Wednesday, March 16, 2005

North Korea threatens to build more nuclear bombs

Pyongyang continues the diplomatic gimmick...
Wire news quotes and extract from analysis on
geoeconomics by Foreign Affairs Jeffrey E Garten :

" North Korea says it will strengthen its atomic arsenal
in an angry response to upcoming joint US-South Korean
military exercises which the communist state denounced
as nuclear war games.

The North justified its possession of nuclear weapons as
establishing a balance of power to prevent a nuclear
holocaust, ahead of the joint war games in South Korea
starting Saturday.

"The exercises will be nuclear war exercises aimed to
invade the North to all intents and purposes in view of
their nature, scope and contents," a foreign ministry
spokesman told the official Korean Central News Agency.

"The DPRK (North Korea) will take necessary
counter-measures including the bolstering of its nuclear
arsenal to cope with the extremely hostile attempt of
the US to bring down the system in the DPRK though it is
the Korean people's own choice," he said.

"The reality testifies to the fact that the DPRK's
nuclear weapons serve as powerful deterrent to keep the
equilibrium of forces in the region, avert a new war and
ensure peace."

The week-long military drills come amid diplomatic
efforts to bring Pyongyang back into six-nation talks
aimed at persuading it to give up its nuclear weapons

They coincide with the arrival here Saturday of US
Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, on a three-nation
North East Asia tour to discuss the nuclear standoff.

North Korea declared on February 10 it had nuclear
weapons and withdrew indefinitely from the disarmament
talks due to "hostile" US policy.

The Stalinist state has since sent mixed signals on its
willingness to return to the talks, with its leader Kim
Jong-Il saying Pyongyang would resume dialogue if
"conditions" are met.

Washington believes North Korea possesses one or two
crude bombs and may have reprocessed enough plutonium
from spent fuel rods at its Yongbyon nuclear complex for
half a dozen more.

The two Koreas, the United States, China, Russia and
Japan have met three times to try to resolve the nuclear
standoff that erupted in 2002 when the United States
accused the North of operating a secret
uranium-enrichment program.

The talks made little progress, with the final round
held in June 2004. North Korea boycotted a fourth round
scheduled for September last year.

The North says the US-South Korean military drills are a
rehearsal for a preemptive nuclear attack while
officials in Seoul and Washington have said they are
defense-oriented to cement the military alliance.

North Korea's state media said Sunday that the exercises
could turn into "an actual war" and demanded they be
called off.

A US naval battle group led by the USS Kitty Hawk
aircraft carrier arrived on Monday in Busan, 450
kilometers (280 miles) south of Seoul, to take part in
the exercises.

The drills from March 19-25, involve mock battles aimed
at evaluating command capabilities with US and South
Korean troops mobilized for anti-commando operations and
computer war games.

Some 32,500 US troops are stationed in South Korea to
help deter aggression from communist North Korea's
1.1-million-strong army, alongside about 650,000 South
Korean troops.

US forces have remained in the south since the 1950-1953
Korean War. "

end of quotes

The Global Economic Challenge by Jeffrey E. Garten

From Foreign Affairs, January/February 2005

Summary: Improving U.S. foreign economic policy after
four years of neglect will require addressing a series
of problems that, if left to fester, will have grave
consequences for U.S. domestic interests and U.S.
foreign policy as a whole. Above all, the second Bush
administration must recognize that geopolitics and
geoeconomics are deeply intertwined and must be managed

(Jeffrey E. Garten is Dean of the Yale School of
Management. Formerly a Managing Director of the
Blackstone Group, he also served in the Nixon, Ford,
Carter, and Clinton administrations.)

Extract :

As he begins a second term, President George W. Bush
faces daunting global economic challenges. It will not
be easy to meet them successfully, for although some of
his administration's policies have been encouraging,
many have been deeply flawed. Most important, his
administration will have to increase vastly the emphasis
it places on international economic policy in general.

For the last four years, global finance, trade, and
development, and the cultivation of overseas
relationships to advance U.S. interests in these areas,
were not given the priority that they generally received
in the preceding half-century. During the Cold War,
lowering barriers to trade and investment, granting
generous foreign aid, and strengthening international
economic institutions--all in close cooperation with
U.S. allies--were a central part of Washington's fight
against communism. After the Soviet Union collapsed,
the administrations of George H.W. Bush and Bill
Clinton geared much of their foreign and domestic policy
to enhancing U.S. competitiveness in global markets and
to spreading U.S.-style capitalism abroad. During this
time, the United States had intense policy interactions
not just with the European Union and Japan, but also
increasingly with emerging markets in Latin America,
eastern Europe, and Asia.

It is no mystery why the current President Bush has
subordinated global economic issues in the hierarchy of
his concerns: since September 11, 2001, combating
terrorism and waging war in Afghanistan and Iraq have
been the primary lenses through which the administration
has viewed nearly every aspect of its foreign policy.
There has been little time, interest, or energy for
anything else. But even if terrorism remains the focus
of U.S. foreign policy in the second Bush term, as
seems likely, the United States cannot succeed in this
fight with a strategy that is predominantly military and
that fails to gain foreign help in terms of both people
and money. The United States has neither the skills nor
the resources to mount adequate postconflict
stabilization and reconstruction efforts in the Middle
East or elsewhere entirely on its own. And it certainly
does not have the wherewithal to deal single-handedly
with the massive longer-term development challenges
around the world that must be met if future generations
of potential terrorists are to feel they have a less
destructive alternative.

