Friday, April 04, 2003
Thursday, April 03, 2003
"Thousands already on the West Coast posing as insurance salesmen."I knew that it was too good to be true when that guy told me he could get me car insurance for half the price of the gecko company!
As we know,
There are known knowns.
There are things we know we know.
We also know
There are known unknowns.
That is to say
We know there are some things
We do not know.
But there are also unknown unknowns,
The ones we don't know
We don't know.
--Feb. 12, 2002, Department of Defense news briefing
During a news conference held upon their arrival in Incheon International Airport from Jordan, Bae Sang-hyun, 28, and Maria Lim Young-shin, 34, lashed out at the government over its plan to send hundreds of military engineers and medics to Iraq.
"There is no difference between Korea, which wants to dispatch troops for its national interest, and the United States and Britain, which are killing innocent people in other country just to meet their own interests," Lim said.
Bae, who stayed in Baghdad from March 14-30 while acting as a member of an international coalition to form a "human shield," echoed Lim's protest.
"If (Korea) really does send troops there, I will give up my Korean nationality," he said.
One wonders whether such promises are sincere or whether they are of the "If Bush wins the election I will move to Europe" mold of rhetoric (as far as I know Alec Baldwin still hasn't moved to the Island of Sodor). There is no mention of what country they expect to move to (ro who will take them): Iraq? North Korea? France?
Tuesday, April 01, 2003
NEW YORK -- Federal investigators have arrested an enigmatic Wall Street wiz on insider-trading charges -- and incredibly, he claims to be a time-traveler from the year 2256!
Sources at the Security and Exchange Commission confirm that 44-year-old Andrew Carlssin offered the bizarre explanation for his uncanny success in the stock market after being led off in handcuffs on January 28.
"We don't believe this guy's story -- he's either a lunatic or a pathological liar," says an SEC insider.
"But the fact is, with an initial investment of only $800, in two weeks' time he had a portfolio valued at over $350 million. Every trade he made capitalized on unexpected business developments, which simply can't be pure luck.
The story is making its way around the blogosphere with typical speed. There are some indications that the story may be a hoax but since snopes.com appears to be down I can't verify this.
UPDATE: Snopes has the dirt, the story is originally from the Weekly World News and is false.
Sunday, March 30, 2003
ALL triplets in North Korea are being forcibly removed from parents after their birth and dumped in bleak orphanages.
The policy is carried out on the orders of Stalinist dictator Kim Jong-il, who has an irrational belief that a triplet could one day topple his regime.
The number three is thought to be auspicious in North Korea and triplets are revered. It is believed they are likely to rise to positions of power, which accounts for Kim's insistence that they are all raised in state-run orphanages, where their development can be controlled.
For three straight days in recent weeks, something remarkable happened to the oil pipeline running through northeast China to North Korea - the oil stopped flowing, according to diplomatic sources, temporarily cutting off a vital lifeline for North Korea.
The pipeline shutdown, officially ascribed to a technical problem, followed an unusually blunt message delivered by China to its longtime ally in a high-level meeting in Beijing last month, the sources said. Stop your provocations about the possible development of nuclear weapons, China warned its neighbor, or face Chinese support for economic sanctions against the regime.
Such tough tactics show an unexpected resolve in Beijing's policy toward Pyongyang, and hint at the nervousness of Chinese leaders about North Korea's nuclear ambitions and North Korea's tensions with the United States.
But two sources - both veterans in diplomacy with North Korea - said that last month, Chinese Vice Foreign Minister Wang Yi met in Beijing with North Korean Foreign Minister Paek Nam Sun and made a strikingly candid plea for Pyongyang to curtail its provocative behavior. If Pyongyang did not, Wang told Paek, China might drop its longstanding opposition to sanctions.
The exact wording of that threat is unknown, and it's also not clear how seriously Paek took the threat. But the pipeline shutdown that followed would have caught North Korea's attention.
BBC, ("N KOREA BOOSTS DEFENCE BUDGET," Pyongyang, 3/27/03) and Agence Presse-France ("NORTH KOREA BOOSTS MILITARY SPENDING AS NUCLEAR CRISIS PERSISTS," Seoul, 3/27/03) reported the DPRK has set aside a greater chunk of its limited resources to beef up its military while a nuclear crisis escalates, and announced a rare sale of government bonds to fill empty state coffers. The DPRK parliament, at its annual session Wednesday, allocated 15.4 percent of this year's budgeted
expenditure to defense, up from 14.9 percent last year. Finance Minister Mun Il-Bong said the increase was needed to develop the DPRK's defence industry and train troops "as an invincible army and thus consolidate the country's defences as an impregnable fortress."
North Korea slammed Japan's launch of spy satellites Friday as a "hostile act" that violates the Japan-North Korea Pyongyang Declaration.
"Japan launched the satellite to spy on the DPRK, wantonly violating the DPRK-Japan Pyongyang Declaration," a North Korean Foreign Ministry spokesman was quoted as saying by the official (North) Korean Central News Agency.
The Pyongyang Declaration was signed between Japanese Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi and North Korean leader Kim Jong Il on Sept 17, 2002.
The document says the two countries agreed on cooperation to maintain and strengthen the peace and stability of Northeast Asia.
It also states that North Korea "would further maintain the moratorium on missile launching in and after 2003."
WASHINGTON (CNN) -- U.S. Secretary of State Colin Powell said Friday a "bold initiative," similar to President Richard Nixon's China initiative in the early 1970s, is an option for North Korea.
But, he said, that would not happen until multilateral discussions find a solution to the nuclear crisis between North Korea and the United States.
If North Korea were about to launch a missile at Japan, it would not be unconstitutional to make a pre-emptive attack on the launch site, Japan's defense chief said Sunday.
"The Japanese government said in the Diet in 1958 that when there is no other means, it is not the intention of the constitution to just sit and wait to die," said Shigeru Ishiba, director general of Japan's Defense Agency, interviewed live from Seoul on a Fuji Television talk show.
North Korea signaled today it is learning a lesson from the war in Iraq -- though not the one the Bush administration had wanted. The government's official party newspaper said that Iraq's experience proves that North Korea must not submit to international nuclear inspectors or agree to disarm.
North Korea "would have already met the same miserable fate as Iraq's had it compromised . . . and accepted the demand raised by the imperialists and its followers for nuclear inspection and disarmament," said a commentary in the ruling Korean Workers' Party newspaper, Rodong Shinmun.
Indeed, consumption and exports, the twin pillars of Korea's economy, both show signs of flagging. Spending at department stores nationwide is showing signs of fatigue, after the government tightened consumer-lending rules and overseas demand are slowing due to a cutback on investment because of the war in Iraq.
PROFILE OF FORMER ROK FOREIGN MINISTER AND NEW AMBASSADOR TO THE U.S., HAN SUNG-JOO
Diplomatic observers here said that almost no one would be better suited than Mr. Han for an effort to nudge the Bush administration into trying a softer approach.