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China The Almighty Buck Politics

North Korea Kills Phone Line, 1953 Armistice; Kim Jong Un's Funds Found In China 330

Posted by samzenpus
from the international-tantrum dept.
eldavojohn writes "Last week, North Korea promised a "preemptive nuclear strike" prior to a UN vote on new sanctions. Despite the threat, the sanctions were unanimously approved. North Korea has responded by killing a Red Cross hotline with Seoul and claims that it has canceled the 1953 Armistice although the UN notes this cannot be done unilaterally (North Korea attempted the same thing in 2003 and 2009). While everyone thought that Kim Jong Un would ride out the sanctions on slush funds, the United States claims to have found his funds in Shanghai and other parts of China totaling hundreds of millions of dollars. Beijing has reportedly refused to confiscate these funds despite voting for the very UN resolutions sanctioning North Korea that read: 'More specifically, States are directed to prevent the provision of financial services or the transfer of any financial or other assets or resources, including 'bulk cash,' which might be used to evade the sanctions.'"
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North Korea Kills Phone Line, 1953 Armistice; Kim Jong Un's Funds Found In China

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  • Oh? (Score:5, Funny)

    by tetrahedrassface (675645) on Monday March 11, 2013 @05:30PM (#43142803) Journal

    North Korea again? I've seen this movie before. It sucked the first time.

    • Re:Oh? (Score:4, Funny)

      by AkaTopher (2863017) on Monday March 11, 2013 @05:38PM (#43142903)
      But...but North Korea is best Korea!
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by amiga3D (567632)

      The sequel is even worse.

      • Re:Oh? (Score:5, Funny)

        by es330td (964170) on Monday March 11, 2013 @06:37PM (#43143535)
        This kind of reminds me of Michael Keaton's character in "Multiplicity" wherein he says "You know how when you make a copy of a copy, it's not as sharp as... well... the original." Each iteration of the "<insert adjective> Leader" gets a little less stable than its predecessor. Given this one's extreme youth and actions thus far, I wonder if we will ever see round 4 of this franchise.
        • Re:Oh? (Score:5, Insightful)

          by 1s44c (552956) on Monday March 11, 2013 @07:02PM (#43143767)

          This kind of reminds me of Michael Keaton's character in "Multiplicity" wherein he says "You know how when you make a copy of a copy, it's not as sharp as... well... the original." Each iteration of the "<insert adjective> Leader" gets a little less stable than its predecessor. Given this one's extreme youth and actions thus far, I wonder if we will ever see round 4 of this franchise.

          I somehow doubt that someone of his age and inexperience is really in charge. I suspect Kim Jong Un is really a figurehead while North Korea is being run by the top brass of their army.

          • Re:Oh? (Score:4, Insightful)

            by Grayhand (2610049) on Monday March 11, 2013 @08:56PM (#43144701)

            This kind of reminds me of Michael Keaton's character in "Multiplicity" wherein he says "You know how when you make a copy of a copy, it's not as sharp as... well... the original." Each iteration of the "<insert adjective> Leader" gets a little less stable than its predecessor. Given this one's extreme youth and actions thus far, I wonder if we will ever see round 4 of this franchise.

            I somehow doubt that someone of his age and inexperience is really in charge. I suspect Kim Jong Un is really a figurehead while North Korea is being run by the top brass of their army.

            He seems to have had enough power to cut phone lines with the south and break a 60 year old treaty and place them in a condition of war. He may be a five year old with his daddy's gun but he's still holding a gun that looks like a couple of nukes and a large army.

        • Re:Oh? (Score:5, Interesting)

          by Archangel Michael (180766) on Monday March 11, 2013 @07:56PM (#43144257) Journal

          Here is my exact view: North Korea wants to be invaded, because of the spoils of war that the US will bring it. Imagine getting wiped off the globe by the US in a 3 day war, and then have the next 10 years of "Nation Building" infrastructure improvements that we've become accustomed to giving the vanquished foes. It is brilliant plan!

