Monday, May 31, 2004


North Korea

South Korea makes claims about North Korean hacking
Lt. Gen. Song Yong-keun, commander of the Defense Security Command, said in an opening address of a conference on national defense information protection that, "On orders from National Defense Commission chairman Kim Jong-il, North Korea is operating a crack unit of hackers, and is strengthening its cyber-terror capabilities, collecting information from South Korean national bodies and research institutions through hacking." The DSC said last year that North Korea was training about 100 specialized hackers a year, but this is the first time the existence of a hacker unit or its information collection activities has been officially confirmed.

Not very clear what exactly these shadowy hackers are doing, still:
The SDC judges North Korean hacking skills to be good as those of the U.S. CIA
Given the recent track record of American intelligence is this praise or criticism?

Selig Harrison on his trip to the DPRK:
In many ways there is a looser atmosphere. For
example, cell phones are now permitted for people who can afford them.
They're mostly imported, and cost 2500 dollars at least.

CANKOR: Twenty-five hundred dollars?

HARRISON: Yes, US dollars.

CANKOR: One cell phone?

HARRISON: One cell phone. So that means it's not something for the man in
the street. Only a small elite has them -- the new class of hustlers and
entrepreneurs. But you see people with cell phones! This is something you
would never have seen in North Korea.

There's much more where that came from.

Russia gets on board the US-led PSI initiative. I can't imagine that North Korea will be very happy about this.

Six North Korean refugees seeking asylum enter a German school in Beijing

Latest North Korean salvo in the rhetorical war with the U.S.
On Monday, North Korea accused the United States of fabricating the uranium program as a way of fanning concern about weapons of mass destruction and winning public support for an invasion.
``The Bush war forces are going to apply what it used in Iraq to the DPRK,'' said North Korea's official KCNA news agency. ``Having worked out a plan to launch a new war on the Korean peninsula in the wake of that in Iraq, the U.S. is building up in advance public opinion about fictitious development of 'enriched uranium' in the DPRK.''


President Roh Moo-hyun puts forth his definition of political ideologies in Korea
"They talk about 'jinbo' and 'bosu'... They say jinbo is leftist and leftists are the Reds, this is the cancerous (claim) that blocks the liberalism of Korean society. Under capitalism, 'bosu' means changing as little as possible, the stronger preying on the weaker, and in Korea, 'bosu' is strongly attached to their vested rights, to changing nothing. 'Bosu' by whatever name, call it reasonable conservatism or moderate conservatism, means 'no change'..."

DLP responds that Roh’s
attitude on labor and economy in general "smacks of a mixture of liberal, reformist and conservative ideas." President Roh is either conceptually confused about liberalism and conservatism or is caught in "a serious error of perception."

Park Geun-hye responds as well:
"Our conservatism seeks to change everything but liberal democracy and market economy. The president's identification of conservatism with absolute refusal to change is an affront to the numerous Koreans who believe they are conservative."

I happen to agree with this conclusion of a Korea Herald editorial on the subject:
Leaders of Korean political parties must realize that wrangling over various unclear, confusing ideological terminologies is the last thing the public wants to hear from them.

ROK and US to talk about American troop withdrawals
South Korea and the United States are set for new discussions next week on resizing U.S. Forces Korea, and Seoul officials anticipate Washington standing by its intention to cut 12,000 troops.

Budaechigae has more details.

Latest in Japanese nationalism
The city board of education in Kurume, Fukuoka Prefecture, surveyed and evaluated how loud the students sang the "Kimigayo" national anthem during this year's graduation and enrollment ceremonies, board members said Sunday.
The board's survey of all 40 city-run elementary and junior high schools has prompted complaints from some local residents as to why it was carried out.

How about checking to see whether they sang the “Kimigayo” in tune?

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