The need for a broader foreign policy that focuses more
attention on economic growth and development becomes
even more urgent when the interests and goals of other
nations are taken into account. Washington may be
obsessed with fighting terrorism, but economic and
social advancement matters more to most other countries.
It is on that plane that the United States must build
stronger international relationships if it wants other
nations to embrace its priorities.

President Bush also must devote more attention to global
economic policy in order to strengthen the U.S.
domestic economy. Bush has set out an ambitious agenda
for his second term that includes tax reform and the
partial privatization of Social Security. The president
will be better able to gain needed political support for
such complex and controversial goals if economic ... "

end of quotes.


Tuesday, March 15, 2005

RE : And now the news... anchored by President Bush!

Voltaire wrote about fanaticism in 1732

Quotes In French language :

Pour instruire la race humaine
Faut-il perdre l’humanité ?
Faut-il le flambeau de la Haine
Pour nous montrer la Vérité ?
Un ignorant, qui de son frère
Soulage en secret la misère,
Est mon exemple et mon docteur ;
Et l’esprit hautain qui dispute,
Qui condamne, qui persécute,
N’est qu’un détestable imposteur.

(Voltaire Sur le fanatisme, 1732)


And now the news... anchored by President Bush!

The Bush government produced look-alike news propaganda
clips and then persuaded television stations across the
country to air them uncritically and, often, uncut. As
many as 20 government departments have produced fake
news which stations broadcast as though they had
produced the segments themselves, according to The New
York Times. Practiced before, elsewhere too. One
difference : it is not always known or revealed by

Quotes :

"... Under the Bush administration, the federal
government has aggressively used a well-established tool
of public relations: the prepackaged, ready-to-serve
news report that major corporations have long
distributed to TV stations to pitch everything from
headache remedies to auto insurance. In all, at least
20 federal agencies, including the Defense Department
and the Census Bureau, have made and distributed
hundreds of television news segments in the past four
years, records and interviews show. Many were
subsequently broadcast on local stations across the
country without any acknowledgment of the government's
role in their production... "

End of quotes

Read the article : click the title
(To access the NY Times, need to register)

Monday, March 14, 2005

Inter Korean economic cooperation moxie!

This is the sort of thing that destroys Washington's and
Seoul's Neo-Con family : The normalization of inter
Korean peninsula business and industrial links.

This also is the reality for most Korean hearts,
brutalized (say... for the recent history) by a century
of invasions.

Russia is reported to have said it is ready to flow
infrastructures in, with pipes for oil and gas, to
achieve this update on world affairs.

A world in the blue with the yet to come cynic
aggiornamento leadership on Korean peninsula.

Quotes :

"Yonhap news (2005-03-09) reported that the ROK
Federation of Textile Industries plans to set up an
office tasked with helping local textile companies
advance into an industrial complex in the DPRK, the
federation said Wednesday. The federation hoped to
establish the office in early April inside its
headquarter building in Seoul, as the public
announcement of allotment of the Kaesong complex land
comes out at the end of this month, which amounts to
50,000 pyeong in size.

Asia Pulse/Yonhap News (2005-03-09) reported that a ROK
apparel maker, said Wednesday that the first shipment of
its clothes made at the Kaesong industrial complex in
the DPRK will arrive in Seoul on Thursday. "One
thousand shirts of the casual brand 'KOOLHAAS' will
arrive at our headquarters in downtown Seoul Thursday
afternoon," the company said. Shinwon has a plant in
the industrial park near the inter-Korean border, which
symbolizes economic cooperation between the rival

Yonhap news (2005-03-09) reported that in recent public
appearances of DPRK leader Kim Jong-il, a new face has
emerged beside him -- Premier Pak Pong-ju. According to
DPRK watchers here, Pak has been rapidly rising above
traditional power holders in the DPRK's military and
ruling Workers' Party.

Yonhap news (2005-03-09) reported that the DPRK is
pushing for the modernization of its railway in the
western part of the country after completing a similar
project in the eastern area last year, the DPRK's Radio
Pyongyang said Wednesday. The report, monitored here,
said that the DPRK is also modernizing a process in
manufacturing wooden blocks used in building railways,
adding that it is making efforts to produce equipment
and parts used for rail transportation."

End of quotes

Sunday, March 13, 2005

Russian oil corporation linked to international money laundering network arrest

Spanish authorities have broken up an international
money laundering network worth 250 million euros (337
million dollars) and arrested 41 people, officials said.

Among those arrested in the swoop, involving Interpol
and Europol, were people from France, Finland, Morocco,
Russia, Spain and Ukraine, among them several lawyers,
the interior ministry said in a statement.

The interior ministry said the money laundering
operation involved capital and real estate dealings by
several organized crime groups centred on the Costa del

It said it was its largest operation ever against money
laundering, lasting ten months and involving more than
300 officers.

The arrests were first announced late Friday by Spanish
anti-corruption police, who said people had been
detained around Marbella.

Large sums of money were believed to have been diverted
from the Russian oil giant Yukos to a Dutch company and
then to one of its Spanish branches, the ministry
statement said.

Russian authorities had assisted Spanish police in their
investigations, it said.

A number of bank accounts were frozen and two private
planes, a boat and 42 luxury cars were impounded during
the police operation.

The ministry said there could be further arrests.

end of quotes