          I do believe there was a movie with this same plot, though I don't recall the title off hand.

          • Re:Oh? (Score:5, Informative)

            by nobodyknowsimageek (218815) on Monday March 11, 2013 @08:05PM (#43144323)

            There was a book, subsequently made into a move: "The Mouse that Roared". The only flaw in their plan was that their tiny little invasion force actually landed on the East Coast, managed to capture a Doomsday device the US had built, and thereby won the war. Hilarity ensued!

    • The movie faithfully reproduced the machine guns glowing red cuttng down legions of Chinese troops.

    • Re:Oh? (Score:4, Insightful)

      by jittles (1613415) on Monday March 11, 2013 @05:55PM (#43143105)
      This just makes me want to watch "Team America" again. Not the best movie in the world but those guys sure know how to get the job done when it comes to N Korea ;)
    • by Grayhand (2610049)

      North Korea again? I've seen this movie before. It sucked the first time.

      Movie and TV series, remember MASH was about the Korean war. Knowing their love of remakes Hollywood is probably already developing MASH 2013.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday March 11, 2013 @05:33PM (#43142839)

    That way they can point to a country and say to its people: "See, you CAN do worse. Now get back to work."

    • by interkin3tic (1469267) on Monday March 11, 2013 @05:42PM (#43142959)
      Also because the regime would probably decide to go out in a blaze of glory (or rather bombs and chemical weapons.) Even if they didn't cause major damage in their death throes, North Korea collapsing would mean a flood of North Korean refugees coming into the country, even closer to starving than they are now and not really useful for anything other than worshiping their leader. And NK is a bargaining chip for China anyway.
      • by flyneye (84093)

        Yeah, it goes a little more like " So, your fat rolley butt is threatening us with a pre-emptive nuke? You want to be , just another part of China? Better settle down and take what you're given and like it , porky."

      • by AG the other (1169501) on Monday March 11, 2013 @07:15PM (#43143875)

        You are right and it should also be pointed out that one reason that China supports them is that they do not want hundreds of thousands of NK refugees coming over their border.

        • by Xest (935314)

          I put some numbers against this the other day in the last discussion about North Korea, basically even if the whole entire population of North Korea crossed the border it would still only be about the same population increase China sees naturally despite having a one child policy in 2 years anyway, or a less than 2% increase in population.

          This is still non-negligible and would be a big problem of course, but also as I pointed out the whole population wouldn't cross the border. When you factor in disease and

    • by 1s44c (552956)

      That is deeply flawed reasoning.

    • by pscottdv (676889)

      Maybe, but this [bintouch.org] is why I would think China would be concerned if NK is able to throw a nuke even as far as Tokyo.

      • by Yebyen (59663)

        Because of a newsgroup with one post, almost a year ago?

        You think this is a joke??? !!! 11one

    • by phantomfive (622387) on Monday March 11, 2013 @05:37PM (#43142887) Journal
      lol that one comment is enough to put everything in perspective. N Korea's upset, and that's it.

      Story's closed, no more comments needed.
    • by jandrese (485) <kensama@vt.edu> on Monday March 11, 2013 @06:00PM (#43143169) Homepage Journal
      North Korea is like a Facebook drama queen that has to post every other day about how some nonspecific HORRIBLE new thing just happened to them, please post on their walls to validate their existence. On Facebook the only way to deal with them is to ignore them (or unfriend) until they get the point, but I'm not sure how well this will work with an entire country. One thing is certain though, feeding the troll only makes it worse.
      • by 93 Escort Wagon (326346) on Monday March 11, 2013 @06:17PM (#43143309)

        The problem is - governments outside of North Korea feel it would be a bad move to cut them totally off and let their population starve to death. So they keep going back to the bargaining table, basically offering to trade food for nukes. We give them the food, then NK realizes that their nuclear program is their *only* bargaining chip... so they find something trivial to get mad about regarding the food shipments and pull out of the agreement (after a fair amount of the food has been delivered, of course).

        Lather, rinse, repeat.

