation to President Trump announced March 8). Beijing being the first site choice. Site Two, the DMZ, where the two halves contend with being whole. What can they offer Mr. Kim? Vice-Presidency for life?
  Imagine the suspense soaked for all its worth. But for all the bravado, backs are still against the wall. And while suspense has a nap, Chairman Kim's first business trip stirred the sleep. 
  All there is, is hope. Still, there's not the sense global antagonisms are winding down. Every hostility being brought back from the brink. And here we are. Wondering what's going on exactly? And whether the leverage to meet with a president's within everyone's equal grasp, and enough to be left alone. 
  When everything means so much -
Whew, Stuff Hits The Fan
  Transition. Transition's the word. Change is inevitable. But transition is the thoughtful process by which hopefully good results are ascertained
   Hoping for transition. 
  Needless to say, if, theoretically, advanced nations can't absorb all the mechanisms a completely FULL economy requires. Then the baby steps, needing facing, are mountains.    
  So North Korea's announced willingness to talk was quite the big headline. About what, doesn't matter. Pomp and circumstance may tryingly give way to practical things. So? To practical things being underway. 
  Shouldn't Even Be Such a Thing as Acceptable Levels of Pollution People
  But people like having their heads wrapped around economic convenience. Just like with smoking outside. If the idea of civility were really understood, there's been enough time for our polluting to have already been solved by now. But oil-centricity's existed generations and people didn't already make a difference. The culture created the president's and American indifference. What's polished, looks real nice. But the corroded roots are Scapegoat Paradise.   
  Mm. March 6th's headlines also contained The U.S. Office of Special Council - (OSC) report, citing Kellyanne Conway for violating federal ethics rules for political participation while in a federal government position. People are obliviously arrogant all the time. Sigh. Theoretically the public sphere was always programmed to be a circus? Except where's the happy ending? Because erasing distasteful portions of history isn't it. 
  Eh? Notice a gone the next day headline. Where'd the story go? Follow soaps? 
  The New York Times obituary for Ida B. Wells, in the OVERLOOKED series of 15 remarkable women who'd not received Times' obituaries, is so impactful. Her life's story certainly deserved the timely one. And wouldn't inclusion, also, have been quite something for discerning that age's attitude. Whereas silence spoke volumes, the current Times redress is brilliant. Cataloguing her life's progression that took her where her reputation should be. And emphasized by the paragraph near the end, of matter-of-fact information, that she too had to run when mobs burned out her entire Memphis infrastructure just for what she wrote. 
pg. 155 - '... so we had to fix you bigots."
The Hammer and Cycle Messenger Service 
  “We were not really thinking the same,” Mr. Trump told reporters at the White House. Explaining his decision to replace Mr. Tillerson.
  Yes. I believe President Trump said that, and that the firing implies politically deeper principles of loyalty than just job performance. However, there's the shrugged-off bigger point. Oil pollution's becoming a principle is for the ages. What a percentage of Americans accept as inevitable, has us in a noose, pulling at the scapegoats wrapped around our own necks. So that now, now, unfolding before our very eyes -  power's nakedly for its' own sake. Ta da. Why aren't new cars advertised as electric adaptable? A system whereby the world's entire fleet of automobiles is in transition, instead of following myths of superiority - 
  There's so much to be proud of about this par excellence-d imaged world. Which of course, is not really where we are, but perhaps our nadir where we've been all along? History's path littered with all the slogans' collisions, is the nutshell of history.
  Absolutely, the number 1 reality's strength. While flippant arrogance is so far down that quality list's requirements, the country's  been stunned by the show. No? Well. The country's not supposed to be some place with anyone's name on it, is it? 
  The (in progress) short story -  
  Roseanne got good numbers. People are drawn to events. 
  The Death Penalty as a principle may have justification. But the world is just not responsible enough. Ken Saro-Wiwa of Nigeria, etc. Throughout the world the rationalization for execution is wrong and the only way to right it is humans not killing humans. Period. We need to correct the distorted mindsets that create tragedy and hatred's a dangerous thing.
The Soapbox View pursues the Twin Legacies

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