Archive for December, 2002

North Korea Takes Aim at Bond

Saturday, December 14th, 2002

According to the BBC, the North Korean government is not happy with the country’s portrayal in the latest James Bond film, Die Another Day.  To begin with, the film portrays the country as “backward” (showing cows till fields).  In addition, Mr. Bond finds time for sex in a Buddhist temple.  Finally, and least subtly, the film begins with Mr. Bond being captured and tortured by the DPRK army.

According to the report,

“North Korea has called on the United States to stop showing Die Another Day saying it is “insulting the Korean nation”.   The film – starring Pierce Brosnan and Halle Berry – “clearly proves” the US is “the root cause of all disasters and misfortune of the Korean nation” and is “an empire of evil”, according to the Secretariat of the Committee for the Peaceful Reunification of the Fatherland.

The most interesting insight here is that they do not appear to understand that the US government does not have the power to “stop showing” the film.

Continue reading the whole Story here


US berates N Korea over Scud exports

Wednesday, December 11th, 2002


US Defence Secretary Donald Rumsfeld has condemned North Korea over its apparent attempt to deliver a shipment of Scud missiles to Yemen.

Acting on American intelligence, the Spanish Navy intercepted and boarded the freighter So San in the Arabian Sea on Monday.

US naval forces then conducted a search of the vessel and discovered 15 Scud missiles and warheads hidden under a cargo of cement, along with a quantity of chemicals.

Yemen has now confirmed that it ordered the missiles, and has protested to the US and Spain over the ships’s seizure.

While the Yemeni Government is not regarded as an enemy by the US, there are fears that such military hardware could fall into the hands of radical Islamic groups operating in the country.

Mr Rumsfeld said: “North Korea doesn’t like to hear me say it, but they continue to be the largest proliferator of missiles and ballistic missile technology on the face of the Earth.

“They are putting in the hands of many countries technology and capabilities which have the potential for destroying hundreds of thousands of people.”

Legal questions

Mr Rumsfeld declined to comment on whether the missile shipment constituted a violation of international law, but said there were legal issues surrounding efforts to conceal the weapons.

Questions about the legality of the seizure have already been raised.

US naval forces have taken charge of the ship and are escorting it to Diego Garcia island.

The current US administration has branded North Korea part of an “axis of evil”, along with Iraq and Iran.


DPRK goes euro, Part 2

Sunday, December 1st, 2002

According to the BBC:

Since no official reason has been given for the DPRKs switch to the euro, Foreigners are speculating as to the reasons:

The move is seen by many analysts as an attempt by the authorities to exercise control over the foreign currency hoarded by its citizens. Many North Koreans have substantial dollar savings kept at home, and dollars are widely used in the country’s black markets and also in foreign exchange shops.

Apparently aid organizations have complained about the hassle of the conversion as well as the exchange rate they are getting.