        • by benjfowler (239527) on Monday March 11, 2013 @07:35PM (#43144037)

          Fuck China. They allow NK to keep hassling the world. Luckily, karma's a bitch, and when the whole edifice comes crashing down, guess whose problem all those refugees are? Not South Korea, no thanks to the DMZ.

          China deserves North Korea.

  • Macau's Banco Delta Asia, the new HSBC for hiding your money.

  • China's corrupt legal system doesn't enforce its OWN laws, somebody thought they'd enforce the UN's?
  • Every Year (Score:5, Insightful)

    by bkmoore (1910118) on Monday March 11, 2013 @05:42PM (#43142957)
    Was stationed in S. Korea many years ago. Every year, the U.S. has conducted a large-scale joint military maneuver with the ROK. Every year, N. Korea goes on a rant about the exercise. Usually their rant is just the usual propaganda about an impending invasion, and their great General Kim Il Sung foiled the Imperialists once again until next year. But now that they have a new Fuhrer, maybe he feels he needs to kick it up a notch to be noticed. N. Korea is a dangerous country, but 99% of their rhetoric is for internal propaganda purposes. Maybe the recent rebellions in the Middle East + new leader + China no longer being their unconditional ally are taking a psychological toll.
    • by akboss (823334)
      Been there, played that game in -40 weather. Walking the fence line trying to stay warm with a bottle of Soju. Why did he give up on the tunnels? They were a hit for the longest time. Find them, take pictures, blow them up.
    • by tsotha (720379)
      All indications are the new guy is a real nasty piece of work. Worse than his father or grandfather. I doubt he's crazy, though, and the generals will kill him if he gets too far out of line.
  • by Experiment 626 (698257) on Monday March 11, 2013 @05:43PM (#43142963)

    ... although the UN notes this cannot be done unilaterally ...

    I'm pretty that a cease-fire CAN be broken unilaterally. All you have to do is start attacking the other side again.

  • by Lumpy (12016) on Monday March 11, 2013 @05:47PM (#43143015) Homepage

    If they wont at least freeze the funds, then they are supporting North Korea and all they stand for. China would benefit from a war between Korea and the USA. they can sell to both sides.

    If you dont agree, then what is your reason as to why they wont freeze the funds?

  • "We called at 9 a.m. and there was no response," a government official from South Korea said. The line is tested each day."

    Maybe they were all doing a duck-and-cover drill at the time and couldn't answer the phone?

  • by kheldan (1460303) on Monday March 11, 2013 @05:55PM (#43143113) Journal
    North Korea is the ultimate expression of what "little dog syndrome" is all about. A tiny little spit of land with a tiny population, nothing to speak of to contribute to the rest of the world except some extraordinary xenophobia and isolationism. Bark bark bark! Grrrrrrrrr!!! That's North Korea. They either aren't cognizant that the U.S. or any number of other countries could smash them flat in no time at all, or they're so batshit insane and suicidal that they don't care. Meanwhile something like, what? 99.9% of their population lives in the worst poverty imaginable and is starving, while the tiny elite minority lives it up? I really don't know what to think; I have no words. We sure there isn't any way we can persuade China to just absorb North Korea, kill the 0.01% that's causing all the problems, and just be done with it? Why do we even need a North Korea, considering how much noise and trouble they keep causing?
  • Ah diplomats (Score:5, Insightful)

    by DarkOx (621550) on Monday March 11, 2013 @05:58PM (#43143143) Journal

    claims that it has canceled the 1953 Armistice although the UN notes this cannot be done unilaterally

    Only in the imagination of diplomats is unilateral cancellation of an armistice impossible. The rest of us know what the North Koreans know; that they can start shooting anytime they want.

    • by rahvin112 (446269)

      Yes they can start shooting at any time. But they can't say they are canceling the armistice then continue to comply with the armistice. There is no question they could start shooting, but they have no intention of doing so. Claiming they are withdrawing from the treaty every year then continuing to abide by it proves they can't withdraw from it unilaterally then pretend they didn't a month later.

