First a little Blog housekeeping. Virtual Mirage welcomes “The Hammer” (aka CrackerBoy) to the blog. You can read his wit and wisdom as you are moved to. His blog is on the bar to the left. He was exiled from another blog, so make him welcome here if you will.
From his blog:
I, am just a Redneck from an obscure little tobacco town in Eastern NC. I joined the Army at 18 because my girlfriend dumped me. Three years Spec/4, public college on the GI Bill. I’ve been to DC three times in my life, once on a junior high field trip.
Now back to business and the Norks
On 7 March, North Korean authorities banned all Malaysians in North Korea from leaving until the two countries settle the diplomatic confrontation over the assassination of Kim Jong Nam in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, on 13 February. This means that the Malaysians in North Korea are hostages. That’s just how it works in the big bad world.
Malaysia reciprocated by banning all North Koreans in Malaysia from departing.
A Malaysian official said there were 11 Malaysians in North Korea: two UN World Food Program workers, three embassy staff and their family members. The Malaysian ambassador and his wife were recalled after Kim’s death.
At least 300 North Koreans work in coal mines on Sarawak on Borneo Island. One estimate reported 1,000 North Koreans are in Malaysia.
The North Koreans in Malaysia are a potential problem because of their numbers; their discipline enforced by Party overseers and because North Korean leaders are prone to threaten and use disturbances to obtain what they want. The North Korean numbers are sufficient to cause local trouble, if ordered.
The diplomatic standoff could be settled after Malaysia transfers the body of Kim Jong Nam to North Korean custody. The Malaysian demand, however, is reasonable – positive identification by a next of kin. There are plenty of Kim family members who could establish the identification. North Korea’s refusal to facilitate positive identification and its fictional narrative that the deceased is just a North Korean citizen who had a heart attack are risible. The reasons for North Korean obstinacy on this matter are not clear, but they make the North look more foolish than usual – just when you thought that wasn’t possible
On 8 March, NHK posted a short video of an English-speaking Korean young man who claimed to be the son of the late Kim Jong Nam. In the video, Kim Han Sol said that his father was killed a few days ago. He also said that he and his mother and his sister are together. He showed to the camera his North Korean passport, but it was blacked out. According to the press report, the three family members have sought refuge with a North Korean defectors’ group. South Korean authorities said they are trying to confirm the identity of the young man. If his identify is confirmed, he would have a stronger claim to the body of Kim Jong Nam than his uncle, North Korean leader Kim Jong Un. This young man is a potential spoiler.
The DPRK (Norks) are still diligently working on the people’s ICBM to launch at the United States. They hope that the nuclear warhead detonates somewhere in the US (or possibly Mexico or Canada) to show the world that North Korea is not to be trifled with. Naturally when the North Korean land mass is turned into a sea of radioactive glass, the cause and effect will be condemned by the UN as a move by the US to stop a sovereign nation from exercising their right of self-expression.
Cause and Effect (Drama in China)
At the daily Foreign Ministry press conference on 7 March, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Geng Shuang restated China’s opposition to the South Korea’s new missile defense system.
Geng said, “What I want to stress is that we firmly oppose the deployment of the “THAAD” (Terminal High Altitude Area Defense) anti-missile system by the United States and South Korea in South Korea; will firmly take necessary measures to maintain our own security interests, and all the consequences resulting from the deployment will be borne by the United States and South Korea. We once again strongly urge the relevant parties to stop the relevant deployment process and not to go farther down the wrong path.”
According to one report, about 20 South Korean Lotte Mart department stores in China, owned by the Lotte Group, have been closed for fire safety violations. This is a retaliatory measure for the THAAD deployment. THAAD is being set up on land formerly owned by the Lotte Group. (More here
). Read Old NFO’s blog post regarding this issue (here
China took other punitive measures including the cancellation of a concert tour of South Korea by the Beijing Symphony. China also ordered travel agencies to stop selling group tours to South Korea. Last year about 8 million Chinese visited the South.
There will be other measures put in place by China to punish the Republic of Korea (South Korea). However, if China reigned in Kim Jong Un its satrap, North Korea, it might solve a lot of problems for them regionally. Blaming South Korea and Japan for wanting to protect themselves is foolish. Dealing with the Norks is productive.