      They aren't withdrawing, they are just saying they are. Anyone with common sense can see that is the case until

      • by acoustix (123925)

        But they can't say they are canceling the armistice then continue to comply with the armistice.

        Why not? Just because they *appear* to be complying with a contract does not mean that they are following a contract. Maybe they aren't interested in physical combat and instead start attacking vital systems of South Korea, US, etc. Wouldn't that be the same thing?

    • Re:Ah diplomats (Score:4, Insightful)

      by Guspaz (556486) on Monday March 11, 2013 @06:21PM (#43143355)

      This also made me laugh. Any international agreement relies on all parties adhering to it to function. If one party in a two party agreement decides to ignore it entirely, then the legal fabrications of a powerless third party are kind of meaningless. As you say, North Korea can start shooting anytime they want, and waving around the armistice saying "You can't do this, this armistice is still in force!" is worse than useless.

      Ultimately, any sanctions the UN might try to impose are limited to individual nations' willingness to adhere to them, and since China is the source of the majority of all North Korean imports, it largely comes down to if China is willing to adhere to them. If China cuts off North Korea, they'd collapse pretty quickly, but China doesn't want millions of refugees flooding their borders any more than anybody else would want that...

    • by bobbied (2522392)

      In the mean time, they have their fingers in their ears yelling "I CAN NOT HEAR YOU!" over and over. They are just throwing a fit because they don't like that the rest of the world (sans China in some ways) told them to stop being stupid by poking the bear, stop trying to build a nuclear weapon and long range rockets so we can let you play.

      All we do now is sit back and ignore the provocation unless they actually do start shooting at which point we had better be ready. Any conflict needs to be two things:

      • by 0111 1110 (518466)

        Needs to be quick? The only way to insure a quick conflict is to walk away after whatever your time limit is. Based on the previous Korean War I don't think 'quick' would be in the cards.

  • by MobyDisk (75490) on Monday March 11, 2013 @06:04PM (#43143199) Homepage

    "We called at 9 a.m. and there was no response," a government official from South Korea said. The line is tested each day.

    With their assets now frozen, they weren't able to pay the phone bill.

  • by rts008 (812749) on Monday March 11, 2013 @06:14PM (#43143275) Journal

    I see this type of stuff from NK as a face-saving measure, with more focus aimed at their own people.

    The fact that the rest of the world pays attention is just icing on the cake.

    • by oodaloop (1229816)
      The other side of the story is that if NK ever does invade SK, everyone will say they saw this coming. The signs were all there. They've been warning everyone for years, and no one listened. The pressure built up until it couldn't be contained anymore. There is a real possibility that they'll invade and/or attack the US. The fact that they haven't done so far doesn't mean they won't ever.
  • A lesson for Iran? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by g8oz (144003) on Monday March 11, 2013 @06:45PM (#43143621)

    The lack of concrete action against NK might be a lesson for Iran.

    If you don't want to be fucked with, actually having nukes is the best bet.

    • by 0111 1110 (518466) on Monday March 11, 2013 @07:55PM (#43144243)

      Crude, innacurate, short range nukes are not the reason NK hasn't been attacked. This is all just talk: the barking of a dog that doesn't bite. The rest of the world is aware of this. There is no reason for anyone to attack them. Aside from that there is the problem that any war with NK is likely to result in, at the very least, a Seoul that consists mostly of rubble and, again, that isn't in anyone's best interest.

    • by steelfood (895457)

      Actually, that's the lesson most countries learned from both Pakistan (a country with nukes) and Iraq and Desert Storm I and II (a country without nukes). It's why both Iran and North Korea are so desperate for nukes. They know they've got crosshairs aimed in their direction, and they want something to discourage the U.S. from pulling the trigger.

  • by Grayhand (2610049) on Monday March 11, 2013 @07:05PM (#43143805)
    He's demanding an all expense paid trip to Disneyland and a pony or he'll blow up Congress. American citizens have responded daring him to carry through with his threats.

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